What Happens If You Put Too Much Yeast in Bread?

Bread needs yeast. There is almost no getting around that. But if you’re going through a recipe and notice you’ve added way too much yeast to the dough, you might start to panic.

Adding too much yeast to your bread dough can render many negative results, including bread collapsing before, during, or after baking and loaves smelling and tasting like yeast or alcohol.

Needless to say, you don’t want to add too much yeast to your bread dough. The good news is that you can potentially fix your dough before popping it into the oven. And that’s precisely what I’m here to teach about.

Oh, by the way! My name’s Michelle, and I’ve enjoyed baking bread of all kinds for the past few years. Of course, I’m not perfect – nobody is. I’ve accidentally added too much of one ingredient or another, including yeast. 

Today, I’m sharing what happens if you add too much yeast to bread and different ways you can try to fix it – emphasis on try.

Let’s talk about yeast!

What Happens if You Put Too Much Yeast in Bread?

Most people are well aware that bread dough needs yeast, so it’s important not to leave it out – unless you want a flat, dense, and lifeless loaf – and I’m going to assume that you don’t want that.

Yeast is primarily responsible for creating carbon dioxide during the resting period, ensuring your loaf rises and comes out with the perfect texture. However, yeast also forms ethanol, lactic acid, and organic acid in the dough, which plays a role in the overall texture and flavor.

So, what happens if you add too much yeast to your bread dough? The first thing to do is relax and don’t beat yourself up. Even the pros make mistakes – trust me. 

But here are some of the adverse reactions that can occur.

1. Irregular Holes

Bread connoisseurs sometimes describe bread as having a “perfect” and “beautiful” open crumb. This is especially true for Artisan bread types. An open crumb is not only a symbol of perfection, but it’s also what gives bread its light and airy texture that is highly enjoyable.

A crumb with irregular holes? Well, not only does this bread not look great, but it won’t have the desired texture you’re seeking. 

2. Paleness

Okay, so pale bread isn’t the worst thing in the world. But it certainly lacks in aesthetics and flavor. Sure, pale bread is a-okay to consume, but it simply won’t have the fantastic taste of bread that has an attractive browned crust. 

3. Collapsing

Too much yeast will cause the early release of essential gasses before the bread dough is ready to expand. The result? Bread that collapses. This can occur before, during, or after baking, but it’s most likely to happen while you’re scoring the bread for baking.

4. Lack of Flavor and Scent

Have you ever baked bread in your own kitchen? The smell is incredible. Honestly, there is nothing quite like the scent of freshly baked bread. And the taste? Forget about it. Once you bake bread at home, you will never want to go back to store-bought loaves.

However, if you add too much yeast, you’ll miss out on that luscious scent and flavor. Basically, too much yeast will hinder the production of taste and aroma, leaving you with a lackluster loaf.

5. Alcohol/Yeast Taste and Smell

If your yeast-heavy bread dough does end up with a scent or flavor, it will likely be similar to alcohol/yeast. While you can certainly eat bread that smells like alcohol, it’s not the most enjoyable thing in the world – especially if you’re not a big beer fan.

6. Undesirably Massive Oven Spring

Oven spring refers to the “spring” or “rise” that occurs right after placing the bread dough in the oven. It’s something that you want to happen. 

But too much of anything is a bad thing. Sometimes, when you add too much yeast, you can end up with a massive oven spring that causes the dough to stick to the sides and top of the oven – otherwise known as a vast and unwanted mess.

What to Do if You Add Too Much Yeast to Bread Dough

Obviously, an overabundance of yeast in your bread dough is not ideal. But the good news is that there are a few ways you can try to save it. Your bread might not come out “perfect,” but at least it won’t go entirely to waste.

Here are a few methods you can try.

1. Slow Down Fermentation

While yeast is essential to bread-making, so is fermentation. And while I would typically suggest letting your bread rise at room temperature, bread with too much yeast needs a cooler spot to ferment, such as the refrigerator.

Cooling down the temperature will slow down the production of gas, which will help to halt overproduction which can cause a collapsed loaf. So, go ahead and stash your bread dough in the fridge to ferment for a few hours.

2. Underproof it Slightly

Over-proofing and under-proofing are two things I don’t usually recommend, either. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

If you know you’ve added too much yeast to your dough, pop it into the oven slightly under-proofed. This can stave off a massive oven spring (and humongous mess). Under-proofed bread will spring back relatively quickly when you poke it.

3. Add Salt to the Dough

Salt is yeast’s kryptonite. So, go ahead and add another pinch of salt to your bread dough. This can help to control the yeast’s production of gasses and acids, potentially saving your bread from pitfalls like collapse and lack of flavor and scent.

4. Don’t Cut Before Baking

While cutting is a typical part of the bread-making process, you should avoid doing so if you’ve added too much yeast. Again, this is solely to prevent a collapsed loaf. Simply place your uncut bread dough in the oven and cross your fingers!


Needless to say, you need to be extra careful when it comes to adding yeast to your bread dough. Don’t overdo it! If you want to learn a little more about this topic, I’ve added a few frequently asked questions that may interest you.

What happens if you double the yeast in a bread recipe?

You might think doubling the yeast in your bread recipe will make it rise faster or become fluffier and lighter, but this isn’t the case. Too much yeast, as described above, has negative consequences. 

How much yeast do I use for 3 cups of flour?

The typical recommendation is ½ teaspoon per cup of flour. With that in mind, you would want to use 1 ½ teaspoon of yeast for three cups of flour. However, it is always best to follow along with the bread recipe you’re using, as different types of bread can call for distinct amounts.

What is the difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast?

Active yeast needs to be “activated” before use, while instant yeast is ready to go “instantly.” They can be used interchangeably in bread recipes. However, keep in mind that you will need to activate the active yeast in warm water and a pinch of sugar for a few minutes before using.

Too Much Yeast is a Definite No-No for Bread-Baking

When baking bread, be extra careful not to add too much yeast. Not only can it make your bread collapse, but it can also destroy the flavor, smell, and overall texture. 

Have you added too much yeast? Try to save it by fermenting it in the fridge, under proofing it slightly, and not cutting it before baking.

Have you ever added too much yeast to your bread dough? What was the outcome? How did you fix it? Share your stories and suggestions with us!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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