The Bread Also Rises: Dump the slump of over-risen bread

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Picture it, if you will. Lebanon, NH. 1991. A newly married young woman carefully balances a loaf pan of yeast bread dough as she brings it to the oven.

The loaf is magnificent, standing at least 6″ high and domed on top like the crown of a hot air balloon. Although gentle, her footfalls cause the loaf to wobble like pale, puffy Jell-O.

Lovely and lofty, the bread shares other features with a balloon. The dough at this point is nearly transparent; a slight breeze seems enough to blow the dome to one side. Placing the pan on the oven rack, she closes the door with a small thump, then watches in horror through the glass window as her perfect loaf collapses to roughly the height of a leaky inflatable wading pool.

Well, you’ve probably guessed by now that the bread in question was one of my first breads, and I’m sure most of you have shared a similar experience. Watching your “perfect” loaf wither away is one of the most disheartening things that can happen to a baker, and I’m sure has caused many a newbie to give up on yeast breads forever.

Luckily, I lived close enough to the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Store that I was able to talk with a baker and learn how to prevent the colossal collapse from happening again. Over the years I’ve learned more from my fellow bakers, and added it all to my bag of tricks. So, speaking for my fellows, I’m here to help you determine when your bread is perfectly risen, to give you that consummate crown on every loaf you bake.

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Let’s start with a batch of basic white bread that’s risen once, and been divided into two equal loaves. Usually I eyeball it when dividing dough, but for the sake of clarity I made sure to divide the dough by weight.

Each ball of dough was shaped and pressed into an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. They were lightly covered with lightly greased plastic wrap, and set on the counter to rise in a 68°F room.

One loaf is destined for greatness; one will be forced into failure. Don’t mourn the loaf, it’s for science.

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On our Baker’s Hotline we frequently tell folks that when dealing with yeast breads and rise times,  always go by the look of the dough, not by the clock. A loaf may rise in 25 minutes in one kitchen, but take 35 in another. Timeframes given in recipes are guidelines, rather than deadlines.

Our first loaf is looking good. It’s risen visibly, so let’s start checking to see if it’s ready for the oven yet.

So, how do you tell when a loaf is perfectly risen?

First, the knuckle test.

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I’m sure nearly every baker has seen a line in a recipe advising “let rise until 1″ over the rim of the pan”. In a perfect world, that line would actually read “OK, tilt your head to the side so you can look at the crown of the bread from the side. The very top of that dome should be 1″ over the rim of the pan. No, no, not right at the edge, but in the very center.”

That’s all a little too wordy, so it’s been shortened over the years, and now can lead us easily astray.

The good news is, you have a built-in 1″ measure that can really help you determine how high your loaf has risen at a glance. From the tip of your thumb to the first knuckle is approximately 1″.  If you view the loaf from the side, placing your thumb on the rim of the pan, you should be able to tell if your loaf is under, over, or just about right.

Take a look at the photo above. Do you feel it’s over 1″, under, or just right? If you said under, you’re right. I’d give this bread another 10 minutes, then check again.

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Next, let’s check with the poke test.

Lightly flour your index finger and press it gently into the dough, about to the bed of your fingernail. If the indentation remains and doesn’t spring back/fill in, then the bread is well risen and ready for the oven. Have no fear, the “belly button” will rise and bake out just fine in the oven.

Adios, first loaf. You’re good to go. See you in 25 minutes!

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Bread #2 was left to sit at room temperature while bread #1 baked, so it got an additional 30 minutes on the counter. It looks like a buxom, well-rounded loaf. Let’s give it the first test.

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Well, I’d say it’s more than 1″, wouldn’t you?  Let’s look at something else as well, from a different angle.

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On the end of the pan, you can see the dough has crested over the rim and is starting to overflow. This is not a good sign. Remember, what goes up must come down, and if your loaf is starting to come down already, the internal structure from the gluten is becoming compromised and weaker.

