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Why does my bread never raise?

I love to cook and I have a son with some extreme allergies, so I love to cook from scratch. One thing I make often is bread loaves and dinner rolls. But I always read in the recipe that you "let it double, punch down and let it rise again" Shoot, I am LUCKY if it raises at all, I would NEVER punch it down. I cook a lot so I am sure that my yeast is fresh. Could the water be too hot? I always see use warm or hot water but it just never works for me. I also see sometimes that higher elevations can cause challenges in cooking, but I'm at about 4,800ft. It doesnt seem that high to me. Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong?

 
busywithbabies

Asked by busywithbabies at 7:46 PM on Feb. 11, 2011 in Food & Drink

Level 9 (328 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Get an inexpensive instant read thermometer to check water temp.
    madcityswade

    Answer by madcityswade at 2:27 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • Are you adding the sugar necessary to the warm water? Warm water where yeast is concerned is about 105*F. Too hot and it just kills them. 105* feels like tepid water to me.
    Ginger0104

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 7:49 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Try a different brand of yeast. Also, how's the weather been? Warmer = rise, colder = no rise.
    Dreamlander

    Answer by Dreamlander at 7:50 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • The water should just feel slightly warm to you. Heat will kill the yeast. You might also be adding too much salt. Salt retards yeast growth. You also may not be kneading the bread enough. If the gluten doesn't develop the bread will not rise properly. Too much liquid can be a problem sometimes too, unless you are making no knead bread. That takes days though. If you are trying to have the bread rise in a cool room, that will greatly interfere with raising. I usually heat my oven to 175 degrees, turn it off and put the bread in there to rise. Keep trying! You will figure it out.
    Marwill

    Answer by Marwill at 7:51 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • when i make anything with yearst. i make sure my water is tap water warm, you dont heat it any other way. If you dont use hot enough water it wont activate the yeast. Make sure your yeast is quick rise too, it should say on the package. you need something to feed it like the other poster said, like sugar and salt automatically kills it. OIL the bowl and put the dough into the bowl and the flip the dough over to oil both sides. COVER the dough with a towel and it should rise. not sure why yours isnt working but by "punching" they mean using your fist and pushing it down, not really punching.

    AFTER your done with all that...form your dough into what your going to make (pretzles, breadsticks, ect.) and rise again int that shape, on the pan then cook...now i dont know if letting dough rise as bread loaves is necessary, havent made that in forever.
    americansugar80

    Answer by americansugar80 at 8:01 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Maybe I am not kneading enough? I could try that. I also like the warm oven to raise idea. Maybe my house is too cold. I will also stick to the "warm" water instead of hot. If it's 105 then that is like room temp to us here in az. LOL in the summer anyway! thanks Ladies. you all rock!
    busywithbabies

    Comment by busywithbabies (original poster) at 8:01 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • My bread recipe doesn't require any kneading at all and it still rises. I'd make sure your water temp isn't over 100. That'll kill your yeast right away.
    SelaCarsen

    Answer by SelaCarsen at 11:35 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • check ur water temps
    san78

    Answer by san78 at 11:32 AM on Feb. 12, 2011

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