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Old 11-21-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
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Trouble with breads and rolls

I LOVE to bake. I bake bread a couple times a week and often give it away. So far my most successful bread was White Artisan bread. I am trying to make rolls for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and I'm not sure I'm doing my yeast correctly. I didn't need to let the dough rise before I rolled the dough into balls, they've been rising for over an hour and have not doubled in size. I'm afraid if I bake them now they will be round hockey pucks.

Any suggestions? I had to mix my yeast with sugar and oil, first time doing that, it did bubble up a little. I often have problems with getting my yeast mixture correct, I believe that's why I'm having issues with my bread not rising and baking up big and tall. Am I doing something else wrong??

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Old 11-21-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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First, yeast should become quite active when "proofed," mixed prior to adding it to flour. But I'm a little confused. Did you mix the yeast and sugar in water? Yeast needs water to come to life. The sugar gives it a bit of food to work on immediately, but sugar isn't essential to proofing. Good yeast, when mixed with lukewarm water, should begin to produce gas after several minutes.

You say you didn't need to let the dough rise before forming the rolls. Was that because the recipe had no such step? How about kneading the dough? Was that covered? Yeast breads normally require kneading (or some other measure) to correctly form the glutten, which is what provides the structure that traps the gasses from the yeast.

It is always best, when asking a question like this, to provide the recipe, so folks can comment according to what you are actually doing. But in general, the yeast is always suspect until it proves it is active. If the yeast is mixed with a little lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar, it should go to work in short order, clouding up and producing many bubbles at the surface. It should look alive.

But one should not use too much sugar at this stage. If too much sugar is present, the yeast can become exhausted before the right time. It should be working continuously, living and producing gas right into the oven, so that the heat can stablize the dough and permanently trap the gas.

And if the proofing water or any other liquid added to the dough is too hot, it can kill the yeast. Water as hot as the typical kitchen tap will provide is too hot. Too much salt, too, can retard yeast growth, but that's not a common problem. Some salt is often used in a recipe to keep the yeast from becoming exhausted too early.

When encountering rising problems, always begin by testing the yeast. You should see something like this. If it's not at least this active, it's probably too old.

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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Here is the recipe I followed What's on your menu this week?: One Hour Rolls

It didn't require any rising, just to let the rolls rise for about 20 min but I let them rise for over an hour and they did get bigger. I figure if I rolled bigger balls of dough they would have gotten bigger. I'm going to try that tomorrow morning when I make some more. They turned out really well considering.

The yeast was added to the sugar in the water, I dissolved the sugar first and then added the oil and the yeast. It did bubble but not as much as if there wasn't oil in the water.

I don't have a thermometer which I need to get so I know the perfect temp for water for yeast so that it is at it's best and I don't kill it.
Thank you!!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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This sounds like rolls that I make in my kitchen aid mixer. You may want to mix for two minutes after the dough is formed before the rest. That is like kneading the dough but you don't have to do it by hand. This does sound like a nice recipe. I think with just a little extra mixing you should do just fine. If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, just knead by hand a few times. :)
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluv2cook View Post
...They turned out really well considering.
That's the great thing about baking bread. Mostly, even if you mess up, it's still good.
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