The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Doughy bread that lacks rise

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Miss_Ratty's picture
Miss_Ratty

Doughy bread that lacks rise

Oh dear, newbie here! New to the forum anyway, but have been trying to make bread for about a year, and asidefrom the odd fluke, I just never seem to get that perfect loaf. 

The two problems I always have are a lack of rise once put in the oven - in fact, sometimes my loaves collapse, and the bread seems awfully doughy. I've tried a number of different approaches but never seem to have really got to the bottom of it. 

We have just had a new oven as we had a fan one and I thought that was the problem as the bread seemed to be burning outside and not cooking inside, but I've made about eight loaves in the new conventional oven and at least two have been doughy still. 

I thought I'd ask the experts!! X

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

Post the recipe you're using and the method you use and we can maybe help you get to the bottom of things.

Miss_Ratty's picture
Miss_Ratty

That is the problem, I have used so many different recipes...that is contributing to why I can't figure us what it is. I use a kenwood chef for the dough, and have noticed that the dough seems a lot wetter somehow. I can't use my hands as I have problems with my wrists so can only knead for a few seconds. I'm going to stick my loaf in the oven in about an hour soif that one turns out rubbish like most of mine do, I'll post that specific recipe and some pictures. 

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

Work with this recipe for a time, then. It'll be easier to troubleshoot one recipe than five. Posting that specific recipe would help a lot.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What kind of yeast?  Temperatures of the water?  What kind of water?  Type of flour?  How long is the first rise, how do you judge when to deflate and shape?   How are you judging your risen loaf as to when it is ready for the oven?  At what temp are you regularly baking?  With preheat, without?  Got any pictures?

Oh and what is the "perfect loaf"  to you?  Describe it.

Before the loaf goes into the oven, don't let it double in size, bake it at 3/4 and see what happens.  Like right now half an hour before planned.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

usually indicate that the dough was over-proofed before baking.  Another strong indicator would be pale crusts that have darker blotches.

As Mini Oven suggests, don't let the final proof go as long as you have been.  Judging the difference between "not enough" and "just right" and "too much" isn't always easy but there are some things that help.  One of those is the poke test.  Using a floured or moistened fingertip, gently press your finger into the dough to the depth of the first knuckle and quickly pull it back out.  Does the depression spring back immediately?  If yes, then it needs some further time to proof.  Does it fill in partially and/or slowly?  If yes, bake it right away; it's ready!  Is there little or no filling in of the depression?  If yes, it is over-proofed.

You can rescue some over-proofed dough by giving it a minute or two of kneading, then reshaping and letting it proof again.  The texture and color of the loaf won't be quite so good as it would have been before overproofing but it will be a lot better than a loaf that pancakes before, during, or after baking.

Remember that time recommendations in recipes are just that: recommendations.  There are a lot of variables that can affect how fast a dough ferments, with temperature being one of the most important.  Your dough can't tell time, so pay attention to what the dough is telling you, not what the clock says.

Best of luck with your future bakes.

Paul