The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

my bread isn't rising

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Marissa Lee's picture
Marissa Lee

my bread isn't rising

Hi. I'm a big fan of the no knead bread and was and am still excited about this technique but I'm not having the results I expected. I've gotten the best rise and crust from a part whole wheat loaf from no knead ever but this not so much and it is mostly white flour.


I made the batch on Wednesday from the basic loaf and baked my first yesterday and my bread didn't rise much (or at all) on the peel or in the oven. It came out dense and yeasty tasting. The crust was flawless even better than the no knead as that came out almost a little too chewy. But the inside was not what I was hoping for at all. I didn't use a thermometer but I do have a stone and a peel. I put flour on top and grabbed a hunk out of the fridge and it was sticky and so cold it hurt my hands a bit to even handle it a short time. I am fairly good at shaping loafs though so I managed but had to wash my hands in warm water right away. I preheated the oven with some ice cubes in the broiler pan so when the loaf is in it is just starting to boil and steam and I don't have to do the whole pouring hot water in as fast as possible dance. The loaf rested 40 minutes before going in the oven.


Today I tried again and tried leaving it in a warmer place for longer and had pretty much the same results. I took the remaining dough and kind of combined the two techniques and let it sit for a few hours and then cooked it in a covered pan like the no knead. I haven't cut into that one yet but it is looking pretty flat.


I'd love some help as I love bread and am really hoping to get this book. But not until I can get a basic loaf working.


ETA that I cut into the 3rd loaf that combined the two and that one was the best of the bunch. Not dense and yeasty but rather than rise it expanded so while a tasty snacking bread isn't really appropriate for something like a sandwich.


 


 

breadbaby's picture
breadbaby

Are you sure the yeast was alive before you added the flour?  I know this a little like checking to see if a machine that isn't working is plugged in, but from your description, it sounds like the yeast was inactive or even killed (by water that was too hot maybe).  Also, what kind of yeast are you using?  I like to use active dry yeast because it needs proofing and I can see whether the yeast is alive or not before I add the flour to the water.   

Marissa Lee's picture
Marissa Lee

I baked with the same yeast the day before and it rose perfectly. And in rose wonderfully those two hours before the dough went into the fridge. It is just when it is time to turn it into loaves that it just sits flat.


 


Could the fridge be too cold? Could that be killing it or slowing it down or something? The dough is very cold to handle. The container ends up being pushed to the very back of the fridge by my family to get it out of the way.