How Can I Obtain a More Consistent Bread Rise

Posted on December 28th, 2010 by Bread making machines in Bread Making Tips

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I am getting mixed results in terms of my bread's rising. I use a bread making machine. I'm not sure why but I have only achieved a  Sandwiches - Bread Machine Bread "perfect" rise once, maybe twice.  I use a very basic recipe: water, flour, butter, salt, yeast ... It is strange but I simply can't seem to get it right. Most of the time the dough doesn't rise enough. Help!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Cara Photography

Try mixing a few tsps of sugar and a little hot water with the yeast - about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you dont see anything happening a few minutes later then your yeast is dead. You will need to get some more. Assuming the yeast is not your problem try adding a little sugar to the dough mix to help activate the yeast before baking. You can adjust the amounts of sugar and or yeast but try to follow your recipe.

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One Comment on “How Can I Obtain a More Consistent Bread Rise”

  1. Elena

    You may be surprised, but it probably has to do with how you scoop your flour…!

    Most recipe books assume (and very few actually tell you), a very basic assumption: use a spoon to scoop flour into your measuring cup, then scrape the excess off with the back of a butter knife.

    Why, you might ask? Because flour is compressible. And most folks assume they can just scoop the flour up directly using the measuring cup. Perhaps even flattening the top by pressing against the side of the bag or container. If you look on the side of your bag of flour, you will find it says something like “this bag contains X cups of flour.” For example, most 5-pound bags say they contain approx 19 cups, which calculates out to 4.21-ounces per cup. Using the spoon-and-scrape method, you will get close to this, but using the scooping method, you can get a variable amount anywhere from 5 to 6 ounces per cup. Meaning your 3 “cups” may be 15 ounces, and as much as 18 ounces, when it should have been around 13! This will result in a very dry dough ball, without enough water to form a good gluten network, or enough for the yeast to thrive — a big double-whammy preventing good rise… This is one reason a lot of people move to weighing ingredients, which is unnecessary, but very effective (it is how most professional bakers work).

    A good idea: open your machine at the end of the first knead (or even 5 or so minutes into the knead) and get to know your dough: a good white dough should be very smooth and only slightly tacky, like a post-it note; a good whole-wheat bread should form a good dough ball, but should be much stickier/messy. If it isn’t, stop the program, add a couple tablespoons of water (or flour, if you have too wet dough), and start the program over.

    Hope this helps!

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