{food} Why is our bread not rising?

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We're trying to bake some bread today, using hard red wheat we just ground, but its not rising as it is supposed to prior to putting into the oven.

The yeast was the quick rising type good until Jan of 2000 according to the label. The only other problem that might have happened is that when we heated the water to melt the butter in it, we let it go to a boil instead of just the suggested 130 degrees. We didn't let it cool very much before mixing into the flour/yeast/sugar/salt mixture. Is it possible the perhaps 200 degree temperature killed the yeast?

Hopefully I'll hear that it will rise eventually. Grinding eight cups of flour is not an effort I want to see wasted. If nothing can be done about the mix not rising, can anyone tell me how to salvage it?



-- Floyd Baker (fbaker@wzrd.com), April 17, 1999


My first question would be what kind of grain mill was used when yyou ground the flour.

My wife and I recently received a "Country Living" grain mill. We are very happy with it, but we didn't realize that to get great "fluffy" bread we had to grind the wheat twice. The first time it looked like the flour was fine, but it wasn't fine enough to keep the bread light.

Try running the flour through somewhat coarsely the first time and then again with the mill tighter. The coarsness of the first time will make it feed continuously the second time and the flour will be divine.

-- Jim the Window Washer (troubleshooter@nowhere.com), April 17, 1999.

You cooked the yeast. Also keep the salt away from the yeast as long as you can. Salt will kill the yeast too.

-- SCOTTY (BLehman202@aol.com), April 17, 1999.

While you may well have killed the yeast, I am POSITIVE that your wheat is not sifted well enough. We fought this for many more than 8 cups, I assure you. After much shopping, we found a sifter at an antique store that was very, very fine mesh. Our bread is now almost as light as store bought. The bran can be ground twice or thrice. I will ask my wife to post here also, she's the bread wizard.

Good Luck,


-- Will Huett (Willhuett@usa.net), April 17, 1999.

Agreed, You cooked your yeast. Forget the salt, it isn't needed unless you and yours are real salt-o-holic.

You possibly might be able to introduce yeast at this late stage into the mass and still make bread.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), April 17, 1999.

Yeast, sugar and salt. That is what controls the rise of the bread. Since simply mixing yeast, sugar and water will cause the yeast to grow, I too suspect you killed the yeast. Sift the flour well and mix the ingredients throughly, and don't over heat the yeast next time.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), April 17, 1999.


I have been baking my own bread for 20 y [with my own flour or King Arthur]. You do need the salt [for microbiological reasons that are to complex to describe in a short message]. I don't use water or butter; I use milk and olive oil. I don't overheat. You did. That is the problem. I use Red Star Yeast or various kinds of EU yeast [depending on the kind of bread] and have never had a failure in 20 y; even after adding all kinds of antimicrobial herbs. Throw it out and do it right.

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), April 17, 1999.

Too hot for the yeast. If you have a microwave with a temp probe, use that to get the perfect temp. You can also use a candy thermometer until you get the hang of it.

-- Bread Baker (2gkr14@usa.net), April 17, 1999.


Here is a simple recipe.

Milk [or water] at 80 F 1 1/2 cups Olive Oil 2 Tbs Flour 4 Cups Wheat Gluten 1 Tbs Parmesan Cheese [Or Asiago] 3 Tbs Sugar [I use raw] 1 1/2 Tbs Salt 1 1/2 teaspoons Yeast 2 teaspoons Whatever else you want Variable

There are many kinds of yeast. Some may have to be proofed. That means heating the water and sugar to 80 F and adding the liquid and letting it set for 10 minutes before adding to the dry stuff. When adding other dry ingredients [such as rolled oats;good] you must reduce the flour. You can figure this out, just like I did.


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), April 17, 1999.

Mutti has been baking bread for over 30 years..had my failures with whole wheat bread and sifting two or three times is the key. Try to find one of the old type sifters with the wire that turns in the sifter...see them all the time as junk stores down here. Your water or butter/oil/water mix should NEVER be warmer than baby bath water. If you think your yeast is old try putting in the warm water with the sugar and wait until it bubbles..then you know it is good. Yeast should stay good way past the exp. date if you keep if refrigerated or store unopened in freezer. SAF-T-yeast is a great type to store...comes in l lb. pkgs that are vacumn sealed in foil and keep forever. We get it at the health food store-used to get it at our grocery so imagine you could ask your store to order it..also available at the King Arther flour site...fun place to visit...get on their list for a catalog as it has great recipes. If anyone wants a no knead quick bread recipe for English muffin bread that is foolproof and the best breakfast with jam you could want e-mail me and I'll send it along. (This is my real address.)Also, have no-knead w.w. bread recipe that is great.Some days things are just too hectic to mix and knead and punch and all that!!

