View Full Version : Hand-made bread - too heavy

20-Jan-07, 23:09
I've been making my own bread for a few months now but am unable to consistently make a nice light loaf. 3 times out of 4 it's too heavy. How can I get it to rise better? I've done the following with no consistent results:

1/ good kneading for 10 minutes until nice and rubbery
2/ enough water (I thought at one point my mix was too dry but I've been through the whole range of wetness through to sticky tonight
3/ Using 3 or 4 teaspoons of newly opened yeast
4/ Using good organic bread flour
5/ letting yeast get going (fizzing) before adding to flour
6/ keeping mix warmish whilst rising (or not!) - I can see when it's risen too fast when there's a false 'crust' on top

Funny thing is the odd time it rises beautifully and I get a nice light loaf.

Help! I do so enjoy doing my own bread...

21-Jan-07, 11:42
My guess is that you either over knead the dough (too much kneading makes the dough dense) or that you on occasion puts in too much flour which also makes dough dense and heavy.

I would try to knead the dough a bit less nest time to see if that helps before trying to decrease the flour contents, especially seeing that it sometimes does work out fine...

hope that helps


21-Jan-07, 19:24
I wonder if you are leaving it to rise in a consistantly warm area, because of your unredictable results.

21-Jan-07, 20:08
I have the same problem too even bought the ready mixers and still very heavy bread i just cant win :(

21-Jan-07, 22:03
Before I invested in a bread maker, I found my bread was a lot better when I gave it it's first rising overnight in the fridge. Also if you're using brown flour. substitute some of it (1/3 - 1/2) for white, it always made a better tasting and risen loaf.

Mother Bear
21-Jan-07, 22:38
Thanks for replies. I don't think I'm using too much flour, as the mixture is on the wet side, almost sticky (I'd thought that at one time I was using too little water) but too little or too much doesn't seem to matter.

Rising temp - I've tried it slow (just left on the side in a warmish room - still not risen enough after 4 hours) to just above a warm oven (1 hour) but no consistent results. Sometimes I think it's risen well to find it's a 'false top' which collapses easily and bakes as hard as rock.
I'm determined to keep trying!

I'm using 250 ml water (or water / milk) with 400g / 3 cups flour as per recipe.

Leaving in the fridge overnight is worth a go, I'll let you know how I get on!

Mother Bear
21-Jan-07, 22:40
Hehe -as you can see I'm at Mother Bear's tonight!!

22-Jan-07, 22:33
That "false top" could be too much yeast maybe.

23-Jan-07, 21:15
......trying again tonight - and it's looking good - woohoo! I left it at 7 to rise on the grill door (my grill is above the oven) with the oven on low (100 deg C) and by 7:30 it was double or treble in size. Rolled it out gently, folded and placed in the bread tin - put back on grill door. It rose again and is now well over the top of the tin so in the oven it's going after just 1 hour. It's not a false top either, it springs back when you press the dough.

Only thing I really did different was really let the yeast get going before adding to the flour - helped by a delay caused by someone who came to the door to flog something - and when I returned the yeast (in 100 ml warmish water) was overflowing the bowl. Maybe that was the problem - yeast never got started?

This is a one-off so I'll see how it goes next time!

23-Jan-07, 22:08
Hope you rise to the occasion in future!!