The Impact of Yeast on Bread Flour Rising

Student: Adhya Abi
Table: 1
Experimentation location: Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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Research Plan:

I want to investigate whether the amount of yeast used in the dough for bread affects the volume of dough rising. This is because I have observed that many different recipes use varying amounts of yeast. As a baker, I want to find the correct amount of yeast that helps the dough rise to the right amount. (I will use a centimeter measure on the side of the bowl) My prediction is that the more yeast I use, the flatter the bread will become. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Gather materials.
  2. Create a measurement scale with centimeters on the side of the glass bowls using Sharpie. 
  3. Label the bowls as: “¼ tbsp yeast”(this is Bowl 1), “1/2 tbsp yeast”(this is Bowl 2), “¾ tbsp yeast”(this is Bowl 3), “1 tbsp yeast”(this is Bowl 4).
  4. Dissolve 2 tbsp of sugar in 3 tbsp of warm water and 3 tbsp of milk in Bowl 1.
  5. In Bowl 1, whisk in ¼ tbsp of yeast.
  6. Set the bowl aside for 10 minutes
  7. While this is resting, go back and repeat the same procedure for Bowls 2, 3, and 4. (For Bowl 2, use 1/2 tbsp yeast, for Bowl 3, use ¾ tbsp yeast, and for Bowl 4, use 1 tbsp of yeast)
  8. Stir ½  cup of flour into each bowl after the mixture has been set aside for 10 minutes.
  9. Whisk in ¼ tsp of salt and ¾ tbsp of butter into the bowl.
  10. While the mixer is running, add in the other ½ cup of flour into the bowl.
  11. Knead the dough with a machine for 5 minutes.
  12. Record of the height in centimeters.
  13. Oil each bowl with 1 tsp and then place each ball of dough into its respective, oiled glass bowl.
  14. Oil the top of the dough lightly with 1 tsp of oil and then cover each bowl with a warm damp cloth.
  15. Let all of them rest for 1 hour in a very warm place. This will cause it to double in size.
  16. On each glass bowl, measure the new height in centimeters and record it.
  17. Punch each dough down.
  18. Knead the dough for 1 ½ minutes and then let it rest for 3 ½ minutes. 
  19. Place the dough back into their respective containers. Brush the top with 1 tsp of melted butter and let it rise for 30 minutes. (While it is resting, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  20. Bake the bread for 15 minutes in the oven in the Pyrex glass bowls.
  21. On each glass bowl, take a record of the new height for each bread.

The place where I got information about safety precautions and instructions is Serious Eats: Kitchen Safety 101. The reason I used this resource is because I used an oven and an electric mixer, which can both be harmful if not used carefully.





Questions and Answers

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

My major objective for this project was to learn how to write and execute a clear and replicable procedure and experiment. My plan to achieve this was create a simple experiment so that I could learn this year to help me in future years. My other goal was to balance quantity and quality.

       a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?  

It was not a result of any specific experience, but I did not want to try anything too hard this year and then end up not doing well or not being able to finish the project, which would cause me to drop out of the science fair.

       b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis? 

I was trying to test a hypothesis and answer a question. The question was: If I change the amount of yeast, how does it affect the volume of yeast rising? The hypothesis was: I predict that the more yeast I add, the flatter the bread will become.

2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

Some major tasks I had to perform in order to complete my project were: getting materials, writing a procedure, getting my project certified, and conducting the experiment itself.

       a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.


3. What is new or novel about your project?

My project is new and novel because it is an issue that many bakers face, but don't try to solve.

       a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?

My project's objective was to write and execute a procedure successfully, neither of which I have done before.

       b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?

Since not a lot of people do this exact question, my work is not closely related to most of the other projects that I have seen.

       c. If you believe your work to be unique in some way, what research have you done to confirm that it is?

While looking for research for my project, I realized that although my project question has been investigated in different ways, my setup is unique, and completely different from others.

4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

The most challenging part of completing my project was managing my time. I had to make sure everything was in check and everything was running on time to ensure that my project was as accurate as possible. 

      a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?

I had to manage my time efficiently. For example, I was not able to stir ingredients and add them at the same time, so in order to solve this problem, I asked a family member to add ingredients while I stirred to ensure maximum efficiency.

      b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?

In order to complete my project successfully, I needed to follow my procedure very precisely to make sure that everything I am doing is exactly what is written in the procedure. This way, my project is easily replicable and simple to follow.

5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?

Something I struggled with was managing the time for all of the bread dough. Next time, I would try using only 2 different measurements of yeast, but to ensure validity, I would perform the experiment twice. Another thing that can be done would be making small buns instead of the loaves that I made because that would be less time consuming and would also have the experiment yield a lot of data to evaluate and analyze.

6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects?

This project gave me an idea for a future project. The future work could be: How does using 3/4 tbsp of yeast affect different types of bread? (e.g rye, sourdough, white bread, brown bread)

7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

COVID-19 made it hard to get my project certified. Due to COVID, I was a remote student, and even though my project is an at-home prject, it made it hard to communicate with my teacher to get my project certified.