Baking Bread – If I double a recipe do I double the yeast? (Views from experienced bakers)

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If I double a recipe, do I double the yeast? It is easier to say yes, that if you double bread recipe, double yeast. Seriously, do you need to double yeast when doubling bread recipe? Several factors determine if you have to double or not. Even Expert home bakers and microbiologist may have a different view about this. Some people with years of baking double their yeast in the doubled dough, but sometimes they just half the quantity of yeast for a double portion of flour added. Read on!

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Yeast is a living organism or cell. When you mix it with in flour and warm water, helps to ferment starch while releasing flavor, particularly natural acid, alcohol, and carbon dioxide.

It has been around us for centuries and has served us so much in baking and brewing. As part of human domestic activity for thousands of yeast, there are still little concerns as to what happens if you double the amount of yeast in your bread recipe.

If you get comfortable baking, the more likely you have probably figured out how your dough is when you add some quantity of yeast.

Normally, when you are mixing wheat flour and yeast, the dough gets held together by a web or network of protein called gluten. The CO2 gases trapped by this web cause the batch to rise.

Now, when you double the amount of flour for your bread recipe, should you also double the yeast?

if i double a recipe do i double the yeast?
if i double a recipe do i double the yeast?

Yeast conversions


How much yeast is required?

The right amount of yeast is very important to getting an improved quality of your baked bread or homebrewed beer.  You can have the best healthy yeast, but if you pour out a full pack of it, you may end up with rocket-speed rising of the dough. If you pitch just a little amount of it, you get stuck with slow fermentation, where your dough takes more than expected time to rise an inch.

Many people use different yeast cells and have varying mixing systems for brewing and baking. Even scientists like microbiologists , as well as food technologist, may not agree with expert home brewers and bakers on how much yeast you need.

Occasional bread bakers would cut back on the number of teaspoons of yeast, depending on how long you want the dough to ferment, before you start baking. For example, a single teaspoon of yeast is a good amount if you want your dough to rise overnight or in 10-12 hours, at room temperature.

Experience shows that a quarter of a teaspoon yeast can give an overnight dough rise if you used 3 cup flour in your bread recipe. If your baking environment is yeast-friendly, you don’t even need a large quantity of yeast to rise to the same quantity of wheat flour.

What I mean is that if you frequently bake cake, or bread in your kitchen, you are likely to have a yeast friendlier environment. There, any small addition of yeast to the dough would show a significant or quick rise. If you are still starting out, your kitchen has probably never had yeast and even a large teaspoon of yeast will still make the dough get stuck in the fermentation stage or rise slowly.



Factors that decide if a double bread recipe should receive double yeast

A lot of factors affect how yeast works in your batch of flour, and the quantity you have to add. From these factors, you can decide if you have to double the yeast when doubling a bread recipe. Some favorable conditions can make yeast to work more quickly, while others will just inhibit its fermenting ability.

The different conditions therefore determine whether you should double yeast or just pitch only a small amount of it. Note that baking uses living things called yeast, and there are so many variable that would whether you should double yeast or halve it.

You should be flexible and make it an art, rather than some laboratory steps you must stick to. Let us go check factors that affect dough rising times and use it as a guide on how often you bake with yeast.


PH and Temperature

With the right acid balance or PH and a temperature between 70 to 100  degree Celsius create a more comfortable environment for yeast cells. In a kitchen with this happiest moment with plenty of food and moisture, even a small quantity of yeast will be able to raise the dough and make the most flavored loaf.

In a home bread machine, where dough is mixed at high temperature, you don’t have to double the yeast when you double the dough. You should reduce the amount of instant yeast by a quarter(1/4).


Addition of Salt / sugar

You have read above that yeast likes where there is moisture, warmth and enough food. Adding a lot of salty and sugar(concentrated), although may give tasty bread to your tongue, but it really sucks out water from the yeast cells.

This moisture reduction through osmosis affects yeast activity or the ability to ferment the starchy flour. If you have added more than ¼ cup of salt or sugar to 3 cups of flour, the performance of yeast will slow down. Therefore, in my opinion, you need to double the quantity of yeast to have fast rising on the dough.


