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Thread: My Bread Didn't Rise!! Help!
02-21-2009, 04:37 PM #1
My Bread Didn't Rise!! Help!
I haven't made white bread for years, so since we're snowed in today, I thought I'd give it a try.
Anyway, I measured, checked temps, etc. twice, just to make sure.
Two hours later, it's sitting in the bowl - I swear it's laughing at me -as it stubbornly refuses to rise.
Does anyone know a nifty, FV fix for this?
I'll figure out what happened later. I would just like to salvage this lot in some way, if possible. Bake it up to feed the birds?
- 02-21-2009, 04:42 PM #2
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Was the yeast expired? Is your house cold? If yeast is old, it may not work. Nothing to do but start over.
If your house is cold, put the oven on with just the light, and put the bowl in there. See if that will help.
02-21-2009, 04:49 PM #3
And, if that doesn't help, make tortillas! Maybe they'll be thick tortillas... If the family doesn't buy the excuse that you wanted to try to make tortillas, just tell them you were trying to make flat bread like Jesus ate back in his time...
02-21-2009, 04:51 PM #4
I checked the date on the yeast before I started, and it was still good. I tried putting it in a warm oven, but so far nothing.
I'll give it a little longer.
Rats, it smells so GOOD. What a disappointment.
02-21-2009, 04:51 PM #5
I can't help with that batch, but what I like to do is proof the yeast first. I measure out the water that the recipe calls for, and add the yeast. I like to add a sprinkle of sugar even if the recipe doesn't call for it. Let that sit for about 10 minutes. It should have foamed by then.
Bakers proof yeast before mixing dough in order to determine if the yeast is alive and active, or dead and a dud. If you've ever gone through the trouble to assemble ingredients, mix up wheat bread dough (or dough for sweet rolls or other yeast-risen breads), knead the dough for ten minutes, and then set the dough to rise for an hour and a half...only to find out that it hasn't risen one grain, then you know the importance of proofing the yeast beforehand.
02-21-2009, 05:12 PM #6
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Bread is one of the most humbling foods to make! I make all our breads and even teach bread classes and bread machine classes, and it still likes to occasionally make a "brick". And saying you " swear it's laughing at me" isn't far from the truth. I've had some say nanny-nanny poo-poo.
1. Did you proof the yeast in water? If so, what temperature was the water? Did you check the water temperature with an instant read thermometer or just guess? If the water temperature was too hot, you could have killed the yeast, if too cold, Glutathione will leak out of the yeast cells, causing dough strength to be weakened.
Add yeast to water, not water to yeast. Water crashing down on the yeast can actually kill some of it from the impact. Don't vigourously stir the yeast/sweetener/water together. That can also kill yeast.
2. If you proofed the yeast in water and it didn't double in bulk in the measuring cup, it was probably inactive to begin with.
3. I'd be more concerned about using too warm a temperature for bulk fermentation, rather than too cold. Since there was NO rise at all after two hours (at least that's how I read it), it's not going to rise. Even in the cold confines of a refrigerator 40°F or colder, dough will continue to rise, so nearly any room temperature that is warmer than a refrigerator, dough will rise.
If you used a pre-heated oven as a proofing box, most people don't check the actual temperature of the oven before popping the dough into it. You need temperatures under 90°F, and between 80°-85°F are great. I agree with Checks method - using the oven with the light on. Even using this method in my oven, I find I need to keep the dough as far away from the light as possible because it's too warm next to the light.
4. Can it be saved? Bernard Clayton published this method in one of his cookbooks:
If the dough refuses to rise, you may have forgotten the yeast or the yeast may have been outdated and dead. Don't throw the dough away. Start a new batch of dough but make certain the yeast - in the amount specific in the recipe - is among the ingredients. After the dough is mixed, blend the two doughs. There will be more than enough healthy yeast cells to go around. OR dissolve the yeast in a small amount of water and work this into the dough. It will be a little sticky mess in the beginning, but the yeast will be absorbed.
[Grainlady note: If you use the "add new yeast" described above, stick your old dough in a large zip-lock (freezer-style) plastic bag and add the new proofed yeast mixture. Press out all the air you can from the bag and zip shut. It's a heck of a lot easier to knead the new yeast into the dough through the plastic bag. When it's all incorporated, push the dough to one side, un-zip the bag and turn the bag inside out to get the dough out. Pitch the bag, this is one bag that isn't worth the trouble to clean to reuse. There are Bread-in-a-Bag methods for making bread (great for kids and beginners) and it's a method I suggest for people who work with rye in a dough. Rye tends to make dough sticky and people compensate by adding too much flour. Kneading the rye bread dough in a bag can assist in getting a loaf instead of a "brick".]
I never seem to have a short answer........... It's the teacher in me!
02-21-2009, 05:13 PM #7
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Was there enough sugar or white flour? Did you put too much salt in it? Are you sure that your water was not too hot?
Another thought to rescue it is to make pitas, Stromboli or put it in the fridge for a day and make another batch tomorrow (one that rises) and then mix them together during the second rise (for an hour or two). I've done this and it gives the bread a more sourdough flavor as the failed batch has time to ferment a bit.
Hope you don't give up on bread making!
02-21-2009, 06:01 PM #8
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I always had trouble getting mine to raise.
While talking to my mom she said to put a pan of boiling water in the oven and then put the dough on the rack on top.
Since doing this I have not had problems getting it to raise.
02-21-2009, 07:01 PM #9
I tried a couple of variations of your suggestions and I didn't have to throw the whole batch out. Thanks, everybody.
I took half, rolled it out flat and cut it with my biscuit cutter. They puffed a little during baking and browned beautifully. Delicious with veggie soup, even if they are kinda' flat.
For the other half, I used a trick from my grandmother. (She always used up everything and did this with left-over pie crust scraps.) I rolled this half out as flat as possible, spread it with butter and cinnamon sugar and rolled it up like a jelly roll. Sliced and baked like pinwheel cookies, they're sweet, but not too sweet.
Next time I will definately proof my yeast first!!
02-22-2009, 09:00 PM #10
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Wow! Look how much good information we get from one little flub! lol
I'm gonna print out all these suggestions and try making some bread next weekend. I got the homemade bug in me!
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