The bread may not be a total loss at this point though. You can gently deflate the dough, reshape it, and set it to rise again. Watch it very carefully, as this third rise will go quite quickly and probably won’t be as high. The yeast is becoming exhausted, and doesn’t have as much oomph as it did a couple of hours ago.

Let’s get this loaf to the oven before we wait any longer, to see what happens when you don’t choose to deflate, reshape, and go for the third rise.

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Here are the results.

Loaf #1 is on the far left, loaf #2 is on the far right. In the middle is one more loaf that I baked the following week. As you can see, catching the loaf at the right time gives you the roundest, fullest crown.

The middle loaf is an example of how you can catch a loaf that’ slightly over-risen and still bake it. You’ll see a slightly sunken center, and you may see more bubbles and gaps under the top crust; but it isn’t as big a flop as loaf #2.

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Poor, poor loaf on the end. The deeply sunken center, the curl of crust that fell over the edge of the pan, and that hideously coarse crumb all speak to severe over-rising. The scent of the bread is sour, but not the good healthy sour of sourdough: it’s a more perfumed sour that makes you think of over-ripe fruit.

All in all, quite the disappointment for all the hard work and ingredients you’ve put into this loaf.

Now, wave good-bye to this kind of sad slab forever, for you know the secrets to never having this happen again. Armed (thumbed?) with your own personal measuring tools, you’ll forever be able to judge when your loaves are ready to slide into the oven to emerge as golden brown domes of handsomeness and flavor.

Now, I’m sure there are questions or details that you still want to ask about, and that’s great. Let’s fill up the comments section with as much helpful information as we can. Tell me your own stories about “The Giant Loaf that Ate Cleveland.” And, of course, my pals and I at the Baker’s Hotline are happy to help you, too.

 

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Terri A.

    Great tutorial! I too often go by the clock and end up with a #3 looking bread. I need to be more diligent in just watching the bread and not the clock. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      It is really freeing once you get used to it and it really pays off in the end. Happy baking! ~MJ

  2. BGinBmore

    How much flour is in that batch of basic white bread? I’ve seen a 4-cups-of-flour recipe that calls for a 9×5″ pan and another that calls for two 8×4″ pans.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi there,
      This particular recipe is 6 cups of flour, more or less, for 2 loaves. ~ MJ

  3. Peggy

    What about dough that doesn’t rise at all? I tried the KAF classic 100% white whole wheat recipe and got a dense brick of bread after baking. I used KAF white whole wheat flour and instant red star yeast. Too many variables… Under kneaded? Over kneaded? Bad yeast? Interested in your thoughts- thanks.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      The first thing I would do would be to test the yeast to make sure it is working. 1/2 teaspoon yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup of water. Stir together and let sit for 10-15 minutes. If it doesn’t foam up like the top of a cappuccino then the yeast is dead and would need to be replaced. If it isn’t the yeast, it may be the water temperature is too hot, there is too much flour added for the dough to be able to rise. Test out the yeast first though, then give us a call so we can troubleshoot the other stuff. ~ MJ

    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Oh, it is still edible, a little on the sour side. The crouton idea folks have been tossing out is excellent! ~MJ

  4. Mary

    Don’t throw out that deflated loaf! It will make fine breadcrumbs or cubes, which will keep nicely in the freezer until a recipe calls for them.

    I haven’t had this particular problem (recently) but often have loaves with sliding or cockeyed tops. Suggestions for that malady?

    And thanks to all the people at KAF who make our lives more fun and satisfying.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Mary,
      I’m dealing with the same issue of sloping tops. Turns out that my oven is a bit off kilter and needs to be re-leveled. That may be something to check out. ~ MJ

    2. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Excellent idea about the croutons by the way. Flat doesn’t mean useless! ~ MJ

  5. Tiara

    I love your blog and pics. This past year of baking bread on a weekly basis has taught me a lot – I’ve definitely have gone the route of watching the dough on their rises vs. watching the clock. I’ve had my dough double in 35-40 minutes on the first rise instead of the hour that the recipe sometimes says. And I love the thumb trick as I normally “eyeball” the one inch. Just last week I made the Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin loaves and they came out of the oven looking beautiful. But then when I popped them out of the pans and put them on the cooling rack, the sides and bottom shrunk inwards (like #3 loaf but upside-down) The top looked really nice. Any ideas? Did I take them out of the pans too soon? I popped them out immediately once out of the oven.

