Salad in a Jar

Will my bread be better if I increase the yeast?

Published about 1 year ago • 1 min read

Have you ever wondered if adding more yeast would improve the texture of your bread?

Unfortunately, more yeast may help your bread rise faster (which is not good) but will not make your bread lighter in texture.

Question #1: What does it hurt if my bread rises faster?

1. The faster yeast dough rises, the quicker it produces waste products like CO2 and alcohol. Because alcohol is naturally acidic, it can weaken the gluten structure causing the dough to rise too fast and fall before it bakes through. Sometimes, too much yeast has the opposite effect and the dough barely rises.

2. The faster yeast dough rises, the less time the dough has to develop the complex yeast flavors we associate with an amazing homemade or artisan loaf. A faulty rise (too much or too little) can also cause yeasty flavors.

Have you ever noticed how dinner rolls or loaves of bread that didn't rise properly taste yeasty? Especially when they are cold? I'm reminded of my favorite saying around here:

Even bad bread tastes good when it's warm. Don't be fooled.

Question #2: Sometimes, my dough is barely rising. My company is on the way. Help!

Answer: Move the dough to a warmer location but no more than 85˚F (29˚C). High proofing temperatures have the same effect as too much yeast.


Manage the speed of the rise by increasing or decreasing the temperature of the dough. It's OK to decrease the yeast to slow the rise if you have time, but it's not good to increase the yeast.

Disclaimer: If you use your bread machine to mix, knead, and bake your bread, these suggestions do not apply. You're stuck with the computer setup of your machine. Consider using the DOUGH cycle and baking in your oven so you can take control and make fabulous bread you'll be excited to share.

One of my readers recently asked for a recipe for Cuban Bread or Pan Cubano. She needed a recipe she could mix in a bread machine since the store where she buys it is a long drive from her home. Request granted!

Cuban bread is similar to my popular French bread recipe. It has a soft crumb (use all-purpose flour if you want) and a slightly sweet taste with a moderately crisp crust that softens eventually. In addition to making Cuban sandwiches, the flatter shape (sliced in half horizontally) makes it perfect for garlic toast, paninis, or dipping in thick soups like gumbo or beef stew.

If you make this bread, please invite me over to watch "I Love Lucy" while it rises. The candy factory episode is my favorite.


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