The Fresh Loaf

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Test Driving the new Pizza Crust Yeast

sortachef's picture

Test Driving the new Pizza Crust Yeast

Pizza with quick-rise dough


A newly minted yeast showed up on my grocer's shelves last week. Made specifically for pizza crust by Fleischmann's, a venerable yeast company now owned by Associated British Foods, Pizza Crust Yeast promises a fully risen crust in just 30 minutes. Turbo-charged in other words. I just had to give it a spin.

Before I get too specific, let me tell you this: the yeast performed admirably. We made test runs with two different doughs using the specialized yeast, both in the conventional oven and in the woodfired oven, and every pizza came out beautifully. The crusts were puffy and mature despite the brief rise. My favorite was made with half caputo flour and had a longer rise time than the promised 30 minutes, while the meat-lovers in my family gave two thumbs up to the fast rising pepperoni pizza made with a crust recipe very similar to the one on the package. (The pizza in the photo above is in the oven after only 27 minutes!)

What's different about this yeast? Besides dry yeast granules, the package contains a cocktail of emulsifiers, antioxidants and enzymes that speed the growth of the yeast. You also add water that is 10 or 20 degrees warmer than normal - in the 125º range - that gets the process off to a very fast start. Turbo charged, indeed!

If you're familiar with yeast doughs, you will notice a difference as soon as the hot water is mixed with the dry ingredients. Because of the boosted heat and the emulsifiers involved, the gluten in the dough forms quickly, adding a spring to the dough that you wouldn't feel for 20 minutes or more if using conventional yeast. With the pizza crust yeast, the dough after a few minutes puts out an earthy smell, almost as if it is cooking. This smell alarmed me a little at first, but did not linger throughout the forming and baking processes, and was not apparent at all in the finished pizzas.


So here's the skinny:

  • If you want the fastest yeast crust pizza available, use the dough recipe in my 40 Minute Pepperoni Pizza. The 30-minute dough (plus about 10 minutes of baking) held together better than any quick dough I've ever made. For best results, bake the pizza directly on quarry tiles on the center rack of your preheated oven.
  • If you want a more mature crust that tastes like a high-quality pizzeria pizza, in the same recipe use caputo flour for half the flour and cut the amount of yeast in half. Knead well and let dough sit for an hour before forming your pizza. This 90-minute dough will rival an artisan crust, although it will lack the nutty flavor that comes with an overnight rise.


Meanwhile, before you rush to the store to get some of this whiz bang pizza crust yeast, you might want to know what the added ingredients are and what they do. As far as I can tell, these are well-accepted additives in the food world; you can google any one of them for more info.

Sorbitan Monostearate - a waxy derivative of sorbitol that aids yeast cells in their ability to absorb water. This one is found in active dry yeast as well.

Ascorbic acid - an antioxidant food additive group that contains as one of its members vitamin C. This is an accepted dough enhancer which I have used in small quantities to nourish and freshen the flavor of breads. Fruit Fresh is one brand, available as an additive to preserve color in canned fruits and vegetables.

L-cysteine - a nonessential amino acid that has antioxidant properties.

Enzymes - proteins that speed the rate of chemical reactions.


Conclusion: If you're in a hurry for a good homemade crust, this yeast will do the job of speeding things up. And since it does that in about the time it would take to bake a frozen pizza, I say the decision is a no-brainer. After all, the best pizza is the one you make yourself!

So go on. Give it your own test drive. I think you'll agree at the finish line that pizza crust yeast is a real winner!

For original post, see


wally's picture

I've seen the new Fleischmann's yeast, and I decided to avoid it.  Why?  Well, in my book, pizza is ALL about the dough.  The toppings are not the main event, the quality and flavor of the baked dough ARE.

You can't create a quality dough in terms of flavor in 30 minutes.  Period.  The laws of chemistry - and especially bread chemistry - just don't allow it.

So, to me, if you want a pizza dough ready to go in 30 minutes, you might just as well buy a frozen one at your local supermarket and thaw it.  Or just order from Dominos. 



SylviaH's picture

...but I really am picky about the sauce, cheeses and any toppings too : )Sylvia

fancypantalons's picture

Since most people plan their meals at least a day in advance (who spontaneously decides to bake pizza?), I suggest just making up a batch of pizza dough from Reinhart's BBA.  You make the dough the night before, a process taking all of 15-20 minutes (I usually do it before I go to bed), bag it, and stick it in the fridge, where it can stay for up to 3 days. 

When you're planning to make pizza, take the dough out a good 45 minutes before baking so it has a chance to warm up (which gives you lots of time to get some sauce made up (you *do* make your sauce from scratch, right?), and your toppings prepped), and voila, you have a wonderful, flavourful pizza crust, ready to roll, without compromising convenience or flavour.

