The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Really Yeasty tasting dough, What am I doing wrong?

grow_power's picture

Really Yeasty tasting dough, What am I doing wrong?


I've been trying to work on making homemade pizza for a long time.  I'm a pretty experienced baker but not in terms of yeast based products.  The main problem I have been having is that all my pizzas have an extremely yeasty taste to them.  I mainly make thin crust and have tried all sorts of recipes from Peter Reinhart's recipe to Cook's illustrated and a bunch of others in between.  I use only active dry yeast started first in water & sugar and then just mostly follow the receipes.  I have quarry tiles in the oven and try not to cover the pizza with too many toppings.

What am I doing wrong???  FWIW, thin crust pizzas from the restaurants taste great to me, so I don't think it's my taste buds.


grow_power's picture

Oh, and I use generic AP flour from safeway.

dghdctr's picture


It may just be that there's too much yeast for your palate.  You can certainly use around half as much yeast, but you'll probably have to ferment the dough twice as long to get a comparable degree of inflation.

While you might think of that as an inconvenience, it really shouldn't be.  That isn't more time you spend in the kitchen -- it's just more time to read a magazine or whatever.  Actually, if you extend the fermentation to several hours by reducing yeast quantity, the dough will usually taste better.  You can even let it ferment an hour or so and then refrigerate it overnight in a covered container (allow for triple or quadruple growth).  It will hold that way for at least one day.

I'm just wondering if you're paying attention to dough temperature when you mix the dough?  If your dough comes out to be warmer than maybe 77-80 degrees F, that could accentuate the yeast activity enough where you might notice the aroma of yeast more than you should.

--Dan DiMuzio

janij's picture

Reinhart's Roman dough creates a nice thin crust.  It uses a small amount of yeast and an overnight retard.  We love it.  And no yeasty flavor.

Janknitz's picture

Try using sourdough as the leavening agent in your pizza dough.  It will not have that yeasty taste, and it needn't be sour, either, unless you want it to be. has a very nice thin crust sourdough recipe that you might like to try.



copyu's picture

...for several friends and family members, based on "American Pie" by Peter Reinhart. It sounds as if you are not following those rules implicitly, as suggested by some other respondents.

Rule 1 is—pizza dough is *always* mixed for a *maximum* of 7 minutes. You MUST get the dough formed in 4 minutes and then let it rest for 5-20 minutes before mixing again. [However, Reinhart says that 'mixing' begins when the yeast and the water first meet. You've already broken 'Rule 1' by not using instant (bread machine') yeast, included in the dry ingredients. Heheheh!]

I've visited a number of pizzerie in the afternoon, before opening hours, to help the owner stoke up the ovens for the long night ahead. In EVERY case, there were drawers under the counters, or racks elsewhere, filled with pizza dough produced the *previous day*. Reinhart suggests minimal yeast and long, cold retardation in the fridge, overnight at least, and removal from the cold a couple of hours before shaping/baking. Are you following this part as well?

Just another observation—when I've used 'active dry yeast' it's usually in little 7- gram sachets—are you using ALL of it? That may be the problem! PR's recipes use more like 1 gram of instant. I don't think that they compare...

I hope this helps(!?)

Best of luck in solving your problem. I LOVE pizza and I'd bet you do, too!







foolishpoolish's picture


Rule 1 is—pizza dough is *always* mixed for a *maximum* of 7 minutes.

That's simply not 'always' true or even usually true. Many traditional neapolitan doughs require a mixing time of 20 minutes or more (definitely more if mixing by hand). The important thing is slow, gentle kneading. The length of time is irrelevant - it takes as long as it takes to develop the gluten and that depends completely on the formula and flour being used.

You MUST get the dough formed in 4 minutes and then let it rest for 5-20 minutes before mixing again

Again absolutely not true. The traditional method is to slowly add flour to the water, yeast and salt - this can happen over a number of minutes. Stating a flat '4 minutes' in which one 'must' form the dough is misleading and in my experience not conducive to an extensible final dough (kind of important in a pizza dough!)

You've already broken 'Rule 1' by not using instant (bread machine') yeast, included in the dry ingredients.

Again - not consistent with how most pizzerias  mix their dough. Yeast is usually added to the water not the dry ingredients.



copyu's picture

Those aren't MY rules, remember! I'm just the messenger...

However, if you change the yeast type and amount, fermentation times and the mixing method, then it's not fair to say, (as the OP suggests), that following Peter Reinhart's formulas result in a 'yeasty tasting' pizza...

I'm all for experimentation, but I never do experiments the first time I try a new formula.

I'll have to eat my words, above, when I find a better method than Reinhart's for home-made pizzas and I don't mind doing that, as long as I get to eat good pizza as well. It's a 'quest'! ;-)


grow_power's picture

Okay, just to make sure I am on the same page as everyone. 

This is the peter reinhart pizza dough recipe I am using.

except instead of using 1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast, I am using 1.87g active dry yeast.  I got that calculation based

where 1 tsp of instant yeast is 3.1 g... and .4 g of instant yeast is equal to .5g of active dry yeast.

Are my calculations right??? ...  and then I put the dry active yeast with the water

I do all this because I can not consistenly find instant yeast in my grocery stores.

I haven't been paying attention to the tempature of the dough but I will try to keep an eye on it.

I am going to give this recipe another try again tonite and let you guys know how it turns out tomorrow.



copyu's picture

I think we might all be on the same page, but not necessarily the same book!

1 teaspoon of instant yeast is a tiny bit less than 4g of active dry yeast, according to the 2nd link you posted.

If memory serves me correctly, the "true" 'Neapolitan' dough [according to Reinhart's book, 'American Pie',] has ONLY AP or '00' flour, water, yeast and salt in the formula. It's kind-of like the "purist" versions of French bread...[The 1st link you provide talks about using olive oil, but the title says 'Neapolitan' and mentions Peter Reinhart...??? It also uses semolina flour, which is specified only in the ultra-thin 'Romana' dough. It's confusing, but there's nothing stopping Bro Reinhart, or you, or me, from changing their minds, I suppose...

Neapolitan Formula from my own pizza files, based on what I read in 'American Pie':

640g [about 5 cups, 22.5oz] unbleached, all-purpose flour. [Italian ‘00’ flour] (If you use bread flour or any high-gluten flour, you’ll HAVE to add a little oil to tenderize it, but then it won’t be a real ‘Neapolitan’ pizza.)

1¾ teaspoons table salt OR 3¼ teaspoons kosher (coarse, non-iodized) salt

1 teaspoon *instant yeast* (= about 3.8g active dry, but 'sounds' like too much to me!)

1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons cool water (65° F =18° C)

Maybe someone thought the "Neo-Neapolitan" pizza was some kind of 'keyboard stutter' and just called it "Neapolitan". As for mixing times, you can mix and knead all you like, but Reinhart goes to great lengths in his book to convince the reader that "over-mixing" whether by hand or machine, merely adds air and "oxidizes" (bleaches) the flour, while increasing the dough temperature to unacceptable levels.

I'm very interested to hear how your next attempt turns out. Looking at the formula in the link you provided and what you have revealed about your methods so far, your pizza should be GREAT! I really hope it works out for you.


copyu (a.k.a. "Uncle Pizza")