The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

how does rise time work?

nosabe332's picture

how does rise time work?

i have a general question to all those experienced bakers.


let's say a recipe says to let the dough rise until doubled, or about 2 hours. then punch it down/fold andd let rise again.

what if my schedule is such that i have to do the folding before the dough has doubled in size? can i compensate with a longer 2nd rise?


i'm making a ciabatta and i see that the ponsford recipe calls for folding at 20 minute intervals for an hour. how would this differ from doing all 4 folds at the same time and letting it rise for an hour thereafter? 

nbicomputers's picture

every dough must have its time but time is relative

other factors affect rise time such as room temp and amount of yeast you start with.

if you want the dough to rise faster increase the amount of yeast and try to place the dough in a warm place.

slower rises will develop richer flavors but if time is a factor you can hurry things along by doing ether or both of the things above.

folding or punching the dough down makes the yeast work harder to rase the dough and increses fermantaion and helps keep the outside of the dough the same temp as the inside. it also removes the gas pockets making the dough a more solid mass this redistrubtes the yeast so active yeast cells have a fresh and greater food supply which will also speed things up. when there are a lot of holes the yeast can only eat the food they are in contact with.  folding alows a greater contact area so the yeast has more to eat.

i would not do all the folding at the same time since that would be just like kneading the dough and could result in over mixing and tearing the gluten.  also once you finish all the folding if at once the outside dough temp would get cold and slow the rise. with no further folding the outside dough temp does not have the chance to equalize with the center.  and the yeast would only have a limited food supply

give the dough the time but as i said you can keep things moving by adjusting yeast and temp.

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture

I've read the reasons before, but you have clarified them for me, nbi.  Thanks for your question nosabe!

nosabe332's picture

so, i just thought of something.

why is the first rise always until the dough doubles? why not... 1.5x or 2.5x? is 2x just an arbitrary point that just works?

if the first rise is too long, it is overproofed and falls back on itself and loses the gas, and becomes dense as a final product?

if the first rise is too short, it is underproofed and ends up not fully risen, and becomes dense as a final product?


just trying to make sense of everything i've learned and read.

i'd like to accommodate for baking during the week/during workdays, but i'd be lengthening/shortening certain wait times. i don't know if that will adversely affect the final product. any input?