If the dough only has flour and oil instead of water will it proof? And should I use the same amount of yeast as I would if using water? In the case that water is needed, what is the minimum proportion that will make the dough proof?

I'm working on a pastry recipe which ingredients are:

  • 500 g flour
  • 250 g sugar
  • 250 ml EVOO
  • 5 g ADY or 25 g fresh yeast
  • 1 tbsp aniseed
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Almonds

The “Tortas de Algarrobo” are andalusian olive oil cookies. The traditional recipe is the same the Arabs brought with them hundreds of years ago: sugar, cinnamon, aniseed, almonds, flour and oil, without any additives. The list of ingredients for the ones I buy which are the ones I like and want to do is: flour, sugar, EVOO, aniseed, cinnamon, almonds and yeast. When I do them I get a crunchy cookie but the ones I buy are tender, which makes me wonder if the yeast I use is working.

  • 1
    You might want to double check the recipe; googling doesn't give me many results in English (I don't speak Spanish!) but tortas de aciete (olive oil cookies, related to the more specifically regional Algarrobo) do include a small amount of water to activate the yeast.
    – Erica
    Jan 28, 2019 at 1:17
  • 1
    This recipe should be wrong. Tortas de aceite de Algarrobo have an amount of hard liquor and the yeast is dissolved in some water. If the mix is too dry you add some water. malaga.es/es/turismo/tradiciones/lis_cd-9459/…
    – roetnig
    Jan 28, 2019 at 17:21
  • I know the recipes that I've seen online use water and some use hard liquor but in the package of the ones I buy which are the ones I like doesn't appear water in the list of ingredients. tortascarmenlupianez.com/en/tradition
    – user72481
    Jan 28, 2019 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Yeast is a living organism that has basically been put into suspended animation by being dried out. Like all living organisms, water is critical to support life.

Trying to use yeast without water will not work.

  • 4
    Not only will the yeast not work, but the flour won't either -- without water, it won't develop gluten, so even if the yeast worked, there'd be nothing to trap the air bubbles that it produces.
    – Joe
    Jan 27, 2019 at 23:02

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