Newbie Yeast Question - why didn't my dough double in size?
Hi, I’m new to bread making, so apologize if my question is rather simplistic.
I made my first loaf of general cheese bread – from a random recipe from a cookbook. It called for one packet of yeast but gave the option for two packets if you particularly liked yeasty bread, which I do. According to the recipe, it said to take 1 ¼ cup of warm water and dissolve my yeast packets in them for 15 min. The recipe also stated I should as a teaspoon of sugar. After mixing the yeast, sugar and water and letting it sit for the required time, it should double in size. However, the directions on the back of the Fleischman’s yeast packet said to dissolve one packet of yeast in ¼ cup of warm water with one teaspoon – no mention of doubling in size or what to do if you were using two yeast packets. I wasn’t sure which directions to use, so I put two yeast packets in 1 ¼ cup of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar and let is sit for 15 min. (I microwave my water and it was warm to my fingers but not hot) It did not double but everything was dissolved so I figured I might as well move forward.
After mixing all my ingredients, including cheese, 1 egg, salt, pepper and white flower, I kneaded it (I LOVE kneading) and put is in a lightly oiled large bowl, covered it and placed it in a warm place to double in size. The dough never entirely doubled and there was none of the ballooning or punching down that I expected. I let it sit for over 2 hours. After the initial resting period, I followed the directions and kneaded the bread lightly and then placed it in my bread pan which was lightly oiled and floured. I then let it sit covered and in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. It rose only slightly – as it did the first time.
I’ve since baked it and it tasted great – but was very, very dense. I think I should have cut the dough in half and put only half the dough in my pan since the middle of my bread was still a bit chewy.
Did I mess up my yeast? Whey didn’t my dough double? While the dough had this fantastic smell and the texture of it was so soft and pillowy, I was disappointed that I didn’t achieve this voluminous doubling. What did I do wrong?
Finally, how does one change the density of the baked bread – I’d like learn how to make dense bread, chewy bread and light/airy bread. Thoughts?