Why Does Bread Have an Alcoholic Odor?

Why Does Bread Have an Alcoholic Odor?

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Bread is a fixture in most kitchens, whether you use it for toast in the morning or are a tuna sandwich devotee (were looking at you, Jim Halpert). Yet, if you try to make bread at home, you may smell an alcohol odor, which begs the issue. Why?

Bread may smell like alcohol owing to the fermentation of yeast, which is required for the bread to rise. Although most breads lose their aroma after baking, others do not for two reasons. Maybe it was overfermented or the water was excessively warm.

Hey! My name is Shea, and one of my favorite hobbies is bread making. From the first knead to the second rise, bread making is full with fascinating details.

I’ve noticed that my bread sometimes smells like alcohol, and I wanted to figure out why. I’m here to share what I’ve discovered.

Let us investigate why bread smells like alcohol.

Why Does Bread Smell Like Alcohol?

Because of one important ingredient: yeast, bread smells like alcohol. Most loaves of bread include yeast as a rising agent (although you can successfully make bread without yeast using another leavening agent like baking powder).

But why is this so?

When yeast is introduced to bread dough, the sugar begins to ferment. This generates carbon dioxide, which is required for your bread to rise. Fermentation, on the other hand, creates alcohol, which is what you smell.

This is not unexpected given that yeast is used in most beer recipes and certain wines.

4 Ways to Stop Bread Smelling Like Alcohol

Even though the fragrance is typical, it is not pleasing, particularly if you dislike the smell of beer, wine, and other yeast-containing drinks. The good news is that there are several methods for eliminating or at least reducing the odor.

1. Bake It!

After the bread is cooked, the odor of alcohol usually goes away. Therefore, continue baking your bread as usual. The odor should fade, and you should be able to eat your lovely loaf without being bothered by it.

2. Reduce the Amount of Yeast

It is usually ideal to follow your bread recipe exactly. But, if you’ve produced the same bread a few times and still wind up with alcohol-smelling bread, there might be a defect in the components.

Reduce the yeast content by roughly 10%. Don’t worry, your bread will rise normally. The main difference is that you will be able to decrease or maybe remove the unpleasant alcoholic odor.

3. Use Cooler Water

I won’t usually advise you to use colder water for your yeast. This is because yeast thrives in warm environments. Nevertheless, warm water may cause your yeast to work too rapidly, resulting in an alcohol odor.

Consider altering the temperature in light of this. Approximately 80 F is warm enough to activate your yeast without overworking it, which may lessen the scent of alcohol. Take in mind that your dough may need more time to rise.

4. Don’t Over-Ferment Your Dough

You also don’t want your bread to rise too much, since this will cause the yeast to overmultiply, resulting in a strong alcohol aroma. Again, it boils down to following your recipe’s guidelines and understanding when your dough is done rising.

Usually bread bakes about one to three hours, although there are numerous variances. Poking it will inform you whether it is finished. You’re fine to go if it springs back gently and leaves an imprint. If it returns fast, it need additional time. Successfully proofed bread will double in size.

If you discover that your dough has over-proofed, don’t despair. Remove the gluten structure by pounding it down. Knead it again and let it prove again, being careful not to overproof it.

Can You Eat Bread That Smells Like Alcohol?

While the fragrance may not be pleasant, bread that smells like alcohol is totally safe to consume. You probably won’t notice a difference in taste. If the bread smells strongly of alcohol, it may have a somewhat bitter flavor.


What does alcohol smell like? This is completely normal and causes no concern. Your bread has not been spoiled! Do you want to know more? I’ve identified a few frequently asked questions that people have been longing to hear the answers to. Let’s get started!

Does moldy bread smell like alcohol?

Moldy bread does not often smell like alcohol, so look for other symptoms that your bread has molded. Mold may be detrimental to your health, particularly if you are allergic to it. It may produce a runny nose, dermatitis, and other symptoms.

Does bread contain alcohol?

As yeast ferments sugar, carbon dioxide and alcohol are produced (which is why bread dough tends to have a faint alcohol smell). The majority of the alcohol evaporates during the baking process, leaving just trace levels of alcohol in the bread.

What does spoiled bread smell like?

Fundamentally, rotten bread will have an odor that it did not previously have. The aroma may sometimes be described as vinegar-like. Sometimes it’s just an awful odor. It is preferable to depend on other symptoms of deterioration, such as discoloration and texture changes.

Can you eat over fermented dough?

Bread that has been over-fermented is safe to eat. But, bear in mind that over-fermented bread dough has a larger possibility of emitting an unpleasant and obvious alcohol odor. It may even taste harsh and nasty.

Final Words

Because of the yeast, bread smells like alcohol. Carbon dioxide and alcohol are produced when yeast ferments sugar. The alcohol is usually baked off, although over-fermenting and too much yeast might leave a residual alcohol flavor. Yet it’s still perfectly fine to eat, so don’t throw it out!

Is your bread prone to smelling like alcohol? Other from the methods I described above, have you found a way to get rid of it? Please share in the comments!


Is it OK for bread to smell like alcohol?

Bread that smells strongly like alcohol is entirely fine to consume. The fermentation process of yeasts produces alcohol, which is the source of this odor. The fragrance normally goes away after the dough is cooked in your oven.

Why does my bread have a weird smell?

Yeast infection may develop in bread after baking on occasion, producing a chemical odor comparable to acetone. While yeast can not survive baking, bread may get infected with “wild” yeast during the chilling, slicing, or packing processes (post processing contamination).

Can bread turn into alcohol?

Bread. During the fermentation process, yeast and other microbes in baked products may create tiny quantities of alcohol.

Is it normal for dough to smell like alcohol?

After rising, pizza dough might smell like beer. The yeast has begun to ferment, producing alcohol as a byproduct. This is natural, but too much fermentation can result in a sour, alcoholic flavor when baked.

What does spoiled bread smell like?

Of course, it would smell like mildew and mold. Nonetheless, I would never propose smelling mold on purpose. You’d be breathing thousands of spores, which might be hazardous to your health. Everyone reacts differently based on their sensitivity to the mold developing on the bread.

How do you know when bread is going bad?

Visible mold or white, black, blue, or green patches on the bread indicate that it has rotted and should be discarded. Remove any store-bought bread that smells like vinegar, yeast, or even alcohol.

Does bread smell when it goes bad?

The odor is unpleasant.

If there is visible mold on the bread, it is better not to smell it since the spores might be toxic to inhale. Even if you don’t see mold but detect a weird odor, it’s wise to toss the loaf (7, 8 , 9 ).

Why does my sourdough smell like alcohol?

It is normal for an alcohol stench to emerge when the sourdough starter is not fed often enough or when feedings are omitted. Raising the frequency of feeding may assist; but, if the starter has been ignored for a time, it may take more work to bring it back to life.

Why does my loaf of bread smell sour?

If your bread has a sour, yeasty flavor and smells like alcohol, you employed too much yeast. Instead, you might use old yeast or creamed fresh yeast with sugar.

Why does my bread taste like alcohol?

This is due to the natural fermentation process that occurs when yeast is added to bread dough. Yeast converts the carbohydrates in the dough into alcohol and carbon dioxide during fermentation. Although the majority of the alcohol evaporates during baking, a faint scent may linger in the final product.

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