Please Riseth So I Can Eateth
November 28, 2012 6:18 PM   Subscribe

I made a basic bread from scratch and am at the end of the first rise- only it hasn't risen very much. My book says it may be from not adding enough water during the mixing stage- but I want to know if I can save it at this stage (after first proof).
posted by ohmansocute to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
Leave it to rise longer. And in a slightly warmer place, perhaps (I like the top of my fridge for a fast boost). Generally, the longer the rise, the better the bread tastes (so long as it's not over-risen, of course).

There is nothing you can add to the dough at this point to make a difference.

But all is not lost, even if it doesn't rise much more. Fresh-baked bread is hard to beat.
posted by thisclickableme at 6:23 PM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

Yeah, just give it more time. You could even stick it in the fridge and go to bed. It would then have a very slow and possibly very flavorful rise. If it doesn't work out, use it for toast. Even bad bread can make good toast.
posted by Area Man at 6:32 PM on November 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

Don't be tied to a stopwatch for the first rise: let the rise itself be the guide. If it's cool in the house, or if the water you use was colder than the book envisaged, it will take longer. If you have an IR thermometer, take the temperature of the dough for reference purposes.
posted by holgate at 6:37 PM on November 28, 2012

Yeah, if it's winter in your area, your house is likely colder with more drafts. I sometimes put the bread in my cold oven. You can put a hot cast iron pan in there and it'll be cozy without getting heated. Howev, the gas pilot light can sometimes be too hot, depending on the type of oven and settings.
posted by barnone at 7:01 PM on November 28, 2012

Just Nthing everyone else, be prepared to ignore the times completely, and go off the size of the bread. You will develop a better sense about this over time.
posted by smoke at 7:30 PM on November 28, 2012

Another tip for getting the bread to warm up a little to speed up the rise: fill the sink with warm water, and put your bowl in there. Or just turn on the oven at a low temperature, and set the bowl on top of the oven.
posted by yasaman at 7:34 PM on November 28, 2012

Thanks everyone. I thought maybe the yeast was bunk, but I'm baking brownies and sat the bowl next to the oven. Voila! Rose quite a bit more.
posted by ohmansocute at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2012

If your water has a lot of chlorine or chloramine in it, this will affect the rise negatively. I've had instances where it completely killed the yeast.
posted by gjc at 7:40 PM on November 28, 2012

I usually switch the plan to cinnamon rolls when this happens.
posted by Mertonian at 11:31 PM on November 28, 2012

I actually set any bread dough on top of my TV cable box to rise. The residual heat from it being an electronic device always seems to do the trick.

Nthing the "trust the bread" advice, but also adding "cheat by using your TV or something".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:18 AM on November 29, 2012

did you use strong "bread" flour ... it makes a big difference over plain or cake flour.

Seems silly ... flour is flour ... except it isn't!
posted by jannw at 5:48 AM on November 29, 2012

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