Long story short, I think I overestimated how much my dough expanded during the primary fermentation (it's supposed to double in size, I'd say mine was only 1.3–1.5× the size). Now the dough is already shaped and has been plopped into the loaf pan for the second rise, and it is still growing albeit slowly. Can I let this dough sit for a longer time than usual in order to compensate for the inadequate first rise?

This is an all-purpose flour dough made with a poolish pre-ferment, fairly lean but with a few tbsp of butter.

  • 'Doubling in size' is a common phrase in recipes but terribly ambiguous: a sphere doubles in volume if its radius increases by about 26%. I suggest you go ahead and bake as planned. May 23, 2020 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot and should not, as the first and second rises serve different purposes.

The first rise is mainly for developing gluten and flavour, and after pressing the air out the second rise allows the bread to be fluffy when baked without large air holes developed in the first rise. This is especially true with bread baked in a loaf as you specified, where relatively tight crumb (as opposed to that of a baguette) is usually desirable.

So one issue that may arise is cracking on the sides where the dough rose as it was cooked, due to the lower amount of gluten development, but this should not affect the structure or taste of the final product. If you were to proof the bread too long in the second time, the bread may collapse in the oven, resulting in a dense loaf.

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