2nd rise problems


I'm having problems with my bread and rolls rising during the 2nd rise. I've just gotten two years worth of previous year's newsletters so I've been busy baking up a storm. I've tried a bread recipe as well as the snowflake roll recipe. I know my yeast is good because one, it's new and two, the dough rises for the first rise. It's when the recipe calls for either the bread loafs to 'rise' in the loaf pans or the rolls to 'rise' in the cake pans right before baking is where the problems are. They don't rise the inch above the loaf pan or they don't get 'puffy' like they are supposed to as per the recipe. When they get baked, they are smaller than they should be. My bread loafs are not 'sandwich' size and my rolls are very tiny. I have it rising in the same exact place during the first and 2nd rise. Anyway, if anyone can shed any light as to why this is happening I'd really appreciate it because it's really frustrating me because I want to bake these awesome items. Thank you!

badge posted by: mark4steph on January 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm in Baking, yeast
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reply by: silkenpaw on January 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

"Puffy" is a very subjective concept. Have you done the poke test on the dough? Poke your finger about 1/2" into the rising dough. If the dough springs right back to fill the indentation, your dough is not risen enough; if the dough springs back slowly and partially, it's just right; if the indentation stays, the dough is overproofed. The reason I ask this is that there may not be anything wrong with how your dough is rising but rather, your pans may be too large for the amount of dough you are putting in them. How much oven spring are you getting? Lots or hardly any? Are you satisfied with the crumb on your bread and rolls?

Another issue is that, although logically, the second rise should be faster than the first (because there should now be more yeast cells), nothing is ever guaranteed with living things and you may not be giving your dough enough time to rise completely. Be patient with it and test it by poking.

Hope that helps, if not, ask specific questions.

reply by: mikes on January 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

How do you handle the dough after the first rise? It should be "punched down" to get some of the gas out of the dough and redistribute the ingredients. This should be done gently to shape and divide the dough. If you are kneading it like you did when originally mixing the dough, you are kneading it too much.

reply by: kittykat3308 on January 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

By any chance are you using "Rapid" rise yeast because if you are it is only good for one rising than it dies out. If you are using "Active" dry yeast than it needs to be proofed with two tablespoons of water and a pinch of sugar. Allow it to rest for about 15 minutes. If it bubbles and gets a little puffy it means it's good and you can proceed with your recipe. It is also possible to get a bad batch of yeast. How long have you had your yeast and where do you store it? Also bakers have found out that you no longer punch the dough down; you gently pat it out to a rectangle and than roll it up like a carpet to fit it into the pan. It is also possible that the dough was not kneaded enough. To check on this your need to do the "window pane" test. You take a small lump of dough about the size of a walnut and very gently stretch it out, if it is properly kneaded and has not broken; you should be able to see through the piece of dough if so, than it has been kneaded enough. I hope this helps.


reply by: mikes on January 17, 2011 at 1:12 am

I disagree with what Kathleen says about Rapid or Instant yeast being good for only one rise. Rapid yeast is what I use most of the time and my second rises are just fine. Much of what I do is based on Peter Reinhart's techniques in the book "The Bread Bakers Apprentice" He states that rapid yeast is more potent that active yeast, but they can be substituted for each other.

"Punching down" is the term that I've always used to describe what to do after the first rise. This sounds a little rough, but it's like you said, gently pat the dough. This is done to degas the dough and relax the gluten a little.

I do think you have a point about possibly getting a bad batch of yeast. One friend of my was having trouble making his usual bread recipe and later told me that is was bad flour. I've never heard of that before and I'm sure he wasn't using King Arthur flour.

reply by: uninvited-guest on January 17, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I agree... on the times that I have used Rapid Rise yeast, I have had no problem with my second rises... as long as I don't over rise the first one... The yeast will die out from lack of food if the dough is turned too late. Remember that RR yeast will cut all the rises by about 50%, if you forget, and do a longer rise in the beginning, your yeast has essentially starved to death before you even get to the second one. If a timely turn/fold/shape happens, the yeast has new food brought to it, and it will continue to flourish.

reply by: kittykat3308 on January 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Rapid Rise Yeast and Instant yeast are two different animals
Please check out this link that explains the differences.


reply by: uninvited-guest on January 17, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Yes, they are different beasts all together, but what has that got to do with it? RR yeast is a type that lives fast and dies fast... that is why the rise times are cut down by 50%. As long as you treat your RR yeast as RR yeast, and not instant or active dry, a second rise can and does happen. As I stated, I have NEVER had any problems with two rises with RR yeast, provided I treat it like RR yeast... it's only when I forget that I used RR, and have an extended first rise that I don't get a good second one. User error, not yeast issue.

reply by: mikes on January 18, 2011 at 2:25 am

According the Fleischmann's Yeast website at...
Rapid Rise, Instant, and Bread Machine yeast are the same thing.
They can be used in all recipes.

