The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sad rise

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Mary Bread Baker's picture
Mary Bread Baker

Sad rise

Well still trying different things but having a problem with the height of my loafs, it is very dissapointing, the bread has a wonderful open crumb, and tastes great however  it s like flat bread and very wide frisbee-like.  I'm new to the bread game so all answer are helpful and greatly appericated.  I posted a question before about proofing baskets, and I still have not picked one up, So this is what I do, I mix the dough, then knead, let it rise in a bowl,  give it a fold then I free form my bread and give it the final proof on the back of cookie sheet.  The problem I feel is the transfer into the oven.   It flattens out and the oven spring give it back some but I am getting discouraged, and in need of some advice.  Also could it be maybe the dough itself I use a wetter dough to get the open crumb, do I trade one for the other?   

althetrainer's picture

You may want to give us a bit more details on what recipe used, flour type, proofing time etc so we can better understand your problem.  A picture will definitely help too.

Janknitz's picture

I agree we need more details, but there's a few things to try first.

One is to be sure you are creating a good surface tension "skin" on the dough when you form it and then slashing right before baking to let the bread have some "growing room".

Secondly, you might try using parchment paper to transfer the dough into the oven--it will allow you to transfer it much more gently and avoid deflation. 

mredwood's picture

Another thing i do to limit deflation is raise my freeform loaf on parchment using those french load pans with holes. It keeps it's shape mostly. I am not sure when to score it. Before or after it is on the peel ready to go into the oven. When I scored before when it was still held in shape by the pan when parchment was transferred to peel the cut flattened out some. When I scored it after it was on the peel it had more drag and flattened some. Also the loaf may have risen too much waiting for the first loaf to finish. I did not realize how large these Columbia sourdough loaves from Maggie Glezer were.

Incidentally these were the first 2 loaves in memory that were baked only with sourdough and came out pretty darn good. Very tasty. Guess my sourdough is working. Now back in the fridge because we have more bread than we can or should eat.


Mary Bread Baker's picture
Mary Bread Baker

But I havn'tbeen using a recipe, however I do keep general preportions, I start with one cup bread flour and one water 1/8 teaspoon yeast and a pinch of salt. Let it sit overnight.  Then I add 5-6 cups flour 2-3 cups water 1/8 teaspoon yeast and pinch of salt. knead let it double, sometimes I punch down sometimes I don't, I'm sorry if I sound careless but its more about the experiment and the feel of the dough, but i am comsidering starting to write it down like a real experiment.  As for pictures I will take some next time but hopefully next time the bread will be better.  Also I went out a bought parchment paper, going to try that, but I normally preheat to 500 cook for 10 to 15 min then turn it down to 450 finish for another 15 mins.  total cook time 30 mins now the parchment can only handle 420 so should I cook longer, and can I bake the parchment on the stone with steam ? 

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Mary. You will eventually arrive at the bread you want via your current approach, but I am confident you will get there faster if you start with a better defined recipe.

I strongly recommend you find a formula for the type of bread you want to bake, measure your ingredients precisely by weight and use the mixing, fermentation, shaping and proofing techniques specified. Make it repeatedly, until you are pretty sure it's as good as it's going to get. Then, you can change one thing at a time to try improving on it.

If you can tell us the type of bread you want to make, I'm sure you can get several recommendations for formulas and get the benefit of the experience of those who have used the formula you choose, so it works for you.


mredwood's picture

Mary I usually follow directions for preheat but lacking that I preheat at 500 and then turn down to 450 or the recommended temp. Recently I have been pulling out the parchment after 10 or 15 minutes or when the bread can easily and quickly be slid off. Saves on parchment and the bread bakes nice on the stone as I had intended. I must say parchment is a frustration saver along with a time saver and ... I love it. 


gaaarp's picture


What a great idea!  I use parchment for many of my loaves, too, and find that after baking on the hot stone, the parchment gets so crumbly I'm lucky to get two uses out of it.  It never occurred to me to take the loaves off the parchment as soon as they have set up enough.

Thanks for the great tip!