The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New to Baking and Baked my first loaf but it didn't turn out

gunghorjc's picture

New to Baking and Baked my first loaf but it didn't turn out

So I've been wanting to bake bread from scratch myself, that way I could control the ingredients going in and get the most nutrition from it vs. store bought wheat bread.

I used King Arthur Flour and on the back of the package it listed a recipe for no-knead bread. It called for 2 teaspoons of instant yeast. However, being the new baker that I am I bought a jar of active dry yeast.

The bread did not rise like the recipe said it would after 90 minutes, thought it did rise a little by about 120 minutes. I baked it liked it called for and it didn't quite turn out. I'm sure due to the fact of me not using the right yeast and allowing it to rise properly.

Is there a way I can use the active dry yeast differently so that the bread will rise better?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I know that sounds shallow but it's those flops that teach us about baking.  If it's any comfort,  my last two loaves did not do what I wanted them to.  They did what they wanted and that's the key.  Listen and observe the dough.  Recipes are a guide and sometimes the conditions in your kitchen are not the same as the kitchen in the recipe.  Colder, dryer, higher, wetter, warmer, oven is hotter, colder, etc. and I haven't mentioned the differences in flour.  So relax.  If the dough needs another 30 minutes to rise, let it have the 30 minutes and mark on the recipe that it took 30 minutes longer to rise. (I would also go and sniff the yeast to see if it doesn't smell off or rancid.)

(See Active Dry in the Baking FAQ's .)

These things can be difficult when starting out so have a little patience with yourself.  The next loaf is just around the corner.  :)

gunghorjc's picture

Thanks for the comment Mini Oven! I appreciate the advice. The yeast I bought yesterday, and didn't open till today. So it shouldn't be rancid, it's brand new!

My mom who was helping a bit moved it from where I had it sitting by the sink to over by the stovestop and that's when it started to rise.

I just read the FAQ you linked to and in there it answers my question about subsituting active dry yeast for instant yeast, so tomorrow I will give that a go!

The recipe I'm using calls for some weird mix ins though. Stuff I never would have thought to go into bread. Such as orange juice and maple syrup. Although it does say that mollases can be used in place of the maple syrup.

Anyways, I'm quite excited about this venture into a new lifestyle of preperaing my food myself, and getting away from the heavily processed packaged foods out there.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"Making your own" food will grow on you.   Mom's right!  Just a little bit of warmth can make all the difference!  Keeping it out of a draft helps too.  Another trick is to boil a cup of water, remove the cup or shove into a corner and then park the dough in the warm moist microwave oven to rise.  (Don't turn it on without checking "rising in the microwave"  >search box<)  

The mix ins sound good.

Floydm's picture

Yeah... I think if you activate the yeast in warm water first and then follow the no knead instructions you'll be fine.  

Welcome to the site!  

flournwater's picture

Rule of thumb for substituting ACY for Instant is:

Use 1 1/2 times ADY than the Instant called for in the formula

Proof the ADY before introducing it to the mix.

Rule of thumb for monitoring rise and proofing times:

Never watch the clock; always watch the dough.  Watching the clock only tells you how long you've been waiting.  It's the conditiion of the dough (degree of increase in mass) that's important.  Dough doesn't have to "double"  before you move to a subsequent step but it should increase noticably in mass to at least nearly double.

Double does not mean double increase in height; it means increase in total mass.

Don't be too hard on yourself.  Keep at it and, if you don't yet have one, buy a nice dog so you can have someplace to dispose of those ultimate failures that we've all experienced.

It's only round one in the fight and you've got lots more rounds to go.

PJ Hamel's picture
PJ Hamel

Hi - Your active dry yeast might havd been not as fresh as it needed to be. And you probably didn't dissolve it in lukewarm water before using, I'd guess. Next time, try bumping up the quantity of active dry by half, as suggested by another reader; and dissolving it in water for about 10 minutes before using, till it starts to bubble. Also, you may need to give your bread a longer rise, using active dry. Good luck - don't give up! Bread-baking is a wonderful thing...