The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What do i do?

SonyaC's picture

What do i do?

I have three cups of dough (kneaded-duh) and I killed my yeast. The milk was too warm.. It's been two hours and the dough looks like its staying put. It wont rise. I was trying to make Babka- too ambitious yes!

Even if I can't remedy it, any ideas on what I can do with all that dough?

Yes- I am a Newbie to the world of baking. 


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and sprinkle it over the dough.  If the dough seems rather stiff, dissolve the yeast into a teaspoon or two of water making a thick paste to smear onto the dough.   Push the yeast into the dough with your fingers and fold it a couple of times to work it in well.  Let it bulk rise and continue with the directions of the recipe.   No problem!  :)

Yerffej's picture


Mini's advice is great and backed by lots of experience.


Chuck's picture

Often the goal (Desired Dough Temperature = DDT) is a little less than 80F (optimum yeast growth temperature). A guestimate for getting there takes the average of three temperatures: (KitchenRoomTemp + DryIngredientsTemp + LiquidIngredientsTemp) / 3. Your main control is the liquid temperature (you don't have too much instantaneous control over either the kitchem room temperature or the dry ingredients temperature). You can work backwards to figure out about what temperature liquid you need; this leads to things like the "rule of 240", i.e. start with 240 and subtract the temperature of the room, then subtract the temperature of the dry ingredients from that, what's left is the temperature your liquid ingredients should be.(Of course this is all in Fahrenheit, the numbers would be different for Celcius.)

Problem is, sometimes the calculated liquid temperature is pretty hot, hot enough to kill yeast. (Yeast dies at around 140F.)

If the yeast is all in a clump, and you pour hot liquid on it, you can have problems. But those problems are avoidable; here are a couple alternative methods that mostly avoid killing the yeast even when the liquid is pretty hot:

  1. Mix the dry and the liquid a little bit so the hot and cool temperatures average out, and only then add the yeast before doing the thorough mixing.
  2. Thoroughly mix the yeast (and all other dry ingredients?) into the flour before combining the dry and liquid ingredients. Mostly the hot liquid will be cooled enough by mixing with the flour, before it gets to the yeast. (A little yeast may die anyway this way, but hopefully not enough to worry about:-)


HeidiH's picture

Not heating the water means no risk of killing the yeast.  It also means that the first rise might take a little longer on a cold day.

I use water from the filter tap we have on the kitchen sink.  In the summer, our tap water is tepid here in South Carolina as they only bury the pipes 6-to-9 inches below ground but it is also very cold on a cold day.  Still nothing like the hurts-your-teeth water that comes out of northern taps in the winter.

So far, I've not had any problem with tap-temperature filtered water.  We installed a filter for drinking water because our city water company is chlorine happy and in the summer it can smell like a pool.  Sometimes I forget which tap to use and make bread with the unfiltered stuff with no ill effects.

kutzeh's picture

Put dough back in mixer, measure more yeast in water, when ready beat slowly into dough while mixing until all incorporated. Worked for me!!!!

SonyaC's picture

 It did rise but the final product is a bit doughy... but still tastes really good. Instead of Babka... i'm calling this one chocolate cinnamon bread! 

Thanks once again

HeidiH's picture

Like you, today I started to make pumpernickel bagels but after the first rise, the dough was too sticky to become anything other than a slow-baked-in-a-Dutch-Oven, heavy, psuedo-European pumpernickel.  To the rest of the household, however, it was a success.  Hubby said, "You can make this one again!"  Now I have to figure out how to replicate the errors that came to this result.

Shellipsm's picture

Thanks all! I currently have some milk /oil/ sugar on the stove cooling that I thought was 105, but must have been hotter, and the yeast is just sitting there.... I'll let it cool some more and add more yeast.