The Fresh Loaf

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Adding fruit and nuts - yeast and water quantity need to change?

giraffez's picture

Adding fruit and nuts - yeast and water quantity need to change?

I made an artisan loaf using dutch oven method this week and it turned out great.  I was hoping to add in some dried fruits and nuts to the next one.  Do i need to increase my yeast content since the fruit and nuts are heavier than flour?  How about my water content?

The original recipe calls for 2 tsp of yeast against 3 cups of flour and 1.5 cups water.

MTloaf's picture

I have found that strong bread flour, which requires more water, helps to lift the weight of add ins. Unsoaked raisins or dried cranberries will absorb water from the dough and will burn on the crust if exposed. Walnuts will turn the dough a purple color. If you are using a mixer you should add them in at the end of kneading on low until just mixed in. I don't think any adjustments are necessary for the amount of yeast.

giraffez's picture

Thanks.  The strange thing is, when i look up the internet on cranberry and walnut bread recipes, they all have roughly the same recipe and quantity as the standard artisan loaf without anything.  However, the recipe with the fruit and nut only calls for only 1/2 teaspoon of yeast hence my question.  

Colin2's picture

Yeast reproduces in the dough!  It's not like baking powder, where you might want to adjust quantity.  Initial amounts of yeast in recipes are mainly about the time fermentation takes, not the final yeast population.  In most recipes you can cut initial yeast by half, and just wait a bit longer.

semolina_man's picture

Use the search feature on this site, this question has come up many times. 


Make no changes as it relates to added nuts.  Fruit can introduce moisture, introduces its own sugar, and can introduce added sugar.  These affect hydration and yeast activity.  I would not add yeast.   If the fruit is dried, the conventional wisdom is to hydrate it (soak it in water), then add it to the dough making no change to the water.  Fermentation may be faster, so be prepared for this.