Making dough

Quick question for all of you experts out there…when making dough, do you put the yeast in the flour or the water?? Do you use sugar?

Thanks a bunch!

IDY yeast can/should be added to the flour…then mix a few minutes b4 you add the oil…sugar is a “food” for the yeast & aids in browning…I use sugar…

I agree with patriot. I also just read an article that sugar makes crust chewy.

Active dry yeast you mix with the water until suspended and then add the other ingredients.


I add my IDY to the water/sugar about 5 minutes prior to mixing with the dry ingredients.

I put the water, then flour, then IDY, then mix for 5 minutes an d add the salt, mix 5 more minutes in a barrel mixer…

I think, not verified, that I get better, more hydration, when I mix w/o the salt first.
I do not use oil, sugar, or anything else in my dough.


It depends upon the type of yeast being used. Compressed/fresh yeast can be crumpled right on top of the flour and mixed in. It doesn’t need to be suspended in the water as a lot of operators do. Never put the yeast into water also containing the full amount of sugar and/or salt as this can have a damaging affect upon the yeast. ADY/active dry yeast must be pre-hydrated in warm (100 to 105F) water and allowed to set for about 10-minutes before it is added to the mixing bowl. When the hydrated ADY is added it can be added to the water, or poured into the flour, your option. IDY/instant dry yeast should ad added dry, just as it comes from the bag. It is best added to the flour just before you begin mixing. The only exception to this is if you are using a VCM/vertical cutter mixer, in this case it is recommended that the IDY be pre-hydrated in 95F water, then added to the water in the mixing bowl, the salt and/or sugar are then best added on top of the flour.
As for use of sugar, thast will depend upon a number of factors. If you use a deck oven and bake on the deck, you can get a crispier pizza without added sugar. If you want to have a slightly less crispy pizza the sugar will allow the crust to color faster in the oven, reducing the bake time and giving a slightly less crispy pizza. If using an IR/infrared oven, the use of a little sugar in the dough wil help to jump start the crust color development during baking. If using an air impingement oven, sugar is an optional ingredient as you can make a very crispy pizza when sugar is deleted from the dough formula, but when sugar is used, the dough colors up faster, reducing the baking time, resulting in a slightly less crispy crust. If you happen to be using a silver colored baking pan, you will probably find that the use of sugar helps to get a decent bottom crust color. When making deep-dish pizzas, a little sugar (1% of the flour weight) helps to ensure good fermentation throughout the pan proofing/rising period. Without the addition of a small amount of sugar the dough will still rise well, but it will not rise quite as fast. Lastly, if you want to have a softer, or sweeter tasting dough, adjust the sugar level to something in the 5 to 7% of the flour weight range, this really works well with pan pizzas. With thin crust pizzas there is a possibility of burning the crust with these higher sugar levels. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the baking time and temperature with the use or deletion of sugar from any dough formula to get the best possible finished product.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor