The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bread does not rise second time

diletta's picture

bread does not rise second time

I hope someone can help. I've been making bread for a couple of years with mixed results. I mix white and whole wheat flour and use the active dry yeast. My problem is that the second rise does note happen and my buns turn out flat. The first rise is good. Then I punch it down, form my buns, place them on a baking tray and leave them to rise for a couple of hours. They don't rise!!! I tried baking them at 400F, then at 375F in the hopes that they might rise better. Not successful. HELP!!!

dabrownman's picture

recipe and see if someone can help you.

diletta's picture

I used 400 gr. of white flour, 400 gr. of whole wheat flour, 16 gr. of dry yeast, 1/2 tsp. sugar (to help the yeast), 20 gr. of salt and a little over 2 cups of warm water. I disolved the yeast with the sugar in the warm water, disolved the salt in a bit of warm water (I heard that if you mix the salt with the yeast, it'll kill the yeast), and then added the water, yeast and salt in the flour and mixed it in the stand-up mixer for about 10 min. Then I kneaded it a bit by hand and put it in a large bowl (covered) to rise for about 2 hrs. Once risen, I punched it down and cut up and shaped the buns, put them on a baking sheet and let them rise again (but they didn't) for about 2 hours. I baked them at 375F (I previously also tried higher temp. but didn't help). That's it. So, I can't understand why the buns did not rise. Is it something I'm not doing or overdoing?

pmccool's picture

"Watch the dough, not the clock."  You don't mention the ambient temperature but it is entirely possible that the yeast has burned through most of the available food in the first two hours, particularly if the ambient temperatures are higher than 8oF.

You have some options.  Find a cooler location to ferment the dough.  Use cool or cold water in the dough.  Cut the yeast content back (the formula's 2% by weight is rather high; try 1% or less).  Ferment for a shorter time.  Or some combination of these.

Then, keep an eye on the dough.  When it is doubled in volume (don't worry what the clock says), it's ready to be degassed and shaped.  

Since discerning when a dough has actually doubled, rather than trebled or quadrupled, in volume is difficult, see if you can locate a container of sufficient volume that has straight, vertical sides.  Clear or translucent walls are also good because you want to be able to see how high the dough has risen.  Mark the position of the top of the dough at the beginning of fermentation.  Then mark a position that is twice as high as the first mark (masking tape works just fine for this purpose).  When the dough has reached the second mark, it is doubled in volume.

Shape the dough and check on the loaves/buns periodically to see how they are progressing.  When they are perhaps half way to doubling, preheat the oven.  When they are near, or have reached, doubling, bake them.

Best of luck with your next bake.


Colin2's picture

Ditto the above!  A slow, cool rise is good.  (One possible problem is an over-rise which suffocates the yeast; a sign of that is a sour alcohol-ish smell from the dough.)

In addition to this, you can drop the sugar, which is not needed.  The yeast will get used to eating sugars already in the flour.  You might also spend a little less time machine-mixing and a little more hand-kneading -- are you getting good dough texture?  Finally, the treatment after the first rise should be a gentle deflation, not a "punch."

diletta's picture

Thank you both for the good advice! I'll try a cooler rise and measure to ensure I don't over-rise, which is probably what happened. Thank you so much!!

nicodvb's picture

In addition to the previous advices you can also add a small amount of malt (preferrably diastatic malt powder) to ensure a constant source of sugars to the yeasts.