The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Newbie little experience but poor rise seems to be the norm

chasingmytail's picture

Newbie little experience but poor rise seems to be the norm


Ive been baking bread on and off for about 1 year however I have mixed results with my 2nd rise which can leave my loaf heavy.

My aim is to bake bread for my childrens lunch so it has to be highly nutritious - must be organic and have older grain such as spelt and seeds are good. 

I have a number of books - recently tried Paul Hollywoods Spelt and Rye loaf again that was very dense.

I try to mix well in the kitchenaid followed by hand however I must be doing something wrong?

Any recommendations for someone learning bread baking and recipes that are suitable.  Any help with typical mistakes and links much appreciated.






Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Is another baker with weird recipes and timings.

Are you baking sourdough? 

Here's a good recipe

Norcalbaker's picture

to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of different flours.  I in no way mean to sound rude, but in all frankness, your criteria for bread will never produce a high rise, light crumb loaf. 

Your desire and expectations for high rise, light crumb are characteristics of high gluten.  Un, the flours you want to use are some of the lowest gluten flours.

Spelt and rye are both very low gluten flours.  Low gluten means low rise and dense loaves.  
If you want to use these types of flours, and want high rise, and lighter crumb, you will have to blend with high gluten flour and/or add vital wheat gluten.  

Just read the label of a sprouted bread brand, like Ezekiel, and you'll see they contain both wheat flour and wheat gluten.  

Also, your desire to add seeds is problematic for high rise.  When you add seeds, nuts, dried fruit, or any coarse, bulky ingredients to your dough, you sever the gluten network.   A damaged gluten network will result in a lower, dense loaf. You can counter that to some degree by using vital wheat gluten nd/or adding a high gluten flour.
I understand your desire for organic flours.  I bake almost exclusively with organic ingredients.  But please don't be misled into thinking that organic is pesticide and fungicide free.   Organic just simply means the pesticides and fungicides are manufactured from non- synthetic chemicals.  Conventional pesticides and fungicides are made with synthetic chemicals.

The fact is, most "organic" pesticides and fungicides used in organic farming are just as harmful and carcinogenic as the ones used in conventional farming. Rotenone is a good example. Everyone thought is safe because it was "natural"; turned out it destroys mitochondria and has the potential to kill all animals, including humans. It also caused Parkinson's Disease in lab rats.

Many "organic" pesticides and fungicides are worse for the environment because they require significantly more product, in multiple applications to be effective. It takes 4 to 34 pounds of copper and sulfur based fungicides per acre to do the as 1.6 pounds per acre of synthetic fungicide.

I live in a major agricultural community. My front and backyards are working crop fields. I have family members who work in organic farming. Trust me, "organic" is the biggest food lie perpetrated on the public.

The USDA maintains a database of all the pesticides and fungicides allowed in "organic" farming.

chasingmytail's picture

Yes def some good points on adding seeds and low gluten - I want it all!  The photos in the books are very inaccurate unless they are using small tins?.  We are an organic farm and hence the organic farming principals in the USA and no where like the UK.  I know that there is no pesticides sprayed on the crops here.  The rules are very stringent and as a member of the Soil Association I have full faith in the system.  

Thanks - need to find recipes that mix white with whole grains.


Weizenbrot's picture

for a multigrain sandwich loaf. Hope this helps.

Norcalbaker's picture

bread books for you to use.  

I have Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Bread book. Nearly all the recipes are wheat flour with few exceptions. I think the Tartine Bread Books are considerably better.

Tartine Book No. 3 is dedicated to using whole grain blends, ancient wheats, sprouted grains, and seeds. It includes both bread and pastries. It is not a beginner's bread book, but if you have some baking knowledge and skill, determination, and willing to ride the roller coaster learning curve, then you can successfully bake bread from Book No. 3. If nutritionally sound bread is your objective, you won't find a better bread book then Tartine No. 3.  

Good for you for not using any pesticides. I'm totally cynical about organic these days. I live in California. There's really no integrity left in organic farming or certification. Giant agro-corps pretty much own all the "organic" food production companies. I think Eden is the only major organic food producer left standing independent. Even Hain Celestial Group, which owns a plethora "organic" food and cosmetic brands was sued in a class action lawsuit by the state of California for falsely labeling many of their products "organic". Hain was just one of some 25 companies all accused of a concerted and deliberate plot to misled consumers with the "organic" label.

Since giant agro-corporations like Cargill, Conagra, Kellogg, Coca Cola own all the "organic" food producers, they control who ends up on the National Organics Standards Board...which has expanded the list of allowable ingredients in organic food production to include non-organic and synthetic ingredients. Eden Foods finds the National Organics Standards Board certification such a complete farce they refuse to put the certification label on their products.

I used to work for a non-profit that represented food producers. Didn't last there long after I discovered their mission was to prevent all and any food labeling regulations from being enacted; help food producers evade responsibility when their food products cause illness and/or death; and produce highly biased and subjective "scientific" white papers to give congress the language to justify supporting giant agro-corporations' agenda.

kemptoncatdad's picture

Hey norcalbaker. Or anyone for that matter. I am looking for more information about potential health effects from consuming bread baked with flour that has been treated with synthetic fungicides. Also just interested in your thoughts in the matter after seeing your posts in this thread. 

I see two common chemicals, Prosaro and Caramba, used to treat head scab in wheat crops. The head scab problem seems to be more and more common with the climate's increasing shift toward unpredictable weather. Whether they are organic or synthetic, most wheat growers are likely to have a need for fungicides at some point.

I can understand your cynicism regards to Organic growing and the direction it's taking with the big companies. Here in PA there are still dozens of very small organic farms thankfully. It's a tough industry, considering the economics, societal consumption norms, and climate pressures that farmers have to work with. 

There is a local mill that uses grain from both organic and conventional growers, hence my quest for more understanding on the fungicide matter.

IceDemeter's picture

is going to vary depending on what final texture you want, what enrichment you are happy with including (butter, milk, honey, eggs, etc), whether you prefer sourdough or commercial yeast, and how much time you want to put in to it.

A few that I think might be suitable for you can be found here on the site:

A search for "whole grain" or "100% whole grain" on here will get you many options - and there are a number of regular posters who only work with 100% whole grain and get really nice results.

Hopefully something here will be useful for you - and remember to have fun with it!