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Dough Didn't Rise - why?

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BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Dough Didn't Rise - why?

I followed this recipe: http://blog.junbelen.com/2010/03/24/how-to-make-pan-de-sal-filipino-bread-rolls-at-home/. My dough didn't rise very well. Here are some notes:

  • I used bread flour.
  • My yeast proofed well. I measured the temperature of the water.
  • I used a stand mixer and mixed for 15 minutes. I noticed that the dough was "balling up" on the dough hook, so I was constantly pulling it off so it could get a better kneading. It seemed to me that the dough was a bit dry. I'm not really a pro at telling if kneading was done right.
  • I put the dough in a slightly warmed oven with some hot water for some moisture.
  • The shortening I used was 2 months expired, but it has never been opened.

The dough did not double in size. Maybe it increased by 50%. I kneaded again and then shaped the dough into buns. I put it back in the slightly warmed oven for another hour. Again, the dough increased by about 50%. After the rolls baked, there were a bit dense as opposed to the light and fluffy texture that they should have.

Any ideas what went wrong? The instructions say to "Combine flour, sugar, warm water, salt, and shortening in a large bowl and mix until well combined." According to http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/content/baking-101/yeast-breads/common-yeast-bread-issues/slow-or-no-rise.aspx, adding the fat (shortening, right?) at the wrong time slows rising time.

Could the improper kneading have caused the problem? Was the dough too dry, which caused the "balling up" effect? Did that mean I didn't get proper gluten development -- and could that have caused my problems?

Could have my shortening caused the problem? Is that stuff delicate? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The dough did not double in size.

...first clue that something isn't right.  First check the yeast, it is instant or active dry?  There is a difference. How warm was the water and how warm was the oven? If you can't touch the sides of the oven or hold the rack with bare hands  or keep your fingers in the water, it was more than likely too hot.   And what is your ambient room temp?  

Instant yeast as called for in the recipe doesn't need to be proofed and the directions seemed more fitting to Active Dry Yeast which needs heat to melt the shell around the yeast.  I suspect the recipe was once for Active dry yeast and sort of got updated.  Anyway, Instant Yeast is instant.  Just throw it into the flour and give it a quick stir before adding liquids.  Don't waste time proofing it and loosing energy and time.

The pictures on the link for "double" look more like "triple."  Hard to estimate in a round flat bowl.  Try resting the dough in a straight sided container and press level into the container bottom.  For more accuracy mark the level and then mark what double would be and wait for it to rise.  The recipe says to be patient with the rises and that is good advice, there is a lot of sugar and shortening in the recipe so it could take longer than expected.  

If it hasn't doubled by 5 hours at 23°C then flatten out the dough and sprinkle with another portion of instant yeast.  Yes, right on the dough!  Take a plant mister with clean water and moisten lightly the yeast.  Then roll up and knead for half a minute to work in the yeast.  Shape into a ball, rest in container, cover and let rise.  If the dough feels stiff to you, mist it some more, wet your hands working more water into the dough.  If it still isn't rising, look for a different batch of yeast and try again.  (the dough will just get tastier)  

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Thanks "mini".

  1. I just double checked my yeast. I actually have instant and active. I apparently used instant -- and proofed that. Water was under 100 degrees F. Does that ruin things? When I try this again, I will not proof the instant dry yeast (or should I use active dry yeast instead?).
  2. The oven was turn on high for a minute, then off. It felt mildly warm inside the oven.
  3. The recipe says to let the dough rise to "about twice its size." Do I really need to take accurate measurements or can I just "eyeball" it? My 50% rise is really just an estimate on my part. I do know it didn't double in size, though.
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

1) Water was under 100°F     No problem   Stick to instant yeast.     If you should decide to use active yeast, the amount needs to be increased and hot water used... see instructions on the active yeast package (or the yeast FAQ's in the site tool bar)

2) no problem there  

3)  You can eyeball it, naturally.     :)

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

  1. So use instant yeast and I skip the proofing? Just add it along with the dry ingredients. I assume I just need to make sure my water is warm (say 100°F?) when I add it to the flour so that the yeast will do its thing?
  2. Is there a benefit to using ADY over instant yeast?
  3. Should I add the shortening after I've kneaded the dough for a while (as seemingly suggested by the Quaker Oats website)? Or do I just add all the ingredients together in the beginning like what the recipe says to do? I'm worried that adding the shortening in the beginning is causing problems for the gluten development.
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

To answer more Q's:

1) yes, instant yeast and skip yeast proofing adding it with the dry ingredients.  Whether the water is warm or not is up to you, the yeast will still do it's thing.   Cooler water will have a slower rise, warm - faster.