Active dry vs instant yeasts

Baking experience shows that active dry yeast works a little slow on the bread than fresh instant yeast to rise a dough. Approximately if your instant yeast rises dough for 2 hours, active dry yeast will raise it for up to 3 hours.

Consider the case where you doubled your bread flour while using active dry yeast. If you practically increased the dry yeast by one teaspoon, this translates to minimizing it to about 1/2 to  ¾ teaspoon if you were using fresh or instant yeast on the same amount of flour.


Kind of dough

There are other additions to the dough that may necessitate that you double or halve the quantity of yeast you choose to add.

Egg/oil/Diary product. Yeasts make dough with perishable ingredients like milk and eggs to rise at different rates. For example, If your pizza dough contains dairy product, yeast activity accelerates at room temperature.

That is probably why experts’ advice bakers not to leave it to rise at room temperatures, because the fermenting process is extremely fast and wild. The best way, as most experts recommend, is that you should refrigerate the dough, to slow the yeast activity down.

What I am trying to share with you is, you should preferably reduce the quantity of your yeast if you double the size of a dough with milk or any other dairy product. This is the right thing to do when you decide to leave the dough to rise under the temperature of your kitchen.


Whole grain dough

Did you just bought whole-grain flour for bread? The truth is, whole grain dough rises slowly because the bran in the grain hinders gluten development. If you use while grain before, then you must be familiar with this fast rise observation.

To quicken or make the dough for your whole-grain recipe to rise faster within one day, double the amount of yeast, so that you don’t slow things down even more.


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Effect of varying quantity of yeast in baking

Varying the amount of yeast can quicken or slow down how your dough rises, the bread flavor

Effects of putting too much yeast

It is not surprising to any serious home baker that the more yeast in a recipe, the quicker the dough rises and the more CO2, alcohol, and organic acids it produces.

The undeniable truth here is this. The alcohol released from the yeast activity in the flour, being slightly acidic, weakens the gluten inside the bread dough. This makes the dough get “porous” and won’t rise any further.

When you add too little yeast!

What happens if you add too much yeast to bread? It is no doubt even to beginner chefs that a very small amount of yeast, or just a fraction of a teaspoon of yeast, will result in a slow dough rise. The production of CO2, organic acid and alcohol is pretty less speedy when you minimize the proportion of yeast in the bread for your fluffy cinnamon rolls.

The disadvantage of limiting the quantity of yeast is that you sacrifice a lot of time, a pretty long time, almost a day, to raise the dough. In some serious cases of baking bread, a very minute addition of yeast produces just no effect on the batch, even if you leave it standing for the next 72 hours.

On the good side, reducing the quantity of yeast in flour makes the gluten to remain strong and the bread to rise gradually. A good slow rise results in a tasty flavor of your freshly baked bread when it leaves the oven.

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If i double a recipe, do i double the yeast?

Should you double yeast when doubling the bread recipe? Should I double yeast when doubling the bread recipe? Yes, You can double the yeast, and sometimes, you don’t have to.

If you want a good flavor from your baking, add an extra 50% yeast, instead of doubling. This might give a slow rise, but that would also mean more yeast metabolic byproducts and more flavor.

Some experience bakers suggest that the amount of yeast in your bread recipes should be about 1.5% that of the total weight of flour. You must not stick to this, because it all depends on how quickly you want your pizza dough to rise. Chech is one of our guides on the best yeast for pizza dough.

One suggestion is that, if you baking 1kg of flour, which requires 1.5 teaspoon of yeast, you should add as 2 or 2.5 teaspoon when you double the quantity of dough to 2kg. Doubling yeast is not the best cooking decision if you don’t feel good about the bad flavor of yeast.

