bread not rising!

This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  PJBR 5 years, 3 months ago.

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  • Hi all,

    Been trying to make my own bread. Did it successfully the first time but not since then.

    Below are my ingredients and the method. Personally, i think its my kneading as the dough is not elastic when i put it into the bread tin.

    Any help/advice/tips on where i am going wrong and how to improve would be welcomed, thanks!

    500g strong wholemeal flour
    7g yeast sachet
    3 TBSP olive oil
    pinch salt
    pinch sugar
    300ml tepid (warm) water

    add the flour to the mixing bowl and add pinch salt
    make a well and add the oil
    add yeast to tepid water and sprinkle some sugar
    mix the yeast mixture and then leave for 5mins
    after 5mins add the yeast mix to the mixing bowl and begin mixing dry and wet.
    knead for 10mins
    leave to prove for 2hr with clingfilm covered
    after 2hr knead for 5mins and then add to bread tin
    place warm teatowell over the tin and leave to prove for 1hr
    then place in oven at 200 degrees for 30/35mins

    Hi, I bake my own bread so I’ll try to help.

    I don’t see any inherent problem with your recipe.
    If the bread dough isn’t rising when you leave it to prove, the most likely problem is with the yeast. To test whether your yeast is still viable, put 1 tsp of it into a small bowl and mix with 1/2 cup of tepid water and a pinch of sugar. Leave it for 20 minutes. After this time the mixture should have increased in volume and be covered with lots of frothy bubbles. If it isn’t, then you need to replace your yeast.
    If your yeast does behave as described then the only other thing I can think of is the temperature that the dough proving in. Rather than leaving the dough to rise for 2 hours, I leave it to prove until it has at least doubled in size. On a hot summer’s day that may take an hour, in winter it may take 3-4 unless I can find a warm spot for it.

    You also mentioned concerns about your kneading technigue. It might be worth watching a couple of youtube videos. Personally I use an electric mixer with a dough hook, although I did originally learn to make bread by hand – arthritis makes that difficult these days. Something I remember being taught was that after kneading, the dough should feel like the texture of your earlobe – soft and a bit spongy.

    I hope your next batch of bread works.

    Thanks for the helpful reply.

    The dough does rise on the first prove so not sure whether it’s the yeast. But maybe I’m leaving it out too long?

    Yes, I think I need to watch some videos on kneading. Either am kneading too hard or not the correct way?

    Added to what LJoyce said, it may be that your second rising is too long. It can go in the oven as soon as it is close to doubled in size. Then it rises more in the heat of the oven.

    Thanks for that. Yes, a friend said he puts it into the oven after the first prove but leaves it overnight in the fridge to prove. I did that and the inside was not even cooked through?

    The inside was probably cold and didn’t heat up quickly enough to cook.

    Keep trying, once you get it right, you’ll have it for life..

    PS This is the bread I make:

    I think you’re right about it being cold. Will not put in fridge this time. Sure, will check out your vid!


    I agree with Cinque’s advice on the second prove and the shaped dough needing to be warm when it goes in the oven. I have left shaped rolls or bread to do its final prove in the fridge overnight, but it needs to go into a warm place for a couple of hours in the morning before you can bake it.

    Unlike Cinque I don’t follow a recipe I just add what I feel like until the dough looks right – not helpful for someone starting out I know.

    I often find my bread takes longer than 30 minutes to bake. I usually check it after 30 minutes by tipping it out of the tin and taping the bottom with my knuckles. The type of hollow sound that it makes tells me how much moisture is left. I rarely bake a loaf for less than 40 minutes. The only times I’ve found 30 minutes adequate is when using either a cast iron baking vessel or a pizza stone to bake the bread on. (The extra heat from the cooking vessel seems to cook the dough through to the centre faster.)
    I’ve developed my own little routine with oven temps for baking bread. To make sure it’s properly cooked but not burned I normally start with a hot oven at 220C for the first 10 minutes. Then I turn it down to 190C for another 20 minutes. If it’s not cooked through but has a dark enough crust I turn the oven down to 160C and give it another 10-15 minutes. If the crust could use more colour I turn the oven to 180C for those last 10-15 minutes.
    None of this comes from a recipe, it’s just me learning how dough and my oven behave over the years.
    I would err on the side of over baking if you aren’t sure it’s cooked. By using a lower temperature for the extra baking you won’t ruin the loaf, the worst that will happen is that the end slices will be dry – but the middle will be cooked.

    Thanks for this.

    Yes, the previous attempts made i have seen 30/35 mins is not enough. Also agree that it’s a matter of trial and error as one develops their own method tailored to the kitchen environment in which they bake.

    But at the moment i still trying to reach that 95% complete before i start making subtle changes to reach perfection.

    …by the way, if it doubles on the first proof am going to stick it in the oven and not bother with the second proof.

    Just to update. I tried again last night and the bread does rise but the inside is not cooked through and still doughy!

    How long did you cook it for, and at what temperature?
    Some ovens are pretty dodgy, and are actually not as hot as the dial says.

    Maybe add on another 20 minutes next time.

    Yes, I think you’re right. Speaking to my friend today he suggested lowering the temp from 200C to 180C and leaving for 50mins. Definitely feel it should be in the oven longer.

    Startercook, I make my own bread, using fresh yeast in a block. I don’t add sugar – fresh yeast doesn’t need it. My kitchen is cold in winter and it can take more than a couple of hours to rise. I then knock it back, and at that point, no matter how warm the kitchen or the water used, the dough feels cold. The second rising shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes, because it will go on rising a little as you cook it.

    I always bake at 200C – but not fan. Have you got an oven thermometer? Worth checking, as every oven is different.

    Elizabeth David recommends warming the bowl and even the flour a little before adding everything else.

    Are you using fast action yeast? Check the sell-by date on the packet. I used this one day last month to see what difference it made, and frankly, it was as easy to use fresh yeast and took no longer. I follow Paul Hollywood’s advice and simply crumble the yeast into the flour and salt, add the oil and water, and knead. There is no need to put the yeast in water first. I don’t use a tin, just a baking sheet with a piece of baking paper on it – no oil. Slashing the top speeds things up a little in the second rising. It works every time.

    If your bread doesn’t sound hollow when you tap the bottom, put it back in the oven out of the tin and upside down for another 5-10 minutes.

    Hope this helps.

    It’s got to be the yeast.

    I could never do bread. Eventually I started doing it all in slow motion, with a thermometer and a great deal of angst. Eventually it got easier. I usually just get stuff to about 90 degrees – 95 degrees farenheit (33 -35 celsius?) throw a pinch of sugar in whether the recipe says so or not. Sprinkles the yeast onto the water. (And if it doesn’t all seem to be getting activated I might give it a little swish.)

    Another trick for getting the yeast to be cooperative is a pinch of ginger powder.

    Also, youtube is your friend. Seeing what you’re looking for really is useful.

    To be honest, have not had the chance to try again. The last few attempts I varied the method and tweaked the ingredients slightly but still not rising.

    Have tried YouTube and you get different methods and opinions. Think there is something I am obviously doing wrong and will just have to keep practising when I get the time.

    Oh, I meant to tell you this, I bloom my yeast in the microwave. I heat some water in it, take the water out and put my yeast water sugar ginger mixture in there where it’s warm and steamy but not actually hot.

    maybe instead of yeast, use soda?

    When using whole grains for bread I always add ΒΌ cup gluten to get it to rise and have found this to be the answer.

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