The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why did my bread not rise?

HappyHighwayman's picture

Why did my bread not rise?

So as an experiment I made my usual sourdough leaven, and mixed the dough and then immediately put it in the fridge for rising. It rose for about 10 hours, and then I put it into some proofing baskets which I also left in the fridge for about 24 hours.

When I baked them last night, they did not rise as much as usual during the closed-lid portion of the combo cooker bake, and then did not brown as much as usual in the lid-off portion of the bake. they remained pretty flat and dense.

I sliced it up and brought it to work anyway, and though it seemed not as cooked inside as I would have liked it was still devoured.

Is it likely that I didn't give it sufficient time to rise in the fridge, or perhaps my leaven was bad? You can see how weird it came out:


Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

Looks like a classic case of over proofed bread to me.

10hr+another 24hr, even in the fridge, is a LOT of time for a ripe starter, try adjusting your times.

wally's picture

You can do a bulk fermentation overnight, retarded in your fridge, and then shape and proof and bake the next day, or you can do a normal fermentation - maybe 2 - 3 hours depending, and then shape and immediately retard overnight and bake right out of the fridge.  But in this case it looks like you've done the equivalent of both, and most likely the yeasties ran out of food.  Classic symptoms: not much rise and pale bread because all the sugars in the dough got eaten up.

Pick one or the other and you'll have better results.

Good luck,


HappyHighwayman's picture

Thanks! That makes sense. Usually I rise outside the fridge, then retard it in the proofing baskets and bake right from the fridge. These are the first loaves I've screwed up this way.