The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My bread never rises very much, any advice please?

dream's picture

My bread never rises very much, any advice please?

I've been baking my own breads for a few months and I love it, but I am having a hard time getting my loaves to rise very much.  The bread I most often bake is the same recipe that my sister-in-law uses and she taught me how to make it, so I know we are using the same ingredients and methods, but her loaves always come out gigantic and mine never do.  

Our house is old and drafty, so I usu heat the oven a little and then stick the loaves in there so they have a warm, still place to rise, but even that doesn't do the trick.  

Any advice would be much appreciated, I have no idea where I am going wrong.

Thanks so much!

In case it is helpful here is what I do: Mix 2T yeast into 2C white bread flour, add 2t sea salt and 3T toasted sesame seeds.  Heat 2 1/4 C water with 1/4 c honey and 3T butter to 120 degrees farenheit.  Add liquids to flour mixture, mix in the KitchenAid on speed 2 for 3 mins.  Add 3c whole wheat flour and enough white bread flour so it pulls away from the bowl.  I turn the oven on for about 5 mins, turn it off and put dough in to rise (this part always rises excellently!)  Once doubled, pull it out, punch it down, make 2 loaves, put in loaf pans, heat oven back up for a couple more minutes, and then wait and wait and wait and wait for loaves that never rise as much as I would like!!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

That's a lot of yeast (2 tablespoons) for 2 cups of white flour and 3 cups whole wheat flour.

My guess is that your yeasts are running out of food by the time you reach second rise.  

Could the original recipe have called for 2 teaspoons of yeast?


If you don't wish to decrease the amount of yeast, try decreasing the amount of time for the first rise (bulk fermentation) such that the yeast will still have food for the second rise (proofing).

dream's picture

I thought it seemed like a lot too, based on other recipes I have seen, but that is what it actually calls for.  Should I perhaps try using less?   I will try decreasing the time for the first rise as well and see if that helps.

Thank you!

ronnie g's picture
ronnie g

This should be your order.  Mix, bulk rise or proof, knock back, shape, place in pans, second proof (to 1 1/2 times the original size), then bake.  Is that what you are doing?  Or are you putting the bread in to bake straight after you place in the pans?

dream's picture

What you listed is my order -- I do allow a second rise, the loaves just don't get that big no matter how long I let them sit. 


jcking's picture

Test your yeast and test your water. Use the search function, upper left, to find more info about yeast and water.


dream's picture

Thank you, Jim.  Will do!

alabubba's picture

I concur with Thomas. Is sounds like your over-proofing in the bulk rise. Try using a container with straight sides to better help you determine when your dough has "doubled"  Many use something like this.


dream's picture

Truthfully, I did not realize that the dough could over-rise, or rather that it would make a difference if it did. I will give this a try.  Thanks, Allan!