The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First rise too short... can I fix it?

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BNLeuck's picture

First rise too short... can I fix it?

I did a very big oops. I'm making a greek bread recipe (see: which I've made before with great success using white whole wheat flour for about a third of the total flour, with bread flour for the rest. This time I used roughly 1/5 rye, 1/5 www, and the rest bread flour. I mention this only because the whole grain content may affect your response. Anyway, my very big oops was I cut the first rise of my bread short by 45 minutes. I thought it looked a little flat, but silly me, I didn't stop to think. I went ahead and kneaded and shaped my loaves, and they are now rising for a second time. Is there any way I can save them? I considered just pulling all the dough back together and plopping it back in the bowl to continue the first rise, but I'm not sure if that's wise after the additional kneading. I don't want to overwork my dough. Would an extra-long second rise make up for the shortcomings of the first? I should mention I'm a beginner when it comes to artisan breads, and I used sourdough starter and a pinch of yeast for the sponge, which I've never done before. This is entirely new territory for me. I'd appreciate any help you could give me.

pmccool's picture


You should be okay letting the second rise proceed as normal.  The texture may be slightly different than if the dough had fully doubled in the first rise, but I doubt that you will notice any real difference. 


dmsnyder's picture

Judge when the bulk fermentation ("1st rise") is complete by the dough having doubled in bulk, not by the clock. Rise times in recipes are estimates. Time will vary according to ambient temperature, dough temperature and activity of the yeast (commercial or in a levain). The "real" time should be judged by the dough behavior.


BNLeuck's picture

The dough never doubled during the first rise, and by the time it had approached doubling during the second rise, I'd run out of time and had to put it in the oven. It ended up just fine; they resembled something like flatbread, and tasted mighty good toasted with some peanut butter. LOL That'll teach me to pay attention to my instincts when I think the loaf looks too "flat" for a first rise! Thanks for the advice.