Better Bread-Making: Making Dough Rise Faster
Welcome Back to the Better Bread-making Series!
Bread-making involves a small amount of preparation and a lot of waiting around in between steps. There are a lot of things that can add to the length of time it takes to make bread. There are also a few things you can do to make dough rise faster. Let me share with you a couple time-savers so you can move from flour in the bag to bread on the cutting board faster.
Waiting for the dough to rise is the longest aspect of making yeast bread. Lots of hurry up and wait. For the dough to rise faster, you may need it give the yeast a boost.
Ways to make dough rise faster
Yeast may be a microorganism, but it has a big personality. Depending on the weather, the temperature, the environment in which it’s kept, and what you feed it, yeast acts differently. So let’s talk about a few ways to optimize your conditions so yeast will be more active and shorten the bread-making process when you’ve got a serious craving for hot fresh bread. Or you know, you’re short on time leading up to a get-together.
Yeast is pretty finicky when it comes to optimum rising temperature. To begin with, you will want to bloom your yeast between 105°F and 115°F. Any hotter than 120°F and your yeast will likely die and you’ll have to start over. A probe thermometer is a good way to test your water or milk temperature before adding yeast.
Secondly, if your room is particularly cool (below 80°F), The yeast will act lazy and take its sweet time rising. If your room is above 90°F, you run the risk of the yeast over-proofing, or even dying because it’s just too hot.
It’s a little unreasonable to keep your whole house at that temperature just to make bread. preheating your oven just until it reaches about 90°F and turning it off will create a nice warm environment for your dough. You can also put hot water in a heat-safe dish and place it on the floor of a cold oven (or on a lower shelf). The steam and heat from the water will help the temperature rise just enough that the yeast is active. The steam will also assist in keeping the surface of the dough moist so it will stretch as it rises.
Adding acid to your dough is like handing yeast an energy drink. It helps make the yeast more active, and that means a shorter rise time. It also adds just a little bit of tang which helps make up for the shorter fermentation process.
What is fermentation? This is simply when the yeast does its thing, expanding and creating air pockets in the dough.
Acids like white vinegar or citrus juices are very helpful to both speed up the process and punch up the flavor.
- For a neutral flavor, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the rest of the ingredients
- Add a tablespoon of lemon or orange juice if either would enhance your flavor profile
It’s that simple. If you like, keep a notebook to track the different techniques you experiment with.
I hope you give this tip a try. Keep experimenting. Keep baking.
Want another time-saving tip? Check out this post about yeast.
Sarah, The Bread Lady
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