too much yeast


Sometimes when someone asks for help with a yeasted dough not turning out properly, they post the recipe, and they get a response that the mixture has too much yeast in it. Similarly, I've read that when you double a yeasted dough recipe you double all of the ingredients EXCEPT the yeast.

How does having too much yeast in a dough affect it?


badge posted by: puppyfuzz on December 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm in General discussions
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reply by: Mike Nolan on December 31, 2012 at 8:52 pm
Mike Nolan

Too much yeast can result in the dough rising very fast, which affects the flavor of the bread, because it doesn't have time to develop more complex flavors.

It can also produce an aftertaste from the yeast and produce too much alcohol, which gives a stale beery taste.

When people say they want to reproduce a bread or roll that tastes yeasty, I don't think it is the taste of yeast that they're really trying to produce, but the results of proper dough fermentation and baking.

Very old recipes are often ones that call for a lot of yeast, because back in the days when the only source for yeast was cake yeast, it had a short shelf life and most of the yeast would die before you could bake with it.

If you're using instant yeast, around 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast per cup of flour is generally enough to get the job done.

reply by: vibeguy on January 01, 2013 at 1:36 am

Pizza dough does benefit from a little extra yeast, but not for the reason you'd expect (rise speed) but, rather, dead yeast is rich with glutathione which interferes with gluten formation and allows the crust to be stretched more easily.

reply by: KIDPIZZA on January 01, 2013 at 7:42 am

Good morning. One outcome of employing an excess of yeast (1.5%) of the weight of the flour (Without the addition of heavy ingredients) is the yeasted bread dough will be dry & crumbly. (Not too many baker's know that)
Mike nolan's formula 1/4 tsp of instant yeast per cup of flour is in the ball park. It is very very close to what I employ which is 5/8ths (.625) of the weight of the flour. Either way it is acceptable. (Consider that 1,tsp of yeast weighs .11,oz)

Now then my friend...this notion of increasing the recipe & then not increasing the amount of yeast in proportion is not good practice....It is poor practice. Let me tell you why. If the recipe calls for a excess of yeast such as our friends in the New England states do in 90% of their recipes. Not increasing is valid...WHY simply put there is an excess of yeast in the recipe. If the recipe calls for the proper amount of yeast, then if you double the recipe you increase ALL ingredients.

I hope this information will help you become a much better baker.

Good luck to you & HAPPY NEW YEAR to as well.


reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on January 01, 2013 at 11:05 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Most recipes call for a packet of yeast whether you need it or not, hence the rule of thumb that says not to increase if you double the recipe. As KP says, there's usually already more yeast than you really need. Less yeast isn't a huge problem (unless it's way off) because you just need to wait longer while the yeastie-beasties are fertile and multiply.

A packet of yeast is 2.25 tsp, which is 1/4 oz or 7 g.

For most of us, in the quantities we bake, we don't have scales that are accurate enough at the low end to weigh our yeast - so volume measures are close enough.