2) nope

3) I would not worry about it yet and add shortening like you did the first time.  Adding more water to the recipe will change how the gluten develops and should improve the dough.   See what raising the hydration does first.   It may be the only adjustment you need to make.   Don't over think all of this or you'll drive yourself nuts especially if you won't get to baking before the weeks end.   

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

"I noticed that the dough was "balling up" on the dough hook, so I was constantly pulling it off so it could get a better kneading. It seemed to me that the dough was a bit dry."

This may have been your primary problem.  Dry stiff dough is reluctant to double in size and does not make a great finished product.

Jeff

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Do you think I can substitute 90 grams of shortening with 90 grams of vegetable oil? Other recipes for this bread uses vegetable oil. Also, any thing else I can do to make this bun even lighter? I was thinking of trying to add some baking powder perhaps ...

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi BakerNewbie,

Having looked over the recipe, and read your notes, I very much agree with Jeff; your dough is short of water.

Your recipe source is largely volumetric, which I have no comprehension of.   However, the flour is shown in brackets as 750g.   Given the level of shortening and the product you are trying to make, I estimate you would need 60% hydration, meaning 450g of water.   It is best to weigh water for accuracy, but you can measure 450ml if you really don't want to weigh it.   However, that 450g is the total water, thus it includes the water used to hydrate the yeast, as well as that used in the final dough.   I'll leave you to decide how you split it down.

Best wishes

Andy

 

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Hi Andy, I'm not really familiar with the concept of "hydration."  60% of 750 grams of flour means 450 grams of water? Shouldn't I factor in other dry ingredients such as the sugar? What if I used oil instead of shortening? Should that count towards total hydration? Thanks.

ananda's picture
ananda

No, that's not right about fat and sugar, BakerNewbie,

Fat is fat and sugar is sugar.   Neither contain any water.   In general, fat will soften the dough so you may need to cut back on water.   However, sugar is extremely thirsty and will absorb the water it needs quicker than the flour will.   The 2 just about cancel each other out in this case, although the quantity of sugar used is minimal.

If you don't understand hydration, I suggest you take my word that 60% is about right, think a little about what I have written here, and go ahead and make the dough as I suggest.   If it doesn't mix up right, then please come back and let us know, as I can further advise, and if not, someone else is bound to help you out.

Vegetable shortening will out-perform oil everytime.

Best wishes

Andy

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Thanks Andy. Based on some math I just did, it would seem that my dough was lacking about 112.5 ml of water. Maybe that would have been enough water to prevent the dough from "balling up." If it continues to ball up -- is it safe to add some more water?

If I wanted softer dough, can I increase the amount of shortening? If so, by how much?

Can I add baking powder to this recipe to make it even lighter? Not sure about yeast + baking powder.

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

I just noticed that the original recipe calls for 1.5 cups water + 1/4 cups water for proofing the yeast. That's 1.75 cups or 414ml. I tried the recipe again, this time using 450ml (60% hydration). So the initial recipe was only  lacking 36ml of water (unless I messed up with my measurements and actually put less).

Anyway, I tried the recipe again -- this time with 450ml total water. The dough was still balling up the hook, though this time it was wetter. I scrapped it down a few times. After 15 minutes on the mixer, it was still very wet and sticking. I kneaded it by hand for another 20-25 minutes until it wasn't so wet. I was able to form a ball without too much of the dough sticking to my hands (when it first came out of mixer, it was super sticky -- maybe I should have just kept it in the mixer longer, but I was afraid of over kneading).

