My loaves aren’t rising the way they used to…

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    Matthew Mizulo

      Let’s keep troubleshooting 🙂  So far we know that you’ve got all the right ingredients, they’re all in good condition, your scale is accurate, and you’re getting a good windowpane after kneading. If you can help me understand where the process is going sideways for you, we can hopefully find a solution.

      1. Preferment: Active and bubbly after overnight – Y/N?
      2. First rise (~30 min.): Dough rise of roughly double – Y/N?
      3. Second rise (~30 min.): Dough rise of roughly double – Y/N?
      4. After dividing into rounds and resting (~20 min.): Did the rounds increase in size about 25-50%? – Y/N?
      5. Final proof in pans (~45-75 min.): Has some portion of the dough risen above the rim of the pan – Y/N?
      Maureen Carlson

        The changes I made per my last post didn’t have a huge affect on the volume of rise (still stuck at 3-1/2 to 4 inches, but the evenness of texture is better. That might also be because I cooked the porridge on the stove instead of microwave and the oats get softer. My window pane test is good but the te tire of the dough doesn’t look as smooth and satiny as Katherine’s in the videos. Next bake I’ll go for a marathon knead and see what happens.

        Maureen Carlson

          Thanks Matthew for the detailed response. I’m trying a couple of things this time (probably shouldn’t change more than one variable at a time, but we’ll see.)
          1) I’ve increased my knead time in the Ank–the videos say you can’t overdo it so this seems pretty safe.
          2) I’m adding a second fold to the bulk rise process, in hopes of increasing dough strength further.
          3) I plan to shorten the bulk rise slightly in favor of the final proof.
          I checked my yeast (young and fresh), flour (properly stored and the correct flour), used two scales to double check measures, used filtered water (have been doing that all along), and made sure porridge was at room temp. Fingers crossed. Thanks again.

          Matthew Mizulo

            Some things that could affect rise…

            1. Old or improperly stored yeast: This would be the very first thing to check! King Arthur has a guide with pictures. Or, try asking a fellow baker for some that is working for them or purchase some fresh packets from the store
            2. Forgetting to add yeast (seems obvious but I’ve done this a couple times in the past, LOL)
            3. Not enough yeast – double check recipe and measurements
            4. Hot water (water temps over about 115-120 degrees can kill yeast)
            5. Cold proofing temps can significantly slow rise(s)
            6. Have you recently substituted a different flour, yeast, or other component from one(s) you’ve used previously?
            7. Highly chlorinated municipal tap water or contaminated well water (rare) – try bottled or filtered
            8. Dried surface (rare) – if the dough is left uncovered during the various rise stages, the surface can dry out causing a crust to develop and inhibit rising
            9. Too much flour which can reduce the water content of the dough, inhibiting yeast hydration and growth. I don’t expect this is your issue, but some things to ask yourself: are my measurements off? Is my scale working properly? Am I using volume measurements instead of measuring by weight? Is my scale set to the correct measurement unit?
            Judy Babb

              I also can’t get my loaves to rise correctly. I have increased my mixing time, in the Ank, and I can get a really good windowpane but I can’t get a good rise on my loaves. With my last bake, I was only able to get, at most, a 3 1/2” high loaf. Any additional suggestions. Besides the great windowpane, proper proof, what else can I do? Thank you for your suggestions.

              Matthew Mizulo

                Hi Maureen, I can’t speak to the specifics of jumping from the 2 or 3 loaf recipe to the 5 loaf. Personal experience of moving from a 2 loaf recipe to a 4 loaf recipe using an Ankarsrum mixer showed a need to increase the kneading time by about 5-10 minutes to ensure proper gluten development. The window pane technique that Katherine highlights in her CL videos helped with making the proper adjustments.

                Maureen Carlson

                  I’m using the Modern formula, 5 loaf batches. When I made smaller batches, of 2 or 3 loaves, I seemed to get a much nicer, tall, domed loaf that was evenly textured throughout. Now, the crumb is compressed at the bottom and the texture is progressively more open and airy towards the top. The loaves are almost an inch shorter than previous batches. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

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