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Author Topic: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast  (Read 657 times)

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Offline MikesPizzaTX

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Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« on: September 29, 2021, 11:10:58 AM »
Hey guys, so I've been pumping out pies every Friday and finally got to a happy place where I'm getting consistently really good results week in and week out, which honestly was my main goal from day 1.

Consistency was always my challenge, so crossing that hurdle I feel like I'm wanting to know more about what some small adjustments would do to my dough.

I make my dough Wednesday night for cook on Fridays, balled into 4 balls and in the fridge for a nice slow cold rise....not sure if you want to know they % I'm using but my real question is what happens as the amount of yeast rises/falls, for example if I pull back a few grams will that change anything?  What's normal when fermenting this long?

My pies are sort of similar to NYC style, I cook on a baking steel, they are pretty flat with nice rounded crust at end, really airy and light...standard if you will :P

Anyway, curious what you guys think and really how upping/lowering yeast (grams) will impact the pizza, again but in general terms i.e. more yeast = "x" impact to dough where as less yeast = "y" impact.

These things are harder to find on the web and the damn cooking sites/recipe sites have too many pop-ups :) :P

Thanks for any info you have

MG

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2021, 11:48:57 AM »
First of all, if you've reached what you feel is a solidly consistent product, I don't know that I'd recommend messing around with the amount of yeast you use at all. If you're happy with it, and consistency was the whole point (as it is for pretty much everyone), then I'm not sure why you want to change anything. But if you do decide to play around with your yeast quantities, I wouldn't change anything drastically if I were you. You didn't say how much yeast you're using, but I'm guessing you're probably well under 1%, if you're measuring by weight. If you're going for a NY style pizza, you should really stay at around 0.5% or lower, I would say. If you want to lower that quantity, I go for around 0.2%-0.3% most of the time myself, and I'm happy with my results. Some will tell you that you could go even lower than that. If you go higher than 0.5%, you will probably end up with a dough that's gassier than you want. But only you will be able to determine what works best for you. Good luck.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2021, 12:37:27 PM »
MikePizzaTX,

To add to what member Randy (RHawthorne) said, what also dictates the amount of yeast to use is the nature and duration of the fermentation and the temperatures at which the dough is to be fermented. So, a given dough may be made to use in a few hours or even weeks, and the fermentation might take place at room temperature or in the refrigerator or other cooler. To help other members. member Craig came up with a chart to help other members with the numbers, at Reply 261 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26831.msg393271#msg393271 (click to enlarge)

No chart can be one hundred percent accurate but Craig's chart is a good place to start. I might also add that Craig has other charts as noted in the preamble at the above thread.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2021, 01:56:37 PM »
All other things being equal:

More yeast = ferment faster
Less yeast = ferment slower
Warmer = ferment faster
Cooler = ferment slower
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline MikesPizzaTX

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2021, 09:41:04 AM »
First of all, if you've reached what you feel is a solidly consistent product, I don't know that I'd recommend messing around with the amount of yeast you use at all. If you're happy with it, and consistency was the whole point (as it is for pretty much everyone), then I'm not sure why you want to change anything. But if you do decide to play around with your yeast quantities, I wouldn't change anything drastically if I were you. You didn't say how much yeast you're using, but I'm guessing you're probably well under 1%, if you're measuring by weight. If you're going for a NY style pizza, you should really stay at around 0.5% or lower, I would say. If you want to lower that quantity, I go for around 0.2%-0.3% most of the time myself, and I'm happy with my results. Some will tell you that you could go even lower than that. If you go higher than 0.5%, you will probably end up with a dough that's gassier than you want. But only you will be able to determine what works best for you. Good luck.

Thanks for the input, you're right...I don't want to tinker much but as many of us are always chasing that prefect bite...I feel like it could be dialed in just slightly more.  This is why I love this site, so you mentioned you assumed I was well below 1%, I'm actually at 1.2% with this recipe but as you mentioned it's a bit gassy, although some of the family love it this way I know it's not the way I want to turn out the pies.  Nephews fall it "fluffy" LOL

I'm tinkering with my %'s but to your point, only slightly and only with 1 of the ingredients at a time so I can pinpoint differences.  In the past I would always change hydration, yeast, EVOO, No EVOO, et., etc,. and just was all over the place.

I'm going to try bringing down from 1.2% to .9% and see if I can tell a difference...then maybe down again to .6-.7% next week.  Same ferment times, same fridge temp, same everything but just bring that yeast back slightly.

Thanks again, and also thanks Pete0zza for the links TXCraig thanks for the simple text :)  Really appreciate it guys

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Offline Bbqguy

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 11:19:07 AM »
MikePizzaTX,

To add to what member Randy (RHawthorne) said, what also dictates the amount of yeast to use is the nature and duration of the fermentation and the temperatures at which the dough is to be fermented. So, a given dough may be made to use in a few hours or even weeks, and the fermentation might take place at room temperature or in the refrigerator or other cooler. To help other members. member Craig came up with a chart to help other members with the numbers, at Reply 261 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26831.msg393271#msg393271 (click to enlarge)

No chart can be one hundred percent accurate but Craig's chart is a good place to start. I might also add that Craig has other charts as noted in the preamble at the above thread.