My instant dry yeast was in my refrigerator. Reading the box, it says to store in cool dry place. I worried the yeast would be too dormant to do its thing, so I took some water from the 450ml water I had (which was warmed) and put the yeast in there for a couple of minutes first. Then everything went inthe mixer.

After an hour, the dough hasn't doubled in size yet. It's almost 2 hours now and it's about double now. This thing is so slooooooww.

Will keep you posted with progress. Thanks. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Some of us intentionally slow our dough rising down so flavors can build.  It's not a race really.  Write notes on the recipe so you know what to expect next time.   I come out with the water after conversion to 420g.  (240ml cup) two tablespoons difference from 450g water.   If you think the dough should have less water next time, reduce it.  But this little bit of extra hydration is worth it if you can manage it.  :)

Oh, and there is a little trick I like with the dough.  Mix it up until all the flour is wet, then turn off the mixer, cover the bowl and let it sit 20 to 30 minutes.  Then knead.  The gluten develops all by itself and the dough won't be as sticky.  It will be easier to handle.  Try it. 

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

I'll try to let the gluten develop on its on next time. Thanks for the tip.

If after 15 minutes on the stand mixer and the dough still looks wet, is it safe to keep going? I think if the dough wasn't climbing the hook so much that it would be perfect after about 15 minutes. Should I just scrape the dough down more often? 

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Mini, after 2 hours for the second rise, it was almost double the size. I went ahead and baked my buns hoping they'd get bigger. The buns stayed about the same size.

I also noticed a somewhat bitter-metallic taste in the buns. It was there during my first attempt, but because my first attempt was such a disaster -- I just ignored that. But the buns did come out a bit better this time, but that funny taste was still there.

I really think that there is a problem with the rising. This should be light and airy -- and because it doesn't seem to be rising correctly, I'm thinking I'm doing something wrong.

Here are the ingredients I'm using:

Flour: http://www.edmondscooking.co.nz/bread-mixes/soft-white-bread-mix-2-5kg

Shortening (it's cut up/flaky versus being a single block): http://shop.countdown.co.nz/Shop/ProductDetails?Stockcode=274954&name=shreddo-cooking-fat

Yeast: http://shop.countdown.co.nz/Shop/ProductDetails?Stockcode=280556&name=edmonds-yeast-instant-dry

 

 

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi BakerNewbie,

Thank you for posting the ingredients as this allows for immediate diagnosis of your problem.

The "Soft White Bread Mix" you are using is not just flour.   It contains a number of additives, including vital wheat gluten and bread improver.   The improver contains chemicals and enzymes which impact greatly on your dough during and straight after mixing.   If you want to carry on using the bread mix, that is fine, but, you will have to alter your process and produce what is commercially known as "no-time" dough.   In other words you have to leave out the bulk fermentation period.   The reason is that the chemicals and enzymes in the improver get to work on your dough straight away, and induce much quicker and more powerfully, all the reactions which take place in the dough during bulk proof.   You may also need to up the yeast you use, as in "no-time" dough, yeast is solely used to generate gas [CO2]: as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

You may not yet be aware of it, but when you leave the dough to ferment in bulk, there are lots of other reactions going on besides yeast activity.   The improver makes all those things happen much quicker, much more powerfully.   If using the bread mix, then you should scale and divide the dough as soon as it is mixed.   Pre-shape your buns gently and leave covered for 15 minutes to rest, for what industrial bakers term "intermediate proof".   After that, re-shape and tray up just as you have been doing.   Proceed straight to final proof.

Alternatively, invest in some reasonable quality "Strong" flour, or bread flour, which has not been treated with additives, and keep on with the bulk process you are using now.   If you are New Zealand-based, then what some posters on here describe as AP flour is unlikely to be suitable, as it the soft New Zealand wheat produces inferior quality in flour to that from the North American wheat belts; so stick to strong flour for this particular recipe.

I venture to suggest the nasty taste you mention is the additives, although I could quite easily be wrong on that, and am happy if others have better ideas than me.

All good wishes

Andy

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Thanks Andy. I'll see if I can find another type of flour to use. The one I used was the only "bread" flour I found. I'll see if I can find regular flour with a high protein content. Will try this again.

