The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

doubling delayed fermentation recipes

obrien1984's picture

doubling delayed fermentation recipes

When doubling delayed fermentation recipes, is it advisable to double the yeast as well? In the flawed semi-logic of my brain, it seems that proportionally less yeast would be needed since the yeast would have more time to reproduce on its own.

 The reason I ask is that last night, I doubled a 24-hour refrigerated recipe last night. The original called for 1/4 tsp of yeast. I doubled that amount, and found that the dough was much puffier and more bubbly after kneading than in the past.


PaddyL's picture

You could maybe use a rounded 1/4 tsp. of yeast, but generally, when you double a bread recipe, you don't need to double the yeast.

hansjoakim's picture

if you double the recipe, why should you not double the amount of yeast in it?

following bakers math, doubling the weight of flour in your recipe, you should also double the total amount of yeast. right? 

pmccool's picture


Think of it as a time-dependent choice. 

Joseph's recipe called for a 24-hour retarded ferment.  That gives even a tiny amount of yeast plenty of time to colonize the entire amount of dough, even if there is twice as much dough as in the original recipe.  Joseph noticed that, after doubling the amount of yeast along with doubling the other ingredients, the dough seemed puffier than it did in previous un-doubled versions.

Many American recipes call for a packet of instant or active dry yeast for a batch that produces two loaves--that's almost a tablespoon of yeast.  In those recipes, the usual recommendation is to allow 1 hour for the bulk ferment and a 1-hour ferment after shaping.  So the recipe writer is aiming for speed and therefore uses a comparatively large quantity of yeast to achieve the stated times.

If you want to coax every bit of flavor from the flour that you can, then a slow ferment with minimal yeast is the way to go.  If you are in a hurry, you can load up the yeast and have bread on the table more quickly.  It's just one of many choices that the baker makes, all of which have a bearing on time, flavor, staling/keeping qualities, and other factors.

Which is all a long-winded way of saying no, it is not necessary to double the yeast when doubling the other quantities.  You may certainly do so if you wish, though.