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amck2

Help/Suggestions? My Dough Isn't Rising

amck2
9 years ago

I wanted to try out a recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls that I discovered on the Smitten Kitchen blog. The recipe yields 16 rolls and I halved it to make 8. The dough was supposed to double after an hour's rise, but I note little to no expansion after 1 1/2 hrs.

I purchased the yeast just yesterday and the expiration date is not till 2014. I didn't see much bubbling in the heated milk the instructions said to dissolve it in. They said not to heat the milk over 116 F. I checked mine before adding the yeast and it was 107.

It's pretty cool in my home today (65F) where the dough is rising. Could that be a problem? Could it be because I halved the recipe? Didn't think that would be a problem as the proportion of ingredients is the same.

Wondering how long I should wait to see if the dough rises before proceeded to the rolling out step. Any thoughts?

Comments (29)

  • triciae
    9 years ago

    The amount of yeast might be the problem...but I doubt it.

    It's cool in New England today - 54 degrees here & I'm 100 miles south of you. We are under a high pressure. Your kitchen is also cool. Both the high pressure and the coolness will slow the rising. Also, doughs high in sugar take longer to rise than lean doughs.

    It's okay for it to take longer. The only consideration are ingredients...does the dough contain fresh eggs? If so, I wouldn't leave it out all day. It may take several hours to rise.

    What I'd do...take a teaspoon of your yeast and a 1/4 cup of warm water retest your yeast (107 degrees will not kill your yeast). If it bubbles in 5-10 minutes then I'd just shrug and leave the dough alone checking it every hour, or so. Bread moves to its own drummer. If, by chance, your yeast fails to show any signs of life when you retest - then I'd call it a "lesson" and start over with new/different yeast. If the dough is rising...just painfully slow...you might want to refrigerate it after 2-3 hours. That will retard the rise even more but assure safety with the eggs.

    /tricia

  • centralcacyclist
    9 years ago

    I usually put dough in my oven with the light on if the house is cold. It provides enough warmth to help the yeast along. I think the cold is probably the problem but checking the yeast for life is a good idea. I add a little sugar when I proof yeast.

    "All you do is measure out the yeast and mix it with the water called for in the recipe. Yeast is happiest at about 75-80 degrees, so the water should feel barely warm or lukewarm to the touch. Add just a pinch of sugar to give the yeast something to munch on.

    Let the yeast and water sit for a few minutes. First, the water will dissolve the dry coating around the granules of yeast, releasing the active yeast inside. The active yeast will go to work on the sugar and a bubbly foam will start to form on the surface from the carbon dioxide being released. This foam is proof that the yeast is active, and once you see it, you can add the yeast to your bread dough."

    Here is a link that might be useful: Proofing.

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  • annie1992
    9 years ago

    I also would retest the yeast. If it's OK, I'd just wait or move the dough to a warmer spot to rise. An overnight rise in the refrigerator actually adds some flavor that some like. My kitchen stays about 50 or 55F in the winter, so I've even been known to put the bowl of dough in a cooler with warm towels from the dryer.

    My bread machine, has a heated rise, so it does OK there, and when I form it, I preheat the oven and set the formed rolls or bread on top of the stove to use the heat from the oven to help bread on its final rise.

    Here it's in the 70s, but it'll be in the 40s by the weekend, so it might be a good time for baking then. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls sound really good...

    Annie

  • lindac
    9 years ago

    I would guess your water was too hot and you killed your yeast. Perhaps your thermometer is not accurate....even 2 degrees could be critical. Better to proof yeast in water that feels pretty well like blood temp than too hot.

  • centralcacyclist
    9 years ago

    It's been a while. Has the dough risen at all?

    E

  • triciae
    9 years ago

    Best not to use water over 120 degrees for yeast but it's not killed outright until 145 degrees so unless your temp was way off - yeast temp isn't the problem. My guess is it's just cool in your house.

