Not sure if your yeast is still fresh and active? This simple test will help determine if your yeast is still performing!
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm tap water (110°F-115°F)
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (make sure it is at room temperature)
Using a one-cup liquid measuring cup, dissolve 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar in 1/2 cup warm tap water at 110°F-115°F. Using a thermometer is the most accurate way to determine the correct liquid temperature. Any thermometer will work as long as it measures temperatures between 75°F and 130°F. If you don't have a thermometer, the tap water should be warm but NOT hot to the touch.
Stir in one 1/4 oz. packet (7g) or 2-1/4 tsp of dry yeast until there are no more dry yeast granules on top.
In three to four minutes, the yeast will have absorbed enough liquid to activate and start to rise.
After ten minutes, the foamy yeast mixture should have risen to the 1-cup mark and have a rounded top.
If this is true, your yeast is very active and should be used in your recipe immediately.
If the yeast did not rise to the 1-cup mark, your yeast has little or no activity. Discard this yeast.
Recipe by The Motherload at http://momadvice.com/blog/2013/02/getting-to-know-your-bread-machine-easy-recipes-tips-for-busy-families