The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Forgot the yeast...

mvparrington's picture

Forgot the yeast...

I forgot to add the yeast to my bread machine. I usually just put everything in and let it do the kneading for me then I take it out and let it rise in a bowl and bake it after it rises. Today I pulled it out after the first rise and saw nothing happened to it and realized I had forgotten to add the yeast. Is this a loss or is there something I can make with this. I really hate throwing away food. any help/suggestions would be appreciated.


edh's picture

I'm no expert, but I would think that you could treat the first rise as a kind of long-ish (unplanned) autolyse, and just go ahead and knead in the yeast now. I'm unfamiliar with machine kneading, but I know you can do it by hand on the counter. Just flatten the dough out a bit, sprinkle on the yeast, fold it up a few times, and knead it until you can't really feel the yeast anymore.

Good luck! (I know how you feel; I hate throwing food away as well. Only the very worst failures go out to the compost!)


wholegrainOH's picture

edh is right:  just add the yeast now.  You'll have a richer tasting bread, since you've essentially done half of Peter Reinhart's process:  mixing the flour together and letting it age a bit before adding a yeast mixture.  You might mix the yeast with some flour and liquid and let it grow a bit separately before putting it together with the base you already have.  Whether you do this more complex process, or just go ahead and add the yeast to your dough, you'll be fine.  Bread's pretty resilient!


staff of life's picture
staff of life

I've done this a few times.  Even if you're using instant yeast, proof it first, unless you enjoy teeny pockets in the dough where the yeast has worked, and large unproofed spaces where it hasn't.


mvparrington's picture

Thanks so much to everyones comments and suggestions. I kneaded the yeast in and let it rise for an hour, popped it in the oven for 35 min and it came out delicious! I am so glad I asked before I tossed it. It tastes much lighter and more moist than usual. You were right alan, bread is resilient. Thanks again.

sphealey's picture

For some reason my sourdough rye did not rise today. This could be a real problem since I depend on the Sunday rye loaf for my week's sandwiches.

I was using the Hammelman-Healey three step process :

  1. 50g starter + 50g rye + 50g water for 5 hours at room temperature
  2. Above + 100g rye + 150g whole wheat + 50g white* + 200g water for one hour then in the refrigerator overnight
  3. (675g - above) white + (425g - above) water + seeds + salt; mix, knead, ferment, shape, proof, bake

This has worked quite well every at least 20 times with variations since I developed it from Hammelman and Beranbaum's recipes.

But today it just didn't work. I had to take #1 kid to viola lesson, so after mixing and kneading it fermented for 2 hours at room temperature - it glopped out but didn't get much bigger. I gave it a fold and another hour with a heating pad under the bowl - still no movement.

Getting worried I broke out the yeast and added 1-1/2 tsp by spinkling, misting with water, and folding the dough (probably 6 sprinkle-and-folds). Then I kneaded it for about 3 minutes and put it back to re-ferment.

Results: One hour - starting to grow. Fold and another hour: definitely bigger. Shape and proof for an hour: not as big as usual but it did rise. Baked at 500 deg.F with steam for 15 minutes then 425 deg.F for 35 minutes. Some oven spring and good flavor.

Whew. Good thing I had read this thread during the week otherwise I might not have thought to try adding the yeast.

I was worried that the starter might have died so I pulled it out of the refrigerator and took it through a feeding cycle, but it rose in the crock during the warming period as it normally does. Puzzling; I hope it works next week.


* The exact amount and type of flour varies from week to week.

thecelticbaker's picture

I followed your wonderful advice and results, and kneaded the yeast into the dough.  My machine has a quick cycle which I'd used once before in a pinch with good results, and decided to give it a run again for the added benefit of a machine mix/knead before rise and bake.  Worked great!   

grannieannie123's picture

HaHa, thank you for this post.  I did exactly the same yesterday when I made the dough in my machine for my rolls.  So I made up some dried yeast with a little warm water then squished it in the dough, put it back in my bread machine and the rolls are lovely!

I'm new here, but so pleased I found this site!    xx