    /tricia

  • cloudy_christine
    9 years ago

    Do you see signs of life by now?
    I looked at the recipe. It has you mixing butter in with the yeast and milk before any flour goes in. Recipes that do this always slow down the yeast, sometimes to a crawl. The high amount of sugar also slows the rising. These sweet doughs need patience.
    On top of that, you have the dead weight of the pumpkin.
    The yeast is probably fine, but a lot is being asked of it.
    Keep the dough warmer, but don't go too far.

  • amck2
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi All. I'm just returning from walking my dogs who were quite put out from the delay caused by this baking experiment I took on.

    Thank you for all the responses. Before my walk, even though the dough had far from doubled, I rolled, filled, & cut it according to the instructions then set it in the prepared pan for the 2nd 45 min. rise. They were a little poufier after that. I've just put them in the oven for 25 mins. & am eager to see the results.

    I wanted to get right on thanking everyone for their posts so I haven't tried another test w/ the yeast yet. This was the first time I've used a recipe that had me proof yeast in heated milk, as opposed to warm water. I actually thought the 116F she specified not going over was high compared to the temp of water I usually use (100-102ish). I used my Thermapen to test, which has always given me accurate readings.

    If it's not the yeast, I think the coolness of the room might have contributed to the slow rise. In winter, I usually put my dough to rise in the basement utility room where it's always toasty warm. But I haven't turned the heat on yet this year. I set the glass bowl w/ the dough in my oven to avoid drafts, but it hadn't been heated. I thought it would be a better spot than the cool granite countertop, but maybe not...

    The rolls are starting to make the kitchen smell very good. I'll report back w/ results when I have them.

    Thanks again, for being there for me!

  • cynic
    9 years ago

    I'm more inclined to think it's the room temp. Some set things on top of a refrigerator for a warmer spot. I used to turn the oven on a bit, shut it off and leave the light on and it gave a warmer spot. Put a couple cups of boiling water in there with it and the steam will make a nice proofing box. The cooler idea is great. Never heard that one before.

  • azzalea
    9 years ago

    I agree with most, that it's most likely the room temperature. That hour suggested in the recipe is only a guide--it's not written in stone, and the more important thing is to follow the 'till double' direction, whether the rising takes 1/2 hour or 2 hours. There are a lot of variables that affect the time it takes for yeast to rise.

    However, just wanted to mention a few other variables. The yeast and salt called for in the recipe shouldn't come in contact until both are well distributed/dissolved in other ingredients. A high concentration of salt will kill your yeast. The one thing I wondered about--you added the yeast to the warmed milk. Did that milk also have dissolved butter (or oil) in it? If so, that could be your problem--if you drop the yeast into a pot/bowl of milk with fat floating on top, the fat coats the yeast, and definitely retards its ability to dissolve properly and grow. And, of course, even though you bought your yeast yesterday, and it is within the useable dates, there is still the question of whether it was properly stored before you purchased it. If there is any of the yeast left, I'd definitely proof it with water and a pinch of sugar, just to see if the yeast might not be the problem.

    Hope they turned out well, in spite of the issues you had making them--sounds like a recipe my dd would like

  • amck2
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    First, let me say that those rolls left such a delicious aroma in my home that I might have made them again just for that. However, I'm happy to report that they did rise with baking and tasted great. I ate one with a cup of coffee, saved one, and drove the remaining 6 to my daughters' for her and her family to enjoy.

    Then I went back to test my yeast... and the plot thickens.

    I've been baking all my adult life, but have only began baking bread and making yeast doughs since discovering this forum a few years ago. So I know I still have a lot to learn.

    I tested some of the yeast that remained in the packet I used in the rolls by putting it in a glass measure with water at 105F to which I'd added a pinch of sugar. After 5 mins., then 10 mins. - nothing. No foam or bubbling.

    I checked the instructions on an unopened, attached packet and it said to Mix the yeast w/ dry ingredients then add liquids that have been heated to 120 to 130F. (What?!, I thought) So, I began again, heating water to 125F, pinch of sugar, then yeast. Ten mins. later - nothing but still, murky looking water.

