Making homemade bread should be a fun experience, and many people start making it at home simply because it’s enjoyable.
That doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong during the process, though. If you’ve never made bread before, you might make little mistakes the first few times you attempt to do it.
For example, you might have issues getting the bread to rise properly. You know that bread needs to rise, but can it rise for too long?
In this post, we’ll discuss whether or not this is something you need to be concerned about.
Bread Can Rise Too Long
It is indeed possible for bread to rise too long. If you leave the dough out and allow it to rise for too long it will negatively impact how everything turns out.
Of course, you have to let the bread rise a bit. It takes time for the yeast to do what it needs to do.
Typically, after you spend time kneading the dough, you’re going to need to let the dough rise for a while. Some bread recipes might call for you to let the dough rise twice.
When the bread rises the first time, the dough will ferment and develop the right volume. The second time it rises is called proofing.
You don’t want to let the dough rise too much because it’ll change the bread. What happens when bread dough rises too much?
Below, you’ll learn about how it can make your bread turn out worse. Later, you’ll get tips on how to avoid making mistakes.
It Can Ruin the Texture and Taste of the Bread
Allowing the bread dough to rise for too long can ruin the texture and the taste of the bread. Both of these things are important when you want your bread to turn out right.
The dough ferments as it continues to rise. If this process goes on for too long, you could wind up with bread that has a sour taste.
Most people aren’t going to enjoy bread that tastes even slightly sour. Thus, it’s imperative to only allow the dough to rise as much as it’s supposed to.
As for the texture, that will also get worse as the dough keeps rising. Proofing the dough for too long will often cause your bread to have a gummy texture.
The bread will be gummy and it’ll also crumble easily. You’ll have problems with keeping it together and it’ll be harder to eat than usual.
The Bread Could Collapse
Have you ever had bread completely collapse? You might have the bread rise in the oven only to see it quickly fall.
Of course, you don’t want the bread to look deflated. What caused this to happen?
It could be another symptom of over-proofing the dough. When you let the dough rise for too long, it’s going to weaken the structure of the bread.
Instead of being able to properly support itself, it’ll wind up collapsing. It’s just another reason why you need to be careful to avoid letting the dough rise longer than you’re supposed to.
It’s said that over-proofed bread is 1/5 smaller than bread that was proofed properly. Knowing this, you’ll want to do your best to proof the bread the right way without allowing the dough to rise for too long.
How to Keep This From Happening
Keeping these issues from happening will be easy enough. Simply follow the recipe that you’re using to bake the bread.
The recipe should give you specific instructions for how long the dough is meant to rise. Use a timer so that you can keep everything on schedule without allowing it to rise more than it’s supposed to.
Sometimes recipes will give you a time figure for rising that will require you to make a judgment call. For example, a bread recipe might say to let the dough rise for 60-90 minutes.
You should make sure to check on the bread dough once the 60-minute mark has been reached. Checking the dough is as easy as pressing it with two fingers.
You’ll know that the dough has risen enough if the area that you’re touching remains depressed after you press into it. If the area of the bread bounces back to normal, you still need to let the dough rise.
Another method involves marking the container to see the original volume. This will allow you to look at the dough and see how much it has risen.
The recipe should give you information about the right size. Either of these methods will work fine for determining when the bread has risen properly.
Can You Fix Dough if You Make a Mistake?
What should you do if you make a mistake and allow the bread dough to rise more than you were supposed to? Is it possible to fix things?
Yes, you can attempt to turn things around by deflating the dough. Use your hands to push the dough down and deflate it.
Now take the time to re-shape the dough and turn it into a loaf. Cover it with something so that the it doesn’t become dried out.
Allow the dough to rise again. You want to let it rise for the period of time that is suggested in the recipe that you’re using.
Check on the dough when the time is right. If all goes well, you should be able to bake it and have the bread turn out great.
You’ll only get bad results if you don’t deflate the bread and try again. If you remember this, you can turn everything around even when you make a mistake by allowing the bread to rise for too long.
So don’t get nervous if you happen to make a mistake. It’s common for people to lose track of time when they get distracted.
You should be able to correct things and make the bread turn out how you want it to. It would be better to get things right the first time, but at least it’s possible to fix the dough.
Tips for Making Bread
You’ve learned that you can let the dough rise too long. Now that you know this, it’ll be easier to avoid certain mistakes.
It’ll also be good for you to learn some important tips about making homemade bread. This should make it more likely that your bread will turn out fantastic.
When you’re making bread, it’s always a good idea to take your time. Trying to rush the process can be just as bad as allowing the dough to rise for too long.
You can’t rush things since the bread will need to rise. It’s also not smart to try to go through the steps faster than usual.
It’s always best to take things slow and steady. Read the recipe that you’re following carefully and try to follow all of the steps to a tee.
You might like trying out different recipes, too. Certain types of bread might not be to your liking.
It might take you a little while to find the bread recipe that will suit your tastes perfectly. Some recipes use different types of flour and this will make them turn out a lot different.
No matter what recipe you choose, it’s important to measure things out carefully. Even small mistakes in your measurements could throw everything off.
For example, putting a little too much water or yeast in the mix will ruin a loaf of bread. You also need to be mindful of the heat.
Too much heat can kill the yeast. It’s good to know this when you’re going through the proofing process.
You should never put the bread in a spot that is too hot when you’re allowing it to rise. It’ll be easier if you’re doing things in a temperature-controlled environment.
Making homemade bread should be a fun experience. It’ll be a good time if you take things slow and try to do everything right.
Rushing the process will often lead to making mistakes. Being too relaxed and forgetting about your dough can be problematic as well.
You need to allow the dough to rise for a certain amount of time. If it rises for too long, it’ll throw things off quite a bit.
Dough that has risen for too long will taste really bad. It will often have a very sour taste and the texture of the bread won’t be good either.
You’ll be left with a loaf of bread that’s sort of gummy and crumbly. This is less than ideal, but it’s something that you can easily avoid.
Be mindful of the recommendations of the recipe that you’re using. You should be paying attention and only allowing the bread to rise for a specific amount of time.
Check the bread to see if it has risen enough once enough time has passed. Always use a timer to ensure that you don’t make simple mistakes.
Try not to get too distracted when you’re waiting for the bread to rise. It’s fine to go do something else while you’re waiting, but keeping the timer close to you will ensure that you don’t forget about the bread.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.