how come my dough is not rising?
I am wondering if someone can provide an insight into what happened in my kitchen today. I was baking the Sweet Portuguese bread from BBA. The sponge did fine -- did not dome, but was all bubbly. Once I mixed and kneaded the dough though, it would not rise. I gave it 2.5 hours for bulk fermentation (2 hours are recommended), then shaped -- and it took 7 hours in stead of 2-3 hours, for the dough to rise. I thought that I messed something up and started the second batch, using a different formula for the same bread, from James Beard's book. I used this formula before with great success. It is straight dough. I mixed and kneaded, and it took long for bulk fermentation, and shaped loaves were not risen even a bit after an hour and a half. Both bulk fermentation and shaped loaves were placed into an oven without a pilot, with a light on, and with a large measuring cup of hot water. The yeast I used today I also used yesterday to bake another bread (mutigrain struan with biga) and it did beautifully. I am really mystified. I hate to throw out a pound of yeast... I will try to proof it tomorrow, but meanwhile am puzzled by it performing perfectly yesterday and abismally today (except for the sponge). Any insights?
For now, I put the shaped loaves in the fridge, and I am off to bed. What will I find tomorrow?
Thanks so much!