    Since I'd read the recipe called for active yeast, to be sure I had some I bought Fleishmann's RapidRise Highly Active Yeast yesterday.

    So, for those of you more yeast savvy than I, is this a type of yeast that doesn't foam or bubble when mixed with liquids? Is it a type that I shouldn't have chosen for this recipe?

    I really thought in the end, after reading through all the above posts, that my slow rise was due to a combination of cool temperatures and the properties of the heavier pumpkin dough. But now I think the yeast I used may not have been the best choice.

  • trailrunner
    9 years ago

    Here is a link to the differences in yeasts. You should never substitute Rapid Rise for any other kind of yeast. You can sub inst/ and active dry for each other. Rapid Rise has different properties and unless specified don't use it.

    Anything with cinnamon will rise more slowly. It is a known yeast retardant. Also the protein in milk will slow the yeast so dissolving it in a bit of warm water first and using a little less milk to allow for it would have helped.

    It is indeed true that the instant yeast is intended to be mixed in and not proofed. That said most of us that are "old timer" bakers still like to proof just in case...can really be irritating to find that the yeast wasn't good after the fact !

    I didn't look at your recipe but I can tell you that it probably specifies the temp to rise the rolls at but if it doesn't then you were off by quite a bit as far as temp goes. 90-100 degrees is what commercial yeast loves.

    A slow rise over night in the fridge will also work but slow and developed flavor is what you will get.

    Good Luck next time and read this link. c

    Here is a link that might be useful: Yeast and its differences

  • amck2
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Thanks, trailrunner, for your help. I won't be using Rapid Rise again unless it's specifically called for in a recipe. I bet the above info will be helpful to other bakers, too.

    Even though my results were good, I'm eager to try the recipe again using "regular" dry active yeast and incorporating the tips you and others have offered.

  • teresa_nc7
    9 years ago

    If you plan to continue baking bread (and I hope you will!) get some Lesaffre SAF Instant Yeast in a 1-lb. bag. Pour some of the yeast in a smaller glass jar with a tight fitting lid (I use a 2 cup canning jar)and keep it in the fridge. Fold down the top of the bag of yeast and keep it closed with tape or a rubber band, put it in a zip freezer bag and keep in the freezer. Refill your glass jar as needed from the bag of yeast in the freezer and keep the jar of yeast in the fridge.

    Teresa

    Here is a link that might be useful: SAF yeast on Amazon

  • trailrunner
    9 years ago

    amck: you are most welcome ! Yeast is a strange and wonderful thing but it has to be managed just like any other living organism. If you don't take care of it you will end up with a failure.

    Teresa is correct and I used to do that. I now only bake with my own wild yeast culture. I used the tutorial on The Fresh Loaf ...sourdough 101...to make my starter. It takes about 7 days and then you can start baking. I teach classes in how to do this now and it is great fun. It is a very different way of baking and does take some getting used to. There is no kneading per se and the amount of time it takes is greater than with commercial yeast but the quality of the baked product and the taste are superb. If you are interested you might take a look at the link below. Another excellent place to look is Wild Yeast Blog. Susan has wonderful formulas, I use them all the time.

    Below is the link to the starter instructions. c

    Here is a link that might be useful: sourdough 101

  • foodonastump
    9 years ago

    Trailrunner - Please talk about the difference with Rapid Rise yeast. According to Fleischmann's site, instant, bread machine and rapid rise are all the same thing.

    Here is a link that might be useful: fleischmann's

  • trailrunner
    9 years ago

    foas: here you go...
    "This yeast has also been milled into smaller particles so that it doesn't need to be dissolved into water. In addition, enzymes and other additives are included to make the dough rise faster. With this yeast, you can skip the first rise of the dough and shape the loaves right after kneading.

    What you save in time, you lose in flavor and structure. Your final loaf will be fairly bland and commercial tasting, with a tight, uniform crumb. Since it behaves so differently, this yeast cannot be substituted for either active dry or instant active dry yeasts."

