The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

focaccia dough wouldn't rise so I made flatbread

ejm's picture

focaccia dough wouldn't rise so I made flatbread

I mixed the focaccia dough at around noon. It was around 25C in the kitchen. The dough hadn't even budged by 5:00pm. Still no sign of any rising by 6:00. So I decided to cut the dough into 8 pieces and try making pitas. As I rolled out the discs, I wracked my brains trying to think what was different.
  1. I had rehydrated the yeast with cold water. That shouldn't have been a problem. It was plenty warm enough in the kitchen
  2. I had added leftover sludge after feeding the wild yeast. That shouldn't have been a problem. It wasn't that acidic. In fact there was no sour taste to the dough at all.
  3. Maybe I had added too much salt. I don't think so. It didn't taste too salty.
  4. I had added malt to the yeast. No, if anything that would have helped rather than inhibited the rise.
  5. The flour is relatively new. If at least 4 loaves of bread hadn't been made from that bag of flour, I'd have blamed the flour.

The next morning, my husband found a little dish of creamy looking water on top of the stove. There were a few fruit flies doing the breast stroke in it. The liquid smelled faintly of apples. And THAT'S why my focaccia dough refused to rise. I forgot to add the yeasted water to the dough! Quel moron. Hmmmm, if there was no yeast in the dough, these can't really be called "pitas", can they? I think they have to be considered as "chapatis" because they are yeast-free.


SylviaH's picture

  It's funny my first thought was I think the yeast was forgotten.. : )  or well stuff happens!  At least you made use of it...they look good.

Basic Flour Tortilla

4 cups A.P. Flour, or 3 cups and 1 of whole wheat, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup canola oil or crisco/lard, l 1/2 cups warm water.

Combine all with 1/2 cup water. Mix with hands and continure adding water to form ball, not to sticky...adjust. Knead 5 minutes.  Makes 8 portions...roll  into balls, cover with damp towel.  Roll out the dough, apx. 1/4 inch...I like mine very thin!  Cook on griddle about 30 seconds each side..careful not to scorch...keeping soft and flexable!

Keep a couple of weeks in frig and can freeze.


ejm's picture

I don't know why I didn't think of the yeast either. (Actually, I did and wondered if maybe our yeast had expired; it just never occurred to me that I could have forgotten to put the yeast in....) The really amazing thing is that the little bowl of yeast was sitting staring at me the whole time that I was furiously cooking the flatbread!

But I have to admit that the breads were pretty good - just not what we had planned. And I agree, Sylvia - they are quite similar to tortillas.

I didn't know that wheat flour tortillas had baking powder in them. Is that standard? Do you put baking powder in your tortillas made with cornmeal too?


SylviaH's picture

 Elizabeth I found this recipe on the internet and it came so highly recommended I had to give it a try as my husband loves Mexican food and eats a lot of flour tortillas.

I had only made them the first time a few of weeks ago and they were so easy and good....I also did not know they had baking powder in them....I'm still going to check into some of the other locals recipes..."my daughter's housekeeper today should give me an answer "Erma"  she makes great beans and rice for the boys!  In San Diego you see fresh tortillas being made by mexican ladies in front of the resturants all the time and they look so easy...they are.  I have never made the corn but I'm sure I will give them a try sooner or later.  I have been making the flour ones on my non-stick griddle but I want to try them next time in my iron frying pan...I will only cook my corn taco's with a touch of oil in an iron skillet....I'm making the grandkids chicken taco's of the families favorite for years.  I put 3 corn taco shells in the iron very hot pan with a touch of oil flip them over till they start to bubble...sprinkle with parmesean cheese and flip over to the skillet side and get them really toasty, even browned darkly on the bubbly parts and then fill with chicken and cheddar, fold brown really dark here and there!!.... and somewhat crispy as your can get with hardly any oil...we like them like that...have bowl of finely shredded lettuce, green onion, tomato, sour cream,more cheese, salsa.... on the table, beans and love it and so do the adults...we count who can eat the most....really great with taco beef also...the shredded chicken and beef is another recipe...."lol".... : )

Sylvia in San Diego