Wait! Don’t throw out it out! Here’s a simple solution for how to rescue bread dough when you forgot to add the yeast.
Has this ever happened to you?
On Christmas Eve afternoon, a family member texted me in desperation.
Her: “Help! I just realized I forgot to add the yeast to my cinnamon roll dough now that the dough cycle on my bread machine has completed.The dough hasn’t risen at all. I’ve obviously got too many things going on around here.”
Me: “YIKES! When were you planning to serve them?”
Her: “Tomorrow morning.”
Me: “Whew! We’ve got time. I’ve done the same thing several times myself, so call me, and I’ll walk you through it. We can probably save it.”
Yes, I’ve made this mistake a few times. I’ve also left out the salt (tastes boring), the sugar (not good for cinnamon roll dough), and miscounted the cups of flour I put into the bread machine. (That mess-up is easy to remedy when you open the lid to check the dough–just add more flour until it looks right, which means the dough sticks to the side, then pulls away.)
Just to be clear…
There are other reasons your bread dough may not be rising besides forgetting to add the yeast.
- Your yeast could be old. Buy new yeast and try again using the solution given here.
- You may have killed your yeast if the liquid was too hot when the yeast contacted it. Proceed with the solution below and try again.
- The room may be so cold that your yeast is very sluggish. Move the dough to a warmer place and give the dough more time.
The Solution to Bread Dough With No Yeast:
1. Measure out into a small bowl the amount of yeast called for in the recipe.
2. Add about 1-2 tablespoons lukewarm water to the yeast and stir until yeast has dissolved. If yeast is too dry and won’t dissolve, add a few more drops of lukewarm water until it does. It should be a smooth paste with no undissolved granules of yeast.
3. Add dissolved yeast to kneaded-but-unproofed bread dough. Whether you are using a bread machine or a large stand mixer, the directions are the same.
4. Now restart your bread machine on the dough cycle and allow to mix/knead. If the dough is now too sticky because you added the yeast/liquid, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time while the dough mixes until the dough sticks to the side, then pulls away. Keep mixing/kneading until the yeast mixture disappears and is completely incorporated into the bread dough. It is not necessary to redo the entire kneading process.
5. At this point, you can unplug the machine and remove the dough from the bread machine pan into a large mixing bowl. Cover loosely with a tea towel or shower cap and set in a cozy warm place to rise until double. Proceed with the original recipe.
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