does bread bake differently here?

Before we went out shopping today, I made a loaf of bread. Put the dough in the bread pan, put the bread pan in the oven. Set the timer on the oven to come on an hour later (so the dough would have time to rise) and bake for seventy minutes.

Just got home, and the house smells like bread. But I opened the oven, and the dough never raised. It’s a loaf of flattish bread, about half the size of the loaf I would make in Florida. Is it because it’s so cold here? What is the dealio?

20 Responses to does bread bake differently here?

  1. What is your elevation there? In high elevations, baked goods react differently and there are generally instructions about what you need to change when baking.

    That’s the only thing I can think of. The cold could suppress rising too, but you said it was in the oven and baking, so there should’ve been some sort of rise.

    I’d check on the elevation thing first.

  2. What she said. :-)

  3. I was going to say elevation, too.

  4. because i’m a dork i looked up the elevation of Boise…its 2,842 ft. Which according to some baking websites would constitue having to bake with “high elevation” adjustments. Funny, I never thought of Boise as being that much above sea level. “things that make ya go HMMMMMMM”

  5. Elevation in Boise is low. I think it is about 2500 feet.

  6. 2500 ft. isn’t low compared to where she just moved from, though… it’s significantly higher. Which will certainly affect the dough’s loft, I’d wager.

  7. It’s even below 2500 ft, so I wouldn’t think the elevation would be a big factor. But before today, I’ve never made bread when it wasn’t hot (because I only made it in Florida), so I’m leaning toward that. And the oven was even a tad warm when I put the loaf into it, because I had to learn how to delay the baking time and make the oven turn off automatically. I guess I should go put it under the heat lamp in the shower in our bathroom next time, huh?

  8. With a delayed rising loaf I’m guessing it’s a yeast bread?

    Yeasty-beastys are living critters, and they prefer warm temps. They do more metabloism (and thus you get more rise) at a warmer temp, up to about 40 C (about 104 F).

    BUT if your kitchen was at normal room temp, the outside temp shouldn’t make any difference. Is it cold in the house?

    But then I see you put it into a warm oven. Was it really almost hot when you put them in? My oven holds around 170 F for “warm”, which would be enough to kill yeastys….

    anyways, all this to say my guess is temperature.

    One other thing… do you pre-start the yeastys in warm water before adding the mix to the bread? Too cold or too hot water is a killer of “rise” as well.

    dang. I sound like Alton Brown…..

  9. maggie katzen

    could it be a change in humidity? a quick google search suggested it could be, but it looked like most of the articles talked about going from low to high (for example, one href=””>palm beach post column, heh)

  10. maggie katzen

    oh, that’s cute.

  11. My bread sometimes has problems rising if I don’t proof the yeast adequately enough before stirring it in. Or it’s not in a warm enough place. Your oven should be warm enough so I’m guessing you need to be more careful proofing the yeast first.

    Good luck!

  12. i bet she forgot to add yeast.

  13. LottieDotties SIL

    I don’t know what the issue is. I live 20 minutes from you and I have never had a problem with my bread rising– before I was GF and even now with GF breads. I wonder if your Yeast was bad. I just make the dough, let it sit on the stove top for 30 minutes or so and then bake it– works for me– (most of the time). During the summer I let it raise in the Garage or on the BBQ in the Shade. I have not let is raise in the oven before– So I have no idea here. Wanna share your recipe?

  14. LottieDotties SIL

    once I was told to heat my oven to 170F and then turn it off– put the bread in to rise– remove bread while oven was preheating to baking temp and then put the bread back in– wonder if yours got too hot/too fast in the preheat process and made it fall. I dunno– just sayin’– graspin for answers–

  15. No, I did not forget the yeast. I hope you didn’t bet a lot.

    You know, this is a mix that I have never had to proof the yeast for. You just add the warm water, eggs, and oil to the bread mix and yeast and mix it all up. This always worked in Florida without fail. And the proofed ones also always worked in Florida. So I guess next time I’ll proof it instead of following package instructions. The only reason I don’t proof it for this mix is because the instructions don’t call for it… I’ll try again with proofing next time.

    Thanks for all the advice, y’all!

  16. Sometimes yeast goes “bad”. In other words, it dies off – too hot, too cold, to old… whatever – it’s touchy stuff. In that case, it just wouldn’t work at all (which is what happened to you). I didn’t know how high Boise was, which was the only reason I though to of that first. :-) But now that I think about it some more – I believe your bread would still rise, just not as well if it was altitude.

    Pick up a new batch of yeast. Back when I did more baking (I got out of the habit and don’t do much anymore) I bought larger batches and kept it in the freezer, only bringing out what I needed when I was going to use it quickly. I would get the yeast I needed directly from the freezer first thing in the morning. Then when I baked later in the day – it was ready to go.

  17. LottieDotties SIL

    what’s the name of the mix you used?

  18. When I was living in Colorado we had to add extra flour to everything we baked, it also took longer for dough to rise. You can probably find something on line to tell you how much flour to add to your different recipes. Anything you bake will probably need more flour (brownies, cake, bread). I have some high altitude recipes if you need them. Love you! Your cuz

  19. My guess is that your bread over rose then collapsed. At high altitudes reduced air pressure itself encourages rapid yeast expansion; the combination of quick-rising yeast and low air pressure make bread rise too fast to develop good flavor and texture and can cause it to over rise and collapse. Especially if you put it into a cold oven that then heated up with the bread in it. Here in Denver my bread will rise in under 40 minutes for the first rise, 30 for the second and sometimes in 20 in the pan. I give it an extra rise so that the flavors develop. This is all with a 30% decrease in my yeast. You do not have to add more flour because the flour is drier here. I would encourage you to add some vital wheat gluten to your dough which will increase the elasticity and slow the rise. I use 2 TB for white breads and a 1/4 cup for wheat breads.

  20. Teresa, a new batch of yeast? I just use the one that comes with the mix, haha.

    Kerri, so far I haven’t had any problems with brownies or cookies. I think it was just too cold in my kitchen!

    Margaret, thanks for the advice, but adding vital wheat gluten to the dough would likely kill me slowly (celiac). For elasticity I have to use xanthan or guar gum. This week, when I made successful bread, I watched the bread rise. It just rose really slowly. After an hour of rising in front of and on top of the fireplace, I did what Sil said above. I preheated the oven to 170 and turned it off, then put the loaf in the oven for another ten minutes before I baked it.