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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to make my first loaf today.

Tell me about the rising part. How warm does it have to be? Is there a way to fake it? The house is only 65ish and I'm not sure that's warm enough.
 

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I stow mine in the microwave under the lights on the stove. Obviously the stove is off. lol. I remember Julia Childs said her proofing oven was at 70 degrees F for the dough to rise.
 
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Could you put a pan of hot water in the oven, with the oven turned off, and close the door?

That would make a warm, moist environment.
 
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Could you put a pan of hot water in the oven, with the oven turned off, and close the door?

That would make a warm, moist environment.
That's exactly what my mom does!
 
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65 is warm enough. If you need to, let it rise an extra 15 minutes if it doesn't seem to be doing its thing. You want the bread to double in size, and that may take longer, or less time than the recipe advises depending on your conditions at the time.
 
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Also take your altitude into consideration, I did not realize that when I started baking bread and screwed up about 40 or so loaves!!!!!!
My chickens ate well that month!
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you! I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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65 is warm enough. It'll rise slower, but the longer the rise, the more the flavor develops. It's risen enough when a finger lightly poked into the dough leaves a mark. When I'm in a hurry, I'll let the dough rise in the oven with the oven light turned on.
 
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I turn my oven on for a few minutes then turn it off and let in raise in the oven.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
It's rising very, very slowly. Is it just a matter of waiting it out?
 

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I used to work for a sub shop (when I was in high school) and they always proofed the bread, so I do this at home. I put a pan of water in the oven, and turn the oven on to 350, for 30 seconds (just don't leave it on longer, 30 seconds is all you need to warm up the heating element). THen pop your bread in to rise!

Just a warning, make sure you leave room for your bread to rise. I remember cleaning up a huge mess, when my bread rose and hit the rack above it. It was like a dough explosion! I was cleaning up dough for hours! So, just be sure to adjust your racks as needed!
 
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~I make bread several times a week and what works for me is using the right yeast(instant SAF is the best yeast on the planet!), using a thermometer to gauge how hot your liquid should be until you can tell without checking, kneading much less than a recipe calls for(2 minutes is more than enough as long as the dough isn't sticky. If it is it's better to adjust the water in your recipe than to add more flour at the kneading stage), putting the dough in a deep bowl and covering with a wet dishtowel. I let it rise in the oven after I've turned it on for a minute and then turned it off. At the second rise I've discovered that a crucial part of success in the finished product is to know when to preheat the oven. You have to start preheating before your dough doubles in size and you have to guess a little bit. If you start preheating after your dough has doubled then it will very likely sink in the oven and get pasty. If your dough has almost doubled when you slide it in the oven to bake it will continue to rise during the first past of baking and you'll have a nice light loaf.
How did your loaf turn out, btw?~
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok I can't get it to rise right. I've tried two times and both times it's risen slightly and then deflated. The second time I turned the oven on a moment and then turned it off to get it to rise and it did much better but after it deflated I ended up with a loaf about an inch high. :(

I need to start over. Does anyone have a good recipe that I can go off of? I've been using these instructions.

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007...-delicious-healthy-and-easier-than-you-think/

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to help me out.
 

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It sounds to me like it hasn't been kneeded enough. When you kneed dough, the water and action causes the flour proteins to form gluten, which is this stringy, elastic goo that looks awful but gives dough strength, and the ability to stretch without breaking.

Without enough gluten formation, the dough may simply be starting to rise then rupturing and allowing the gas to escape. You don't want that to happen - you want the gas trapped in a strong dough.

So kneed that puppy till you ache - or use your kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook for a good 10 - 15 minutes. Trust me, you can not over kneed dough unless you let it run for hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I did it by hand for like 10+ minutes. :(

I guess I'll try again tomorrow.
 

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This is the recipe I use. It was Tawra Kellem's recipe but I tweaked it and made it even better.It's a recipe for rolls but will make a loaf of bread just as easily. I often double or triple and once even quadrupled this recipe with success.

90 minute rolls

2 -2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp sugar

1 pkg or 1 Tbsp yeast ( I use 1 Tbsp)

3/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp butter

Mix most of the flour with the salt, sugar and yeast. Melt butter over medium heat. Add milk and heat until very warm, 120 - 130 degrees. Add to flour mixture and beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the rest of the flour and beat for 2 minutes on high. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff, but not hard dough. You just want it to be no longer sticky. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Oil a bowl well. Place dough in oiled bowl and turn over, making sure both sides are coated. Let rise 15 minutes or until about double in size. It's ready when you poke it quickly with your finger and the dent remains.

Divide dough into 12 pieces for rolls or shape into a loaf. Brush with oil and let rise to double. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees. You can place the pan on the oven while the dough is rising. The warmth will help it rise.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes. Brushing melted butter a couple of times during the last 10 minutes of baking will give you a softer, buttery crust. I even brush it a few more times while it's cooling. It makes the crust taste amazing!

Remove from pan and allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before cutting to keep it from crumbling. An electric knife will give you more even slices.

** A loaf of bread is done when it is golden brown and sounds hollow when you thump it.

** If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook, it is wonderful for making bread! Simply add enough flour and let it knead until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the dough from the sides of the mixing bowl.

I have never had loaf of bread fail when I've used this recipe. Good luck!
 

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I don't do this often but when I need pizza dough or bread dough to rise in a hurry I sometimes cheat by putting the bowl in the microwave along with a mug of water and nuke it on the lowest power setting (power 1 on my microwave) for 6 minutes. Then shape it and let it finish rising while I'm slicing veggies and grating cheese for pizza.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again guys. Does it matter much whether I use rapid rise or dry active? I've tried both.
 

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I buy my yeast in bulk and can't remember which one I purchased. However, I don't think it matters with my recipe. I don't know if it would matter with other recipes or not.
 
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