The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rising out not up!

Garyi's picture

Rising out not up!

Hello every one. I am new here and am currently looking around but in the mean time am having one issue with my bread making!

I use a starter which to be honest i don't use science on, when it gets low i add some more flour and water,it seems to buble away for a while but when left splits out a bit.

when making my bread i use some of this and some fresh yeast too.


the yeast from the local baker, very fresh. I also buy really nice flour from another baker.


in short my bread tastes great, but on the second proove it grows huge side ways but not up ways, so its very thin when cooked.


I have tried using less and less liquid, perhaps i need even less, but then general advice i was given was the wetter you can get away with the better?


Well any how, any advice would be great!



davidg618's picture

The advice "the wetter is better" is good for the most part. If you haven't read up on "hydration", do it.  You don't have to leave TFL; there are many, many threads herein that discuss the whys and hows of hydration. Use the TFL search function, you'll find it in the left-hand margin on every TFL page. If you're more comfortable with books, Hamelman's Bread is a very good reference.

All that said, answering your posted question more directly, as the title says, "Support your shaped loaves while they final proof." You have lots of choices: obviously bread pans, but others include lined or unlined baskets--some specifically made for bread proofing are called bannetons or brotforms, or simply proofing baskets. You can also use a floured cotton (linen's better) tea towel (dish towel) for one, or multiple loaves. Or you can buy a linen couche; a piece of heavy linen cloth made especially for bread baking. ( Incidentally, one of the translations of "couche" is "diaper"; I call mine a proofing cloth.)

Again, the TFL search engine will find you acres of discussion, and pictures, explaining the correct use of proofing containers, and proofing diapers: oops, proofing clothes.

Two things that happen during proofing, important to this discussion: the gluten network continues to tighten, and yeast continues to expel CO2, creating a positive pressure internally in the loaves, that maintain the loaves shapes much like a ballon is kept expanded by difference in air pressure inside vs. outside. Of course the pressure differences in a loaf of bread is considereably lower than that in a ballon, and the loaves outer "skin" much more fragile. That's why we learn to handle proofed loaves gently. Again: Search Engine.

Lastly, when you slash the top of a loaf it disrupts the internal supporting structure and gas pressure difference in the vicinity of the slash, but the integrity of rest of the loaf remains. The slashed loaf will deform--almost always outward and downward--but oven spring will, most often restore, and exceed the proofed loaf's original shape and volume. The general rule is the wetter the dough, the less aggressive the slashing. Again...well, you know the advice.

Happy baking

David G


Garyi's picture

Thanks for that response thats a great place to start, I have not heard of these baskets before, do they go in the oven (I know I will do a search!)

I did another loaf to day a bit drier this time and it was not great, good if you are hungry as it was quite dense, not unlike a rye bread.

Just need to get my head around the forum here, on every other forum I use the responses are simple threads one post aftet the other, on here I seem to randomly land up on threads I had nothing to do with! Ah well.

breadforfun's picture

I did another loaf to day a bit drier this time and it was not great, good if you are hungry as it was quite dense, not unlike a rye bread.

Based on your last comment that the loaf is dense, you may want to also think about gluten development.  When I first started baking sourdough, my results were much like yours: dense, flat and little if any oven rise, despite using brotforms.  After much experimentation, I learned that I had not been developing the gluten sufficiently, and so the loaves had no internal gluten structure to maintain the high profile.  It takes some experience to get the feel of what the dough should feel like, so keep baking.  A rule of thumb that I use now is when I do a stretch and fold to develop the gluten, the dough should keep its shape for several minutes before settling down into the bowl.  This works for both wetter and drier doughs, though the time varies.  Once this occurs, I'm reasonably certain that the gluten is developed.

Another important factor is shaping the loaf and creating the outer sheath of gluten that holds the loaf shape.  You do this by stretching the outside of the loaf.  It's hard to describe, but cup your hands behind the loaf and pull it towards you on a surface that can provide some friction.  Many books describe it better than I can.



flournwater's picture

It would be a simple task to list all the possibilities included in breadmaking processes that might be contributing to your problem, but that would be an exercise in futility.  Without knowing what goes into your bread and how the dough is handled, any specific advice included here has little immediate value.

If you could provide an outline of your bread dough formula and a description of how you handle the dough in preparation for baking I believe you'd find some responses that will bring you closer to hitting the target on this issue.


Garyi's picture

Alsways happy to talk about bread.


First a little history. I have been a chef for many years nearly 20 now. Last year I chnaged my career slightly which I really enjoy because it means when I cook I can do it for the enjoyment!


I have always had an interest in yeast but never been much good at it. However having discovered on a TV show about yeast starters and other bits of info gleened, we tend to enjoy a loaf of fresh bread made at least three times a week.


I have been playing with various flours and methods, so to be fair I don't have a straight up recipe. In general though I follow pretty much the standard one, sorry I am not in the US and have no idea what a 'cup' or 'table spoon' is, these are not accurate measures!


1lb flour

300 mls warm water



sometimes a dash of oil


I substitue some of the water for my yeast starter.

This goes into a mixing bowl of a Kitchen Aid professional with dough hook. Well accuratly I put the flour and salt in, and because its cold right now warm that through a tadge in the oven. Poor the yeast and water on and allow to bubble then use on very slow to bring into a dough which is left for around 5-7 mins turning. I then tend to 'finish by hand'


This goes in a lightly oiled bowl and left to proove. At this juncture I do one of two things depending on time either turn out very carefully onto a baking tray or knock it back and shape.

Once reprooved (where it tends to go wrong for me) Into a hot over 200-220oc with some water in the bottom until cooked.


Don't get me wrong, they won't win any beauty prizes but usualy taste great. I am a bit hit and miss.


Where I know the doughs gonna be wrong is on that second proove, sometimes at the knock back stage its gotten really slick, like a pizza dough, but sometimes not particuarly elastic, its hard to explain. Some reciped call for another five minutes of kneeding before the second rise, but it starts turning into putty for me, sticking badly to my hands etc.


Anyhow, there it is. Factors I know are not issues is the excellent yeast and flours. I have for instance made some of the nicest doughtnuts eva! Also had good results on stollen as well.


I guess I am just looking out for the 'risk' factors as to when I can expect it to go wrong. I have a lot to learn from this website it would appear!