The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dough doesn't rise after shaping!

Behnam's picture

dough doesn't rise after shaping!

Hey friends!!

Well, the title says it all, but let me explain more!

I've been baking for almost about a year now, and one of my favorite breads so far has been the Italian Bread, found on this website...

Now, I've made this bread around 12~13 times now, with no problems, and it always turned up amazing, until the last three tries...

1st Failed Attempt: Made the dough with malt powder (which is quire rare in Iran, by the way), it doubled in size nicely during primary fermentation, also rose great when I punched it down. Now when I tried to shape it, it had TONS of, I repeat, TONS of little bubbles around, I thought to myself, "Hey, that's good right? open crumb ftw!" so I deflated the dough a little as I shaped it, and I set it aside to rise.... Well, guess what, it didn't rise! I left it out for 3 hours, and it didn't  even show signs of life! I decided to put it in the fridge and see if it rises in there, and well, as you can already tell, nothing happened :(

2nd Failed Attempt: I decided to make it without malt powder, thinking it will rise nicely like the other times, and, uh, well, it didn't rise after shaping.... Weird....

3rd Failed Attempt: I decided to make the bread with more preferment (4 cups flour - 3 cups water - 1/4tsp yeast) and it still didn't rise after shaping


Now this is fairly new to me, why should the dough rise during its primary fermentation, but doesn't even show signs of life after shaping? Has anyone had this problem before? Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

This has really got me depressed!!


MisterTT's picture

overdoing the bulk fermentation -- the dough reaches its maximum capacity for rise during that time (especially since you say there are very many bubbles after it) and just doesn't have enough to rise a second time.

Rather than increasing preferment, you should decrease bulk fermentation time and see what happens. Also, make sure that environmental factors aren't messing up your bake: what is the temperature for bulk and final proof?

Behnam's picture

That's a nice point, but if I was overdoing the bulk fermentation, would the dough rise after I punch it down??

And I don't have a thermometer, but I put the dough in the same place I put all of my other doughs, and they all rise nicely!

Anyway, thanks for the reply, I will make another batch today and will cut the bulk fermentation time in half!

cerevisiae's picture

The bulk fermentation includes all the time in between mixing and dividing/shaping, so the rise after you punch down or fold your dough is part of the stage that may be exhausting it.

Let us know how the next batch comes out!

Behnam's picture

Wow, Thanks for your help guys, cutting the bulk fermentation time in half actually fixed things up, my loaves rose beautifully, and they taste great!!


Thanks alot !

gary.turner's picture

Peter Reinhart, in one of his books talked about time and temperature for fermentation. He gave as a rule of thumb that fermentation halved or doubled for each ±17℉ (~9.5℃) within the  rough range of 40℉ (~4℃), where yeast begins to go dormant, to 120℉ (~49℃), where yeast begins dying.

So, if your dough takes 2 hours to rise when the kitchen is 24℃, it will take about 1 hour at 33 or 34℃ and about 4 hours at 14 or 15℃.



Behnam's picture

Thanks a lot for your advice Gary, will keep it in mind!