The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What Happens If Dough Rises Too Much?

abrogard's picture

What Happens If Dough Rises Too Much?

I'm waiting with bated breath to see what happens when the dough is allowed to rise too much.

I make a standard white loaf of plain bread - virtually the french bread recipe but just done in a pan instead.

This morning instead of the first rise lasting two hours max it went for four or five hours. 

When I tipped it out it was cold, wet and slimy on the bottom, though dry on the top and firm and normal feeling in the centre, i.e. in the mass, in the bulk.

So I reworked it a bit in my hands, folding it over and over and then stuck it in the baking tin for a second rise - what else could I do - just throw it away?

This has never happened before.  I've had bread rise much longer than it should but never got this result, this wet sliminess.


What's going to happen? what's the betting?  It'll rise a second time or not? If it rises and I bake it will it be palatable or not?

Was there anything I could have done about it?




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Baking when overproofed ends with a brick.  Re-working the dough gives you a finer crumb but it will rise again.  It could be pale by the end of the bake so don't pay too much to the color and bake as usual.  I might be tempted to lightly oil or brush the surface with melted butter while it's rising to improve the color while baking.

Betts?  I bet it tastes really good!

tracie's picture

Abrogard, I have often left dough to rise for much longer than the recipe requires, and it has seemed a bit slimy.  I always punch it down and leave it to rise, again, rather than through it away.  After all, unless you are baking for something specific, you only lose the time...worst case scenario, you start again and end up with two loaves.  I am new to this game, however, so I guess I am still in the 'practising' stage.

mplsmegs's picture

I always bake mine when they rise too much, but the bread doesn't go very fast.  haha.  It's a little heavy/dense and sometimes it takes on a serious fermenty flavor.  Some might like it (sort of like sourdough?)  But I'm not a big sourdough fan.  Curious to hear how it went!  

abrogard's picture

Well here's the news:


It was fine!!  It's great. No worries.

And that was dough that usually rises for two hours had a four or five hour rise, I'm not quite sure. It was a hectic day.  The top, in the bowl, looked quite okay, just as usual.  

When I went to tip it out I noticed the top was drier than usual, almost had a hard skin on it, but the next thing was the shocking wet, slimy cold feel of what had been the bottom of it, down in the bowl,  now the 'top' as I tipped it upsidedown to get it out.

Yucky. My spirits sank. I thought this was the end. Somewhere I'd read that over-risen dough falls into a sloppy, stinking mess and if cooked tastes awful.

Well NOT true. Well not with this amount of over-risen, anyway.  So any other beginners like me making similar mistakes take heart... don't worry... knead it up a bit (I didn't do it much, I mainly just kinda folded it in until there was no slimy sticky stuff on the outside any more) and let it rise again and bake it...

I will mention that when it rose the second time the 'skin' sort of opened a bit like the scar you get after cooking when you've knifed a cut into the load and that cut has risen in the oven out to the same level as the rest of the loaf.

Slow rising is the secret I think. It is about time for me to move on to sourdough for all those benefits. I'll be able to let it rise all night for instance and bake in the morning... fresh bread for the kids...



I just put a couple of pics up on the web of it so's any interested folks can see for themselves how it turned out.  Here's the link: 

Well, it won't let me paste the link. Wonder why?

Well I'll write it out then:

There you go.........