    Reply
    1. Amy Trage

      It’s possible that the shrinking was due to under-baking. Be sure that the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 190-205°. ~Amy

  6. Carol

    I am SO happy to see this – I have never thought much about the rising “height” – sometimes I have a perfect loaf – other times not so – so I assume this pretty much goes for rolls as well?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Yes, same idea. Watch for the rolls to look full and buxom, but not as full as they would look after baking. Basically, if it looks “almost” perfect, it’s ready for the oven. ~ MJ

  7. Kim

    Are there atmospheric conditions that might also contribute to #3? I’ve had 2 loaves, one regular and one machine and both sunk like rocks. The regular loaf was a whole wheat (yes, your flour) and it just never did rise enough; hours later still not enough rise at all. The ambient temps were 60 degrees F and low humidity.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Altitude will certainly have a big effect on bread doughs, particularly in the rise time and proofing speed. I often use both our KAF altitude tutorial (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html) and the New Mexico State University resources page on high altitude baking when I’m looking at possible issues the elevation might cause (http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/e-215/welcome.html). As they both suggest, bread will often rise much faster at high altitude for several reasons, leading to over-proofing much sooner. It can be helpful if you cut back the yeast a bit and adding an extra rise and punch down may be beneficial as well. Hope that helps! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  8. Amy

    What do you think about 100% whole wheat loaves? I’ve historically tended to let mine go a bit further than the ideal white loaf rise, on purpose, because they don’t achieve as much oven spring and letting them rise a bit longer gives me more of a domed loaf. My top crust does often end up a bit dimpled with a few bubbles under the surface, but I’ve typically attributed that to poor (read lazy) shaping technique, and the flavor is good. Should I pull back on that rising time, do you think?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Amy- I would recommend still going with the proper rise time when you are using whole wheat breads. They do often not rise as high as white bread due to the nature of the whole wheat flour, and I completely understand the efforts to get a little extra rise, but you may be compromising other factors in your bread by letting it over-proof a bit. In regards to the bubbles, I would make sure that you are really fully degassing the loaf before you shape it up, and then that should help a bit to keep those bubbles from persisting through the bake. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  9. Juli N

    I have noticed this problem in the past, but had no clue what to do about it. When I think about it, I have the over-rising problem more in the summer months than the winter months. I have always set a timer and walked away until it went off — guess I shouldn’t do that, I should be more vigilent.

    Quick question — does rise matter if you use a pain de miel pan? After all the goal is square with corners, no a pretty top.

    Juli

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It absolutely still matters! Rise is not only important to make your loaf look nice, but it also effects many other factors such as the final texture and structure of the loaf. So keep your eye on it and you should be baking beautiful loaves in no time! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  10. Bob Mowdy

    I would like to understand your comment on the “hideous” crumb structure.

    I strive for an open texture in many of my breads, and eschew white bread in favor of crust and bite.

    This week, I made mostly white Kaiser rolls, and a rye from a slightly modified KAF Sandwich Rye recipe, both with excellent crusts and structure.

    I generally rise twice before panning and bake as the loaf reaches just over pan top, or I make boules

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I think in this case, the comment has to be taken in the context of the recipe. While a large, irregular and open crumb is certainly desirable for many breads, I think MJ was going for a fine regular denser crumb with this particular sandwich bread recipe. But each bread and each baker certainly is looking for something different with each recipe and I think that is what makes the world of bread baking such a fun and diverse place to be! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  11. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - SENAC - Petrópolis, R.J.- BRAZIL

