Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've been making bread for a while now, but I can never get it to rise enough. The bread comes out really dense, so it's not very useful for sandwiches. I give it ten minutes after kneading, bash it down again, then another hour before baking. I've tried adding sugar as well but this hasn't made much impact.

share|improve this question
add comment

7 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

A big factor besides the dough is the temperature at which you bake the bread.

If you are not baking it at some recipe specified temperature you are probably playing on the safe side and your breads won't raise much.

You have to heat the CO2 pockets quickly so that they expand before the dough hardens. The more temperature you can give it the better.

Another possible factor may be the yeast. Are you waiting enough? Are you using enough? Like temperature, more yeast and longer fermentation times can't go wrong.

share|improve this answer
1  
What temperature do you usually bake at, then? –  lemontwist Oct 1 '12 at 14:17
    
Proofing the yeast is a good option too. Also good for making sure it's alive, and expands before the ingredients that could slow it down get to it. –  yonitdm Dec 20 '13 at 16:02
add comment

Are you slashing the doughball before baking it?

Although they can be decorative, they're functional -- once the crust is formed, the bread can't rise any more, which is going to affect the density. The slashing allows for expansion even after the crust has begun for form.

Also, density might be a sign that you've worked in too much flour. As you end up with more flour if you use dip-and-sweep vs. spoon-and-sweep, you might be adding extra flour without even realizing it.

share|improve this answer
add comment

It sounds to me like you're not letting it rise nearly enough.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Add wheat gluten.

share|improve this answer
    
I really don't think so. The problem is underdeveloped gluten, most likely, not lack thereof. –  daniel Jul 19 '10 at 6:11
1  
"A small amount {of wheat gluten} added to yeast bread recipes improves the texture and elasticity of the dough. It is often used by commercial bakeries to produce light-textured breads." Even my bread machine recipe booklet suggests additional gluten for lighter-textured loaves. On the other hand, it's true that IANAB (I am not a baker). I tried adding gluten, it worked. That it's counter-intuitive I leave to far better minds than mine. –  goblinbox Jul 19 '10 at 9:34
add comment

Try some differn't recipes, there are lots and lots of differnt kind of breads and they work better in differnt places (altitude), flours (damper flours, finer flours) and ovens (all ovens vary). Try a new recipe book and see which breads work for you.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Most recipes that I have made require a lot more rising time. Usually an hour or more for each rise…some do best with 24 hours in the fridge for the second rise. Certainly, there are some recipes that do call for less, but I expect that giving only 10 minutes for your first rise is not enough.

Also, you want to make sure that you are kneading the bread enough and not too much. As a rule of thumb if I don't have a better guideline from the recipe, I will kneed the dough until a bit pinched off the dough ball will stretch about an inch before separating completely.

share|improve this answer
    
I agree. It takes me at least 3 hours to get some bread done, from start to finish. –  Thiago Chaves Jan 4 '12 at 19:39
add comment

If you've tried all the previous methods and still are not having success, I've heard that using seltzer instead of water can make the bread fluffier, usually recommended for whole wheat varieties since that flour is denser, but in other uses too.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-01-08/entertainment/0301080031_1_dough-sparkling-carbon-dioxide

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.