Help! Why Won’t My Bread Rise?

published May 14, 2014
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Q: I was very excited to find your homemade sandwich bread recipe, especially the version that uses a portion of whole wheat flour! The first time, my loaves only rose a little bit in the bowl and then not at all in the pans. I read some tips and tried kneading more and warming my oven to let the bread rise while sitting in the stove for the second set of loaves.

They rose much better in the bowl but again not much (if at all) in the pans! I have brand new yeast, I let everything rise even more than you said to and I’m still coming out with dense bread. Help!! I love this recipe, the flavor is delicious but it’s not great for sandwiches at all.

Sent by Ashley

Editor: Even though it’s new, I’m still wondering if the yeast is the culprit. Try adding a teaspoon of sugar when you dissolve the yeast in the water, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If it gets fizzy and frothy, then the yeast is fine. If it doesn’t, then the yeast is no good. Try that as a first problem-solving step!

Readers, what other ideas do you have for why these loaves won’t rise?