The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slow/No Rise method

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crustic's picture

Slow/No Rise method

I just finished the first few chapters of My Bread by Jim Lahey and my very first loaf of bread ever is sitting in the oven about halfway done.  The problem is that I made two batches last night and while the first one finally seemed to come around at about 8:30 tonight both were rising for almost 24 hours (the better one was actually more like 26).  In general this seems to be my plague with cooking/baking in that anything that is expected to take time always seems to take twice as long when I do it.  In any case I have a feeling that the issue was temprature.  I am in the northeast and it has been cold and thermostat was in the low 60s last night when the rise began.  I did crank the heat up to 70 today but it still took a long time.  Do you think the temperature is the issue?  I was also wondering if maybe it was the amount of yeast as the recipe only calls for 1/4 teaspoon.  Maybe the small amount of yeast exaggerates the effect of the temprature?  Any advice would be helpful.  Mostly I just want to try and ensure I am not doing anything wrong.

Thank You

carblicious's picture

Yes, lower temperature will result is slower yeast activity.  For commercial yeast, optimal temperatures is between 86 degrees F and 95 degrees F.  However, lower temperatures aid in flavor development. 

The low 60s and even 70 degrees of your house is lower than the 72 degrees that Lahey uses as a benchmark in his book.  And on page. 51. he states, "Very cold weather exception: In the dead of winter, when the dough will tend to rise more slowly, a longer period may be necessary, as much as 24 hours"

It's also important to note that the water temperature that Lahey uses is quite cool.  In addition to the room temperature, you should measure the dough temperature.   Cool dough in a cool environment will take a while to bulk ferment.

Let us know how it turns out!

crustic's picture

I definitely got the desired result.  I was hoping to upload a pic but can't figure out how.  Button to "Insert/Edit Image" doesn't let me access my own drive.

I still don't have the ideal pot (using large stainless pot now) so the bottom burnt but all in all very happy with the results and flavor.  I may do another batch of two and knead one and leave the other to see if I can discern the difference.


copyu's picture

 Problem solved before my post RE: uploading photos...copyu


ars pistorica's picture
ars pistorica

the ddt for this dough is 19.5 degrees.

crustic's picture