The Fresh Loaf

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HELP - Bread did not rise

Ilse's picture

HELP - Bread did not rise

Good morning

I bake about 50 loaves for the local morning market.  Last night my loaves just did not want to rise. It is freezing here in South Africa and I was wondering if the cold could have killed the yeast.  I autolyzed my flour with lukewarm water, but by the time I added the rest of the ingredients, the water was icecold already.  I have always done it this way, but was wondering if the very cold weather could've been the cause.  We don't have any heaters going except the fireplace.  I do have a prover, but while the large amounts of dough is in the bowls busy autolyzing, it doesn't fit in the prover.  I am going to test the yeast today, since it was a new packet that I opened yesterday.

Kind regards


pmccool's picture

The cold did not kill your yeast, but it did slow the growth rate considerably.  You can do either of two things.  One, maintain a warmer environment for the dough while it autolyses and/or ferments.  Two, allow for much longer fermentation times at ambient temperatures.  

The first choice is probably better in your situation, since you need to have the bread ready by a specific time.  Since your prover space is limited, you can add to it by using one or more large picnic coolers.  Arrange your bowls and a container of hot water inside the cooler and close the lid.  That is what I used to do on cold winter days in Pretoria and it worked wonderfully. 

By the way, rectangular plastic tubs will allow you to fit more dough in your existing or improvised prover space than will round bowls.