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hello BakerNewbie

As Andy has pointed out to you the flour product you used is a 'box' mix, designed for use in a breadmaker and contains 'additives'.

Essentially there are only two types of white flour available to consumers here. So called 'Hi-Grade' (recommended for making bread) and 'Standard' flours. 'Hi-Grade' is labelled around 11.5% protein and 'Standard' is labelled around 11% protein. I called the flour company [both the major brands of flour at consumer retail (Champion and Edmonds) are milled by Goodman Fielder] to ask about this. I was put through to a mill in the South Island.  The technical person with whom I spoke told me that the white flour sold to consumers through the supermarkets is milled from semi-hard wheats, using Australian wheat, and South Island wheat, and that the 'Hi-Grade' product is made from the harder varieties of these semi-hard wheats and the 'Standard' flour from the softer of the semi-hard wheats.  Please try using some 'Hi-Grade' flour. You may have to experiment a bit to get the water level 'right'.

Please note the Shreddo product you are using is suet. You will find two shortening products at the supermarket in the bakery ingredient aisle. 'Chefade' is made from beef tallow and is usually used for frying. The other Kremelta, is a vegetable shortening, I understand that  it is hydrogenated coconut oil.  Presumably the shortening referred to in the recipe you are following is Crisco. Contributers to various NZ food blogs suggest Kremelta as a substitute for Crisco.  I have never used either product so cannot comment.

In earlier posts you indicated that you had access to a commercial bakery. As you have also said that you are looking to set up an enterprise,  I'm sure the baker there would give you some guidance about the ingredients, which are available to commercial bakers in NZ.  I don't mean additive laced stuff. But there is for example a much wider range of flour available than can be purchased at retail level. The baker can also likely give you some pretty good guidance on working with some of the recipes you have been trying especially if you anticipate having them made in commercial quantities.   Are you a newcomer to New Zealand?

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Hi Robyn!

  1. I have a 10kg bag of Hi-Grade flour. I'm using that next experiment.
  2. I bought Shreddo because the packaging said it was great for baking. I'm going to the grocery store to buy Kremelta. I think I saw some at Countdown.
  3. Access to the commercial bakery was for a completely different project. Right now, I'm just trying to learn how to bake at home. I'm actually enjoying all the science stuff that goes into baking.
  4. Been in Auckland NZ for about 4 years now. :)  You?
RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

If you are learning to bake, you might find it useful to get a book from the library, to study and follow a basic recipe as you learn the essential techniques. The 55 libraries in Auckland have a wealth of bread baking books, which you can request. UK based Emmanual Hadjiandreou's very well illustrated  "How to Bake Bread" or USA based Peter Reinhart's "Bread Bakers Apprentice' maybe good ones to start with. Many of the other  books you will see referenced on TFL are available too. Do a library catalogue search on 'bread' and you'll be amazed. If you do some basic bread baking, sticking with one simple recipe til you can make it reliably , and read up a bit more, you'll find it easier to work with 'interesting' looking recipes off someone's blog, because you will have familiarised yourself with NZ ingredients in a tried and true formula.  It's good you got a big bag of flour, you'll be able to practice, practice, practice. btw where did you get a 10kg bag of Hi-grade flour? I usually buy 5kg at supermarket.

I'm a NZer.

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

I was actually just looking at Bread Bakers Apprentice at the Howick library. I might borrow it. Thanks.

The current recipe I am working on was supposed to be "basic." But since I'm really just learning right now, I'm making all sorts of mistakes. This forum has helped me tremendously. I'm slowly learning. :)

My mistake. I only have a 5 kg bag. I do have a 25 kg bag of cake flour, though. It was hard to source since groceries apparently do not carry this.

