how many times does bread dough need to rise


I have several older bread recipes and the instructions say to let the dough rise in the bowl twice before shaping and putting in pans to rise the third time. I see that most of the recipes online say to only let them rise once in the bowl and to let it rise the second time in the pans. Is there an advantage to an extra rise? What makes the difference? Is there a difference in yeast today?

badge posted by: Goldenrod7 on May 02, 2012 at 1:49 pm in Q & A
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reply by: easyquilts on May 02, 2012 at 3:56 pm

ThaT's a good question... I have only one bread recipe that calls for three rises.... And that's what I di for that particular bread.

I always wonder if the usual two rise would work, and if other breads will benefit from an extra rise....or two.


reply by: Mike Nolan on May 02, 2012 at 4:01 pm
Mike Nolan

Many French bread recipes specify two or more rises before shaping, but most enriched doughs call for just one rise before shaping.

(Paddy's Clonmel double crusty bread calls for two rises before shaping, though, so there's one exception.)

reply by: Wonky on May 03, 2012 at 8:33 am

Goldenrod7..The only thing I have ever made that required a third rise is my raised donut recipe. Wonky

reply by: PaddyL on May 03, 2012 at 11:59 am

Martha Rose Shulman, in her book Great Breads, suggests that if you have the time, it's always good to give the dough an extra rise in the bowl. I always do, even with my sourdough, as it seems to give the bread an extra lift, letting it rise higher than it would without that extra rise in the bowl.

reply by: Goldenrod7 on May 03, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for the comments. I thought too maybe it helps with the texture or lightness of the bread. Maybe I will have to do an experiment sometime.

reply by: Mike Nolan on May 03, 2012 at 1:04 pm
Mike Nolan

If you want to see pictures showing what multiple rises does to a lean dough, see this KAF blog post:

reply by: GinaG on May 03, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Virtually all the breads I make call for multiple rises, the exceptions being James Beard's Sourdough Rye; KAF Now and Later Cinnamon rolls and my pizza dough.

reply by: Mel_KAF on May 04, 2012 at 9:56 am

Extra rises help develop flavor and strengthen dough structure. Give us a call on the baker's hotline if you have other questions! 1-800-827-6836. ~Mel @ KAF

reply by: BakingChemist on May 04, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Here are a few of the reasons for WHY an extra rise might make a difference:

The flour gets extra time to become fully hydrated.

The yeast slowly produces a trace of lactic acid. The longer it rises, the more there is. When you punch down and shape a dough with that extra trace, the acid tenderizes the gluten during the last rise.

The end result is a more tender and consistent crumb.

On the other hand: I was taught to give bread dough two rises before shaping. One day I didn't have time, and just let the dough rise once. This was a dough made with milk and a few eggs but no extra sugar or fat. There wasn't THAT much if your dough was close to the right hydration to start with, an extra rise is not necessary.

reply by: pmiker on May 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

I go by the feel of the dough. If I have perhaps made a dough a bit too wet and it is slack or the dough has risen too fast, I'll punch it down, fold it and let it rise again. In the case of a wet sticky dough, this helps make it more manageable. In the case of dough rising too fast, I may cut back on the yeast next time I make the bread.

reply by: on May 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

I've tried several recipes from Beranbaums' "the bread bible" that call for "three" separate rises and they all turned out great. The amount of time involved always throws me, but so far it's been worth it. I have a family recipes for a Greek Egg Bread that I make at night and let rise till morning and it turns out light and wonderful. When I make it exactly like the recipe calls (one 4 hour and a second 2 hour) the bread is denser and chewier.

reply by: kylew on May 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

One of the big advantages to a second, pre-shaping rise is flavor development. Adding the second rise extends the fermentation time. Fermentation = flavor.