Bread doesn't rise in oven?


I am having a problem I hope someone can help me with. I have been attempting to make whole wheat bread (ideally 100% whole wheat) and not having very much luck. My bread rises nicely, but then when I remove the greased plastic wrap it deflates some, and then in the oven it doesn't rise any further then where it is at when I put it in, so I am ending up with fairly dense, under risen loaves. I am not sure why this is. I can't seem to remove the plastic wrap without losing some volume...I have greased plenty with oil spray... Also confused why I don't see any further rise in the oven. Thanks for any help you can give. Bread making is pretty new to me.

badge posted by: jbimommy on June 09, 2011 at 4:01 pm in Baking, yeast
tags: bread, rise, yeast
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reply by: frick on June 09, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I can't answer to the rising problem but the plastic wrap sticking (and deflation) is an easy solve. Buy a plastic shoebox (or sweater box depending on the size of your loaf). Put the pan or parchment of bread dough ON THE LID and cover with the box part. Voila. A safe, humid see-through proofing case with nothing touching the dough.

I'll bet to get a lighter loaf, you will have to use:

1) part white flour
2) vital wheat gluten
3) a longer proof time than that stated in the recipe.

Remember, your environment temperature is not going to duplicate that of a commercial kitchen. If you are trying to duplicate a commercially baked product, that bread may have dough conditioners and additional ingredients which you are not using or don't have access to.

reply by: KAF_Frank on June 09, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Hi JB,
I'm sorry to hear of your difficulty. If the loaves are falling at the end of the rise and not taking any oven spring, then they are over risen. The final rise need only last until the loaves can hold a dimple pressed into the end of the loaf with your index finger, about 1/2" deep. Next time try this method for checking the final rise. Frank @ KAF.

reply by: Mike Nolan on June 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Mike Nolan

What recipe are you using?

100% whole grain breads are challenging, you might want to try a 'transition' bread, one with some regular flour in it, while you gain experience in breadmaking.

I have a 50% whole wheat bread recipe posted here (honey wheat) that I developed from a recipe we got from my wife's mother, and it has been our daily bread for several years, I usually make it two or three times a week. (It makes fairly decent burger buns, too.)

One of the better 100% whole grain bread recipes I've found is Peter Reinhart's 'Broom Bread' recipe in his whole grain book, which uses whole grain flour plus oat bran and flax seeds. (I like to add some oatmeal to it as well.)

reply by: skeptic7 on June 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Try reading Laurel Kitchen's bread book or Peter Reinharts Whole Grain baking.

Also give more details about your bread recipe, and how you make the bread. The problem could have come earlier in the cooking stage. Perhaps the recipe has too many heavy ingredients. I like the idea of letting the dough rise uncovered in a proofing box. How many times have you tried this? Have you tried oiling the bread with real oil or butter instead of oil spray and not using plastic wrap?

Try not letting it rise as much. Its possible for a whole wheat bread to over rise and then collapse as the gluten breaks. Let it rise once to nearly double, knock it down gently, form into a loaf and let rise until its just a little smaller than fully risen. Bake at this stage.

Try kneading it some more. I always felt that whole wheat bread takes more kneading to get the gluten developed.

reply by: bellesaz on June 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

Remember too that once your bread deflates.. you can say goodbye to any oven spring. It's too late when that happens.

If you're greasing your plastic wrap (I spray mine with PAM), then perhaps your dough is too warm wherever its rising. Try rising it in the cold oven, with just the oven light on. People often assume that bread needs a super warm place and that's just not so.. your bread can rise in your refrigerator to a large degree.. it just takes longer (and better flavor develops when it's on a long rise).

One thing to remember too is whole grain or heavily whole wheated breads tend not to rise high like white breads. They are a bit denser so you may want to try a bit of dough enhancer/conditioner if you like a lighter loaf. Try mixing in half unbleached white flour.. or white whole wheat flour to your loaves. You'll get a lighter one.

reply by: sab15777 on June 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I like to bake bread with fresh ground whole wheat. I have found the best way to let bread rise is to try to mimic a commercial bakery proofer. I heat my oven to 170 degrees F (that is the lowest temp the oven will go to). As soon as the "pre-heat" light goes off, I turn the oven off. I place my bread dough in the oven and on a rack directly underneath the dough, I place a shallow pan of very hot water. Then, I close the oven door and let the magic happen! You can also do the same thing in the microwave. Just take a mug of water and heat it for about 2-3 minutes (until boiling). Place the mug of hot water in the back corner of the microwave and place your bread dough in the microwave (with the cup of water). Let sit in the warm moist environment until double in bulk.

reply by: barinessel on February 02, 2012 at 10:07 pm

i am wondering if you proofed your yeast you would have had about 1/4 cup of liquid

seeing as you are new to bread making you can always add liquid to get the dough to the consistency you want your dough to be--- you really get the feel of it after you have baked a while then it will become natural

when i have to add liquid i use either seltzer water, or buttermilk

don't give enough baking is a good stress reliever.

good luck to you

reply by: Jock on February 02, 2012 at 11:27 pm

As you can tell from these replies, jbimommy, there are any number of reasons for your deflating problem. My 2 cents worth? You may not have developed (kneaded) the dough enough to develop the gluten. Without a gluten structure strong enough to support the dough it is likely to collapse under its own weight. Don't give up. Bread baking is a journey and one that is very rewarding as your skills improve.