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Does Pizza Need Yeast? You Bet! Here’s What You Need to Know

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Does Pizza Need Yeast?

As a home baker, you might ask yourself if pizza needs yeast.

Maybe you are feeling a little confused if you should add it at all or which yeast to add.  

If your “gut feeling” tells you to do so, you should believe in your instincts because we highly recommend using yeast for pizza dough.

Let’s find out why!

Does Pizza Need Yeast?

Yes, pizza dough needs yeast. Using yeast in the dough ensures that you will get excellent results.

During fermentation, the yeast releases gas and alcohol, which is the main reason for the dough’s rising, enhancing flavor and aroma. Thus, you can have a delicious pizza with an airy, chewy, and light crust. 

In addition, the fermentation process also creates an improved texture for the dough, which is noticeable during the kneading process. The result proves that yeast can contribute a lot of good things to make the pizza more appetizing. 

Therefore, if you are still wondering how it would taste different from a non-yeast risen pizza, you should try your own by applying some yeast. 

We bet you will feel more fulfilled once you take a bite of delicious pizza crust covered with your favorite toppings.

We think whether pizza needs yeast is evident, but let’s check what kind of yeast to use.

Types of Yeast You Can Use for Pizza Dough

different types of yeast
Different types of yeast

Now that you know the answer, does pizza need yeast?

Since yeast is considered the most crucial ingredient in pizza dough as it is primarily responsible for making it rise, you should understand that there are varieties of yeast you may find in the market.

To help you, we provided three types of yeast you can use for baking a cheese-melting pizza with bubbly crust.

Instant Yeast

Generally, instant yeast is similar to dry yeast, which makes it different from it because it has smaller granules. This yeast is commonly referred to as rapid rise yeast; thus, it can quickly absorb liquids. 

This type of yeast does not need to be rehydrated or proofed with water before mixing into the flour.  

Active Dry Yeast

You must activate this type of yeast before mixing it into other ingredients. It means it needs to be dissolved in water first.

Active dry yeast, which is dehydrated, is primarily done to preserve and store it for an extended period. It’s a finely granulated substance commonly seen in packets and jars in the market.

This yeast is the most popular among other kinds since it is simple to use, widely accessible, and convenient.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

Fresh Yeast

Fresh yeast is considered the most active of the yeast types. It’s also popularly known as cake or compressed yeast, but it isn’t easy to find in the market.

Most of these products can be found in supermarkets and refrigerated sections, while some stores only sell this seasonally. This yeast has a shorter shelf life, so it must be refrigerated.

To help you examine a fresh yeast, keep in mind that it should be soft, fragrant, crumbly, and have a color of pale gray-brown. Thus, it can be dissolved in water first or crumbled into dry ingredients.

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Does Pizza Need Yeast?

Steps for Using These Types of Yeast

Instant Yeast

Since instant yeast is designed to be added straight to the flour, you can do it quickly. Thus, you need to prepare all the wet and dry ingredients.

Adding instant yeast to flour
Does Pizza Need Yeast?

Mix your yeast into the flour and add water. Then you may proceed with kneading the dough after. Then let the dough rest.

 Active Dry Yeast

To use active dry yeast, you must first put the yeast into a bowl and add some sugar to it. Then you can add water or milk for it to dissolve.

Activating Yeast
Activate the yeast at 100°F for about 15 minutes.   If the yeast is dead, discard the mixture and start again with fresh yeast. If you are using Instant Yeast, disregard this step.

Stir the mixture consistently to froth up in a foam-like. Once it has formed beautifully, you can now mix it with your other ingredients. After mixing, you may knead the dough and let it rest.

 Fresh Yeast

To use fresh yeast, you must first break or crumble it into a bowl, then add some sugar. Then, you should add lukewarm water or milk and mash it using a fork to dissolve.

After dissolving, you should leave it for five minutes to foam. Once it begins foaming, your fresh yeast has already activated, and you can mix it into your other ingredients. Then, you should knead the dough and let it rest to rise.

What Can You Use Instead of Yeast for Pizza Dough?

Now that you know the answer, does pizza need yeast? But what if you can’t find yeast in your pantry or supermarket? Here’s the excellent news: you can use baking powder as a substitute for yeast in pizza.

You can find baking powder in almost every baker’s pantry. Thus, you can also use it to make pizza dough at home as it acts as the leavening agent. 

Unlike yeast, baking powder does not need more time to rise; however, even if you substituted an equal amount of this substance, you will still notice the difference in its leavening effects from the yeast-rise dough.

This leavening process quickly reacts with liquid and heat, enabling the dough to rise beautifully. Therefore, it works as a substitute but does not offer the same result as the yeast.

An alternative is to get self-rising flour with baking powder and salt. To learn more about using this flour, check our article Can You Use Self-Rising Flour for Pizza Dough?

Steps to Apply Baking Powder in Pizza Dough

When baking powder for the pizza dough, you should sift the flour into a bowl, baking powder, and salt.

Then add some oil to combine until crumbly mixture forms. Slowly pour water on it until the dough forms into a ball form. Once formed, you may start kneading it for 2-3 minutes. 

Gently poke the dough once it is already in the pizza pan. By doing so, you can make a mouth-watering pizza! Rest it for a while, then roll it out with a rolling pin to make a great pizza size.

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Most certainly, you read about yeast before or at least have seen the various yeast packets at the supermarket, not knowing the difference between them.

The Last Slice

We hope that we have answered your question, does pizza need yeast?

Hopefully, you’ve learned that pizza needs yeast, and you know if pizza needs yeast and which is the best yeast to use.

We challenge you to bake your pizza with different types of yeast. Experiment and let us know your results; we like to know what you can do.

Happy Baking!


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