Can you add yeast after the dough is mixed? (+5 Tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you add yeast after the dough is mixed?”, and how to fix a dough that won’t rise?

Can you add yeast after the dough is mixed?

Yes, you can add yeast after the dough is mixed. Use instant yeast or active dry yeast if you forget to mix it with the dough. Mix the yeast with some spoons of warm water and let it activate. Once it is activated, fold in the yeast with the rest of the dough and mix it well. Add a little flour if the dough feels too sticky.

How to add yeast to an already kneaded dough?

You can just sprinkle the instant yeast on to the dough and knead the bread for 5-7 minutes to distribute the yeast evenly across the dough.

The other method is to activate the yeast in some warm water. Divide the dough into smaller pieces and mix the activated yeast in the dough. Knead the dough in the mixer or by hand thoroughly.

How to fix a dough that won’t rise?

Increase the temperature

Yeast needs a temperature between 25–30 °C for optimum growth. To favor yeast multiplication, you can do the following tricks.

  1. Place a baking tray filled with hot boiling water in the lower rack of the oven. Place the dough on the middle rack. Let the dough stay in this warm environment to help it rise.
  2. The second method is to place the dough beside a bowl full of hot boiling water in the microwave. You do not need to turn on the microwave or oven. You just have to provide a warm and isolated environment to the yeast to leaven the dough.

Add more yeast

If the dough has not leavened at all after 1 hour of kneading despite placing it in a warm and moist environment, add more yeast to it. Add 1Tsp of yeast to a cup of water and a Tbsp of sugar. Let the yeast ferment for about 10 minutes. When a thick foam appears on top of the water and it gives off a yeasty smell, add the mixture to the dough and knead well.

Add more flour

A well-kneaded dough should not stick to the walls of the container. A too sticky dough won’t rise well. Flour and liquid ingredients should be in a 60:40 ratio in the dough. Therefore, if the dough feels too sticky, knead in more flour until soft and smooth on the surface.

Knead properly

Kneading is a science and an art. It helps distribute the yeast thoroughly in the dough while forming the gluten strands. If the dough is under-kneaded, the dough won’t rise properly or the end-product will end up having un-leavened areas. On the other hand, if you need too much, the gluten strands might break and the dough will become too tough to expand. The dough should be elastic to touch.

Let it rise

Give dough at least an hour to rise before making any judgments. The dough might take longer to leaven if the temperature is too low. Dough that is left to rise overnight might deflate a bit. The dough can rise in the refrigerator but at much slower rates.

Other FAQs about Yeast which you may be interested in.

Does yeast go bad?

Can you substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast?

What type of flour should be used for bread?

Unbleached white flour that is free of any additives works best to make fluffy loaves of white bread. Additives like anti-fungal compounds are added to extend the shelf-life of flour. These inhibit yeast growth because yeast is a fungus. 

Whole wheat flour produces heavier loaves that cannot rise properly. Cake and all-purpose flour have low gluten that collapses soon after it is formed.

How to store yeast?

There are two types of yeast that are used frequently by home bakers and commercial bakeries namely:

  • Dry yeast
  • Fresh yeast

Dry yeast is quite shelf-stable due to which an unopened packet of dry yeast will be good in the pantry if kept away from stove heat, direct sunlight, and moisture. As soon as you open the packet, the dormant yeast granules become vulnerable to spoilage. Therefore, it needs to be refrigerated.

You cannot refrigerate dry yeast in an open packet. The humid environment of the fridge will destroy the quality of yeast. To overcome this, transfer the yeast to a zip-locked freezer bag and store it.

Fresh yeast, also called, cake or compressed yeast is more susceptible to spoilage. It is sold in refrigerated form and must be stored in the refrigerator t keep it alive.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you add yeast after the dough is mixed?”, and how to fix a dough that won’t rise?