    I really like these kind of posts! They allow us to discuss about what could go wrong when we bake breads daily and be in touch with the problems that causes the great numbers of disappointments, specially to beginers. During my classes of baking breads i really encourage the students to do, and do, and do again, facing the problems with critical minds!
    At this question of rising times, when we need to judge when a loaf is ready to be baked, i noticed that instead of this high rising and excess of fermentation, the students here have much more tendence to have problems with not risened enough loaves. They have this problem and i think it´s due to nowadays stress. They tend to judge that breads are ready to go to the oven, before the correct rise have been achieved. I think it´s a bad vicious to the civilization of today, submited to stress or daily working tasks and not have own control of time, accelerating the correct judgement of the time, causing the problems of self rising doughs. It´s really bad!! Bread baking needs technic and patience!
    Another good technic i use here is to set a high temperature at the oven, at begining of process, spraying 2 or 3 seconds of steam in the oven, then, turn off the oven for 5 to 7 minutes and after, finally restart oven using the correct temperature for all of the remained baking time. It allows a great crown rising of bread and crumb inside turn too much softly and nice!!!
    Excelent post!!!!!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      I agree with you Ricardo. I think it is harder to slow down these days for many people. I’m happy that people are still baking, I hope they get the time to enjoy the process as much as getting a result. Thanks for sharing your steaming technique, I’ll add it to my list to try. ~ MJ

  12. "meg krantz"

    This is great information. One of my challenges is fitting the loaves in the oven at the appropriate time. I have a standard (ok – sub standard) home range. My favorite challah recipe uses 6 lbs – yes lbs – of flour. I divide the dough and braid it into one huge wreath and one huge crown loaf for church functions. Only one loaf fits in the oven at a time. How do I put half the dough “on hold” to wait it’s turn in the oven? I have tried refrigerating the dough to slow its rise and it expanded all over the place.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I am not sure at which point you are refrigerating your dough. You may want to put it in the refrigerator at an earlier point in the process – midway through its time in the bowl, for example, rather than after the challah is shaped. You might also try using cooler liquids to mix your dough. This, too, will slow the rise and give you more control.~Jaydl@KAF

  13. Gambles

    Can I jump onto Amy’s post w/ Jocelyn’s answer:June 20, 6:18 PM? I have always been very thorough in the degassing process, but then I came upon instructions specifically for Ciabatta that said to treat the dough with kid gloves between the first rise and shaping. I actually don’t really like the true artisan big holes which is probably good since I have NEVER been able to achieve them!! I have started to try – specifically in the KAF Chewy Italian Roll recipe.

    Should Ciabatta be completely degassed also? If so, any idea why I never get holes whether thoroughly degassed of not?

    I’m VERY excited so I just have to tag this on because after a couple of decades of fear and failure with yeast, thanks for KAF, I just used up my first ONE POUND BRICK OF YEAST!!! It took just over a year. Over the years, I have thrown away more of those little three packs of yeast than I can count. I’m just thrilled to have found the good stuff and learned to keep it in the freezer. (I’m still working my way through the Gold brick…..:)

    Thanks, Suzanne

    Reply
  14. Anna

    You know what though? When my bread does rise too much and falls, I still bake it and we all LOVE to eat the crunchy flopped over portion. It is still all delicious.

    Reply
  15. Michael Gates

    What are the nutritional values of this bread? Especially calories.

    I realize bread flour is 110 calories per quarter cup.

    How do I calculate the calorie count of a half inch slice of this bread?

    thanks,
    MIKE

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi Mike,
      While we don’t have the nutritional info for all of the recipes up at this time, there are some great free calculators available online. Just Google “free nutritional calculator” and you should get plenty of results to help you on the way. ~ MJ

  16. Jill Cornish

    My old breadman machine never failed me until the end when the heat element went out. I decided to get a Zo and I haven’t been as happy since. I have a lot of fallen loaves. I use the standard setting for most of my bread but, more often than not, I get that ugly loaf. How do I change the rise time? Perhaps I am using too much liquid, or some other ingredient? It isn’t just with one recipe (most often I make maple yogurt whole wheat) so it has to be something else. Ideas?