Are you a professional baker? 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

BakerNewbie,

Baking can be done any number of ways using any number of ingredients.  The final factor being one of personal taste.  My personal taste dictates the use of pure unadulterated ingredients.  Organic flour, unrefined sea salt, no chemical additives and mostly sourdough.  I bake this way both for taste and healthy bread.  If you are experiencing "off" flavors, my suggestion would be pursuit of those types of ingredients that I have described.  Also various additives can add to unexpected behavior in the dough and the baking.  It is challenging enough to fully understand what happens when flour, water, yeast and salt come together.  Trying to second guess the ultimate effects of various additives makes the process of bit of a difficult mystery.

Jeff

 

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Mini - during this process where you mix the flour until wet, then let it rest for gluten development -- do you put in all the other ingredients also? Or should it just be water and flour?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Those who use just flour & water (autolysis) and those who combine everything at once (rest.)  Either way, improvement in the dough texture and "feel" is noticeable.  

Andy has found the flour problem and I would not use any method of rest with that particular flour.  It would be begging for trouble as the flour is formulated for fast preparation.  Use it as he recommends or follow recipes on the flour package.  But when you do get your hands on standard flour, you can choose to be a purist or lazy.  I've done both, I still do both.  You may not notice any differences now but as you refine your taste buds and skills, you may notice differences between the way the flour is allowed to soak up water.  If you do delay adding yeast and/or salt into the dough, measure it out and have it sitting in front of you (I tend to park little bowls on top of my covered bowl) so you don't forget to add them after the rest.  

I am basically a lazy kneader and will take any advantage to further gluten development and save time kneading.  Now if I'm mad, drank too much coffee, or irritated about something (and want to take out my aggressive energy on dough)  I will mix up and hand knead thru the first 10 - 20 minutes until I'm friendly again.  But it really isn't necessary.  The gluten will form on it's own when just left to sit in the bowl.  One also has a tendency to not work too much flour into the dough.  So if you have better things to do while the dough rests, do them and come back in half an hour.  After the flour has had time to soak up and develop, a little bit of kneading or dough folding lines up the gluten strands in the dough and gives the dough strength to hold itself up as it inflates with gas.  This is especially important with wetter doughs.  It never ceases to amaze me what a little fold (4 point envelope fold) will do for the dough.  And if you find you want to fold the dough several times during the bulk rise, do it.  There is no law that says "you can't touch your dough during the bulk rise."   And don't worry about knocking the air out of it, it will still double and probably sooner.  You can get a good feel for your dough and its progress when you gently handle it often.  Train your hands and mind to feel what is going on inside the dough when you touch it.  You can even be so bold as to cut it thru quickly with a knife and look at the dough bubbles then stick it back together, cut to cut.  Let your dough teach you about itself.   

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi BakerNewbie,

You assume that 100ml of water is the same as 100g...and it should be.   But please note that you are gauging volume using the lines marked on a jug...just how accurate are they, and how accurate is your measuring?   Whereas, so long as your scale is accurate, 100g is just that; 100g.   Still, your maths does demonstrate that Jeff and I are correct that your dough is short of water.   I don't get your secondary question; it won't continue to ball-up if you add the correct amount of water in the first place [450g in total].

Fat level in the formula is 12%.   That is already very high, and I would not recommend even thinking about increasing it.   If anything you may want to look at cutting back on fat, but try the formula as-is first.

Baking powder is a "no-no" here.   A combination of chemical aeration with yeast is very rare indeed; it doesn't work with dough.   It is used in batters, such as crumpets, which are cooked on the griddle.

Advice remains: try the formula as-is, now you have a clear figure for water.   Weigh your ingredients; don't think about other changes, except any which Mini might have helped you out with above.

Best wishes

Andy

 

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

1 ml of water is equal to 1 gram, right? So 60% hydration of 750 grams of flour is 450 grams (or ml) of water. I've gotten in the habit of using my digital scale for baking. So as long as the measurements in my recipe are good, I'll be headed in the correct direction. By the way, is there a type of water that might be better suited for such breads (distilled? cholorinated? etc.)?

Which yeast would you recommend for this? Instant of Active Dry? 

ananda's picture
ananda

Good, use the scale for the water then BakerNewbie

Good old tap water should be absolutely fine.   Distilled water is no good.

Best wishes

Andy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the crumb much softer.  Try upping the water first before messing with other variables.  :)