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Why Is My Bread Dough Not Rising? (And How to Fix)

Why Is My Bread Dough Not Rising? (And How to Fix)

You decide you want to cook some bread as one of the side dishes or make sandwiches for some meals. As you prepare everything and put it in the oven and it is baking, you realize something is terribly wrong.

Why isn’t the bread rising as it should?

cooking bread

Many reasons can cause your dough not to rise, but the primary reasons are bad yeast or not enough yeast being put into the mix (caused by wrong measurements). Other causes include using wrong-sized loaf pans, not baking long enough, and under or over-kneading when making the dough.

There are so many more reasons the dough may not rise, but we will cover all of those factors and offer solutions to fix some of the problems you may have when baking bread.

Here are some reasons your bread / dough may not be rising:

Not Following the Bread Recipe

Some recipes allow leeway when it comes to adding or taking away ingredients. However, this is not a good idea when baking bread. There are two things to note here.

  1. A bread recipe cannot be altered in any way, shape, or form. Everything has to be included and what is called for in the recipe. Measurements must be exact.
  2. Do not measure the ingredients in volume. Instead, measure in weight because ounces and cups are inaccurate and lead to problems fermenting and proofing the dough. Use a kitchen scale to solve this problem by measuring in grams.

Issues With the Yeast

Yeast-dough

Yeast is the main ingredient that gives magic to the rise in bread. It is a living organism, and if kept in the fridge for an extended period, some of the yeast may die out.

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If there is a problem with the yeast, there will be a problem with the bread not rising correctly or not at all. It may have also expired, so check the date and replace it if it is no longer good.

The type of yeast you use can also have an adverse effect on bread rising. We recommend using dry or instant yeast for bread making.

Dry Yeast

Dry Yeast

Using dry yeast requires water at the perfect temperature. It is best to test the temperature of the water and have it at or around 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperature is over 115 degrees, it will kill the yeast, and if it is less than 110, it will not activate to bring the rise to the bread.

Another note to remember is not to mix the dry yeast with other ingredients. It should be done separately so that it dissolves in the water before use.

Instant Yeast

This type of yeast is different from the dry version, and you can mix it with other ingredients because it doesn’t have to dissolve in the water before use. The instant version will require more time to bake because it will take longer to rise.

Keep the water temperature between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit to work its magic in the oven. If you follow the recipe on the package, it will work. You can even go on the manufacturers’ websites and get the recipes.

Time Is Not Everything

It is essential to know that not every recipe for making bread is the same when it comes to time in the oven. Some recipes offer a vague time limit, such as “about an hour.”

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This means it will not be exactly an hour, but you can begin to watch it at the hour mark. It may take longer for the bread to rise.

Temperatures and humidity in the kitchen seriously affect when the dough rises. Our best advice is to keep an eye on the bread, not the clock. Sometimes, the dough takes a little longer to rise, so don’t panic.

Using the Right Pan

The correct pan for baking bread is the 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. The larger-sized pans are used for quick bread and are not recommended for this purpose. Using a bigger pan will affect the dough’s rise, and it will remain flat.

Kneading the Dough

Kneading the dough

Remember how we said yeast is a living organism? If the bread is under-kneaded, it will not let the gluten stretch enough to expand.

When the dough is over-kneaded, the gases from the yeast will not have enough grit behind it to expand and rise because the gluten will become too tight.

Testing the Water

Municipal water will have chlorine in it. If there is too much chlorine, it will eliminate the yeast, defeating the rise’s purpose.

You can leave the water out overnight while the chlorine evaporates, or take our suggestion and use bottled water and make your life easier.

Other Factors to Check

These are other issues that can cause the dough not to rise and solutions to correct the problems.

  • Wrong Flour: Whole-grain flour or rye will not work. It must be all-purpose flour.
  • Dry Crust: If the crust dries out, the dough will not rise. Cover the dough to prevent this problem.
  • Too Much Salt: Follow the instructions on the package and add the exact amount of salt because too much will kill off the yeast.
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FAQ

How do you add yeast to dough that doesn’t rise?

Activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water, and add all-purpose flour until it becomes sticky. If the dough is previously kneaded, simply add the yeast and continue to knead for five to seven minutes.

Why isn’t my bread rising in the bread machine?

Bread not rising

Check the amount of water and milk used. It may not have been enough. You can add one to two teaspoons of liquid if it is not rising. Also, check the amount of yeast, sugar, salt, and flour.

Add a little more if you missed the mark.