My shaped loaves don’t seem to rise much before it’s time for the oven. What am I doing wrong?

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In our method, proportionally more of the rise comes from “oven spring,” rather than “proofing.”  Traditional bread methods get more proofing rise than we do.  Proofing is the time that the shaped loaf spends just sitting and waiting for the oven.  Oven spring is the sudden expansion of gasses within the pores of the loaf that occurs upon contact with the hot oven air and the stone or other hot surface that you might be using.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a whole lot of rise during proofing with our method. You’ll still get a nice rise during the oven spring, so long as you didn’t over-work the dough while shaping.  Make sure your oven’s up to temperature by checking with a thermometer like this one on Amazon.  If the oven is too cool or too hot, you won’t get proper oven spring.

If you’re still not happy with the final result– if it seems to dense and under-risen, check our our “Dense Crumb” FAQ.

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

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333 thoughts on “My shaped loaves don’t seem to rise much before it’s time for the oven. What am I doing wrong?

  1. Very little rise in 2 hours and then it fell in fridge overnight: . I used your whole grain gluten free flower recipe. It did not rise much in 2 hours unlike the picture in your book. But since two hours had passed I put it the refrigerator. The next morning it fell back to it’s pre-rise height. I bought all the equipment you suggested including the bakers’ escali pana scale and measured everything by weight except the 3 and 3/4 cups of water, the water was 95 degrees when I added it. I mixed by hand with the danish dough whisk after vigorously mixing and shaking the dried flour. After adding the water the dough was moist not runny. I cracked the plastic tub lid you recommended buying in the fridge rather than poke a hole in it. The yeast was “Red Star Instant Yeast, Quick Rise” dated April 2022. In your book it said instant and quick rise was fine. The amount in the package was only 7 grams so I added 3 more from another package. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Sam,

      The rise and fall of the dough is totally normal. You can go ahead and shape the loaf, let it rest and bake as normal. If there isn’t much rise in your bread, keeping in mind that this loaf is fairly dense, then I would try the trick in the sidebar on page 68, where you mix, shape and bake in one go, no refrigeration.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Hi Zoe,

    Thanks for the quick response. I made the recipe for 4 loaves. Afterwards I read how to proof the yeast on google which I did twice to be certain and nothing happened in either test. For the proofing tests I used 1 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar, then tried one cup of warm water with 2 teaspoons of sugar . I got a couple of bubbles in one test and a bit of foam in the second test. Nothing like how it was suppose to look based on my google search. The yeast was a dud. I got the yeast from Amazon. Maybe it was fake RedStar.
    I did read the FAQ hoping to get oven spring but that didn’t happen either. Next time I will cut the recipe in half, use good yeast (and will proof it to be sure) and won’t refrigerate and see what happens.

    1. Hi Sam,

      If the yeast is within the expiration date, it is very unusual for it to not work. But, it can happen. Let me know how it goes next time.

      Thanks, Zoë

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