The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

yeast rising

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gabbymom's picture

yeast rising

i am making cinnamon rolls for Easter. They are calling for rain. How can i insure my yeast will work and my dough rise in the humidity?

gabbymom's picture

Ok so bakerys dont stop making cinnamon rolls or bread cause its raining. My dough never rises if humidity is up. How can i make my yeast work and dough rise? they are calling for rain tomorrow and everyone is counting on my cinnamon rolls. HELP?

ladychef41's picture

Professional bakers use proofing ovens. Therefore, they have a consistent, static environment and there is no worry about weather conditions. When I'm baking at home, I heat my oven to 100 degrees F., turn off the heat, put my dough in the oven in an oiled Pyrex bowl covered with plastic wrap. Never had a problem with it proofing. If you don't want to do this, you can just proof as you normally do and it will just take extra time.

executor's picture

The issue with your dough is low temperature. A good idea is to use warm water or milk in your dough in the first place, this will help you rise the temperature in the dough. Raining or not your dough will rise sooner or later, but in a cold enviroment this can take even four hours. My recomendation for you is to store your dough or shaped rolls in a box like place with a light bulb inside in order to generate some heat. Also you can turn on your oven early in the morning, so your working place gets a little bit warmer. Depending on your recipe maybe you can also increase a little bit the amount of yeast. Play with time and temperature, is your best option.

In cases of real emergency I use to heat my dough in th oven at 30°C for ten minutes. I own a bakery and I use this as the ultimate panacea if nothing else seems to work.

Happy baking!!!


pjaj's picture

Yes, I agree, it's the temperature you want to worry about, not the humidity. I also concur with all the tips above. I use dried instant yeast and quite hot water; I can barely put my fingers in it. Provided you add the water to the dry ingredients whilst the mixer is running, it cools sufficiently enough not to damage the yeast and you end up with warm dough.

For many years I had hit and miss proving. I could never find a really consistently warm place to do it. Now I'm lucky that my oven has a proving setting and my dough rises every time. Have a look at your oven, you may be lucky and it can be set to a low temperature or (although not marked as dough proving) plate warming for example. Anything around 35 - 45 degrees C should work and a thermometer will help you check.

There's an interesting article at which discusses the various yeasts and mentions that temperatures up to 146 degrees F (63 degrees C) can be used for some yeasts.



All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... by your comment:

My dough never rises if humidity is up.

I live in the tropics; it's now the start of the hurricane season when humidity goes through the roof - many days with deluges of rain on and off interrupted with bouts of brilliant sunshine = steam! The yeasties loves it! Too much so. I am always working to slow the buggers down.  Dough rises here like billows of fluffy white cumulus in the twinkle of an eye - alarmingly, on a fast track to overproofing.

As others have said, your temps are much more likely to be the culprit - where do you live, gabbymom? For example, rainy days in the UK can be bloody chilly ones.

All at Sea








LindyD's picture

I don't know what type of yeast you are using, but I've never had any issues with instant yeast no matter the weather.

Instant yeast is mixed dry with the ingredients. 

SulaBlue's picture

But you may need less liquid added to your dough if the air is particularly humid. When it's cool/damp (and thus likely cooler in the house) your dough may take longer to rise, but it should still rise.

pjaj's picture

I've never had a problem with humidity. The only thing you may have to watch is the amount of liquid you add to the flour. If it has adsorbed moisture from the air then you will best reserve 5-10% of the liquid and only add enough to achieve the required dough consistency.

Dried instant yeast will work in any humidity I've encountered. The big secret is finding a nice warm place to do the proving. I'm very lucky, my oven has a proving setting (about 30 degrees C) so ordinary bread dough will prove in about 30-45 minutes.

JoeV's picture

I bake bread year round and don't alter my recipes a bit. I usually prove my dough in the microwave after boiling a cup of water and putting it in the corner of the unit. 45-60 minutes later it's doubled in size.

After learning what your dough should look and feel like, you just need to add a little more flour if the moisture in the air is that high. I stopped agonizing about these sorts of things and just go with the flow. What do you think the pioneers did as they crossed this country in covered wagons and made bread with homemade starters? I bet they just got off their horse and started making bread. Remember, this is not rocket science, it's bread baking. LOL Lighten up on yourself and have a little fun. Oh, and only use Instant Yeast as someone else said here. The other stuff is a train wreck just waiting to happen, and makes more work for the baker.



ladychef41's picture

Baking bread at home is all about having fun and experimenting with it. I have had so many "failures" baking bread, that it has allowed me to create some of the best breads I have ever tasted. I am a "professional" chef/baker and I must say, I have learned more in my own kitchen than I ever did in culinary school. If you aren't willing to have failures in baking, then you shouldn't be doing it. Once you can use your intuition and imagination, you will be a better baker than you ever thought possible. Yes, there ARE certain "rules" to anything, but step out of the box and have FUN and experiment!!!! You will surprise yourself at what you come up with. I'm amazed by some of the great things people have come up with on this site... that's why I keep coming back!

And all the suggestions about the proofing are good ones and any one of them will work....

netrider's picture

Reading all the post here heartens biggest grief is to get my dough to rise in a realistic time. As a newbie 2-3 hrs seems inordinately long give some of you guys get there in <45mins....being cold doesn't help and I have been resorting to setting 50C on the oven and resting the dough on a low tray half in and half out. I use dry yeast but reconstitute it before adding it the mix...maybe the suggestion by PJAJ is a good option to try ATM?