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Old 01-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #11
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Re: My bread didn't rise!

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Originally Posted by smbaliff View Post
I bought the yeast only a couple days ago but when I added it, the milk mixture was still steaming although I didn't notice that until I started beating it. Maybe I killed it?
I would bet that's probably what happened.. above about 115 degrees and you'll hurt it.. "steaming" could still be pretty darn hot. You should be able to stick your fingers in it without hurting yourself or having to pull them out..

Alternatively you can get a candy thermometer to accurate track the temp of whatever you are putting yeast into... it's especially helpful when you're waiting on something like boiled milk to cool down. I now my first few bread attempts were less than successful because I wasn't very careful about temperature

As far as rapid or regular yeast, I've not personally noticed much difference in the end.. proofing really seems to matter with both. Supposedly you can skip the proofing with rapid yeast, but my mom swears by proofing it all.. and I've gotten the best results following her advice.

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Old 01-03-2007, 09:05 PM   #12
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Re: My bread didn't rise!

From what I understand yeast needs warm water to wake up and start doing their thing. Like bath water... Also adding the yeast with the salt is also gonna kill it. Maybe try boiling your milk and oil, let cool enough to add yeast, add about 1/4 c of the ww flour, stir it up and let the yeast wake up and feed on the flour. Once things get bubbly and yeasty smelling, start adding the oats, molasses, salt and the rest of the flour.

I would invest in a good bread book, I really like The Laurel Kitchen Bread Book. It's all about making whole grain bread. It goes over all the steps, describing everything. It can be had quite cheap used at Amazon.com. Good luck, bread making is fun! really!
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:42 PM   #13
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Re: My bread didn't rise!

Thank you for all the ideas. I'm ALMOST ready to try again!
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:24 PM   #14
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Re: My bread didn't rise!

I'm very experienced with bread making, and I immediately thought of a few things that could have caused your problem (other than the yeast issues, which have already been mentioned). I've seen several other people do these things when trying to make their first loaf of bread:
Either kneading the dough wrong, adding too much flour, or letting it rise for too long. Making good bread is kind-of an "art", and it's really hard to describe what it's supposed to be like, but I'll try...

If you need the dough too little, you won't activate the gluten & yeast, so it won't rise as well. But if you need the dough too much, you'll actually break down all of the bonds you've formed inside the dough, and it takes a while to get them to re-form properly. You want the dough to feel very smooth & elastic - NOT stiff or heavy. Don't tear it at all or stretch it much while you're kneading it. If the surface is tearing while you're kneading, it's getting too dry & you're starting to break down the bonds inside the dough. Knead it a little more until it's nice and very smooth.

When the instructions give a range of amounts for the flour, like 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups, always start with the smallest amount first. Then add in the extra flour gradually (maybe 1/4 C at a time) as you're kneading the dough. If you add too much flour, you'll get the balance of ingredients wrong & your loaf will be heavier. Recipes give an approximate measurement for flour because a number of things make a difference, including the air temperature & relative humidity in the room. Adding in the right amount of flour is one of those things you learn better with experience, once you're familiar with how the bread dough should feel as you're kneading it.

You also might have let it rise for too long. Past a certain point, dough that has risen will start to deflate. Dough rises because of the gasses that are released inside it. So once all that gas is released, the bubbles formed inside the bread will eventually start to work themselves out. The bubbles are what makes it light & airy.

As a general rule of thumb, any "traditional" white or wheat bread needs to rise twice - usually about an hour the first time & 45 mins to an hour the 2nd time. Other breads (including the recipe you tried, I'm guessing) usually take approx. an hour to rise...

I hope my LONG descriptions make sense. (Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.)
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:14 AM   #15
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Re: My bread didn't rise!

When using fast rise or regular yeast (like in a jar) having the water over 120 will kill it. You can add salt to it but only if you are adding some flour to the water or milk too. A tbsp of sugar is the best yeast "food" I've found. When making sure the water or milk isn't too hot, stick your fingers in it. If it's too hot for a kid to drink, then it's hot enough to kill the yeast. Whenever making bread or anything with a "rising", an hour is usually long enough.
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