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!

newtobread's picture

i am an extreme newcomer, and also have some follow-up questions re: rising.

i tried my first yeasted pastry ("brioche" recipe from the Cheeseboard Collective recipes book), and although i turned my oven on and thermostat up slightly in my apartment, my dough did not double in size after an hour. i waited another hour, and still it did not reach anywhere near double in size, though it certainly got larger than when i initially mixed it (perhaps 1 and 1/3 or 1 1/2 its original size?).

being rather pressed for time, i have considered trying making the dough at night and letting it rise overnight in the fridge, as directed by the book. however, i also work during the day, so i can't give the dough the hour it needs to sit out in a warm place prior to prepping and baking.

so my basic question is: if my recipe says it's okay to leave it rising slowly in the fridge overnight, am i in danger of having the dough deflate back to its original size if i continue to let it rise all day? should i lessen the yeast requested in the recipe (2 1/4 tsp), or should i leave it as is and just modify my rising time?

nbicomputers's picture

brioche is a very rich dough and because of that it can take a long time to rise.  to speed things up and end up with a strong enough dough to not fall back  most doughs of this type is made with a preferment

a small amount of the water and the yeast is mixed with the flour and alowed to rise  that should take about an hour.  after that all of the rest would be added to the first dough along with (sometimes) more yeast this would be mixed to a final dough and aloud to rise a second time or just rest for a short time before you would make the final shape.  that would once again aloud to rise (final proof) before it would be washed with egg or whatever and baked

yes you can retard (put in the fridge) the final dough over night and use it the next morning.

but also ask you self

if using dry yeast did you disolve it in the right temp of water (between 100-105F)
and did you wait about 10 minutes before puting it in the dough to give it the time to activate

did you keep the yeast in water from direct contact with salt or sugar

direct contact with salt or sugar will kill yeast as will using water that is to hot.  if the water is to cold the yeast wiss not hydrate properly and you would have a large quanty of dead yeast cells whish would slow down and soften your dough.

finaly was the dry yeast fresh expiration date check

i find that rich breads like this do much better with fresh active yeast if you can find it in a supermarked or get a little from a bakery or pizza place,

if you can get fresh yeast use twice the amount of dry yeast called for.

i hope this helps

i have a good recipe for brioche taken from the bakery i used to work for. i will post it along with instructions in another thread if you would like it but i think there are many allready posted here.

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?