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activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

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  • activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

    I'm new to pizza making and I have a question about activating (or is it proofing) yeast.

    I bought some active dry yeast from a grocery store (Fleischmann's brand). I used the recipe from the ebook from this website (I'm using a pizza stone rather than a pizza oven although I don't think that matters for this part), and I didn't see the recipe explicitly say to activate the yeast, although I thought you are supposed to do this.

    However when I tried to do this I didn't know how much water and sugar to use since the directions on the yeast said to use the whole envelope of yeast (about 2 teaspoons), 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir that together and let sit for 10 minutes. The Pizza recipe only called for 1/2 teaspoon of yeast so I didn't know how much water and sugar to use.

    I tried to just eyeball it, but I guess I really over did it because my yeast came out way too wet and was really sticky so it kept sticking to the pizza peel and didn't go on the pizza stone too well as a result.

    Any suggestions?
    How much water and sugar should I use while activating the yeast?

  • #2
    Re: activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

    Hey Mat,
    I too found this different as all other recipies I have used prior to the forno one call for you to mix yeast with tapid water and leave till it bubbles then add to your flour. The recipie on the ebook doesnt do this, but it does work as good, if not better than all the others I have tried. Just follow what the ebook says to start with...and when you get the hang of it you can start to change it up abit to see what works best for you. For example I take out a 1/4 cup of water and add olive oile instead.

    Good luck with it and just keep on trying different things.



    • #3
      Re: activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

      Here's a relevant thread on yeast that might be helpful:


      My 34" WFO build

      Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO


      • #4
        Re: activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

        I have done it both ways and can't really tell the difference. When I use sugar in the dough, I proof it, when I don't I add it dry.


        • #5
          Re: activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

          Cheers for that link George...I am doing pizzas on the weekend for a few people, I will try and activate the yeast in water before adding to the flour instead of adding everything and see what happens. Will post the results of what happens...will be instresting to see which way gets the better dough.



          • #6
            Re: activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

            Regular active dry yeast is processed with heat that kills a large portion of the yeast cells. As a result it should be wetted and fed a bit of sugar to get it going. It is also in larger particles which makes it harder to disperse the yeast through the dough - particularly when only casually mixed. It will tend to take longer to get the dough to the desired point than an equivalent volume of...

            Instant or Quick Rise yeast which has several times as much live yeast and is in smaller particles. It is routinely mixed into the flour dry.

            For pizza the level of proofing isn't very critical so you can get away with a broad range of approaches. Though your product will be impacted and there is arguably a desired level of proofing, it simply isn't critical. For bread the amount of yeast used and the type (and the temperature and the time and the hydration) are all important if you hope to make something anywhere near what it can be.


            • #7
              Re: activating (proofing?) yeast / too wet dough

              I don't proof ADY ever; there is no need to.