How to make bread rise faster and other dough proving tips

Bread making takes time, there’s no doubt about it.  If you want to have a good loaf then the dough needs time to prove.  Unless you’re using a bread maker then there’s no choice but to be patient and go with the flow.  With that in mind here’s a few tips on proving dough and how to make bread rise faster.

What is proving dough?

Perhaps you’re not quite sure what it means to prove the dough?  Well, it simply means proving that the yeast is working to make the dough rise.  If you leave it and the dough increases in size then you’re proved that it’s working!

In practical terms what it means is that the yeast gets to work on the dough, creating air bubbles inside and expanding it.  When you come to cook the dough it should mean that the bread is light and airy and hopefully not like a brick!

 

How to make bread rise faster

  • put the dough in a warmer place.  Yeast works better and so the dough will rise more if you put it in a warm place.  Either a warm airing cupboard, a windowsill that gets some heat or above a radiator in winter.
  • Add more yeast – you might need to experiment with this.  More yeast might equal quicker rising, but it might affect the taste.
  • Make sure the yeast has some food – this is why many recipes add sugar in there.  It’s not enough to make the bread taste sweet but it gives the yeast something to feed on.

If it’s winter or your kitchen is cold then a couple of ways I have found that work is:

  • set the microwave going for a few minutes with a cup of water inside.  When it is finished add the bowl of dough and leave without opening.
  • Alternatively put your oven on for a little while, turn off and do the same – add the dough and just leave in the warm space.  Make sure you don’t have it too hot or it will kill the yeast.

 

Other bread dough proving tips

  • Always cover your dough – otherwise you’ll get a dry crust on it that will not be pleasant.
  • Try proving your dough twice – this can improve the texture of your bread.
  • Make sure that you’ve kneaded your bread enough – it should be elastic in texture – before leaving to rise
  • Don’t poke and prod at it – go off and do something and come back later!

 

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