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Old 04-05-2007, 04:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by COTK
As far as recipies, it doesn't seem to matter as far as when it's time for the bread to rise. No matter the recipie, it always takes longer than they call for. Most recipies I use call for 60-90 minutes. For me, letting the bread rise the first time takes on average 2 to 3 hours.
Dough rise is evaluated by how much it rises, not by how long it takes to rise. As a general rule of thumb, the rising temperature for bread dough for the home baker is assumed to be "room temperature", which is 70 - 75 F. If your ambient temp is significantly lower than that, then your dough will take longer to rise. Dough may also fail to rise within a suggested time period if it has been insufficiently kneaded. It is also possible that your yeast is significantly out-of-date, which can contribute to a slow rise. However, though yeast is often blamed for poor rises, it is seldom the culprit. Dry yeast (active dry yeast or instant yeast) is very robust. You could, however, check the expiration date of the yeast you're using.

Originally Posted by COTK
As far as whether the bread turns out like I want it to, it's really 50/50 right now. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't turn out, most of the time it's still "doughy" in the middle after baking. Is that from not letting it rise long enough the second time?
If your bread is "doughy" after baking, that is an indication that is has not been baked long enough. It has nothing to do with the pre-baking rising time. If you are following a recipe, but still experience this, check the temperature of your oven with an oven thermometer. A secondary cause is that you do not allow your bread to cool on a rack for long enough. All breads, when taken from the oven, continue to give off water vapor as they cool. While it is extremely tempting to slice bread fresh from the oven, it will almost always taste better if allowed to cool completely.

Originally Posted by COTK
I've also found that working with whole wheat flour is a lot different than white bread flour. WWF seems to be a lot more heavier than the white.
You're correct. Making bread with WW flour is significantly different than making bread with white (all-purpose or bread) flour. If you're a beginning baker, you're best off using tried-and-true recipes that use only white flour. Once you've mastered them, advance to recipes that include some whole wheat flour. In general, if you want a whole wheat bread that is still light, the whole wheat flour should be about 1/3 of of the total flour.

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Old 04-05-2007, 06:20 PM   #12
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You are really getting some great advice here and I might add that there are a lot of factors that affect the rising of dough----the best test that I use is to press my fingertip into the dough and if it doesn't "bounce back" and my tip indentation remains it's ready to pop in the oven---if it pops back then the dough still has to much gluten in it for you to put in the oven. Also if you're using whole wheat flour it is not going to rise as much as white flour---that's why the fingertip poking method is a bit more reliable. Good luck---you've got some great advice here.

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Old 04-22-2007, 11:07 PM   #13
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There can indeed, be quite a number of reasons why you are not having as much success as you would like. If you are following a recipe and using the right amount of yeast and it is fresh, the room temperature may be two low. You could try putting the dough in the turned off oven over a pot of boiled water, it may jumpstart the process. The dough should double in size no matter how long it takes. Try subfuscpersona's suggestion of putting a piece of tape on the outside so you can judge the rise. Try a light poke, as suggested and if the dough does not immediately spring back, it is ready to punch down, shape and let rise again. The second rise should be shorter than the first, and try the poke test before putting it in the oven. If the bread is soggy in the inside, it has not baked long enough. When you take it out of the oven. Turn it over and tap the bottom, If it does not sound hollow, put it back in the oven right away.

hope this helps, these are all good suggestions.


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