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No Knead Bread not rising properly.

I've had the same problem twice now with the Sullivan Street No-Knead Bread recipe. The dough rises properly the first rise but then once I put it on the towel for the second rise, it doesn't do anything. Is my yeast too old?

asked by Meatballs&Milkshakes over 4 years ago
12 answers 5559 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 4 years ago

Sounds like that could be the issue, though not sure why then it would rise ok the first time. When did you buy your yeast and how was it stored?

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added over 4 years ago

It's probably about a month and a half old and it's been stored in the fridge. This happened to me last time too though, is it possible I'm letting it rise too much the first time?

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added over 4 years ago

Can you try baking after the first rise?

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added over 4 years ago

I've made this bread many times. I use instant yeast that I buy in bulk online from King Arthur; it keeps indefinitely in a glass jar in the freezer. I find that giving the dough at least 15 hours (up to 18) on the first rise gives the best flavor. The second short rise should be in a warmer place than the first long one (which can be at room temp.). Perhaps your second rise is taking place in a spot that is too cool?

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added over 4 years ago

Maybe, its a warm room temp but I don't have anywhere warmer. I'm about to give up and go back to a kneading recipe...

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Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

What flour type and brand did you use?
Weigh the flour. I failed a few times with it not rising because the recipe uses AP flour. And in the south Gold Medal AP is much softer than USDA AP flour. 135g/cup vs 125g/cup for USDA. And with the no-kneed recipe I found that makes a big diffrence. When I weighed Gold Medal AP out it worked perfectly.
I also turn the oven on 200 for about 5mins just to get it warm a bit for the second rise. I do the first rise in a warmish oven also with a towel around it help hold in heat overnight.

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added over 4 years ago

Hmmm, that's a good point. I didn't weigh the flour but I will try doing that next time. Also, great tip with the warm oven, I will definitely try that as well. Thanks!

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added over 4 years ago

I agree with Sam1148 about weighing the flour. His advice about warming the oven is smart, as well. By the way, this recipe is delicious with a swap of 3/4 cup whole wheat flour for white.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

I'm not a huge fan of no knead breads. I haven't looked at the recipe you're using, but mu guess is that it's rising too much too fast on the first rise. The kneading process, whether by hand or by mixer, stretches and folds gluten molecules (gluten being the protein in flour) to get them to come along with you in terms building structure in bread. I have no idea when when kneading got a bad name in steps of kneading bread. For some things, there are no short cuts. Need more info?

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added over 4 years ago

I think I'm beginning to agree, thanks for weighing in! I should have gone with your recipe that I was looking at!

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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 4 years ago

CRS, how long is your first rise? Also the cooler temperature shouldn't matter so much -- many bakeries let their bread rise slowly in coolers.

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added over 4 years ago

The recipe calls for 12-18 hours in the first rise, so I left it for about 18 hours.