I moved to Southern California from Upstate New York. When I lived in New York, I never had a problem with bread rising. However, in California, I cannot get reliable results with the rising process.
I use bread flour because someone told me that regular flour sold here in California contains chemicals that kill yeast. I have used rapid rise yeast; that doesn't always work. I have even used mixes in my bread machine and they don't always rise. I have carefully measured the temperature of the milk or water so that it doesn't exceed 104 degrees, and that doesn't always work.
I just can't figure it out. Can anyone help me with suggestions?