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no-knead bread 1st rise failed. causes? fixes?

I've made Jim Lahey's Sullivan St bakery bread more times than I can count, white, whole wheat, etc, every time a beautiful loaf. This time (started yesterday), the dough is not making its first rise. :( Yeast is traditional, jar only about 2 weeks old, stored in fridge. Only change this time I used half whole wheat, half GF flour (Robin Hood Nutri brand, includes rice potato & tapioca). Estimated causes? how to salvage this batch? Thanks in advance for your help.

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

asked over 1 year ago
11 answers 782 views
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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Have you used this particular jar before this time? You may have a dud. It's happened to me. Try proofing a bit to be sure. I don't ever work with gluten free flours, but aren't you supposed to use other additions like xanthan gum or do you not need to because of the www flour? Seems like you'd need to add some.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Susan W - good to know yeast can have a dud jar, but I made bread last week with this one. So that's not it. I THOUGHT the whole wheat would give enough structure to the dough, but maybe not.

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PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added over 1 year ago

No-knead and gluten-free? The dough might not have had the strength to hold the gas from the yeast. If the yeast isn't very active to begin with (which is why a lot of recipes call for an initial proof and/or a sponge), the dough may have just given up the rise. I have made a sponge before and added it to a dough that I forgot to add yeast to (pure carelessness) before, but I'm not sure how your dough will react.

I'm curious...why only half GF flour with whole wheat?

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

POLC - I used these 2 flours because I have them on hand and wanted to use them up, knew the GF alone isn't enough to hold structure, so added the WW for taste and gluten. Should I make & add a sponge?

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PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added over 1 year ago

My "general" rule for adding alternative flours to doughs and batters is 25%. After that, you're taking a risk with what you get. Especially bread. Whole wheat flour doesn't actually have more gluten, it has less. At least, its more difficult to access it because its less processed. Using whole wheat flour requires MORE kneading and more liquid to require the same rise as one made with plain flour. Coupled with GF flour, your bread just doesn't have the ability to rise.

I would suggest that you start this one over, trying maybe one unorthodox alteration at a time. When you throw a bunch of substitutions into a process as delicate as bread, you take a huge risk with what you get.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Thanks - I learned two things here from you. To keep substitution flour at 25% max, and that whole wheat has less or less easily available gluten. So I can see why using both in the no-knead recipe overwhelmed the dough.

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added over 1 year ago

I don't have any experience with GF flours, but I know from experience that a 50/50 blend of whole wheat and regular flour produces a poorly-risen no-knead bread... I've found around 1/4-1/3 to be a better ratio.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Meaghan F - your advice is similar to POLC - she says 1/4 for whole wheat as part of total. I'll keep in mind for future batches.

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PieceOfLayerCake

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added over 1 year ago

P.S. I'm a dude ;)

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

OK, thanks Mr. POLC ;)

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

OK, thanks Mr. POLC ;)