The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can't get my final rise

ron1's picture

Can't get my final rise

I have recently started baking my bread.  I have stuck with WW as that was generally the bread I chose when I went to the grocery.  More healthy...

At any rate, I started with a little hand mixer, and soon realized that was going to burn out if I continued.  I then hand mixed a batch (2 loaves) and that was a killer, so I went and bought a nice stand mixer with a bread hook, hoping it would eliminate the kneeding cycle of my breads.

Here is my problem I need help with.  I use rapid rise yeast, so I am including it into the dry ingredients. The receipe is off the Hodgkins flour bag.  It calls for 3 tbsp of brown sugar, 3 cups of ww flour, 2 packs of yeast.  That goes into the bowl with very warm water..120 to 130..I usually am on the low side with my temps, and mix it well.  I leave it rest after mixing above dry and water for 10 minutes as reciepe calls for.  I get a good yeast start, add 1/4 cup of veg. oil, and 1tsp of salt...mix well, then add 2 cups of ap flour.  Each addition calls for complete mixing, which I do.  I coninue with the bread hook until I get good elasticity in the dough.  This last time I didn't use the mixer for the 8 minute kneeding process..about half of that, then I put it on the counter and hand kneeded it, thinking maybe that was part of the problem.  I take it out an place it in a plastic bowl that I have used baking spray on.  I then spray the top, cover loosly with wax paper, and then a kitchen towel.  I put it in a room with warm temps, and it rises like the sun.  Has a great rise.  The receipe says to punch it down (I just put my fingers in the middle, and it collapses as you would expect.  Then I take a knife and devide it into two equal pieces and form loaves, gently, and put it into two metal non stick baking pans.  Then back to the warm room to get the final rise.  That is where my problem seems to start...I just don't get a nice high rise...although it always rises above the edge of the pan, but not as much as I hope for.  I then move it to a 400 degree oven, and cook for 35 minutes. When I take it out of the oven, the loaves have actually lost their rise, and now are somewhat less than the height of the pan.  Makes for great toast, but I would like to get a sandwich size loaf.  Any of you aficionado's out there have any suggestions for me.

btw, I am a single wm 65 yo.  if that might just come to play in the equation.


ron1's picture

Help, please

LindyD's picture

Do you mean Hodgson Mill?  I checked their website and this is the only 100% whole wheat recipe they have listed:

Hodgson Mill 100% Whole Wheat Bread

1 c + 2 Tbsp. water (105-115 degrees)
1/4 c instant nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. honey
1 egg

Combine yeast with water and let stand for 5 minutes. Add honey, salt, dry milk, vital wheat gluten and cooking oil in the mixture and stir to combine. Add 2 cups flour and egg to mixture and mix well (you may user a mixer). Add the remaining flour and mix together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is smooth (5-10 minutes). Place dough in a clean greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise until doubled, approximately 1 hour.

Punch dough down and let it rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough into a loaf form. Place dough in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan and let rise to top of pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or when crust is golden brown. Remove from pan and serve.


PaddyL's picture

As I read your recipe, it seems to be part ww and part white, is that right?  I've never used the Rapid Rise yeast, only active dry and lately, instant.  Maybe if you switched to instant and gave it a slightly longer rise in the pans, it might work, and you can cut the baking temperature down to 375 F.  You might also try a teaspoon of vinegar in your dough; it's a yeast activator and it doesn't affect the taste at all.

ron1's picture

i'll try the vinegar, thanks


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, ron1.

From your description of the problem, you are almost certainly over-proofing your loaves. The loaves should be baked when they are a bit less than double their original volume. This is so they have enough oomph (technical baker's term) to spring in the oven.

If Lindy transcribed the recipe correctly, this dough is meant to be baked as a single loaf in a 5x9" pan. I think that size is supposed to hold 1-1/2 lbs of dough. You say you are cutting the dough in half, so I assume you are baking two loaves. But you don't say what size pan you are using. If you are using smaller pans meant to hold 1 lb of dough, and you are baking only 3/4 (half of 1-1/2 lbs) of this in each, the dough shouldn't even rise to the top of the pan when it's ready to bake._

Here's a way of telling when the loaves are ready to bake: Wet a finger and stick it into the loaf about 2/3 inch. If the dough is ready, the hole you made will spring back very slowly or not at all. If it springs back fast, you need to proof for longer.

