The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New to Bread making

PrincessJessica's picture

New to Bread making

Ok, So I just got a bread machine a few days ago. The first time I tried to make a recipe I did just what the book said and did not let the yeast touch the wet ingredents. But it didn't rise at all. I tried it again today and put the yeast in the water with the sugar let it sit and then added the rest of the dry stuff and again nothing happened it didnt rise again. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I have the right yeast bread machine yeast I set it right I used room tempature water. I'm getting really discouraged not sure if I want to try this again. 

Any suggestions? 

HeidiH's picture

It sounds like your yeast is dead.  It is easy for a yeast to have been ill-handled somewhere along the way.  Try buying some new.  Quick rising or instant Fleischman's from the grocery is fine -- though soon you'll probably decide to order yeast by the pound because it is sooooo much cheaper.

Try searching "bread machine yeast" in the box here at TFL and you'll find lots of discussions about bread machine yeast.  It seems it is just instant yeast. 

Don't get too disappointed this early on.  You will find bread making to be fun and you will find lots of folks here with good advice -- I certainly have.  I'm a just-throw-it-together bread maker.  In fact, I need to go start a loaf now so we have some later in the day.  I do weigh the ingredients so there is some semblance of predictability to the bread and generally use the stretch and fold technique shown in videos at

Have fun with your bread!  Don't let the dead yeast get you down.



raqk8's picture

Breadmaking is so fun and such a pleasure that I'd hate to see you give up so soon. As Heidi said above, it sounds like your yeast is just dead. This is an easy fix, and you'll be so happy you tried again. You'll probably even get kind of addicted (like the rest of us on this site) and start making your bread by hand, then move on to sourdoughs,  then start making your own recipes.... Just don't give up! I can't tell you how many failed loaves I had when I started making bread. But, It was a challenge that I liked, so I kept at it. I hope you do!

Raquel @

Chuck's picture

The common old technique of putting the yeast in a bit of warm water with a bit of sugar and waiting for it to foam really isn't necessary with "bread machine"/"instant" yeast. (Doing it anyway is a "trick" for getting away with using "weak" yeast, so long as you're baking bread immediately rather than using the bread machine's "schedule delay" capability at all. But if your yeast is close to completely dead, it won't help.) If yeast is dead or almost dead, there's nothing to do other than buy new yeast. Putting it in a bit of warm water with a bit of sugar and having it foam just a little doesn't tell you more than it's only 90% dead rather than 100% dead; it may still not be anywhere near enough to raise bread.

Also keep the salt and the yeast apart. (Maybe add ingredients in an order like: water, salt, flour, yeast, Or maybe put the salt and the yeast in opposite corners of the bread machine pan.) If the salt and yeast are right next to each other, so after getting wet and "waking up" the first thing the yeast touches is salt, the yeast will die. Most likely your bread machine directions already make a big deal about this  ...but I've heard stories about bread machine directions that just "assume" it without ever saying it :-(If you tried the trick of dissolving the yeast in the water first and it still didn't do anything, keeping the salt and the yeast apart is probably not your issue this time. But I've listed it anyway to try to be more complete.)

Dry yeast comes in two flavors (almost indistinguishable by looking at them). You want the one that explicitly says "for bread machines" on the package.

Yeast should be stored in a container where it stays completely dry (a screwtop jar for example) in your refrigerator. Do that and it will last a long time (well over a year, perhaps even much more). But if yeast ever gets either damp or warm (just sitting in the sun on the top of a grocery bag behind the glass windows of a station wagon is often too much), it will be irreversibly harmed.

Buying yeast in those little packets quickly adds up to be very expensive. At least look around the market for jars of dry yeast (they'll be brown glass in the shape of "fat" baby food jars). Ultimately you may wish to go even further and buy yeast in one-pound vacuum-packed foil bricks; supermarkets don't always carry these, look at those giant "buying club" stores, or buy it online to be delivered by mail.



PrincessJessica's picture

Thank you so much everyone for all the advice, I took everything into account. I was more carful with where I put the salt and didn't let it touch the yeast. I also checked the tempature of the water, and I made two great loaves, one the crust was alittle thick but it tasted amazing. Tonight I tried a onion cheese bread, but it feel in the middle. But I actually know what I did wrong it was a little wet, but I have not given up and I love making bread. The first loaf I was so happy my partner and I ate half the loaf right away. 

So ya thank you all for os much help, now hopfully I can learn flavored breads lolz.