LindyD's picture

I'll pass, too.

Fast bread is not good bread.

sortachef's picture

No worries here; normally I'd agree with you. You can see my advocacy of long rise dough at

In the meantime, I was curious, which is why I tried the quick yeast out. It won't ever take the place of my normal recipe, but it was interesting to try.

BTW: I notice that even Peter Rheinhart reaches for rapid rise yeast instead of the regular garden variety. Does that make him any less of a purist?


fancypantalons's picture

Reinhart uses *instant* yeast, which is just regular ol' yeast with a finer granule.  It rises no faster or slower than traditional active dry.  It's primary advantage is that the fine granule means you can incorporate it straight into your dry ingredients without having to worry about whether it'll fully dissolve.

copyu's picture

that SAF also has a 'dedicated' Pizza Yeast. I saw it and picked it up, trying to work out what a "pizza yeast" was. Someone else said it before me—yeast is yeast!

I read the package info, but I didn't notice if it claimed to have any particular speedy rise properties.

Personally, I think it's just the 'sucker effect' designed by the marketing people, to attract the uninitiated, but I can't say for sure...I left it on the shelf. I don't make pizza often enough to worry about what yeast should go into it.

Has anyone else heard of it, or tried it? Please let us know. I'm willing to learn new things (...but to be quite honest, I'm betting that I won't learn much on this issue.)




LindyD's picture

 I notice that even Peter Rheinhart reaches for rapid rise yeast instead of the regular garden variety. Does that make him any less of a purist?


While I've not seen that in the Reinhart books I have, rapid yeast is designed to accelerate fermentation.   Its only purpose is to save time - and presumably money for commercial bakers.

My take is that when you do that, you sacrifice quality.   If any baker is going to toss out the development of good flavor for the sake of speed, that baker is selling out to the I-want-instant-gratification-now crowd and purity goes out the window.

fancypantalons's picture

I totally get why people want speed and convenience.  I mean, who wants to spend hours and hours planning and executing an everyday meal?  It's totally impractical for a regular, week-day supper.

But that's why PR's pizza dough recipe is so awesome.  It takes basically no time to initially prepare (you just need a spare 15-20 minutes a night or two before), and then when you're ready to make pizza, it's just a matter of pulling out the dough a little bit ahead of time, and you're good to go.  So you get all the speed and convenience that would be achieved with a rapid-rise yeast or a pre-purchased pizza dough, but with the flavour development contributed by a nice, long, slow rise.

The real problem is that people aren't aware that such an option is even available.  Heck, I *never* would've thought you could prepare pizza dough days ahead of time, and have it be okay in the fridge.  It really was a complete revolution for me, and turned pizza from a special-occasion-type dish to an everyday thing (well, not *every* day... that's a lot of cheese :).

sortachef's picture

Thanks for all your comments. I'll be posting two pizza recipes utilizing the new yeast on my website, but based on your feedback I'll be including a caveat.

Just so you know, I've always been a purist about these things. I've been baking bread now for  40 years (since I was 10). As my family can tell you, there is always a dough sitting around somewhere, a starter in the fridge, or whatever. I love to experiment, and I love bread and pizza made with long-rising dough.

My motivation for a test drive like this springs from teaching young people like my teenagers to bake. If just one of the young people I talk to picks up a measuring cup and a mixing bowl and makes a pepperoni pizza from scratch instead of pulling it out of a box, I will have succeeded.

Thanks again, and happy baking!

P.S.- Today's post is Great Pepperoni Pizza in 40 Minutes @

EvaB's picture

sentiments about the pure and better tasting long rise breads and pizza dough, there are some people who would spontainously make pizza. My family being one, we have a sort of baking powder biscuit dough we use for it, and its not a puffy crust, which by the way I hate! I like the thin crust with lots of crispy crunchy well done bread. I abhor thick puffy and half done bread.

The quick yeast would be a benifit for those who decide when suddenly faced with a lot of drop in guests to make pizza, and why not, they would certainly be a fun additive to a summer evening when people are visiting and definitely cheaper than ordering in.

If people find this yeast and use it, and become hooked on baking their own pizza, it might lead to them exploring the bread world, and becoming a baker of Artisan breads, but if someone who is just starting out reads this post where everyone is saying its NOT PURE so its NOT GOOD they will be turned off and never read the wonderful posts and recipes here, therefore depriving themselves of learning to bake bread.

While I appreciate it being your choice I find a lot of you are snobs, YES SNOBS about bread, bread is bread, and if the back door is a specialty yeast that lets someone who would never consider making pizza from scratch start doing it, and then allows that person to explore the world of baking, its another one of us in the making. STOP BEING SO PURE! While its a ludable goal, its not the only way to go!

fancypantalons's picture

"sentiments about the pure and better tasting long rise breads and pizza dough, there are some people who would spontainously make pizza."

