# Is there a general algorithm for calculating the amount of yeast while making bread?

I've had this question for a long time. I have several books with different recipes and the amount of yeast changes a lot. I know for a fact that it is better to work with less yeast and wait for a longer time for the bread to rise. But does it depends on the quantity of water, butter, sugar, etc? Thanks.

There are many variables that determine how fast bread will rise: The type and quantity of yeast, how much of that yeast is viable, temperature, water content, water availability, acidity, etc.

Some ingredients, especially sugar, compete with the yeast for the water in the bread. Dough with a lot of sugar will rise more slowly compared to a less sweet dough with the same quantity of water. While I have not read that fat affects water availability, keep in mind that butter is 16-17% water.

If you wanted a chart or algorithm it would need to include all these variables for a desired rise time. Even then, it would be difficult to control all the variables and the rise time would not always be identical. It would be difficult to predict without experimentation. I have seen charts for a single variable vs time but these are intended for understanding the variable- not predicting rise time.

Bread making is more flexible. Recipes will call for the dough to double in volume- no matter how long that takes.

However,

As you noted in your question, there is no correct quantity of yeast. More yeast will simply act more quickly. You may want to finish a bread faster and use more yeast. On another day, you may want to maximize flavor, use less yeast and ferment for longer. Either can produce excellent, but different, bread.

Besides tested recipes, there are charts that can be used as a starting point when you are creating a new recipe.
For example from Cooks.com:

I would consider this chart reasonable, however, in my standard sandwich bread recipe I use approximately half this much yeast. In my regular, overnight-risen, artisan recipe I use even less than that.

• Thanks for the reply. So, rich dough have more yeast because of the sugar ? What about eggs in the recepie? Another thing, i though sugar helped the yeast. – Karl May 8 '18 at 4:54
• Not just because of sugar that is one variable. Rich breads often have a bit less water added as well because the fat makes the dough soft enough. Yeast need simple sugars to eat but they have all they need just in the damaged starches in the flour. If there is too much sugar then the sugar will start to compete with the yeast for water. – Sobachatina May 8 '18 at 14:27
• Eggs are mostly water and I've never read anything about egg proteins competing with yeast to retain that water. Egg proteins to have a drying effect on bread when it's baked but not while it is rising. AFAIK – Sobachatina May 8 '18 at 14:28