The Fresh Loaf

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Question on rising, over rising, and 'sour taste'

mikeofaustin's picture

Question on rising, over rising, and 'sour taste'

A couple of questions came to me after being at While reading, I see the statement

"Rising is where the dough is placed in a warm place and allowed to double in volume. (Some peasant breads are allowed to raise to triple volume). Usually a dough goes through two rising periods, the first after mixing and the second after shaping, except for Artisan breads, which usually go through one. Those made with Instant Active Dry Yeast require only one."


This confuses me because I always witness 2 rises...  the initial rise, and then the second rise after shaping.  Does this mean, that after shaping, you put it directly in the oven and not allow for second rise?   Then, the final sentence adds to the confusion. What is different about active dry yeast that makes it only need 1 rise?  I see many recipes call for two rises with active dry yeast.   Can someone please explain to me what I'm missing?


Also, what would be considered 'too long' of a rise. I've let dough rise for 2 or 3 hours, then final proof for another hour after shaping.  I'll use typically 1% active dry yeast. Would this cause sour taste?

sphealey's picture

Most artisan recipes will call for:

  1. A mixing, which may include one or more rest periods of 5-20 minutes
  2. Some type of kneading or repeated folding
  3. A first rise of 30-60 minutes
  4. A "turn", which is a folding of the dough
  5. A second rise of 30-60 minutes
  6. Gentle deflation (and sometimes preshaping)
  7. Shaping
  8. A final rise ("proof) of 60-120 minutes
  9. Baking

Steps 3-5 are sometimes called "primary fermentation". The number and length of rising times will depend on the exact recipe and the grains used (recipes with a lot of rye generally have shorter rising times, for example).

Different yeast manufacturers in North American use different terms for their yeasts. In general, active dry and instant (also known as Bread Machine Yeast) will behave the same way and can be used in any recipe.  Rapid Rise yeasts have added chemicals that are intended to reduce the rising time to 1 hour; artisan bakers usually avoid this type.

Very mild sour flavors might result from putting the dough in the refrigerator for one of the rises or the final proof. But generally you have to use a sourdough starter ("natural yeast" or "natural levan") to get a sour San Francisco-type flavor.





staff of life's picture
staff of life

Baking 911, if memory serves correct (I'm too lazy to go there now), doesn't have the best information.  For better information, I recommend a site called The Fresh Loaf. (smile)  I believe Baking 911 recommends using 110 degree water, for example, which is a bad idea.  I can't think of any loaf I've made, using commercial yeast or sourdough as leaven, that didn't have 2 rises.  Loaves very full of rye tend to have very short fermentations and/or proofings, but they're treated very differently altogether.

As for what rise is too long, it entirely depends on the dough.  One hour fermentation can be too long for a heavily yeasted loaf in a warm room; sourdoughs can be fermented overnight in a refrigerator and still not be fully risen.  So long as there is food for the yeast, you're fine.  Doubling normally is the rule of thumb, but this also varies with each particular bread.  An indentation that very slowly fills in normally indicates the dough is ready to go.


Floydm's picture

Yeah... that statement isn't really wrong, per se, but... well... hm... maybe it is.

If you were to look up how to make a simple loaf of bread in a book like "The Joy of Cooking" or "Betty Crocker's Baking Book", it most likely would suggest 2 rises in a warm place: the first after mixing, the second after shaping. This is the standard American method for making a loaf of bread and the one I'd use if I was making rolls for dinner and it was already past lunch time. I don't think the type of yeast would make a difference in this approach, just active dry yeast would need to be activated in warm water before being blended with the rest of the ingredients.

As you'll see if you hang out here or pick up a book just about bread baking, there are a lot of different ways you can make a loaf of bread. In fermentation you've basically got three variables: time, temperature, and the amount of leavening (wait, make that four: hydration. Or 5: protein. Oh dear...). The most complex flavors tend to come from long, slow fermentation, so artisan bread recipes tend to favor extremely small amounts of yeast and superextended rises that may involve folding or punching down the dough more than once. The super popular no-knead technique involves using just a pinch of yeast and bulk fermenting for around 18 hours. There are recipes that call for 3 or 4 rises before shaping, others just a single rise. So there definitely is more than one way of doing it; it just depends on the type of bread you are trying to bake and how much time you have. If you can plan further ahead, you'll usually be more impressed with the results.

Back to your question though: I don't believe 2 or 3 hours is an unreasonable amount of time to allow a loaf to rise if you are only using 1% yeast or if the room is cold. If it doesn't look ready to bake but it is continuing to rise, give it more time until you think it is ready to bake.

I hope that helps!