Reader question… “I’m not having very good results with making my own bread. It tastes too yeasty and has almost a sour flavor. The texture is also very coarse with big holes. Do you have any ideas about what I might be doing wrong?” –Jenni W.

Temperature is extremely important. Most recipes specify a rising temperature of around 80°F to 85°F, and this is really not very warm. If you put a heating pad under the bowl of dough or put it in a gas oven with a pilot light (like many people do), or use some other method to create a warm environment for the dough, it is possible that the rising temperature is just too high… and if the dough rises at too high a temperature, the bread WILL taste yeasty. This time of year I just let my bowl of dough rise on the kitchen counter. In the winter, if the room seems cold, I put the dough nearer a heat source, but I still let it rise pretty much just at room temperature.

Next, be very accurate when you measure the yeast and sugar. Too much sugar will make the yeast grow too fast or too much, and that (or just too much yeast) will result in a dough with an unpleasant, yeasty taste.

Too long a rising time can also cause a yeasty taste, so be aware of the rising time specified in your recipe and start checking the dough just before this time is up. The dough will tell you when it has risen enough and is ready to be shaped into loaves or baked.


Meadow hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum)

Are you sure your problem isn’t your recipe? There are many recipes “out there” now that intentionally make a yeasty-tasting and coarse-textured bread with lots of big holes. It sounds like you want bread with a finer texture like the older recipes make (me too!), and for that you can almost always depend on a bread recipe from an older, reputable cookbook such as Betty Crocker, Bernard Clayton or Good Housekeeping. I would start with your recipe as a possible reason.

I would be glad to share the recipe I’m currently using if you are interested. It’s an oatmeal bread and the recipe makes two or three loaves.

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Comments

rhiamom

Just thought I’d add my bit, as a bread baker of many years. Is she using a recipe that only lets the dough rise once before shaping? That tends to result in a coarser textured loaf than if it is punched down and rises a second time before shaping. It’s very common in newer recipes, and is the cause I have noticed for coarse textured bread.

Megan

I would love to see the recipe for the oatmeal bread!

Shelly G.

Yeasty flavored bread is usually caused by two things. Too much yeast and being too warm when rising. Using less yeast and allowing more time to rise… Often times we want to hurry the process and place the dough close to a warm appliance which can cause the bread to be very yeasty… If you live in a warm area you might want to try refrigerator dough… which rises in the refrigerator overnight… or during the day while you are at work :)

Jakub

Hm. having the same “yeasty bread” issue… Good bread does not taste yeasty at all and i cannot reproduce this at home. I tried a french baguette recipe that rose 3x for a total of 6 hours and the result was the same. Flavorless, yeasty loaf. Any baguette from the supermarket is better tasting than that. The recipe received high ratings and claimed that the bread tastes like right out of the french bakery. Not so much… Until I moved to Canada i’ve never even seen dry yeast. In Europe, we only used fresh yeast and precise amounts were used for different recipes. I am starting to believe that the 1 package of dry yeast for any recipe just does not work. Same goes for pizza dough recipes, anything i’ve ever made at home always tasted too yeasty and bland. Even a cheap pizzeria makes a better crust. How is that possible?

JP

Jakub, I pondered the same thing about pizzeria dough, especially since I worked for two places! After a while I remembered that the flour we used at one place wasn’t “just flour”. I didn’t know what else was in it, but rationalized that if I wanted less yeast flavor in my dough, I would need to “make up” the rising power, and could that be done with baking powder? I experimented with it and ended up with some of the best pizza dough we’ve ever had! 1 cup water, 1 tsp. yeast, 1 tsp. sugar, 1-2 Tbsp. oil, about 1 tsp. salt, 3 cups white flour, 1 tsp. baking powder. Mix it and refrigerate next day use or use right away. = )