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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340 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

    2. My rises were acceptable, but could have been better. I switched to “SAF Instant Premium Yeast 16 Oz (High Power”) a couple of bakes ago, and that has made a big difference, even over Platinum Yeast. I just mix the dried yeast into the flour and salt and then mix in the warm (around 100 degrees F) water. But, much of the rise with this method does indeed come in the baking. I still can’t get the huge bubbles in the crumb with my baguettes though, but I haven’t managed to get my hydration over the low seventies yet.

  3. I made the soft whole wheat bread in Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day. I used whole wheat flour and bread flour and the vital wheat gluten flour. I weighed all the ingredients and followed the instructions. I had to let it rise 105 minutes to get just to the top of the pan. It rose about an inch above, but seems to me it should have risen more. My yeast is good, and I keep it in the flour. I had let the dough refrigerate for over 24 hrs. Should the dough rise above the pan before baking? It seems a little dense.

    1. Hi Teri,

      As you may have read in this post, the dough may not double in size as you are used to with traditional loaves, but should get a nice oven spring once it is baking. When the dough was resting for the 105 minutes was it in a warm spot or about 70°F? I ask because over-proofing the dough (resting too long in a warm spot) can actually make the bread denser. If you are going to let the dough rise longer than suggested, it is best to do so in a spot that isn’t overly warm.

      What brand of flour do you use?

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Teri,

      That all sounds great, so you may just want to play with the timing of the rest and see if you like the results better.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. So my loaf came out like a brick, using millet/soy flour to replace the teff. Not the first time I have made bricks. But, I used my same mixture and tweaked the recipe a bit, using 3 cps mixture 2, 3 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup water, 2 T sugar, 2 T olive oil, 2 T applesauce, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, salt, 2 tsp dough enhancer. Beat for 10 minutes, let it rise for 40 minutes, over the top of a 8 1/2″x4 1/2″ pan, and then baked at 375* for 40 minutes. Came out great!!!. So I can use your mix, that I modified and the bread comes out great. Thank you for the mix.

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