I find that statement a little bizarre, TBH.  You just happen to have sauce, cheese, and other toppings lying around, and not expired, so that you can throw a pizza together at the last minute?  Really?

I just find that strange.  I guess that's just me. :)

"but if someone who is just starting out reads this post where everyone is saying its NOT PURE so its NOT GOOD they will be turned off"

I totally disagree.  If someone starting off reads this thread, they'll see people saying "I dunno, I wouldn't make pizza like this", and they would make a choice whether or not to try it for themselves.  No one here has been mean, cruel, or demeaning.  I'd say it's been a very civil conversation (well, until someone started throwing the name "snob" around).  If someone finds this comment thread so intimidating that it turns them off baking pizza, I'd say they have bigger problems. :)

That said, I actually agree that lowering the barriers to baking is a good thing, and sometimes that barrier is time.  But anyone reading this should understand that any shortcut products like this *will* compromise the end product.  Will it still produce an acceptable result?  Sure.  But the statement "bread is bread" is simply false.  There's "good enough" and there's "wow".  A quick-rise yeast will produce "good enough" pizza, but if you really want to blow someone's socks off with great pizza, take the little (and I really mean little) time it takes to prepare ahead of time and do it right.  We already have a culture deeply focused on instant gratification and reward without effort... but baking bread is *all about* slow food, and doing things right (well, at least, it is for me).


LindyD's picture

Eva, you have a real problem when people express opinions that you do not agree with.  

I suggest you step back, take a break, and stop the name calling.  

Frankly, it's very boorish behavior.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Is snob a bad thing?  Perhaps, perhaps not.

I am a bread snob.   I am very picky about the bread I eat.  I'm so bad that I can't eat at fast food burger joints because the buns are so sub standard.  I also don't use a mixer and my dough bowl by hand works great...even when the power is out.

The problem is most people don't know what's good...they go buy a frozen dinner and pop it in the oven and think it's great that they cooked dinner for the family.  The way I see it all that does is "make a turd" and makes it fast.  If that makes them happy then so be it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't take offense to being called a snob...I kinda like it. Then again I never claimed to be normal.  I will say though if you are a snob it right and take pride in your snobbery.

EvaB's picture

Takes one to know one my mother always said.

Emerogork's picture

I read a lot of comment from bakers that have not actually used the pizza yeast. What is the purpose of expressing opinions if for noting other than to express the sanctity of the rising dough?

It reminds me of what Ford said when he was asked why he doesn't build according to the public opinion.  He said "If I gave them what they wanted then all we would have is faster horses."

How about some reporting of actual results and don't start "I have not used this but..."

I have been given this Pizza Yeast and will be trying it soon.  Sauce and cheese only, no other toppings. .  It is the only way to evaluate this. 

I will first make the dough exactly as prescribed. I am thinking of a second try and use the pizza yeast and let it rise over night.  I will compare, and report the results.  As officer Friday says "Just the facts, mam, only the facts".

Meanwhile, anyone who can post actual results, should.
This thread is a few years old, so I am sure that results can be reported by now.
Maybe they are in a different thread.




EricNYC's picture

Pizza yeast was not new in 2010, and is definitely very common now, from many different brands.  Kudos to Fleischman's for making it more available at supermarkets.  It not only allows for the convenience of a quick pizza, but also has the additives it does especially for pizza dough.  It allows the dough to be shaped and stretched without pull or snap back, while also quickly enhancing dough for good taste.  No complaints on this convenient product.

I often have a bread dough in the fridge every couple of days. Not as much with pizza dough.  I love pizza, but also know as I get older, I can't frequent more than a couple of slices on occasion for health reasons, so do not keep a stash in freezer.  If I plan it ahead, then great.  I know I can make a delicious crust dough for me and my guests.  However, there are honestly just random moments where I just want some pizza.  This usually has me happily visiting one of NYC's local pizzerias and grabbing a great [famous NYC] slice (or two).

However, as many people experienced the last two years, all methods weren't available to them.  Whether due to yeast (and sometimes flour) outages, business closings, or financial hardship.  Luckily, I survived that dilemma bread-wise because I stockpile vacuum packs of yeast and always had flour.  That includes this pizza yeast, and let me tell you it was a lifesaver.  So I strongly recommend it, and definitely feel it makes a fine instant pizza dough.  It is not useful for any kind of bread making.  It has one purpose, and it does it well.

Thank you, @sortachef for pointing that out years ago, and even including a photo.  Your attention to this product (used by more pizzerias than many of you may realize) helped some of us be prepared for what we recently experienced (and may experience again).  Hope you fared well.