    Reply
    1. David Priester

      I had similar trouble with my ZO. I could never get a decent loaf out of it. I asked for a replacement and the new one works much better, though I think a little cycle fine tuning is in order. I think it still bakes too long on the wheat cycle. This winter when I’m inside more I plan to experiment more. But the replaced machine works vastly better.

  17. Margi Houk

    Great post; the visuals and explanations are outstanding!! Thank you so very much!

    It seems I’ve been baking bread forever (I’m 60) and relying on my instinct (instilled, as a child, at the side of my late Amish grandmother who baked every day) for “look,” “feel” and, on occasion, “smell” for wonderful yeast breads. While others’ loaves are falling & sinking around me, people tell me my breads are “died and gone to heaven” good (and good looking, too!).

    I’ve found, living at 5,000′ elevation in the (dry) High Desert surrounding Reno, NV, a few “basic” adjustments to any yeast bread recipe are needed (in my kitchen, anyway): 1) a little more flour & liquid 2), a little less sweetener, 3) leave the amount of yeast unchanged, 4) two rises in the bowl ( I LOVE punching it down!) and, 5) one rise in the pan (but only just barely level with the top of the pan; just barely under is usually better) combined with my “Grandma Instinct” produces consistently gorgeous, and delicious, loaves; every time; doesn’t matter if I use all purpose flour, bread flour or 100% whole grain. My little secret(s); well… not anymore, I guess. :)

    Thank you so much, again! I’m feeling inspired; I think I feel a pan of cinnamon rolls coming on….

    Reply
  18. Constance Frayer

    This tutorial with the pictures and anecdotes was very helpful and mimicked past frustrations. Since logging into KAF, and its hotline, my breads have come out great, preceded by years of trying and failing…..that “sour” dough hit the mark. Never had so much fun with baking!
    My husband grew up in a home with fresh home made bread; after 30 years of marriage, I am finally hitting the mark!

    Reply
  19. Nancy H

    I have had loaves that rose too far, and I re-shaped, and baked after a third rise. But I learned the hard way not to put the dough back into the same pan without cleaning and re-greasing the pan!! My funniest overrise, though, was a batch of croissants on a warm day–the butter melted out of the dough and pooled on the pan. Kinda hard to re-shape those! I haven’t had much of a problem with over-proofing for years, though I had to increase in vigilance when I moved from 600 ft above sea level to 5000 feet. It definitely makes a difference on rise time! I had to switch to gluten free about a year ago, though, and am still re-learning to make bread. I recently tried your GF sandwich bread recipe, which is supposed to rise 45 to 60 minutes in the pan before baking. Apparently gluten free rises even faster than wheat-based bread at higher elevations–my loaf was extremely bubbly and beginning to flow over the edge of the pan after only 30 minutes. I removed it from the pan and stirred it down, and placed it in a freshly greased pan. It had risen far enough in only 15 minutes the second time! The quality of the final product wasn’t what I had hoped, probably due to having to rise a second time. I will be trying the recipe again, and next time I’ll be much more vigilant…

    Reply
  20. Betty Schweickert

    Love the tutorial (with pictures!!!). My biggest problem is with kneading… too much? not enough? Although my loaf looks good, it squashes down when I try to slice it. Help, please.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Betty,
      Glad you enjoyed this blog! Are you kneading by hand or machine? It’s almost impossible to knead too much by hand, but you can definitely go too far with a mixer. It’s hard to say why your bread is squashing without a little more information. Please call our Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-2253 so we can better assist you. Barb@KAF

  21. Roberta Paula Books

    Although I love to make and eat great bread, we don’t eat all that much of it. We don’t eat that many carbs altogether, so solutions such as croutons don’t help much. Once the loaf gets stale, I can use it for toast for a few days, but then I throw out this wonderful loaf. Any ideas about keeping breads longer?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Roberta, to store your bread for longer, you might consider freezing half of your loaf after the bread has cooled.~Jaydl@KAF

