What Is The Best Yeast for Pizza? (ANSWERED!)

When it comes to making pizza dough, choosing the right type of yeast is crucial for achieving the perfect rise and flavor.

There are several different types of yeast available on the market, each with its own unique characteristics.

So which should you choose for your pizza dough?

In this article, we’ll explore the best yeast options for making pizza dough and what makes them stand out.

4 Best Yeast Options For Pizza Dough

There are four types of yeast that we think make excellent pizza dough.

Here’s a look at each of them.

Active Dry Yeast

Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • American-made yeast comes in vacuum-packed 1-pound brick

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Active dry yeast is the most commonly used type of yeast for making pizza dough.

It is made from dehydrated granules of yeast and requires activation before use.

To activate active dry yeast, it is mixed with warm water and sugar, and left to sit for several minutes until it becomes frothy.

Once activated, it is added to the flour mixture and kneaded into the dough.

One of the benefits of using active dry yeast is that it is readily available and affordable.

It is also easy to use and produces consistent results.

However, it can take longer to activate than other types of yeast, and it may not produce as much rise as other options.

Instant Yeast

Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch
  • Comes in a large, 16-ounce (1 Pound) vacuum-packed bag

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Instant yeast, also known as rapid-rise yeast or bread machine yeast, is a type of yeast that does not require activation.

It is made from smaller granules than active dry yeast, which allows it to dissolve quickly in liquid.

Instant yeast can be added directly to the flour mixture, making it a convenient option for busy home cooks.

One of the benefits of using instant yeast is that it produces a faster rise than active dry yeast.

This makes it a good option for making pizza dough on a tight schedule.

However, because it produces a faster rise, it may not produce as much flavor development as other options.

Fresh Yeast

Red Star Fresh Yeast Cake, 2 Ounce (Pack of 03)
  • Cake Yeast, also known as wet, fresh or compressed yeast, has been used for decades by veteran bakers and is still popular today. This is a product with the short shelf life. 4-6 weeks.

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Fresh yeast, also known as cake yeast or compressed yeast, is a type of yeast that comes in a soft, moist block.

It is made from living yeast cells and requires refrigeration to maintain its freshness.

Fresh yeast is dissolved in warm water before use, and then added to the flour mixture and kneaded into the dough.

One of the benefits of using fresh yeast is that it produces a more complex flavor profile than other options.

It also produces a strong rise and can be used in smaller amounts than other types of yeast.

However, fresh yeast is less commonly available than other types of yeast, and it has a shorter shelf life.

Sourdough Starter

Cultures for Health San Francisco Sourdough Starter
  • BEGINNER FRIENDLY: Sourdough is one of the most forgiving cultures to work with, making it a great choice for beginners or breadmaking pros. Plus, this dehydrated culture gives you a chance to get familiar with feeding your starter before it's time to bake.

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Sourdough starter is a naturally fermented mixture of flour and water that contains wild yeast and bacteria.

It is used to make sourdough bread and can also be used to make pizza dough.

Sourdough starter requires more time and attention than other types of yeast, as it needs to be fed and maintained regularly.

One of the benefits of using sourdough starter is that it produces a unique, tangy flavor that cannot be replicated with other types of yeast.

It also produces a strong rise and results in a slightly denser, chewier crust.

However, because sourdough starter requires more time and attention, it may not be the best option for busy home cooks.

Which Yeast Gives Pizza The Best Flavor?

While each type of yeast has its own unique flavor profile, many pizza enthusiasts prefer the taste of sourdough starter for their pizza dough.

Sourdough starter is a natural yeast that is made by fermenting flour and water over a period of several days.

This process allows for the development of complex flavors and a slightly tangy taste that cannot be replicated with other types of yeast.

Cultures for Health San Francisco Sourdough Starter
  • BEGINNER FRIENDLY: Sourdough is one of the most forgiving cultures to work with, making it a great choice for beginners or breadmaking pros. Plus, this dehydrated culture gives you a chance to get familiar with feeding your starter before it's time to bake.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. 

One of the reasons why sourdough starter is so popular among pizza makers is because it creates a more flavorful crust.

The prolonged fermentation process allows for the development of organic acids, which give the dough a slightly sour flavor and a more complex taste.

This makes for a more interesting and satisfying eating experience.

However, it’s important to note that making sourdough starter can be time-consuming and requires more effort than other types of yeast.

Additionally, the flavor of the dough can vary depending on the specific starter used and the length of fermentation time.

If you’re looking for a quicker option that still delivers great flavor, instant yeast can also be a good choice.

Instant yeast produces a milder flavor than sourdough starter, but it is more convenient and produces consistent results.

It is a good option for home cooks who want a delicious pizza without having to spend too much time preparing the dough.

Overall, the best yeast for pizza depends on your personal preference and the amount of time you have to devote to the fermentation process.

Sourdough starter can create a unique and delicious flavor, but it may not be practical for all home cooks.

Instant yeast is a convenient and reliable option that can still produce a great-tasting pizza.

Can I Make Pizza Dough Without Yeast?

Making pizza dough without yeast is possible and can result in a tasty crust.

Here are a few methods for making yeast-free pizza dough:

  • Baking Powder: This method is a quick and easy way to make pizza dough without yeast. Baking powder is a leavening agent that contains a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch. When mixed with water, baking powder releases carbon dioxide, causing the dough to rise. To make a pizza dough with baking powder, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and any other dry ingredients you prefer. Then, add in water and oil until you have a dough. You can knead the dough by hand or use a stand mixer with a dough hook. This method is great for a quick pizza crust, but keep in mind that the texture and flavor may not be as desirable as traditional yeast dough.
  • Sourdough Starter: If you have a sourdough starter, you can use it to make pizza dough without yeast. Sourdough is a natural leavening agent that contains wild yeast and bacteria. Mixing flour, salt, and sourdough starter together and letting it rise for several hours or overnight will result in a tangy, flavorful crust. However, keep in mind that making sourdough starter from scratch can be a lengthy process that takes several days or even weeks.
  • Self-Rising Flour: This method uses self-rising flour, which already contains baking powder, making it unnecessary to add yeast. Mix self-rising flour with water and oil until you have a dough. Self-rising flour is a good option if you don’t have yeast on hand and want to make a quick pizza crust. However, keep in mind that self-rising flour may contain added salt and other ingredients that can affect the taste and texture of the dough.

While making pizza dough without yeast is possible, it’s important to keep in mind that yeast helps create a chewy texture and adds flavor to the crust.

Without yeast, the crust may be more dense and less flavorful.

However, experimenting with different methods can lead to unique and delicious results.

Final Word

Ultimately, the best yeast for pizza dough depends on your personal preferences and cooking style.

Active dry yeast and instant yeast are the most commonly used options and are readily available at most grocery stores.

Fresh yeast and sourdough starter require a bit more effort, but can produce more complex flavors and textures.

Experiment with different types of yeast to find the one that works best for you, and enjoy delicious, homemade pizza right in your own kitchen.

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