Yes, you can still bake bread without letting your dough rise, but the consistency of the bread will be different. If you’re looking for bread that is light, fluffy, and airy, then letting your dough rise is an important step.
If your bread dough does not rise, this article explores what you can do to salvage the situation or make it rise again.
What are the causes of bread dough not rising?
Numerous factors can prevent your bread dough from rising such as the temperature of the water used in blooming the yeast, and the freshness of the yeast used. Listed below are some reasons that may prevent your bread from rising.
Placing yeast in an extremely cold place like a freezer or mixing it with ingredients that are too cold could cause some of the yeast to die.
Your bread dough may not rise if the yeast used is not fresh or has most likely expired. Not properly storing the yeast can also affect its effectiveness. Always store your yeast in a cool, dry place.
Mixing with hot liquid
Dissolving your yeast in water that is too hot or other liquid ingredients you may want to use in the baking process will cause the yeast to die. Yeast should be dissolved in warm water and not one that is too cold or too hot.
Not allowed to rise properly
If your dough was not given enough time to properly rise, it could also lead to it collapsing. In this situation, you can leave your dough for a while longer to allow it to rise properly. It takes about 1-4 hours for bread dough to properly rise.
Did you knead the dough properly? Not kneading dough properly could also lead to your bread not rising. Kneading allows the activation of the gluten in the bread and also gives the bread its needed structural elasticity. This elasticity helps capture the air bubbles produced by the yeast and allows the dough to rise and expand.
Type of flour used
The type of flour used can also affect the dough’s ability to rise. For example, if you used specialty grains or wheat alternatives, the dough might not rise as much as when you use bread flour. That is because these specialty grain flours have a lower gluten content and won’t capture the air bubbles made by the yeast that causes the bread to expand.
Also, are you using gluten-free flour like Sourdough? If you’re making use of a sourdough starter for leavening, it may be inactive. You must feed the sourdough starter at appropriate intervals and keep it at the right temperature 70-75°F) in order to keep the yeast cultures active.
Where you proof your dough
The place where you keep your dough to rise can also prevent it from rising. Leaving the dough to rise in a room where the temperature is too cold or hot can prevent rising. The optimum temperature for the rising of dough is between 70º-90ºF.
Dryness of the Dough
Not using a sufficient amount of water or liquid for your dough can prevent it from rising as the yeast won’t freely create enough air bubbles for the dough to expand. The dough is considered too dry when excess flour is kneaded into it. If the flour you’re mounding your dough on is too much then you risk drying it out.
To avoid drying out your dough, I recommend you use a measured amount of flour for your kneading rather than just going with the flow.
Using excess sugar or salt in your dough
Excess salt and sugar actually limits the activity of yeast in your dough and might prevent it from rising. The reason why yeast is less effective in the dough when there is excess sugar and salt is that all three of them (sugar, yeast, and salt) will compete for the water content in the dough.
When your dough contains too many of these ingredients, the yeast cells in the dough lose their moisture and cause the yeast to die. You can avoid excess salt or sugar by using volume measurements to measure your ingredients.
Why should you not bake dough that does not rise?
Dough that does not rise is not worth baking as it becomes too dense or thick for you to enjoy. However, it is not completely useless or wasted as you can flatten it with a rolling pin and make a pizza or flatbread like pita, roti, or tortillas.
How do you ensure that bread rises properly?
The easiest way to ensure that your bread rises up properly while preparing it is to proof the dough under the right temperature. Let’s say you stored the dough in the fridge and it becomes too cold, you can put it in your oven while it’s switched off and place a bowl of boiling water close to it.
The heat from the boiling water inside your enclosed oven will warm up your dough and get the yeast in it working effectively. Another method is to set your thermostat to the range where the dough rises best (70º-90ºF) and leave it for a while.
Can you fix a bread that does not rise after using yeast?
Yes, you can fix a bread dough that refuses to rise even after you’ve added yeast. Fixing the dough can be achieved by adding more yeast to the mix or increasing the room temperature. Simply add some new yeast into a bowl, add a little honey or a pinch of sugar, mix with some warm water and leave for about 10 minutes to confirm if it is active.
Once confirmation has occurred (bubbles rising to the surface of the mixture), pour the mixture into the bowl where your dough is and mix again.
What can you do with dough that does not rise?
There’s no need to fuss over bread dough that refuses to rise even when yeast is added as you can repurpose it to make pizza or various other flatbreads instead of throwing it out. If you however choose to continue baking the bread even with the flat dough, be prepared to eat a dense brick of bread with a weird taste.
Preparing pizza or flatbreads with bread dough that does not rise
To make your pizza with the bread dough that doesn’t rise, you’ll have to separate the dough into individual balls as using it wholly will make it too thick and tough. After separating them into individual balls, roll them out with a rolling pin until they are very thin.
Now, top them with your cheese and pizza sauce before putting them in the oven which you must have preheated to the maximum temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes. Once placed in the oven, let it cook for about 6 minutes or until you see the crust firm up and the cheese melts.
Does freezing dough cause it not to rise?
Yes, freezing dough before it is allowed to completely rise will prevent it from rising. This is because yeast loses its effectiveness in very cold temperatures and will become inactive.
What other leavening agents can you use besides yeast?
Baking powder, sourdough starter, baking soda, or acid, are all leavening agents you can use in place of yeast.
Can you bake bread using baking powder as a leavening agent?
Yes, you can bake bread using baking powder as a leavening agent and yeast alternative. However, note that the effects of baking powder on bread will not be as effective as on yeast.
It is not advisable you bake bread dough if it doesn’t rise as it will lead to a messy result. Your bread dough not rising may be a result of using old or dead yeast. It could also happen if the water it bloomed in was too hot, or if you failed to preserve it through refrigeration. Though you can still bake dough that does not rise, it will not deliver the same taste.
However, you can repurpose it to serve other uses though it might not be as good as your usual loaf, it certainly beats throwing out the whole batch. Some factors that may prevent your dough from rising include temperature, and how long your dough sits out.
Finally, avoiding common mistakes like letting your dough rise for too long will help you prevent it from collapsing. Find out how long dough can sit out before it goes bad and collapses.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.