The Fresh Loaf

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My bread wont rise properly

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bulldoglady's picture

My bread wont rise properly

Hi I'm Bulldoglady and I have been baking bread for over 30 years and I have never had this problem.  My dough does not rise properly.  It takes 3-4 hour for the first rise.  The second rise is ver slow and the final formed loaf will not hold it's shape.  I am making french bread and not using pans.  As an example I started bread last week at 10;00AM and did not get it into the oven 'till 8 PM.  I have changed the flour, yeast, and where it is risen- it's never right the bread does not rise in the oven and come outwith consistancy of crumpets.  Any ideas- Forgot to say that it has been hot and sunny (25-28C) here and we live by the ocean so humidity is never too low.

Thqanks BDL

cranbo's picture

Welcome to TFL.

My question is what has changed that could be causing the problem? You mentioned that you've been baking bread for 30 years, and have never had this problem. Are you experiencing problems with the same recipe that you've been using during that time? Are you using a new recipe?

The heat, if anything, would cause your doughs to rise more quickly, so that's not likely an issue. 

Are you in a new location? One thing you didn't mention is your water...has your water source or water quality changed at all? Hard water can really dough quality. 

If you've eliminated yeast and flour as possible problems, I would look at the water. 

flournwater's picture

May I suggest you post your formula.  Based solely on what you've offered thus far, I'd look at the viability of the yeast.  But there's really not enough information here to thoroughly analyze the possibilities.  Also, is the "25-28C" the proofing environment temperature or the outside temperature?  It it's the outside temperature, what is the proofing environment temperature?

bulldoglady's picture

I have been using the same recipe for a couple of yearsx- here it is

1 lb ap flour

 1 pkg regular yeast

11/3 c water and 21/2 tsp salt

same location. same water, same oven, tried three yeast sources

can't figure out what is wrong

 I have been proofing the bread in an oven that has been turned on for 1.5 minutes then turned off.  about 75f   outsid today is about 24C

Any help appreciated

thanks in advance BDL

cranbo's picture

It takes 3-4 hour for the first rise.  The second rise is ver slow and the final formed loaf will not hold it's shape

Have you switched flour brands recently? 

I know you've switched yeasts a few times to solve the problem; can you verify that the yeast you currently have proofs well? Dissolve it in room temp water for and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Does it get foamy in that time? 

Your recipe doesn't generally seem out of the ordinary. Doing some conversion math yields the following formula:

  • 454g flour (100%)
  • 315g water (69%)
  • 7g yeast (1.5%)
  • 17g salt (3.7%)
If anything, I think you may be using a little too much salt. Cutting down your salt to 1.5 tsp should help inhibit your yeast activity less, and put it more in the standard range for lean breads (1.8 - 2.2% of flour weight).  
amolitor's picture

It could be the water, since you seem to have tried changing all the obvious stuff.

Maybe your city changed something about the water. Try drawing the water the day before and letting it sit out, or use bottled water for a batch. Could be there's something new in the water that's hard on the yeast -- the yeast isn't DYING since it does do some rising, I guess, but it's being made sick and weak.


cranbo's picture

Amolitor makes a good point, +1 to trying bottled water and seeing if that works. 

Chuck's picture

+1 on water, me too. What often happens is routine test results show there's now too much bacteria in the water, some state inspector gets upset, then the water supplier doubles the amount of chlorine and they don't tell anybody. The water coming out of your tap looks the same as always. But there's now enough chlorine to sicken yeast, and your bread doesn't rise right any more. But did this really happen, or is something else going on? Well, the easiest way to find out is to try using bottled water once.