The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dough won't rise

T4tigger's picture

dough won't rise

I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, but I can't get my dough to rise. Both of my starters (I keep them at 100% when I'm getting ready to use them) will double or triple themselves within 5 hours when I feed them, and I try to mix my dough when they are at their peak, but as soon as I try to turn them into dough, they seem to go into hibernation. If I get a first rise, it takes a minimum of 5-6 hours, and then I rarely, if ever, get a 2nd rise. I also can't seem to get an open crumb no matter what hydration of starter I use. Any tips or tricks that I can try? Thank you and Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukkah, and a joyous holiday for all!


Breadwhiner's picture

There are more experienced wild yeast starter experts on this site, but I can throw out a few ideas.  Sourdough starters should take longer, so 5-6 hours is not beyond normal.  I'm not sure what's going on with the 2nd rise, though perhaps it would help if you describe how you maintain your starter, what bread formulas you are using, what has happened in the past and what has changed.  

 For the open crumb, I have found several things to help, regardless of the type of starter or flour-- a high hydration rate (70% for white flour, 80% for 50/50 white/wholewheat), handle the dough as little as possible (short knead time), and a long rise.  I typically make a lean dough (50/50 white/wholewheat) at 80% hydration,  2% salt, and 1/4 tsp yeast or 1 TB  starter per 500 g flour.  I mix the dough just to incorporate, but not to knead, and let is it ferment for 12-18 h, then shape, rise for 40 min and bake on a stone for 30 min at 450oF.  This works pretty reliably unless the yeast/starter has gone bad.