The Fresh Loaf

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Bread Not Rising

vsavatar's picture

Bread Not Rising

I used a recipe I found on the internet for buttermilk bread, because my kids love how fluffy it is.  The recipe had many positive reviews, so it must work for some people.  However, when I went to make it, it did not rise hardly at all.  The bread machine yeast I bought says to refrigerate it after opening, so I did, and I didn't bring the yeast up to room temperature before using it, but all the other ingredients were room temperature or a little higher.  Can anybody think of a reason it might not have risen?  Am I supposed to bring the yeast up to room temperature before adding it?

BluesLoverInATX's picture

I keep my yeast in the fridge. I've never had issues related to the temp of the yeast. The age is more likely to affect activity.

Try testing your yeast to see if it's alive. Put a little sugar in some warm water, add a tsp of yeast and let it sit for 15 mins. It the yeast is alive it should be active and forming bubbles after 15 min. 

The only time I have had dough that not did not rise at all was a batch I forgot to add the yeast and it never did anything. 

suminandi's picture

You shouldn't need to warm up the yeast, because the small amount used warms up pretty much immediately when it meets the other ingredients. Perhaps the yeast is old? Second thought - what was your room temperature? If it was cool, you might have to let it rise a bit longer or put it in a slightly warm place. I find a microwave oven with a cup of hot water in it to be a good makeshift proofing box. Others use their turned off oven with the light on. 

idaveindy's picture

Welcome to TFL.

The reason you didn't get many respnses is probably because you didn't give any information about the recipe you used, the ingredients you used, what substitutions you might have made, and any changes to the procedures,  Also, what country you're in, because ingredients vary across the world, and don't always match up well with a recipe from a different part of the world. 

If you could provide that information, that would give clues to what might have happened.  Otherwise, you're just asking people to guess.

Also, it helps to get as detailed as possible with the ingredients. Don't just say "flour" or "buttermilk", give the brand, type, trade-name etc.

  Even what type of water can make a difference. Tap water or bottled water? Tap water from a municipal water utility or a private well? Does the municipal water have chlorine or chloramine? Does your house or apt have what is called a "water softener"?  (A water softener is different than a water filter.)

Also please list the ingredients given on the carton of buttermilk. Carageenan and other gums (used in some US buttermilk) interfere with yeast and rising.

You said "bread machine yeast",  but you didn't say that you made it in a bread machine, or even if the recipe is intended for a bread machine.  The order you add the ingredients into a bread machine also makes a difference.


Have you used this same flour and same water and made good yeasted bread before?  If so, then whatever new ingredient, maybe the buttermilk, is more suspect.


I've had problems with store-bought buttermilk that had carageenan and other gums and starches added to it. So that's my guess.

Good luck, and bon appétit.

troglodyte's picture

I keep active dry yeast and instant yeast in the freezer. I take it out only long enough to measure what I need and then it goes back in the freezer to avoid any condensation. For me, yeast lasts indefinitely in the freezer. I never bother to thaw or warm it up. I almost never bother to test (proof) it, because it works for me so reliably. 

I like @BluesLoverInATX's suggestion for testing your yeast. It is the same test I use:
"Try testing your yeast to see if it's alive. Put a little sugar in some warm water, add a tsp of yeast and let it sit for 15 mins. It the yeast is alive it should be active and forming bubbles after 15 min."