The Biggest Reason Your Bread Isn't Rising Properly

Nothing smells as heavenly or delicious as freshly baked bread — well, apart from freshly baked cookies, perhaps. But successfully making and baking bread is not always a straightforward or easy process, even for experienced bakers. The slightest misstep or imperfection where you're baking bread can completely derail your loaf well before it goes in the oven. One such issue tends to be getting a proper rise from the bread dough. What's behind those sadly deflated lumps of dough that just won't cooperate?

This can happen due to a lot of different factors, some of which are easier to determine than others. One such mistake is letting the dough rise for too long. This can cause the dough to eventually lose its structure, deflate, and sink as it cooks making it look like it didn't get a proper rise (via Our Everyday Life). Another common mistake happens when bakers use expired yeast. If the yeast fungus isn't as lively as it used to be, it won't cause the necessary chemical reaction (via King Arthur Baking). But, while both issues can be troublesome, they're not necessarily the leading cause behind stubbornly un-risen bread.

The temperature of the area where your dough rises matters

The biggest mistake that can keep bread dough from rising properly is placing it somewhere too cool, says Food to Impress. When the dough is in a place that is too cold, it may rise at an incredibly slow pace or it may not rise at all. That's why the dough should be left to its own devices in the warmest part of your house. At the very least, you should put it where it will not get so cold that the yeast cannot do its job. For some, that might be the area where you spend most of your time and keep warmest, even if that's not necessarily the kitchen. Others might be happier to leave their dough in the oven (turned off, of course), where it's protected from drafts of cooler air.

Whether you've left your dough to rise for too long or it simply needs a warmer place to sit, there can be quite a few reasons for dough that hasn't risen properly. Ultimately, it's key to evaluate the environment just as much as the ingredients that go into your bread. Hopefully, getting a tricky or uncooperative dough to rise is as simple as moving it to a better place.