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Old 11-13-2004, 10:49 AM   #1
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Yeast dough doesn't raise

Tell me what I am doing wrong. I followed the receipe for sticky buns , had all of the dry ingredients at room temp, added the liquid which was approx 100 degrees, mixed the dough and placed it in a warm place and it just sat there. The expiration date on the yeast package is March 05. Is it possible that the yeast isn't any good and if so, is there any way I can check it before I ruin another batch of dough?
Kenn

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Old 11-13-2004, 11:26 AM   #2
 
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Yes, I bet you got some bad yeast.

You proof yeast by adding one packet active dry yeast to 1/4 c. warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F) and stir to dissolve. (The water should feel like a pleasantly warm shower, or about the temperature you'd use for a baby's bottle. If it feels uncomfortably hot, it will probably kill the yeast.) Add one teaspoon of sugar and let the yeast sit for five minutes. If the yeast is foamy and smells like bread, it's active.
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Old 11-13-2004, 11:49 AM   #3
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Good suggestion, choclatechef!

txson, specifically, what kind of yeast are you using?
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Old 11-13-2004, 02:31 PM   #4
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One of the first times I made bread, I didn't add enough water to the dough. It was so stiff that the yeast couldn't raise it.

More than likely, the others are right. Your yeast could be dead. Perhaps your water was hotter than you thought?
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Old 11-13-2004, 11:58 PM   #5
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choclatechef has you pointed in the right direction!

I've gotten dead yeast before that was under the expiration date - and some that was quite alive that was a year past the expiration date. The only way to tell is if you proof it first - that's the only way to know if it is dead or alive.

Okay - the way I do it is a cross between choclatechef and a way to prevent psiguyy's delima .... I measure the total water needed and measure the temp with a thermometer to get it 110-115 F, add the total sugar and stir to disolve, and the total amount of yeast - stir it all up and let it proof for 5 minutes. While it's proofing I measure the other wet and dry ingredients.

When you're letting your dough rise - it should be covered (plastic wrap or even just a dry dishtowel) and in a warm (80-98-F) place out of any draft. It will take about an hour for the dough to rise (double in size).
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Old 11-14-2004, 04:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for all of the responses. I should have clarified myself a little better. The recipe called for mixing the yeast in with the dry flour and adding warm milk and melted shortening, which I did and I know the temp was approx 110. I did go back and read the instructions on the package and I did proof a package and it was live. After proofing a package of yeast, do you go ahead and add it to the mixture?

Audeo: It is Fleischmann's brand.

Choclatechef and Michael of FTW: I did proof a package and it was live. I placed the dough in a dish-towel covered bowl and put it in the oven over a pan of boiling water, so I know the temp was right for raising the dough. It took over an hour for the dough to raise. I did go ahead and make sticky buns per the recipe and they did turn out pretty good. I have been working on this recipe for over a year and I will get it right one of these days.

Thanks again for all the advice. If I have any more cooking trouble, I'll be back.

Kenn in Paris (TX)
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:40 AM   #7
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hi - I'm confused - at first you said the dough didn't rise but in a subsequent post you said
Quote:
Originally Posted by txson93
...I placed the dough in a dish-towel covered bowl and put it in the oven over a pan of boiling water, so I know the temp was right for raising the dough. It took over an hour for the dough to raise. I did go ahead and make sticky buns per the recipe and they did turn out pretty good.
So did the dough rise enough? An hour is not a long time for dough to take to rise.

A few questions

> was the yeast ACTIVE DRY or some other kind? (not the brand, the kind of yeast - it would say on the package)

> how long did you knead the dough and are you kneading by hand or some kind of machine (regular mixer? / stand mixer? / bread machine? ...???).

> what material was the bowl in which the dough rose? and how close was it to your pan of boiling water?
It's possible the bowl was placed too close to the pan of boiling water in the oven (especially if the bowl was metal) and that the bottom of the bowl got too hot for the dough, killing some of the yeast, which would slow your rise. If you're going to create a special environment for the dough to rise, make sure it's only about 80F

Can you post the recipe and instructions?
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Old 11-14-2004, 08:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txson93
The recipe called for mixing the yeast in with the dry flour and adding warm milk and melted shortening which I did and I know the temp was approx 110
Fleischmann makes 3 kinds of "dry" yeast - 2 of them are designed to be added directly to dry ingredients - they are "Rapid Rise" and "Bread Machine" (aka "instant" yeast). They also make "active dry" yeast which is designed to be dissolved in the liquid first. see http://www.breadworld.com/sciencehistory/yeast.asp.

Did you use the correct kind of yeast, given the recipe? If you used active dry yeast but "mixed the yeast in with the dry flour" then this would contribute to a slower or insufficient rise.
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:18 PM   #9
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Okay, I'll try to clear up all the confusion. I mixed the flour and Fleischmann's Active Dry yeast together in a mixing bowl. I then added the warmed milk and melted shortening to that, mixed it and added four beaten eggs to that. I then added enough flour (about 2 cups) to make a firm but not too stiiff dough which I kneaded by hand for about 8 minutes. I placed the dough in a greased plastic bowl and set the bowl in the oven over a large kettle of boiling water. After about one hour, the dough had not started to raise. I waited about another half hour and the dough had raised somewhat but had not doubled. I said to hell with it and went ahead and made the rolls. They did turn out pretty good, but I was disappointed that the dough did not raise like it had at other times. I did not know (and ignorance is no excuse) that there was two different kinds of yeast. I guess that is something Mom and Uncle Sam forgot to tell me. Anyway, next time I will know to proof the yeast before adding it. Thanks for all the feedback.

Kenn in Paris(TX)
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:38 PM   #10
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Now that I know what you did I know what happened. You didn't do anything wrong - you followed the recipe for a classic straight dough (aka: dump) method using AD yeast (the recipe is probably an old one - 25+ years) - but your recipe lacked one major ingredient, PATIENCE.

Something I learned from an artisan bread site a year or so ago, which I can't find now and a fact I had forgotten, is that AD yeast is encapsulated - there is basically a shell around the yeast which helps its stability sitting on the shelf. Think of an M&M - milk chocolate inside a hard candy shell. When you proof or dissolve the yeast in warm liquid first, it melts that outer shell. So, following your recipe, during that first hour when it appeared nothing was happening ... the shell of the yeast was abrosbing the moisture from the dough and dissolving ... in the next 30-minutes was when the yeast was finally getting activated. Using AD yeast and following this recipe, and depending on the temperature inside your oven, it could take 2-3 hours for the dough to double in size.

To speed things up next time, if your going to use AD yeast - add 1 teaspoon sugar to the warm milk and stir in the yeast and give it about 5 minutes before you proceed.

But, and I feel confident most folks on here will agree with me on these suggestions - scrap the AD yeast and use an "instant" yeast such as Fleischmann's RapidRise or Bread Machine yeast. These yeasts are not encapsulated and will work great in your recipe without doing anything different (just make sure your milk and shortning are between 120-130 F). If you do a lot of baking and want to buy your yeast in bulk (1lb box is equal to 64 1/4 oz packets, or 21 3-pak strips) - look for SAF "red label" instant yeast. If you can't find SAF locally (and it is worth trying - if you can't find a store that carries it it's worth calling bakers in your area and see if they use it, and if so, ask if they will sell you a box). If that fails - there are sources on the internet .... just go to google and do a search on SAF yeast.
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