  22. Laura

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve long suspected that my loaves were over-risen, so I’ve always stuck to the minimum rise time suggested by the recipe. I decided to test it out on a loaf of harvest grains bread today. Lo and behold, it crowned an inch and passed the poke test after only 10 minutes in the loaf pan. It came out of the bread machine nice and warm, right into my sweltering NYC kitchen, but still. Ten minutes?? I think you’ve helped me solve the mystery of the collapsing bread!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Laura-
      So glad we have been able to help you solve the mystery…especially when the answer is such an incredibly short rise time! Happy Bread Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

    2. bactitech

      I have recently started baking bread a lot, after toying with it on and off for years. I am a clinical microbiologist, and it is interesting to deal with microbiology-at-home :-). Please realize that yeasts are living organisms. The warmer it is, the faster they will grow. We incubate fungal cultures from human sources at 30 degrees Centigrade (yeasts are fungi, and bread yeasts are specific fungi cultivated for bread making), which is 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If your kitchen is sweltering it’s probably in the 80′s. Your yeast is going to grow pretty quickly. In a cool winter-time house, where you may only have the thermostat set at 68, your bread is going to rise a lot more slowly. It is very temperature dependent. Hope I’ve helped.

  23. Carol Rumrill

    HELP – I made bread a couple of weeks ago – it rose really fast both in the bowl and the pans – in about 30 minutes each time. When I put them in the oven – they seemed fine but when it was almost time to take them out – they had fallen ! They weren’t soggy – did make great toast. Any ideas what went wrong – and I DID follow the directions to the “T”. Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sometimes in the summer months your bread dough will move much faster than your recipe might indicate. One thing you can do, especially if you are using instant yeast, is to use cool liquids in your recipe. Another think you can try is to reduce the amount of yeast by a bit. For more tips on dealing with a runaway bread rise, please give our Baker’s Hotline a call: 855-371-2253. Barb@KAF

  24. Jw

    I made. Dinner rolls, tasted great, but on the second rise, after they were shapped into rolls and covered, which I used a damp cotton cloth, they stuck to the cloth, what do you use to cover the bread so it does not stick?

    Thank you, Jack

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Jack, the easiest and safest thing to do for the second rise is to spray some plastic wrap, and use it greased side down to cover your rolls. The towel is fine in a big bowl that has enough headroom, but as you found out, once the dough is shaped, it’s better to switch tactics! Susan

  25. Dasha

    How do you use the 1″ or thumb rising height rule for breads that are braided and not baked in a loaf pan; in other words, how do you determine that a braided bread (I make a Czech braided Christmas bread called “vanocka”) baked on a cookie sheet has risen enough and not too much.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The 1″ rule of thumb wouldn’t be quite appropriate for a braided loaf on a sheet pan. An enriched dough should feel soft and a bit puffy when it goes into the oven. Experience definitely makes determining when the bread is ready for the oven easier. One nice test is to give the dough a little poke with your finger. A well-risen dough won’t fill in the poked hole.~Jaydl@KAF

  26. Jw

    Thanks for the reply. My oven has a proofing feature, whic the tempature is 100 degrees. Can I still use the greased plastic wrap, or the shower cap I saw on another King Arthur blog?

    Jack

    Reply
  27. vanessa

    I let my sourdough sit too long. I fell asleep and forgot it till morning. Yes, it has a hard crust and yes it smells of alcohol…so…I thought feed it! It was on it’s first rise so I punched it down, it was stringy when lifting it from the pan. I floured a work surface and kneaded it a it adding more flour maybe 1/2 cup total. Seemed to take it in easily and the smell began to dissipate. I am right now letting it go through it’s 2nd rise and diligently watching it. I will post back as soon I see what happens in the end.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Best of luck with your rescue efforts, Vanessa! I feel a revival coming on! Jocelyn@KAF

  28. Sharon

    I always wanted to bake bread and have it come out like the bakery or the frozen dough and of course the way our Amish bake theirs but mine are never that soft inside , is that called the crumb ? Well anyway mine taste good but i have had a lot of over rising going on , thanks for the information on that . Hope you can help me make a better loaf .

