The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

changed to active dry yeast = no oven spring :(

Anti-Distinctlyminty's picture

changed to active dry yeast = no oven spring :(

Hi all,

  Firtstly, I'm sorry if this is the wrong bit of the forum or if this has been answered a million times before. I've done some searching but can't find much about my particular problem. 

Firstly, my recipe is super simple:

  • 500g wholemeal flour

  • 0.5 tbsp of salt & sugar

  • 7g packet of dried action yeast

  • I mix everything together rub in some butter, tip onto a surface and titrate just over 0.5 pints of water at 110 degrees F, then knead, put in a tin and wait to rise.

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 6 and bake for about 30 mins

I've been trying to learn how to get my (basic and simple) bread to rise properly for some time, and I think I just recently managed to get it under control. I had a lot of issues with wholemeal breads not rising and being more or less inedible, but I eventually realized that I was not kneading the dough enough. It lakes about 10 mins of kneading for white flour and about 30 mins of kneading for wholemeal flour (or a mostly wholemeal mix). The yeast I was using was tescos fast action dry yeast and after many failures I've gotten it to the point where I can consistently make a decent loaf. Some things I've learnt are that if I leave it to rise for too long it deflates in the oven, so I've got into the habit of putting it in a preheated oven when it's risen to about 1 inch over the top of the tin, then I tend to get a nice oven spring.

It's always been my biggest problem is either it not rising at all, or not springing in the oven. And now I changed to Allinson active dry yeast, these problems are back. With my last loaf, everything seemed to go as planned, and I put it in the oven at the usual point (risen to 1 inch above the tin) and...nothing, it just sat there.


Any suggestions before I go mad? What the heck do I have to do to get a consistent oven spring?

WhitneyLeah's picture

Did you proof your yeast first? Active dry yeast has to be dissolved in a little bit of water before it can be added to the dough.

Anti-Distinctlyminty's picture

Yes, the instructions were followed exactly. It said to dissolve it in warm (2 parts cold to 1 boilding) water and leave for 15 mins. After which there was froth on the top. However, without a picture of how much there should be it's difficult to tell if it was fully activated. If there is such a thing.

flournwater's picture

If you combine your cold water and boiling water before introducing it to the yeast you should have a combined temperature of approx. 100 degrees and it should work.  If you combine the yeast with the cold water and then combine it with hot water you will find that some of the yeast will experience thermal shock from the sudden introduction of the boiling water and will succumb to the experience.  But if your proof mixture developed the "froth" you describe it was probably OK.  I assume you stirred the yeast and water to combine well for the proofing period.

From your description I would suspect one of two possibilities.

1.  You are using the same amount of active dry yeast as you did instant yeast.  When you replace instant yeast with active dry yeast you'll get a better result if you use 1.5 times as much of the active dry yeast as you did the instant.

2.  You are over-proofing.  Try the finger poke test on your next loaf and see how the dough responds to the finger indentation.

MrSteve81's picture

It sounds to me that possibly your problem could be your kneading method.

I used to have similar problems myself and blamed it on the yeast. Both tescos and allinsons stuff, but after learning the "French" method of kneading, my bread has come on it leaps and bounds.

You could also try having your oven as preheating as hot as it can possibly be for half an hour before you put your bread in. As soon as it goes in the oven bring the oven down to your usual temperature.

I've heard that doing this forces the yeast to spring up.