One another dimension, if you fear that doubling the yeast would make the doubled flour of your bread to rise too fast, add extra yeast (50-75% teaspoon or less), and then make the dough warmer to speed up the rise. This is a preferable choice if you knead your pizza dough at breakfast and want it ready for baking in the evening (10–12 hours after)

One disadvantage of doubling yeast is that the rising dough can outpace your ability to shape it and get it baked. When the dough overflows after doubling the yeast, it may overpower your ability to shape it. Thwn, you’ll learn to cut down the amount of yeast during your next cooking.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve heard that when you’re doubling a recipe, you shouldn’t double the yeast, too. Is that true?

Some people believe you shouldn’t double yeast, but it all depends on many conditions, including the time you want the dough to rise. You can always increase the size of dough for your bread recipes by doubling, tripling, the quantity. That also means the baking ingredients, including the yeast, can be doubled.

Also, if you increased your recipe by 4-5 times, also increased the yeast by 5 times. It depends on the type of yeast, the conditions, the additives in the dough, the kind of recipe and rising time. For example,  1 teaspoon, and up to 2.5 teaspoons of instant yeast can go for 1 pound (4 cups) of baking flour.

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So if I would like to double a recipe for pizza dough, do I also double the amount of yeast?

YES. If you want to make pizza and want the dough to rise the same night, it is absolutely right to double the yeast for a fast initial rise. Unfortunately, the quick rise won’t give you the best flavor.


Can we make cheesy crust pizza at home without oven, without yeast?

Yes, it is possible to make cheese pizza without yeast if that is what you want.


Should I use the whole package of yeast for a higher loaf?

My bread recipe calls for a teaspoon of yeast. The packet of yeast is more than a teaspoon but says to use the whole packet for a higher loaf. Do I just measure out a teaspoon and discard the rest or should I use the entire packet?

In terms of kilograms or grams, one teaspoon of yeast is about 6.5grams. This is more than required quantity to ferment 1kg of flour in most home bread recipes. So you don’t have to use the whole package of yeast. Fold it up and keep in the freezer for the next cooking.

From the factors affect yeast activity in a dough, we saw that making bread with an egg, milk, sugar and butter enriched dough can show a slow rise.

To speed the dough fermentation up, you can either warm up the batch or you add more yeast. If you can’t warm it up, double the yeast (not necessarily pouring the whole package) into the enriched doughs.


What can I use instead of yeast in pizza dough? I am scared of doubling.

Use a starter for sour dough, it’s called Natural yeast. That does not mean your pizza or bread will get sour if you properly care for it. Some people just use baking powder or soda plus an acid such as vinegar.

If you totally want to avoid yeast, your dough will take much longer. Even without yeast, your dough can still rise a bit, naturally, since there is natural yeast all around us, even from your hands.


Should the yeast be doubled if I double the recipe?

If you’re going to double your bread recipe, don’t precisely double your yeast. The best thing is that when doubling a bread recipe, the yeast should be reduced slightly.

As a reminder, if you double the yeast alongside the other ingredients, you are probably halving the quantity of yeast required. A far too much reduction in yeast may leave your dough seating for 48 hours without rising.

The general recommended amount of yeast in your bread recipe should be a maximum 2% of the weight of the flour. It is sad to say, many bakers make the silly mistake, and add too much yeast, which causes the dough to go flat, ejecting CO2 gas ever before the dough can expand.


If I add too much yeast to dough, how can I reduce the yeast smell?

Add more salt and flour. When yeast consumes the sugars and starches in the dough , it produces a low grade alcohol and carbon dioxide. You know, during baking, the alcohol burns off since it’s a low boiling point fluid, and the CO2 leaks through the holes away.

If there is excess sugar and starch, the dough will rise more and much Co2 and alcohols is produced, which generates the smell you get. A better way to reduce the smell from the dough is to add more flour and salt.


What happens if you double the yeast in a bread recipe?

Your dough will rise faster and may overflow if you don’t slow it down. If you’re looking to double a bread recipe, under some conditions, don’t double your yeast because more yeast will cause faster fermentation. This results in quicker release of CO2, alcohol, and organic acids, which helps to weaken the gluten in the dough. Weak glutton makes the dough porous.

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