Pizza Dough

The answer is instant yeast. This is what you’ll find in most recipes for pizza dough prepared in a bread maker. Instant yeast is made of tiny granules that dissolve very quickly and can be put right into the dough along with the other ingredients.

This makes it super convenient for everyday baking (including baking in a bread machine).

Although instant yeast is the most common type of yeast used in bread machine baking, there are other types of yeast you could use too. For example, active dry yeast or even fresh yeast. However, you would have to adjust the amount of yeast used as the texture and concentration differ from one type of yeast to another.

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Variations of Instant Yeast

Now, you might think that buying instant yeast for your bread machine pizza dough is a simple task. However, all the different yet similar names used for variations of instant yeast can be very confusing, especially if you are not an experienced baker. 

If you start searching for information about yeast online, you’ll notice a variety of names and different types of yeast. But the two terms you’ll always come across are active dry yeast and instant yeast. These are the two basic types of yeast you need to know about.

However, instant yeast is also often referred to as rapid-rise yeast, quick-rise yeast, fast-acting yeast or even bread machine yeast.

Confusing, right?

All these names suggest there is something very complex about buying and using yeast and can even confuse professional bakers. But don’t worry, it’s actually much simpler than it sounds.

Are There Any Differences?

So what’s the deal with all these varieties of instant yeast?

Let not the yeast language confuse you. Instant yeast (unlike active dry yeast) is ready for instant use the moment you open the package. It is often marketed under different (sometimes branded) names but there is no significant difference between them.

So in a way, it’s like a category of yeast which includes a number of specialized products and a great number of brands. For example, if chocolate is a category, then dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hazelnut chocolate or chocolate with raisins would all be specialized products from the same category.

Any brand that makes instant yeast can label it any way they want. But what’s common for all these variations is the fact that the yeast is ready for instant use. That means you can buy yeast labeled as “rapid-rise yeast” and not worry about whether you made a huge mistake.

What might be important to note is that bread machine yeast is marketed as a type of yeast formulated precisely for recipes made in a bread maker. That means it might not be 100% successful for the dough that is not prepared in a bread machine (such as cold rise dough).

Naturally, bread machine yeast is recommended for recipes which call for instant yeast so once again, you can’t go wrong if you buy this one.

In short, terms can vary but as long as you stick to the main category (instant yeast), you’ll be fine (make sure you always read the instructions on the back!).

How to Make Instant Yeast Pizza Dough in a Bread Maker

Add all the ingredients for the pizza dough in your bread maker (following the order suggested by the manufacturer) and select the dough setting. Once the cycle is completed, you can remove the dough and start making your pizza.

Dry Yeast
Dry Yeast

For 1-pound recipe, use the following amount of yeast:

1 teaspoons of instant yeast=1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

This recipe can probably yield two thin-crusted regular-sized pizzas.

What makes instant yeast ideal for making bread machine pizza dough or any other type of dough really?

It’s the fact it doesn’t have to be activated or rehydrated. With instant yeast, you can be 100% certain that it will work every time and that your dough will rise beautifully.

Instant yeast is sold in tiny individual packets and can be kept in cold temperatures for a long time. Unlike fresh or active dry yeast, instant yeast is very stable. That means you can buy several packets (or as many as you like) and not worry about the expiry date as it can be frozen for years.

Can You Make Pizza Dough Using Active Dry yeast? 

Yes, you can make bread machine pizza dough with active dry yeast. If you already bought active dry yeast and don’t want to waste it, you can use it to make pizza dough and the result will likely be the same.

Things to Know If Using Active Dry Yeast for Pizza Dough

Active dry yeast is similar to instant yeast except it is made of larger granules. It’s not as stable as instant yeast though so you must check the expiry date before you buy it.

Usually, recipes that call for active dry yeast require proofing. Proofing is the process of rehydrating yeast using warm water (and often a little bit of sugar). We do this because yeast is a living organism that is asleep until you “activate” it.

Even though some recipes may indicate that you don’t need to rehydrate the yeast in order to use it in your bread machine, this step is, in fact, necessary to check whether the yeast is still alive. If it is, it will activate after 5-10 minutes (you’ll notice bubbles forming on the surface).

Active dry yeast is perishable so until you open the packet and mix it with warm water, you won’t know whether it’s still good for use. Sometimes, the yeast can go bad even before it officially expires which is why you should not skip this step.

So yes, as long as you activate it before mixing it with other ingredients, you can substitute instant yeast with active dry yeast for your bread machine pizza dough.

Since active dry yeast is not as concentrated as instant yeast, you need to put more of it in your dough. For two thin-crusted pizzas, use the following amount of yeast:

1 teaspoon of active dry yeast=¾ teaspoon instant yeast

Tip: make sure the water is warm enough to proof the yeast.

What About Fresh Yeast?

Fresh yeast or cake yeast is rarely used in everyday baking. This type of yeast comes in a compressed form resembling a block (usually a 6-ounce package or 2-ounce package).

Even though it does give your baked goods a certain flavor or aroma that active dry or instant yeast cannot provide, most amateur or even professional bakers refrain from using it. That is mostly because fresh yeast can’t be stored for a long time.

Fresh Yeast
Fresh Yeast

In fact, fresh yeast has a very short shelf life, usually up to two weeks. That is why we don’t recommend buying it unless you intend to do a lot of baking. However, it’s ideal for holidays when we typically bake fresh bread and other baked goods for our families and guests.

If you want to substitute instant yeast with fresh yeast to make your pizza dough, you will need significantly more of it because fresh yeast is full of moisture. Use the table below to help you determine how much fresh yeast you need for the recipe:

½ block of fresh yeast (for a 2-ounce package)or 21grams fresh yeast=2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeastor 7 grams instant yeast

If you are substituting active dry yeast with fresh yeast, you need about 2.5 times more fresh yeast.

1/3 block fresh yeast (2-ounce package)or 17 grams fresh yeast=2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeastor 7 grams active dry yeast

Fresh yeast can be hard to find in local stores and it is usually a bit more expensive. Instant yeast or active dry yeast are easier to come by and cheaper, therefore, they are most commonly used for baking.

Although, you don’t necessarily have to buy fresh yeast. If you’re skillful enough, you can grow it yourself. Fresh yeast is more often used for making bread than pizza as it adds a delightful flavor.

However, many bakers find it easier to work with dry types of yeast as fresh yeast tends to be unpredictable.

Final Thought

Even though you can make bread machine pizza dough using any of these types of yeast, using instant yeast is the most simple and effective way.

It is guaranteed to work at all times (unlike active dry or fresh yeast which can be trickier), and it doesn’t require any proofing. Basically, anyone can make delicious pizza dough in a bread maker using instant yeast, even those attempting to bake for the first time.