My bread won't rise the second time around... And it's hurting me on so many levels.. And #2: how do you actually tell when dough has doubled

Twice now, I have made Smitten Kitchens whole grain cinnamon swirl bread, and twice it is hard and dense. The first time, I think I had not such great yeast because it didn't really rise so well, maybe it didn't double at all. ? The second one, I a bought fresh 1lb bag of Saf-yeast and the first rise was amazing, but now I'm thinking maybe too much?? I think I don't know how to tell when the dough is doubled.

Also - I have the cuisanart steam oven and so my 2nd proof is in there with 100 degree steam.

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pierino
pierino April 18, 2014

You can buy inexpensive, graded plastic buckets in just about any size. You can go to a restaurant supply or to King Arthur. The various levels are marked on the outside so you can easily see when your dough has doubled.

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Julie
Julie April 18, 2014

Over-rising could definitely be an issue. These are great for proofing dough: http://www.kingarthurflour...

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ChefJune
ChefJune April 18, 2014

My experience with baking bread (more than 60 years) is that you are highly unlikely to overrise on the first rise. It's the second rise you need to be careful of. If you assess what your dough looks like in the bowl when you start the first rise, you should be able to see when it has doubled in bulk. Exact doubling is not necessary. I prefer to err on the side of bigger. My guess is that you are not kneading the bread enough in the first place. It is virtually impossible to knead whole grain breads too long. And those with less gluten in them are likely to rise less than you'd like. I'va always advised a minimum of 20 minutes for kneading whole wheat/grain breads. It works for me.

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Stephanie
Stephanie April 18, 2014

Thank you so much, all of you, for the suggestions! I still half of the dough (recipes makes 2 loaves) - I pulled it out of the fridge this morning. June, you could be right, because I've been using my food processor with dough hook to do much of the called for kneading; this is definitely not as good as a mixer would be, and much of the dough isn't touching the hook at all due the size and design of the machine.. Do you think it would work to take this second loaf - which has risen once and sat in the fridge two days - and knead it for a bit, and then shape, fill, roll and let rise again? If yes, how long should I knead it for? Thanks so much!!!

Stephanie
Stephanie April 18, 2014

Thank you so much, all of you, for the suggestions! I still half of the dough (recipes makes 2 loaves) - I pulled it out of the fridge this morning. June, you could be right, because I've been using my food processor with dough hook to do much of the called for kneading; this is definitely not as good as a mixer would be, and much of the dough isn't touching the hook at all due the size and design of the machine.. Do you think it would work to take this second loaf - which has risen once and sat in the fridge two days - and knead it for a bit, and then shape, fill, roll and let rise again? If yes, how long should I knead it for? Thanks so much!!!

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jamcook
jamcook April 18, 2014

SAF Yeast rises very slowly. or that has been my experience.. also that bread is almost all whole grans..which also rises more slowly with less rise. Maybe as a beginning bread baker, you should try a bread with more all purpose flour or bread flour and either Fleishmans or Red Star Yeast.. Active dry yeast (not the rapid rise, as it really isn't so rapid.) Once you have some success with a really easy bread , you will have your confidence back, Baking bread is such a great pleasure , and watching it rise is so miraculous...Dont give up..just work your way up. Try the King Arthur website for some good suggestions with lots of step by step instructions. Good Luck.

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ChefJune
ChefJune April 18, 2014

Stephanie, I'm a proponent of kneading the old fashioned way -- by hand!

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Stephanie
Stephanie April 18, 2014

Thank you all, I think you are all right! ... ;) We don't really love white loaves on a regular basis though, so.. will keep trying with the grains.
One more time though.. should I toss the remaining dough or give re-kneading it a try?
xo

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Margit Van Schaick
Margit Van Schaick April 18, 2014

I would let it warm at room temperature for an hour, then knead it for 10 minutes, and see if it'll rise in an oiled, covered bowl, perhaps in a slightly warm spot. If it rises to double, shape it and let rise again, but keep an eye on it so it won't rise too much. The second rise tends to be much quicker.

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ChefJune
ChefJune April 18, 2014

Stephanie, you don't have to abandon whole grains, but you'll have much more beginners luck if you cut the whole grains with at least 1/3 plain bread flour.

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Stephanie
Stephanie April 18, 2014

Thanks all!

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Margit Van Schaick
Margit Van Schaick April 18, 2014

I have another thought, thinking about how the recipe turned out for you--"thick and dense". Did you weigh the flour? Depending on the weather, I find that it's very important to make sure that you have enough liquid and that the flour amount is correct. That is, your dough may have been too dry. Especially if both times your result was "hard and dense."

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Stephanie
Stephanie April 18, 2014

Naw.. I don't have a scale.. I'm a scoop sweeper. .

boulangere
boulangere April 18, 2014

Here is some information that may be of use to you.
http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/sunday-baking-gold-nugget-bread/
SAF yeasts (there are several) have been developed to be quite fast-rising; thus the reason they are the yeasts of choice for professional bakers. That said, whole grain breads require a higher level patience in the rising department. Simply because a recipe suggests permitting it to rise for an hour or until doubled, doesn't mean that there is anything magical about the one hour. Too, between the first and second proofing you really don't need to aggressively re-knead your bread. If you've already sufficiently kneaded it once, then allowed it to create lots of lovely carbon dioxide during its first rise, why require it to do it all over again? The second rise will go significantly faster if you gently turn your dough out onto a floured surface, divide it, shape it, then set it to proof again without completely de-gassing it. Most importantly, persevere!

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