    Fleischmann's states on the site you linked, that it eliminates the 1st rise. This is a critical difference and there are a lot more additives in the yeast to allow for this difference. You get fast rise and much less flavor , Hope this helps. c

  • lpinkmountain
    9 years ago

    Totally cool info on the yeast!

  • foodonastump
    9 years ago

    That is good info, thanks! Fleischmann's doesn't seem to make instant yeast, so I always took their word for it that it's the same thing. I have limited experience with yeast dough, but this may explain why my rise is always something like twice as fast as recipes state, even those calling for instant yeast.

    Perhaps it's time to order some SAF yeast, and blame all past failures on Fleischmann's ;-)

    Here's hoping Grainlady weighs in... (even if we've been thru this discussion before!)

  • centralcacyclist
    9 years ago

    I prefer fresh yeast. I think the flavor is superior. But it's hard to find and has a short shelf life.

    Eileen

  • annie1992
    9 years ago

    I buy yeast in bulk at Sam's Club, I get two 1 lb. packages for less than $5.00. One goes into a quart jar in my refrigerator, the other into the freezer, where it keeps nearly forever. I do bake a lot of bread, though, so I use it far before it could ever go bad.

    I use Fleishman's Instant yeast, BTW, I've never used the Rapid Rise. I don't have problems with dough rising too quickly, so I don't think it's Fleishman's fault, LOL. Mine overproofs if I forget about it and rises quickly only if I give it a place that's really too warm.

    FOAS, do you use instant or rapid rise? My understanding is the rapid rise that is different, but bread machine yeast is basically the same as instant yeast which is the same as active dry yeast.

    Eileen, I agree, but have not found fresh yeast here in years.

    Annie

  • foodonastump
    9 years ago

    Annie, now I'm really confused. I didn't think Fleischmann's made something marketed as instant yeast because it's not on the products page I linked. But a quick search on Amazon does show instant yeast.

    Why don't they list it on their web site? Why would they say all three are the same if they are not the same product? Why have I never seen it at the store, although there's always active, bread machine and rapidrise?

    It's almost time for an email to Fleischmann's.

  • jessicavanderhoff
    9 years ago

    Glad to hear the final product was good.

    I wantonly ignore types of yeast and temperatures (well, except for making sure I don't put the yeast in anything hot enough to kill it). Any type of yeast should bubble in warm sugar water within minutes. I think you just got a bad pack of yeast, but it wasn't quite completely dead, so it rose in the oven. It doesn't happen much, but maybe that shipment baked in the back of a delivery truck on a hot day. But, far and away, the most common cause of a poor rise is not enough kneading. So, you might knead a little extra if you try the recipe again, just to be safe. It's virtually impossible to overknead.

  • trailrunner
    9 years ago

    Ok...here goes again :) You can't ever ever substitute RAPID RISE for anything else...never. The recipes that call for it have taken its specific properties in to consideration and the final product will be a result of this.

    ADY or Active Dry Yeast and Instant Yeast are interchangeable. The only difference is the amount you use. 20% less instant and you MUST activate ADY with warm water , you do not need to activate instant.

    I will cut/paste this info and attach a link from The Fresh Loaf. Hope this finally clears up the confusion.

    The reason annie has not had a problem with a too fast rise is , as she says, she has not use Rapid Rise.

    "Active Dry Yeast
    This is probably what comes to mind when you think of yeast. It's dry and granular, about the consistency of cornmeal. To use it, you dissolve a few teaspoons in warm water (110-degrees or cooler) and then add it to the rest of the ingredients. This yeast will behave 'typically' and will give your dough two rises.

    Instant Active Dry Yeast
    This is also known as "bread machine yeast." This yeast is milled into finer particles and it does not need to be dissolved in water like active dry yeast does so you can add it along with the dry ingredients.

    This yeast also gives you two separate rises and it can be used interchangeably with active dry yeast. Measure out the same amount of yeast and skip the water-activation step.