Since they make the stuff, they're probably right.

reply by: alexryden on January 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

There are a couple things which could be going wrong. One is temperature. If it is cold, fermentation will be longer. Kneading warms the dough up, but it will gradually cool as it rises. Another thing which could be going wrong is not enough surface tension. When you shape the sandwich loaves, be sure to create surface tension. This concept is explained in The Bread Baker's Apprentice, but what it basically is is shaping the dough to direct the rise. If you just plop a piece of dough into a bread pan it will not rise up, but if you shape it so that there is surface tension it will rise up. It is a little tricky to do until you see an example, so I cannot tell you how, but it is important. Lastly, if you are making an enriched dough try using osmotolerant yeast. It rises better in high sugar and fat enviroments.

reply by: mark4steph on January 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Thank you for all the replies! I'm using Active Dry yeast from Costco-not sure if this is instant or not. Don't think it is. I bought it in September, keep it in the fridge and when I proof it, it gets puffy. My pan might be a little bigger than most also, it measures 9 and some odd inches as opposed to the standard 8 inches. I've never been able to have my dough rise the 'inch above' the bread pan as always stated in the recipes. The kitchen temperature might also have something to do with it-it is a little on the cool side. Usually I'll heat my oven and either have the dough rise with the plastic wrap on top of the stove or in the stove (heat off) with a towel covering the bowl. The first rise is fine-maybe I am handling it too much after that first rise. I don't know how to shape a loaf so maybe that's part of the problem. The person who said you can't just put the dough into the pan without shaping it and expect it to rise-if you have tips on how to shape the dough or a link to a video on how to do it, that would be helpful. Do I need to proof the active dry yeast before I do any kind of bread loaf? The puffiness I spoke about was from the snowflake roll recipe where it says shape the rolls in a ball and put into the cake pan to get 'puffy'. Normally when I do the test after the first rise, there is an indentation that stays so I know the first rise is done. One example of a problem, I just made the 'no-knead' bread that is on the back of the whole wheat flour package and it says to use a mixer. I'm assuming it's just the regular mixer, like with beaters, not a stand mixer. It says to let rise for 90 minutes or so, I let it rise for almost two hours and it never got above the bread pan sides. I'm thinking the mixer might have killed the yeast-not sure why that recipe has a mixer in it. Also, another example-I made the brown bread from Simon Pearce and after the first rise, which it rose very well; I slashed the top just like the photo shows, the dough sank. It never rose again during the 2nd rise thus yielding a small loaf. Anyway, I think that's it for now. Thank you all for your time and your help-:)

reply by: vibeguy on January 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

So many moving parts...

Active Dry yeast always needs to be dissolved in warm water and allowed to proof before use. Instant/RapidRise/buzzword-compliant yeast does not. But I don't think yeast is your failure...unless you're leaving salt out of the recipe for some reason, and the yeast is running wild in the first rise and has nothing left to give for the second.

I'd like to concentrate on the bread pan size. If a recipe is written for the 8x4 pan size, you need to scale it at least 40% (all ingredients except for yeast) for a 9x5 pan size, if the sides are the same height. If the 9x5 is an inch taller, scale the recipe again by 25%, give or take. So if the baker was thinking 8x4x4 and you've got 9x5x5, you're looking at needing 75% more dough just to fill the pan properly. What I suspect is happening with the pan breads is that you just don't have enough pan fill, so the loaves are overproofing after shaping because they're expected to crest over the top of the pan, then collapse in the oven. I vote for making more dough as a first step.

Doughs that don't rise well the first time can be an issue of insufficient gluten development - gluten that is underdeveloped doesn't trap the gas in bubbles - rather, it vents it to the atmosphere. People really worry about overkneading, but with King Arthur flours, it's more likely underkneading as a culprit. In no-knead bread, time is the critical factor, as well as having the precise hydration level that the recipe calls for - weighing ingredients is your friend. Very few people make a "light" cup of flour - they're almost always heavy, which means a lower hydration percentage, which equals insufficient gluten development.