-- mutti (windance @train.missouri.org), April 17, 1999.

Thanks for all the answers and the good advice. I'm putting it all to good use. Did try again while these answers were coming in. It came out somewhat better by keeping the water temp way down. We did see and feel a marked improvement after the 10 minute "rest". The yeast seemed to have done something this time but the end result was still far from good.

Since reading the responses, we have ground another batch, three times over for tomorrows bake off. :-) This 3 cups is like baby powder compared to the previous sandpaper grit. I'll also try some of the other recipe ideas tomorrow too.

We made a pound cake from soft wheat a few weeks ago and it came out absolutely delicious. Even with only one grinding. Perhaps it is the yeast and grinding that is needed for rising the bread but is this hard wheat just more difficult to work with in general? When a recipe calls for "all purpose" flour, what exactly is that stuff, compared to what I have? How and where does it fit, between hard red and the soft wheats? Should the two be mixed together for better results at any time?



-- Floyd Baker (fbaker@wzrd.com), April 18, 1999.

I had a little bread recipe book years ago, published in Utah. It made the point that whole wheat flour contains a good deal of bran, and for bread that will not dry out too soon the bran has to be allowed to absorb all the moisture it can. The method given was to mix all the ingredients, knead the dough thoroughly, and let it stand overnight or at least 6 hours (at 70 deg. or more) before working in the yeast, kneading again, and letting it rise. Before adding the yeast to the dough, proof it: dissolve a little honey to 2 tbsps warm milk (NOT hot), and mix in the yeast. In a few minutes it will be rising like crazy, at which point it's time to work it into the dough. Works like a charm. The soak time for the dough is critical.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), April 18, 1999.

For over 20 years I insisted on Hard Red winter wheat. To get a lighter loaf I added processed flour about half and half. Down here in Florida I was unable to buy the hard red wheat. I bought a wheat called Praire Gold and its a softer white wheat. I grind it one time (I have a large stone grinder from Retzel and have used it for over 20 years) With this new wheat I cam make bread and pasta that is light. I will never go back to hard red winter wheat. You think you pretty much know it all and then you find out you don't know nuttin'.!! I make all of our bread. After you learn how, its very easy and its easy to add ingredients when you have a "feel" for the dough. Any left over breakfast cereal goes into the bread. Any left over grains or corn that I have ground goes into a jar and then into the bread dough when I bake. Make a simple french bread and toss in a tablespoon of grated garlic the next time you are having s'ghetti. Taz

-- Taz (Tassie @aol.com), April 18, 1999.

Taz, what is the Retzel grinder? Just did a search and came up with nothing. tia!

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), April 18, 1999.

I have always been a yeast dolt. Until, I found the Village Bakery, (no longer on the Internet, sadly). While they were still around I printed out directions for making bread sponge as part of the bread making process. I will try to format the exact recipe today, but to make a long story short, the sponge is a batter-like beginning of your bread dough that consists of all liquid, all yeast, sugar, and half of your flour. Mix together in bowl,...set aside covered til the batter bubbles (about 15-30 minutes). Then add the remainder of your flour, knead as you usually would, and set aside to double.

I haven't got my scanner yet so, after breakfast, I'll pull the recipe and add it. I've grown to love baking bread so. Been thinking it would be fun to write an article on the meditative benefits of bread-making for the over-alert. :-)

-She upon the hill who loves the moments when the cosmos whispers,"Focus,..."

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), April 18, 1999.


Here's a link to their site:

howe9@pop.shentel.net), April 19, 1999.

Darn that closed quote!


-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), April 19, 1999.

Now I find out the link is bad! OK, try this one:


-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), April 19, 1999.

Why is www.greenspun.com showing up in my last link? I didn't type it in. Somethin' screwy goin' on here!

Try www.retsel.com

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), April 19, 1999.

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