The Fresh Loaf

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Too Slow Rising Challah

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boosaman's picture
boosaman

Too Slow Rising Challah

What causes a bread to rise too slowly?

I have been baking Challah regularly, using a sweet Challah recipe adapted from Jeff Nathan's Honey Challah recipe. The original recipe suggests using active dry yeast, but I substituted instant yeast (cheaper and easier). I also noticed that the original recipe uses about 2.25 cups of water (1 cup to proof the active dry yeast, and then 1.25 into the recipe). When doing this, I reduced the water to a total of 1.25 cups of water (.5 to make a yeast slury along with .5 cup of flour and the yeast and then .75 cup into the recipe). The recipe also calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 tsp. of vanilla, 1/3 cup of oil, and 6.5 total cups of flour, as well as two eggs.

When I make this, the first rise can take up to 3 or 4 hours to double in size. I've tried osmotolerant yeast, regular yeast, etc., but nothing seems to get me close to the 1.5 or 2 hours of rising time to double the loaf. The result is generally excellent (although sometimes the challah dense and doughy), but the rise times are simply too long. The taste is very good.

I tried making another recipe, and the challah rose much faster.

Any ideas? Something is weird about this recipe.

Jack

browndog's picture
browndog

Jack, I wonder a couple things--why did you reduce the water, what consistency your dough has now,  how much yeast you are using, and how much active dry the original recipe called for.

That is a lot of sweetener, which could be slowing down your rise, as could a particularly dry and stiff dough. 

 

boosaman's picture
boosaman

I am using 3 tsp. of Yeast, up from the 2.5 tsp of dry active yeast.

 When I substituted the instant yeast for the dry active yeast and did not remove the water, the dough was very wet.  By removing the water, the dough seems to need much better.

But you may be right.  I wonder if I add half the water I've taken out...   

browndog's picture
browndog

Well, your proportions sound pretty good, really, but maybe the recipe was counting on a wetter dough to get the rise times shorter? A couple teaspoons or so of salt, I assume. That is a lot of sugar and honey, though. You could try reducing the sweetener by haf and replacing half a cup of water, and seeing if that hurries things up at all. Dunno, but it's interesting. I guess I'd compare it to a recipe you know works and see where the differences are.