Peter

Just to add what Pete said, being fairly new to pizza making Iíve used Craigs chart to help me with determining yeast percentages and itís been spot on for me thus far.
I started out with nothing. I have most of it left.

Offline MikesPizzaTX

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast (IDY)
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 02:49:10 PM »
Well for what it's worth I did see a pretty big change in the dough from 1.2% down to .9% (IDY), the taste/feel/stretch it was all very noticeable and yet everything else remained constant which was great...noticeable in a good way and I know what that change did with my very eyes and mouth :P

I may try going even lower into the .6-.7% range and see if I can again notice the difference or not while keeping everything else constant, although I'm thinking I'm going to reduce my suger % next because the few recipes that seem to include are much lower than mine as well.  The dough is in no way sweet but when I remove completely it really lacks that char/browning I like (home oven) and I don't notice a sweet taste so maybe I'll keep about the same.

But as always, thanks again guys for listening and offering feedback, really happy with the results and will continue to modify slightly

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast (IDY)
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2021, 12:24:12 AM »
Well for what it's worth I did see a pretty big change in the dough from 1.2% down to .9% (IDY), the taste/feel/stretch it was all very noticeable and yet everything else remained constant which was great...noticeable in a good way and I know what that change did with my very eyes and mouth :P

I may try going even lower into the .6-.7% range and see if I can again notice the difference or not while keeping everything else constant, although I'm thinking I'm going to reduce my suger % next because the few recipes that seem to include are much lower than mine as well.  The dough is in no way sweet but when I remove completely it really lacks that char/browning I like (home oven) and I don't notice a sweet taste so maybe I'll keep about the same.

But as always, thanks again guys for listening and offering feedback, really happy with the results and will continue to modify slightly
You never did say what kind of flour you're using, but most any flour you're going to buy is already going to have some sort of sugar in it, usually malted barley. Just remember that when you're calculating your sugar additions. There's no way to know exactly how much sugar is is in your flour, but going beyond an additional 2% is probably overkill when you're already using a substantial amount of yeast, I would say.
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Offline MikesPizzaTX

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2021, 10:27:29 AM »
I'm using King Arthur Organic Bread flour, seems to do the trick but 100% open to suggestions.  Already made my dough for Friday night pizza this week but I'm going to dial it back, I just checked I'm at 2.3% sugar, so just like the yeast I'm going to bring it down to say 1.9% next week and see if things hold steady.

Like I mentioned, you can't really taste a sweetness but I'm believing it's helping with browning?  I don't like having much in there so bringing it down without negatives will be a plus for me :)


Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2021, 03:14:15 PM »
I'm using King Arthur Organic Bread flour, seems to do the trick but 100% open to suggestions.  Already made my dough for Friday night pizza this week but I'm going to dial it back, I just checked I'm at 2.3% sugar, so just like the yeast I'm going to bring it down to say 1.9% next week and see if things hold steady.

Like I mentioned, you can't really taste a sweetness but I'm believing it's helping with browning?  I don't like having much in there so bringing it down without negatives will be a plus for me :)
That's an excellent flour. But I still don't think you should have any real problem getting good browning on your dough. Sorry if you already posted this information, but what temp are you baking at?
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Offline MikesPizzaTX

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2021, 10:55:59 AM »
I have a nice double home oven, I get to 550 and use the baking steel.   Let it warm for a bit and then load with a peel, usually at about 3.5 minutes I flip the broiler on, let t cook another 2-3 minutes, then finish but lifting up with the peel and getting some char on the top so about 6-7 minutes total per pie.

Here are a couple pics for reference, these were before I reduced the yeast and the visual was surprising just from a "puffy" perspective

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Yeast Basics and Best Practices More/Less Yeast
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2021, 03:30:31 PM »
So you're baking your pizzas for about 5.5 to 6.5 minutes, about half of which is with the oven turned off, using residual heat and the broiler to finish it, from what I'm hearing. That might work if you're not looking to get a really crispy crust, but I would say you could let your pies bake a bit longer with the oven on. That's not really a lot of time before cutting off the heat, and I suspect that's probably the whole reason you're not getting the kind of color you want on your crust. The broiler helps get the top of the pie bake darker, but it's really best for browning the cheese and not so much the crust, and I've found that when I used to use a broiler, it could make the outer crust too hard if I used it for too long.  If I may give a recommendation, I'd say let your pie bake a good 6 minutes before cutting off the ambient heat, and then use the broiler for maybe one minute if you still want it darker. I bake a good 8 to 10 minutes at 525 to 550 degrees on a stone, and I don't use a broiler at all, and that gets me about where I want, but everybody's oven is a little different. Play around with your bake times and see if that helps. That's my 2 cents' worth.
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