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Old 09-30-2009, 01:07 PM   #1
AngelaVA
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Default My bread never rises very big

My bread is really yummy but it never rises up much above the top of the loaf pan. I do proof my yeast and it gets all bubbly and foamy. I tried adding more yeast this time but it didn't help. Is it possible I just don't have enough bread dough for the size of the pan? What else would you try?
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

no, adding more yeast should not make much of a difference.

are you using a bread machine or hand method?

with the hand method you need to be sure not to get your liquid too hot. the italian grandmother taught me to put my finger in the liquid...it should be warm but not so hot you have to pull your finger out of the pan kind of thing....clear as mud..eh? but, you can burn it a bit and it won't work as well.

in the bread machine I notice that when my yeast sits too long on the shelf it does not work as well....I do store mine in the fridge too.

hoping others give you some good tips!
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

I use a kitchen aid mixer and bake it in the oven. If the water was too hot or too cold would the yeast still 'proof'? I do store my yeast in the fridge.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

nope...yeast is VERY picky....water temp has to be just right.

my guess is it is too hot.

hot lukewarm is probably best
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

What about your recipe? Do you have enough sugars in there to feed the yeast? Does it just need to rise longer? Cooler ambient temps, among other factors, affect rising time. Other possibilities include too much salt or other yeast-checking agent or temperature problems (as previously mentioned).

ALSO I have found that using narrow pans makes a huge, enormous difference in how well the bread rises. Using a 9X5 loaf pan won't give you as light and high of a loaf as an 8X4 pan. Big, BIG difference IME. I actually bought extra deep tapered loaf pans a long time ago because I was baking all our bread and it made such a difference. 9X5 pans are more appropriate for quick breads than yeast breads.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

Over mixing the dough can also cause the bread to not rise as well. I've only ever hand mixed bread dough
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iarwain View Post
What about your recipe? Do you have enough sugars in there to feed the yeast? Does it just need to rise longer? Cooler ambient temps, among other factors, affect rising time. Other possibilities include too much salt or other yeast-checking agent or temperature problems (as previously mentioned).

ALSO I have found that using narrow pans makes a huge, enormous difference in how well the bread rises. Using a 9X5 loaf pan won't give you as light and high of a loaf as an 8X4 pan. Big, BIG difference IME. I actually bought extra deep tapered loaf pans a long time ago because I was baking all our bread and it made such a difference. 9X5 pans are more appropriate for quick breads than yeast breads.
Excellent questions.

My recipe

1/3 C honey
1/3 C oil
2 1/2 C warm water
1 1/2 T yeast
2 T vital wheat gluten
2 t salt
6-7 cups whole wheat flour

Sound like enough sweetener? Too much salt?

I can let it rise all day in a warm oven, it still never rises enough.

I am using 9x5 pans

Possibly my water is too warm too.

Thanks for the suggestions I am excited to have some more things to try anyway. I just made bread today so I won't be able to try them for a week or two.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

My first guess would be the water temp too.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaVA View Post
Excellent questions.

My recipe

1/3 C honey
1/3 C oil
2 1/2 C warm water
1 1/2 T yeast
2 T vital wheat gluten
2 t salt
6-7 cups whole wheat flour

Sound like enough sweetener? Too much salt?

I can let it rise all day in a warm oven, it still never rises enough.

I am using 9x5 pans

Possibly my water is too warm too.

Thanks for the suggestions I am excited to have some more things to try anyway. I just made bread today so I won't be able to try them for a week or two.
Your recipe looks fine. It's similar to mine and I don't ever proof the yeast and I use cold water. I only use 1/2 cup of oil for 3 loaves, so you could probably reduce your oil to 1/4 cup. But I don't think that would make a difference in rising.

I think it's your pans. Walmart sells 8x4 glass pans for less than $5 a piece. They work great.

Also make sure you knead long enough. You have to develop the gluten.
I knead for 8 minutes and I time it. (Although I cheat and use a HD mixer, but I used to do it by hand.)
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

because, no matter what i try, I am the Bread Killer.

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Old 09-30-2009, 04:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

Bread needs a warm place to rise, too. Mine won't rise well on the counter. I have a gas oven, so the pilot alone keeps it just a bit warm. My bread rises great in there.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

Yeah, your recipe looks good. That's more honey and oil than what I use and about the same amount of salt per loaf. It should still rise just fine with that.

The rule of thumb I like for the water temp is that it should be like a baby's bath water, warm to the touch but not uncomfortably hot. For kneading I find that I need to check it by hand after the mixer has done its job. It should spring back nicely into a ball when it's done and should be fairly smooth. There's a certain texture it needs to have and I don't entirely trust mixers to get it just right. That's probably personal bias there - I do use a K-tec mixer to knead my dough but for years I did it all by hand and I find it get a smoother dough if I finish out with just a few turns by hand. I oil the counter and my hands rather than flouring them because it's easy to add too much flour when working with whole wheat flour. I personally like to do a first rising in the bowl and a second in the pans because I find that it does rise more that way.

My assumption, though, from all the info you've provided is that your pans are the main reason for it. Your recipe is about half of mine and that volume of flour per loaf (I'm assuming this is a 2-loaf recipe - mine is 4) definitely rises better in the narrower pans. That's easy enough to fix.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

that would be sad news for my nice stone bread pans...but I'd better give smaller pans a try.

I measure the water temp with a thermometer. That's how desperate I got to To It Right. and still, the bread is...less than wonderful, shall we say
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:50 AM   #14
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

I think my water has been too warm, warmer than baby bath water for sure. Wondering, if smaller pans was not an option, would increasing the amount of dough have the same effect i.e. making 1 1/2 times my 2 loaf batch
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: My bread never rises very big

You could try a cold rise. It works well for me. Mix your dough at night and let rise, covered, in the fridge. Set it out in the morning to warm up. Knead a bit. Put in your pans. Let rise. Bake. I, also, put the bread in the oven while it preheats.

I never use warm water with yeast. Just cold. And, I keep the yeast in the freezer.
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