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hello Sharon, yes the internal part of your bread is called the crumb. Glad our blog could be of help, feel free to contact our Baker’s Hotline if you need any further help! Jon@KAF 855 371 2253

  29. Marisa

    I had gotten the process down for sourdough loaves made with the addition of some saf yeast. Then I decided that wasn’t challenging enough and that I wanted to try rising my bread using just the culture proof and no additional commercial yeast. First time worked nicely. The loaves were a bit smaller but had a perfect crumb and shape. Second time, I tried to tweak the recipe to use einkorn flour and a little sprouted spelt. They didn’t rise nearly as well even with the addition of some vital wheat gluten. Great sour flavor though! Does anyone have any experience working with einkorn flour that can share some tips?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Marisa,
      I’ll put this out to our fellow bakers, hopefully you’ll get some useful tips! ~ MJ

  30. Melissa

    My kitchen is usually at about 82F because I live in Hawaii. My bread loaves rise quite quickly, as you might expect. Is that a bad thing? I read somewhere that such fast rising doesn’t allow the favors to develop fully. Is that correct? And are there other techniques that would work better in this heat/humidity?
    Aloha!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It can be, Melissa. A fast rise will reduce the natural flavor the yeasts create when they ferment and it can also cause your dough to over-proof. The best way to slow down your rise in warm temperatures will be to use cooler water. Water between 70-80 should help quite a bit. Jon@KAF

  31. Janet B

    My friend makes wonderful dinner rolls, and she gave me the recipe. Hers have a lovely fine crumb and soft texture, but mine ended up with a more open crumb and not quite as soft and delicious as hers. Could I have over-risen them? Or risen them too fast?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      There are a few reasons why this could happen, Janet. I would give our hotline a call so that we can troubleshoot a bit more. 855 371 2253 Jon@KAF

  32. William Watkins

    Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for this great information. I retired more than a year ago and have been baking bread ever sense and have been following the clock as others have said with some success and some awful collapses. I will use this info. in a couple of days baking the Sandwich Rye Bread Recipe. I also use a Zo Supreme especially sense it’s summer. Every loaf of Whole Wheat seems to partially or totally collapse in this machine using the recipe in the Zo book.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi William,
      I hope this blog does help. Don’t hesitate to contact the hotline by email, chat or phone if you want to talk it over, too. We’re here to help! ~ MJ

  33. Vicky

    This blog post has been so helpful! I have been making a cinnamon bread for over a year now[grandkids love it]. The first few times absolute perfection. The whole slice wouldn’t even fit into the toaster! Then…..flatter and flatter, no oven spring, falling over the edge of the pan and the cinnamon was nowhere to be seen or tasted! Apparently, it was over rising. Thank you so much for sharing your information with your readers.

    Vicky

    Making the bread today.

    Reply
  34. Jim Lockhart

    I have a Wolf Steam Oven. bread baking usually starts with a cool oven with temp set to 410. It has worked pretty well for the one recipe I have. Any thought about these new steam ovens? should it be heated to temperature before putting bread in? If so, I don;t think you get the steam injection that you get at the beginning if you start it in a cold oven.
    thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Unfortunately, we have little experienced with this type of oven (outside the large hearth ovens in bakeries). Generally, you will preheat, place your breads in the oven and then steam for around 5 seconds. Jon@KAF

  35. RonsonSwanson

    I ran out of KA Flour can I substitute another brand of flour in your recipes without any change in the final project?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Well, sometimes it works and sometimes your results will be different. Our flours have a higher protein than others on the market, and our variance is far less than the standard 2% in the industry. When you use our flour, you get consistent results time after time after time. ~ MJ

  36. Jeff

    Mary Jane, excellent article. Thank you! Also, I’m trying to reproduce a white square texas toast style long loaf I ate in Australia some time ago. The texture was very fine but the loaft was not as light as you get with cheap light store loafs. It was a perfect, medium weight fine, white loaf. Would I do a hybrid of cake flour and KABF for this type? Your thoughts on this.

    Reply

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