Why does Challah taste yeasty?

In this brief guide we will address the question, “why does Challah taste yeasty?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to reduce the yeasty taste in Challah. Moreover, we will also discuss the techniques we can use to bake good quality Challah.

Why does Challah taste yeasty? 

The taste of yeast in Challah is simply because you might have added too much yeast in the bread making process. Moreover, a yeasty taste can also be a result of over-fermentation. Over-fermentation will occur when you give more than the required proofing time. 

The next step in this over fermentation process is the development of alcoholic taste and smell. You might experience this if you leave your dough for proofing way longer than required. 

Since Challah is a fermented product, which means there will be conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol. Too much of this, and your bread will start to smell like alcohol after some time. You can read more about the fermentation process here.

It is a general observation that dough made with a high percentage of yeast and sugar, such as Challah, is more vulnerable to over fermentation than crusty breads such as French or Italian bread, which use small percentages of yeast.

How to get rid of yeast taste in Challah?

Proper kneading

Kneading? Just add everything and mix it up! 

Not quite… When kneading the dough, you must be careful as to completely mix the yeast with the dough. 

A good way is to add small amounts of yeast while kneading it, until all the yeast has been added. In this way, the yeast will not clump and will spread evenly in the dough. Using this approach also ensures uniform texture and raising of the dough.

Proper raising

Another common mistake while baking is the raising of dough. Raising requires a definite amount of time, and if you overdo it, you will simply be allowing the yeast to ferment more. Consequently, increasing the chances of over fermentation that results in the yeasty smell of your bread. 

Bread usually takes about 45 minutes for proper raising. You can go 5-10 minutes more or less depending on the type of bread you’re baking and the quantity of yeast added. Anything more than an hour will result in over fermentation and give your bread the yeasty smell. 

Another way to check proper raising is by measuring it. No, you don’t a scale for it. Just stick in your finger before and after proofing, and you will know how much your dough has risen. It is recommended that your dough should roughly double when it rises.

Hygiene is important

Whether it is the bowl you’re mixing your dough in or an electrical kneading machine, you need to make sure there are no residuals in the container. Like mentioned before, baking always requires delicacy; anything less or more can turn your product into a disaster. 

This is a common mistake that people tend to make while baking. They do not clean their utensils properly and dry them out. It is possible that some of the yeast from earlier is still stuck at the head of your kneading machine (mixer). This will just add extra yeast and your bread will have a yeasty smell. 

Similarly, you might also want to clean your oven properly when you put dough into it. Your oven is probably the most susceptible place from where your bread can be exposed to extra yeast. Just think of all the items you bake in that poor thing without cleaning it. 

Temperature precaution

Finesse is key! Just when you thought you were out of the whole delicacy thing, comes your next precaution – temperature. Ideal temperature for yeast storage is 75-85 Fahrenheit. After proper kneading and proofing, heat is supplied to make sure that all of the yeast reacts with the ingredients of your dough. 

Temperature is a key factor in the making of bread and the enzymatic reactions that take place during its preparation. 

How to bake good quality Challah? 

With all sorts of bread, the precautions are always the same. It is finesse and delicacy that will ensure a relishing taste and smooth texture of your challah. However, kneading becomes a necessity when making Challah, and it should be done for about 6-8 minutes. Moreover, proper braiding is required to get a uniform and even texture. 

You can read in detail about the recipe and the process here


In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “why does Challah taste yeasty?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to reduce the yeasty taste in Challah. Moreover, we have also discussed the techniques we can use to bake good quality Challah.