The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ideal Dry Yeast to Bread Flour Ratio needed

sarahwh's picture

Ideal Dry Yeast to Bread Flour Ratio needed

Hi, I'm new here. Can anyone tell me what is the ideal amount of dry yeast to 600g flour would be? Or to 1kg flour? I need to know, as I have been just guessing, and my bread deflates when I put it in the oven, and the problem could be that I'm using too much.

Thanks in Advance 


pmccool's picture

First, welcome to TFL!  It is a tremendous resource for a breadhead, whatever their skill level.

Sorry to hear about your collapsing bread.  There isn't a "perfect" yeast to flour proportion, since different breads (lean, enriched, sweet) behave differently.  However, for a lean bread, I would probably use somewhere around 1% dry yeast weight to flour weight.  If I were doing a long, slow retard, I might drop that to 0.5% or less.  For an enriched sandwich loaf, I might nudge that quantity up to 1.5%.

Note that none of those are cast in stone.  As you look at formulae, you will see that different bakers use different quantities, even for similar types of breads.

Since your bread is deflating when it goes into the oven, it is very likely that it is overproofed.  There are other factors, in addition to yeast, to consider.  The most significant are time and temperature.  In warm conditions, say above 80F, fermentation proceeds much faster than it does in cool conditions, say below 70F.  If you are following the directions for time ("about an hour") rather than for dough condition ("or until approximately doubled in size"), it is easy to misjudge the dough's readiness for baking.  Since you can't conveniently bundle the shaped dough into a straight-sided container where volume changes are easy to gauge, you need to develop some other methods for recognizing that the dough is ready.

One method is the "poke test".  Gently press a floured or moistened finger about half an inch into the dough, then remove it.  If the dough springs back immediately, it can be left to ferment further.  If the depression in the dough fills back in just a few seconds, 5 or less, it is ready to bake.  If the depression remains, the dough is probably overproofed.  You can take your chances on baking it, knowing that there is a risk that it will collapse, or you can reshape it and set it to rise again.

Another method is to gently, very gently, squeeze the dough.  It should feel full of bubbles and elastic when ready to bake.  If it feels like a balloon that has lost part of its air, it is probably overproofed.

Shaping also contributes to a loaf's behavior while baking but it doesn't sound like that is the primary problem you are dealing with.


sghksghk's picture

Hi, you say 'or you can reshape it and set it to rise again'.

This won't work - if it's over proofed, that means the yeast has consumed everything it can. Reshaping it won't change this. You'll just get a brick. Either throw the dough or give it a go.

pmccool's picture

It might be true that individual yeast cells have consumed whatever they can within their immediate vicinity.  That is quite a bit different from saying that 100% of yeast-consumable materials have been exhausted.  By kneading and reshaping the dough, you bring yeasts and remaining food supplies into close contact (remember that yeast in a dough matrix is not mobile). 

I will agree that the finished loaf will not have the same qualities that it would have had if baked at the optimal time after the first shaping.  But it will be much better than a brick and much more economical than throwing away the dough.  And it will be better than baking a collapsing, over-fermented dough with no intevention; that would guarantee a brick.

There's another option: use the dough as old dough to leaven a new batch of bread.

If the dough in question is a sourdough whose gluten network has been destroyed by acids or proteolytic enzymes, then disposal is the best course of action.

pjaj's picture


Welcome to the forum.

It's not that critical. I use about 2 rounded teaspoons of dried instant yeast for 1500 gr of flour. In the UK yeast is often sold in small packets of 7gr each, about one teaspoon full, supposedly enough for one loaf. So I guess that's about the right level.

If you are using a lot more than this it may cause problems, but I've no experience of this. It sounds as if your problem lies elsewhere.

Are you getting a good first rise? Something like doubling (although this does depend on the type of bread)

After you've knocked back and shaped your dough, are you getting a good second rise? On the other hand, if you over-rise at this stage the dough may collapse.

Is you oven hot enough? I bake at 200C others on this forum quote 500F = 260C and I've seen an extreme case quoted of 800F!

But possibly the most likely cause is mechanical or temperature shock. I've found that bread can be like cake, open the oven door too soon and it sinks.

I hope this helps.


sarahwh's picture

Thank you so much. It sounds like I'm overproofing the bread, then. I will test it next time. These are all sourdough derivative breads that I make, ie I use about 20% sourdough mix, plus some yeast (as I don't trust the sourdough to make it rise!). I mix it in the breadmaker, then bake in the oven, which is fan forced. I seem to have to bake the bread at 190C or it blackens on top in no time at all.

What are "lean, enriched and sweet" breads? I love the taste of the 2T of Molasses in my 1kg Millers loaf. Does that make it a sweet bread? Actually, it's mainly this Millers loaf recipe that collapses. 

I'd also like to learn what "lean" and "enriched" doughs are.

thanks again


mrfrost's picture

Other fats(besides dairy) can probably be added to the enriching ingredients below.

Baking 911: Bread dough basics, ingredients:

Other add ins, conditioners, enhancers, etc: 

Lean Without sugar or dairy French bread or  Italian-style loaf
Lightly Enriched Small amount of sugar and/or dairy American sandwich loaf
Heavily enriched Substantial amounts of sugar and/or dairy Kuchen or brioche



pjaj's picture

Some enriched breads may also contain eggs.

May I suggest that you test your bread making methodology (mixing, proofing, baking) by picking a simple yeasted recipe from the hundreds on this site and see if that works, then you can go on to make up your own variants. Not wishing to offend in any way, but maybe you should walk before you run. You seem to have introduced a lot of variables / changes into your recipe. For example, adding yeast to a SD mix. How did you work out the proving time? In my experience SD doughs take considerably longer to rise than yeasted ones.

It's strange that your oven, set at only 190C which is low for bread, should burn the top so quickly. Have you got an oven thermometer? Maybe it's hotter than you think.

Hippytea's picture

I used to use 1x 7g sachet of instant yeast for one loaf (500g flour) as per the instructions. Now I think that's a bit much (just for reasons of economy) and I only use 1x 7g sachet for two loaves (1kg flour). 

The only difference this made was to add about half an hour to the first rise and maybe 5min to the second rise. Otherwise the bread behaved exactly the same.

So I agree, it's more likely overproofed in the second rise. But I'm not sure I agree that it should be thrown away. My experience of instant yeast is that it rises so furiously that it reaches an overproofed state - in the sense that the gluten is overstretched and can't hold any more gas - long before it runs out of food. Punch it back and shape it again, and watch it, it may rise even quicker the third time.

I reckon you should go and watch YouTube bread videos to get really familiar with what dough looks like when it's correctly proofed. With practice you'll get good at telling when the bread is ready for the oven and when it's gone too far.


Edit to add, sorry, I see now you're not using just instant yeast but a mix of yeast and sourdough. I hope some if this might be helpful anyway.