    Rapid-Rise Yeast
    This yeast has also been milled into smaller particles so that it doesn't need to be dissolved into water. In addition, enzymes and other additives are included to make the dough rise faster. With this yeast, you can skip the first rise of the dough and shape the loaves right after kneading.

    What you save in time, you lose in flavor and structure. Your final loaf will be fairly bland and commercial tasting, with a tight, uniform crumb. Since it behaves so differently, this yeast cannot be substituted for either active dry or instant active dry yeasts.

    Fresh Compressed Cake Yeast
    This is the kind of yeast that commercial bakers tend to use. It's a solid block with a clay-like consistency, is more dependable, and dissolves easily. However, it's 2-week shelf life makes it less ideal for home bakers to use (the granular yeasts above have a shelf-life of about a year in the fridge).

    If you want to try fresh yeast, use twice the amount of fresh yeast as dry yeast called for in the recipe."

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Fresh Loaf yeast FAQ

  • foodonastump
    9 years ago

    No need to get frustrated, I understand what you're saying and I found and read the article on the Fresh Loaf myself. My question is not about what YOU are saying but rather, why the people who actually MAKE this stuff say on their web site that instant, rapidrise and bread machine are the same product and interchangeable if they're not.

  • foodonastump
    9 years ago

    (Correction - I found the article with your original quote on thekitchn.)

    I've sent an email to Fleischmann's and will post their response.

  • trailrunner
    9 years ago

    sorry..didn't mean to be "grumpy" ! I had a short fuse about something else entirely and shouldn't have let it bleed over here ;)

    I will look forward to hearing what they say...bear in mind that they talk one thing but rarely will the person who answers be a baker/user of the product to the extent that many of us are. I have used the Fleischmann's packets since the early 70;s...I even have a bunch of them cause they have the recipes on the back and I liked them so much ! It always worked...every single time so I have no complaint with their product. Just be aware that they don't really know how their product works IRL like some of us do over almost 40 years of use. c

  • jessicavanderhoff
    9 years ago

    *I* can put on a Rastafarian wig and a tutu and tap dance in the middle of the street, if I want to.

    I use Active Dry yeast straight out of the freezer without warm water all the time. It may take a little longer, but it works fine. I consider a 20% difference in yeast to be insignificant. It is not going to ruin my day if the rise time is 20% different. If I'm making sourdough, I'm only going to use a tiny pinch either way. As Tricia said, Bread moves to its own drummer anyway.

    And while you may get a faster rise with RapidRise (although milk probably neutralizes the ascorbic acid anyway, and particle size is irrelevant once the yeast is dissolved in liquid), it's certainly not the reason the cinnamon rolls didn't rise.

    I don't think it pays for novice bakers to obsess about technicalities. It intimidates them and distracts them from figuring out the real problem, which, 95% of the time, is something simple, like killing the yeast in hot liquid, not kneading enough, letting the dough dry out on top so it stops rising, or baking it before it's risen enough. When I was learning to make bread and having problems, people also copied and pasted paragraphs and charts about breadmaking. The problem? I wasn't kneading nearly enough. In fact, it's nearly impossible to hand knead a stiff dough as thoroughly as you would in a machine, and even in a machine, it's usually better to err on the side of overkneading. Once you're able to avoid those few common mistakes, you can experiment, substitute, and ignore a lot, and still end up with a good result.

  • annie1992
    9 years ago

    Jessica, I also use active dry yeast without proofing first, and although King Arthur Flour says bread made with bread flour cannot be kneaded by hand, I've done that too.

    I think I've broken nearly every "rule" there is and still get edible results, although not always optimal ones. Bread is as simple as you want it to be, or as complex as you care to make it. Bread has a life of its own and works on its own timeframe. It depends on a myriad of factors, from humidity to temperature to type of wheat to age of flour.

    Trailrunner, I've also used Fleishman's for ages and it's performed consistently well.

    Annie