The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

effect of vinegar on instant yeast dough

sallam's picture

effect of vinegar on instant yeast dough


I've read that some sliced bread loaf recipes have vinegar in their ingredients. I hope that you shed some light on the benefits of adding vinegar, and how does that affect the finl result, specially on doughs that use instant yeast.

PaddyL's picture

The highest breads I've ever made have vinegar in them.  My Double Crusty recipe calls for a tsp. of vinegar which somehow gives the yeast a real boost and you can't stop the bread from rising to great heights.  I've made this bread with all white flour and all whole wheat and part of each, and it practically leaps out of the pans.  I've also used it in rolls called Air Buns and they expand like mad.

suave's picture

One is to increase the acidity of the dough which, within limits, helps gluten development. Another is preparation of ersatz-sourdough bread.

ques2008's picture

You said something about vinegar that I never knew about.  So do you use vinegar in all your bread recipes regardless of the kind of bread you're baking?  When do I put the tsp of vinegar - before the 1st rising?

I'm assuming of course that sweet breads don't require vinegar?

PaddyL's picture

No, I don't use it in all the breads I bake, but recently I did use it in some sourdough whole wheat and it worked beautifully.  With just the 1 tsp., you won't taste it at all, and it certainly does seem to help the yeast, be it wild yeast or commercial dried yeast.  I don't think it would hurt in sweet breads at all.

Janknitz's picture

I baked KA's multi-grain loaf this weekend and the recipe called for KA's "dough enhancer". I looked up the ingredients which are basically vital wheat gluten and ascetic acid. I had vital wheat gluten on hand so all that was needed was something to give the dough a little bit of acid. I added a tsp of vinegar and it was great. I got a good rise despite the lower gluten grains that were part of the dough and a lovely crumb. I couldn't taste any sour flavors at all.

Used judiciously, vinegar is a great addition to your bread.

ques2008's picture

I learned something useful, thanks to you both.  I think vinegar will now be a part of my standard bread ingredients - even sweet breads!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Vinegar doesn't seem to harm yeast in small amounts, but is a yeast inhibitor if you use too much. The way it helps breads acheive more height may have more to do with the beneficial effect acids have on gluten develpment, as one poster already mentioned.

Dough enhancers often include ascorbic acid (rather than acetic), because it is beneficial to both yeast and gluten. Ascorbic acid is vitamin C :-)


Diogo Riedi's picture
Diogo Riedi

Just to add.. My grandfather does this great organic apple vinegar... He lives in the country side and buy the apples from a friend who grows them competely free of toxics...He, my grandfather, is famous for it in his town and sells most of his production on the first day, people actualy drive miles and miles to go to his house and buy his vinegar.

So... getting to the point, as you might guess he gives me a few bottles for free every year.. I'be been adding them to my doughs in moderate amounts for a while, but a few weeks ago I went nuts and substitute all of my water for vinegar. The results: it took as long to grow as a sourdough, but it grew and tasted great, specially if you like that sourness of sourdough.

taurus430's picture

I've been baking breads for a while, but all white and got away from whole grain/wheat because the breads were to dense. Last week I came upon a video for making whole wheat bread nice and soft. Today I tried this, adding 1 tbsp. vinegar to the dough and 1/4 cup wheat gluten. This loaf was half AP flour, 1/2 whole wheat with some rye and spelt flours. I also added 1/4 cup potato flakes which is also suppose to help enhance the dough. I converted the standard method of the recipe to ABin5 no knead method. This was one of the best whole grain sandwich breads I ever made. It did rise enough, was soft with a nice crumb. Tonight I found this post so just wanted to add my findings.

semolina_man's picture

Do some searching on Roggenvollkornbrot (rye whole grain bread) and Dinkelvollkornbrot (spelt whole grain bread).  These are German bread types that use vinegar in ingredients.  Many use sourdough starters, and some do not. 

I am doing an extended work assignment in Germany, and have been eating these two types of bread almost daily.  Dense crumb, crunchy crust, slightly sour and wonderfully full flavored.  The loaf I bought today at the local grocery has apple and lemon "saeure" (acid), aka vinegar, listed as ingredients.  Sourdough starter is also included in the ingredients.

To my palate the acid or vinegar does appear in the background flavor.  

Quite a different style of bread, IMO, compared to say Tom Cat's Semolina Filone from this site.