I hope this helps.


ron1's picture

I have been tippy toeing from my warm place to the oven..and you say "stick you finger in it"

I am lol Dave...apparently I don't have to be gentle with my bread.  Thanks for the post.

I keep listening to all of you and will attempt to let you all know how I did.

thanks again

pattycakes's picture

Hi Ron,

In addition to what David and Lindy have pointed out, I also wonder if you used too much yeast.

If I read your recipe correctly, you used 2 packages of yeast to 3 cups of flour, which would make the terrific first rise that you noticed but could also make the bread over-rise. The recipe Lindy gives calls for only one packet of yeast. More yeast is not better. In fact, if you have the time, try half as much as the packet calls for and up your bulk ferment, or first rise, time. Then do the same with the second, or loaf rise. The flavor of your bread will be better, more complex and sweeter.

Good luck!



ron1's picture

Patricia, just reread your post, and thank you for your words of wisdon..I will do as you suggest with the yeast.

If you see my last post, you will note I double checked my reciepe and it calls for 2 Tbsp of yeast, and I measured one packet and it measured as a Tbsp.

I will cut it back to 1 and 1/2 and let it rise longer as you have suggested.

You folks speak of proofing...are you talking about the rising time, or the making sure the yeast is good?


ron1's picture

I had looked yesterday, and didn't see any reply's and was disappointed...obviously I have to learn to use this site better.  I found an email with all your comments, clicked on one of your links, and then found all the comments here on the any rate.

The riecepe is as I stated...I just went and looked again, it is or should be listed on their website, as the website is listed just above the reciepe I cut out of the bag.  It is for WW bread as I mentioned, and makes 2 loaves.

I kinda thought the yeast was's called rapid rise  highly active yeast.  I started out by putting it in warm water to desolve it with a little honey I think.  Then in some of my searching, I noticed that this kind of yeast would go directly into the dry mixture.  So I started doing that.

I will rise more than double in the first rise (in the greased bowl) I then punch it down and devide the dough in two reasonably equal portions, and put it into two 4x9 loaf pans.  Return them to the warm room...and 45 minutes to an hour later, check (that is what the directions call for) to find the dough has risen just maybe 3/4 inch above the pan.  I carefully take it to a 400 degree oven and in the next 35 minutes it not only does not rise further, but decreases to just below the edge of the pan.

I was at a farmers market yesterday speaking with an "artisan" bread maker, asking what I might be doing wrong, but his "bread speak" was above me.

I thought maybe I should try using a sourdough starter????

Hopefully you won't get tired of my "newbieness".

althetrainer's picture

Rapid yeast tend to rise the dough a lot faster than regular active dry yeast.  Due to the fast action, proofing time should be reduced.  I would say until double and I would punch down for the 2nd rise.  The dough rise because the yeast digests the sugar in the flour and releases by-products including carbon dioxide - CO2 (that's why bubbles are formed and the dough needs to be punched down before final rise for a sandwich loaf to avoid big holes in the middle).  The rise will slow down as the sugar level declines over time.  Once the sugar is all consumed there won't be any more CO2 released therefore no more rising of the dough. 

Chances are, you did overproof your dough.  If you are interested in mastering bread making, I strongly recommend you to make a learning loaf.  It's a simple white sandwich loaf that almost guarantee success if you follow the instructions.  That's how I learned to make breads many years ago.

I have moved on the sourdough breads these days but I wouldn't recommend to someone without much bread making experience.  Making sourdough breads requires more than just basic understandings of bread making.  It also requires experience or frustration is an unavoidable course. 

Newbies are always welcome here since we're all newbies once.  I will post the link to the learning loaf for you in case you want to give it a try.  Best of luck!

althetrainer's picture

Here's the link for the learning loaf I posted a while ago.  You will find the recipe in the last post of the thread.

Leesky's picture

I always thought rapid rise yeast was only intended for one rise. If you deflate it to shape for a second rise, there's not enough oomph for a good second rise. I think the point of using it is that you don't need a second rise, so if you want to have a second rise for a particular recipe, to develop flavor more, or whatever; you should use regular active dry yeast and not rapid rise.