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Why is my bread dough not rising?

Worried about your bread dough, or sourdough starter? If your homemade dough is not rising, there are a few possible reasons why. See our advice...

There's nothing like the taste and smell of fresh homemade bread, and our handy dough hook makes light work of mixing and kneading bread dough. But what if it doesn't rise? Here's a few reasons why that might be happening.

8 reasons why your bread dough is not rising:

  1. Yeast is not fresh Yeast has an expiration date, and, after that date, will not be as effective. Yeast should be stored in a cool, dry place.

  2. Yeast is too hot Yeast may have been dissolved in water that was too hot, or the liquid ingredients in the recipe may be too hot, causing the yeast to die. Yeast needs to be warm - not too hot, not too cold.

  3. Yeast is too cold If the other ingredients are too cold, it could cause some of the yeast to die.

  4. Was the dough kneaded properly?
    Dough may not have been kneaded enough. Kneading 'exercises' the gluten in the bread and gives it the elasticity to hold in the air bubbles produced by the yeast. It is these air bubbles that cause the dough to expand and rise. All of our mixers come with a dough hook, which is perfect for mixing and kneading yeast dough.

  5. Was the dough given enough time to rise?
    Insufficient time may have been allowed for the dough to rise correctly. Try leaving it a little longer.

  6. Where was the dough placed to rise?
    The room temperature can affect the yeast too. The ideal temperature for the rising dough is between 21ºC and 32ºC (70º-90ºF). At a higher temperature, or if the temperature is too low, the yeast will begin to die.

  7. What type of flour was used?
    If speciality grains are being used in dough, the dough will not rise as much because these grains have a lower percentage of gluten to hold in the air bubbles that cause the bread to expand.

  8. Making sourdough? If a sourdough starter is being used, it may not be active. ​A sourdough starter must be fed at proper intervals and kept at the correct temperature (22-24°C, 70-75°F) to keep the yeast cultures alive and active.

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