An Expernemter

Joined Nov 13, 2009
[font=&quot]:laser:What is the VERY least amount of salt or sugar you can use to activate yeast? [/font]
Joined May 26, 2001
None. First of all, salt inhibits growth of yeast. And if the yeast is fresh enough, merely rehydrating it will be enough to get it started. Then when it is mixed with the flour, it has the food it needs.

Although I suppose if you did want to add a pinch of sugar, that would be sufficient to get it going. But it isn't necessary. Think about so many of the Italian breads: nothing but flour, water, and yeast. Not even salt.
Joined Jul 28, 2006
Warm water is all that is necessary to activate yeast. In addition, it's been my understanding that salt actually inhibits yeast.
Joined Mar 16, 2005
Salt kills yeast and sugar is simply used to check if dry active yeast is still alive. All you need is water and flour.
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Salt kills yeast, agreed.

Sugar -- or honey, syrup, beet reduction, whatever -- is simply a purer form of food for the yeast than the sugars present in flour.

Remember, yeast is a small organism that basically eats sugar and farts. When it's eaten enough, it generally either goes dormant or dies. So if you have a huge amount of pure sugar of any kind in your dough, the yeast its it all up, farts massively, and stops. So you get a rapid rise that ends quickly. If you have no pure sugar at all, i.e. your dough is all flour like in a French baguette, the yeast takes a good while to produce much farting action.

Let's try this differently. What are you trying to bake?

Edit: Clarification. Yeast is a small organism that eats sugar and THEN farts. It doesn't eat your farts. I'd not recommend that as a baking technique, at all.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
You forgot the oxygen half of the equation. It farts when it can breathe. When it can't breathe oxygen, it still eats sugar, then excretes alcohol until it poisons itself or runs out of sugar.
Top Bottom