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Percentage question RE: Yeast; ONE MORE THING... - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Percentage question RE: Yeast; ONE MORE THING...

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  • Percentage question RE: Yeast; ONE MORE THING...

    Variables I should mention;
    I would like to know suggested percentage of yeast for TWO different batches, as I think that changes things.

    1 batch will do the standard 90-2 hr. rise; shape into balls, rest. And used same day.

    Other batch will go into refrigeration in proofing tray, up to 3 days. (or does anyone say up to one week is also okay???). or perhaps freezing after 3 days is a better plan.

    And I do use Caputo flour and active dry yeast.

    oops.... one more question; I have a warming oven with a proof setting. do you reccommend I use it, even though the FB e-book says "cover it, and set it aside to rise...." ??? Sorry for so many questions. I did search this site and didn't see this specifically addressed.


  • #2
    Re: Percentage question RE: Yeast; ONE MORE THING...

    Hi TIA!

    You are right that it makes a difference, but in practice less than you probably think as there are other variables that have similar influence (like temperature, water temp, etc.).

    First I will assume you are using dry instant yeast. For pizzas the percentage will generally vary from about .3 to 1.0 percent of the flour weight depending on your methods. 0.7 to 1 percent is a good starting point and I favor the lower amount - for a variety of reasons though IF you want to bake at 90 to 120 min after mixing the higher number is probably best. However, most of us bake multiple pizzas spread out over time so we would begin at 2 hours and might end 2 to 3 hours later. I prefer to have my early pizzas underproofed and my later ones over so I would still go with .7 in that case.

    If you retard the dough in the refrigerator I would stick with .7 percent and put it in the fridge within 30 minutes of mixing. Take it out about two hours before use and it will be fine. IF I expected to use the dough over several days I might drop to .5 percent but it isn't critical. (NOTE: the dough will degrade over time as the enzymes break down the flour and that change will be visible over three days. By the fourth day the degradation starts to get significant. It won't kill you but it won't be as good. Freezing is better and works well for up to a month. (There is a texture change with this as well.)

    There is little reason IMO to use a proofing drawer for pizza unless you are running late or have a deadline or... The faster you make/use the dough the less flavor development you will get (below say two days). I only use a proofing drawer for bread and only when the temp in the house is below 68 or so. Otherwise I live with it. OTOH, a temp of 72 to 75 is definitely better for yeast activity. Having it warmer for pizza will only further reduce flavor development.

    With Caputo I ball the dough immediately and put it in food grade trays with lids in the fridge. I do NOT like the texture of Caputo dough balled later - when taken out of the fridge two hours before use - I have significant preference for the earlier balling. (I know others disagree but I also know I am not alone in this preference)

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      Re: Percentage question RE: Yeast; ONE MORE THING...

      Jay, wow! thanks so much for the detailed reply! (my name is Teresa, btw, TIA was for "thanks in advance".

      James (FB proprietor) suggests using ACTIVE DRY YEAST as 1st choice. You use the instant? Do you think that affects the final product (flavor/texture) depending on how and how long one ferments? I'd prefer it. its more convenient. So wondering why James chooses it. Your thoughts on the subject, most appreciated.

      As said in my response to Jed, post above this one, I did one batch w/ the active yeast and I cold fermented 3 hrs. Then 1 hr. room temp bef. baking. Went exactly as James' recipe said in the FB e-book.

      You said..."If you retard the dough in the refrigerator I would stick with .7 percent and put it in the fridge within 30 minutes of mixing. Take it out about two hours before use and it will be fine.". QUESTION on that; Do you mean do not do any rising after mixing, just take the whole dough batch and refrigerate w/out shaping into balls? And then take out to bring to room temp 2 hrs., and then shape into balls at that time?

      So, in a perfect world, ....would you use instant yeast, at .7, 1st rise 90-120 min, shape into balls, refrigerate overnight, bring out 1 hr. before shaping and baking?

      I bake on a stone in our gas grill, which pegs at 600-650 degrees. And we recently purchased a FB WBO kit that my husband will finish here. But that will be a while yet. Its in our garage at the moment. I'm wanting to per-fect this before.

      Next thing I hope to drill you on is the perfect SOURDOUGH PIZZA. tee hee.
      Thanks much Texas Jay


      • #4
        Re: Percentage question RE: Yeast; ONE MORE THING...

        Hi Teresa!

        There is NOTHing magic about exactly how much yeast one needs. Too many variables. Flour, hard water/soft water, temp, salt, etc. etc. You should plan to adjust the recipe over time as you have experience. 0.7 percent instant yeast, 2 % salt (based on flour) is a good starting point but then personal preference takes over. I strongly encourage people to use a single recipe and to refine it one element at a time so you can find what you like. And get to where you make can make it consistently. That way when you do change something you will have an idea why the results changed and how to shift - say new flour gives you something different...

        There is no diff between active and instant except that the active is dried with heat that kills about half to 2/3 of the yeast. The instant has smaller particles (which mix better and don't require activation with water and sugar) and can therefore be mixed dry into the flour. I buy it in 1 pound containers that I keep in the freezer and they never go bad. It is exactly the same yeast strain in both so...take the easy route.

        WRT sourdough pizza, I do it but I don't find it especially beneficial for my palate. The overnight retard gets much of the flavor. My leaven is VERY mild and so acid isn't a problem. I just find that the timing issues are a lot more challenging and the less robust wild yeast doesn't give dough that is as puffy. Flavor is good but... not my standard pizza.

        I usually give my pizza dough about 15-20 minutes at room temp before going in the fridge. I ball Caputo and bread dough (neo-Neapolitan dough) before retarding. I ball AP dough after retarding.

        If you use less yeast (say .5%) you might want to give it longer before the fridge, but that is part of refining your own process. I find the variations on the baking side (after the dough is out of the fridge) usually overwhelm the variations before it goes in the fridge.

        Fortunately this really isn't rocket science. It still comes out good even if it is underproofed, overproofed, etc.

        And gas grill pizza is awesome and a great alternative to WFO. Different but!!!

        Good Luck!