Thursday, 22 January 2009

what to do when your bread fails to rise?

I made my very first attempt at making bread from scratch last week! It was the rosemary bread in Veganomicon, and the yeast totally failed to activate. I don't know if this is because I used standard yeast from the shops and the recipe calls for activated, or if the recipe just fails to note this (I am at work), but yes, it was a gigantic failure.

pizza on homemade dough

I didn't want to just throw the dough out, so we made pizza instead, and that worked great. The pizza needed to be in the oven for about twenty minutes at 190C, it crisped up really well. And I'm glad to know failed bread works for pizza base, because there's more bread making in my future, and it's nice to have a fall back if it turns in to more fail bread.


Angie said...

I don't think it was a gigantic failure in the true sense because you were able to use initiative and creativity to turn it into a lovely pizza.

Good thinking, 99! :)

I'm Philippa O said...

waste not want not, whatever that means! i think it's great turning a 'failure' into a success - it almost makes it an even better meal

Izmeina said...

But if you don't want pizza, instead of adding the yeast with the dry ingredients, you can always try mixing the yeast with the sugar and liquid and let it rise for ten minutes or so before adding the rest of the ingredients
If it doesn't work then at least you still have your flour to try again another day

(found your blog while googling for the Vegie love fest on the Esplanade last October. Was also there. Best bit was the free seeds and Analakshmi cooking demonstrations. Worst was those silly slushy sentimental Supreme Master morons running the whole thing)

Claire said...

it's okay. i tried to make naan bread a while ago and it turned out heavy like a pretzel dough, not light and chewy. i should have topped them and stuck them back in the oven a while.
the reciped is from vegandad- you should check out his blog if you haven't already! it's great! he's a master breadman, so maybe we can both benefit from his advice.

cosmicwild said...

omg that pizza looked amazing :)
it probibily had a great taste to it aswell, better than plain
love the blog

xx peony

Mandee said...

The pizza looks great, better luck with the bread next time!

And in regards to raw bars, they were quite easy, esp. if you throw all the ingredients into a food processor. Then all you have to do is clean up! And they're cheaper than buying individual ones too!

a vegan about town said...

Thanks Angie! It was still a failure as a loaf of bread, but I'm glad I found a way to not waste it!

Philippa, it did make pretty satisfying, actually, to know I had retrieved this from the possibilities of failure.

Hi Izmeina - yeah, after my failure, just about every person I mentioned it to said USE SUGAR! I just wish the recipe I had been following had said that!

(OH THE SUPREME MASTER PEOPLE. They are basically well meaning but kind of crazy! I thought the best bit was the delicious vegan carrot cake, and the worst bit was the spoken word poetry)

Hi Claire - I do know the vegan dad blog, I'll check it out for bread related things!

Cosmic wild, I think the pizza dough did taste better, because I'd prepared the dough with the oil from sun dried tomatoes and some rosemary, and I think it gave it an excellent taste. So that was cool. :o)

Mandee, thanks for letting me know about the raw bars. I'm really thinking about giving them a go, I don't buy any of those sorts of things any more and I'd love to eat them.

VegHead said...

Oh dear...a sad thing to happen but good on you for pulling a pizza out of your sleeve.

As a thank you for your kind comment about my verdant pesto I humbly offer some advice on bread making.

Regarding the adding of sugar...
- some dough recipes call for sugar (see for example). However if you add sugar then the yeast will preferentially eat the added sugar and not digest the natural sugars of the flour. As a result, the gluten bonds are weaker in the resulting dough.
- if a dough didn't rise then usually it is one of 3 reasons:
1) the yeast is "off". Test it one more time, if it happens again throw out and replace
2) you killed the yeast. Bread dough should ideally be at 27c when kneading, which you aim for by adjusting the water temp. Dissolve the dried yeast in a little of the water before adding to the dough, however never dissolve the yeast in boiled water. Too hot and it'll die (sob)
3) you didn't leave the dough long enough or in a warm enough spot to rise. Perth in summer should be warm enough anyway, bit in winter make sure its somewhere that is at least 27c for the entire time it is rising.

Lastly, pre-warm your bread tray, especially if you are using a heavy cast iron or pottery one.

Lastly, here is a simple wholemeal bread recipe...

Power to the peaceful

The VegHead

a vegan about town said...

Veghead, thanks very much! I am definitely going to give bread another go sometime soon, I really want to work it out. Thank so much for all your advice!

eloise said...

Lately we've been ordering from Domino's using the cheapest coupons we can find (usually $5.50 or so) and getting vegetarian pizzas without cheese.

We take them home and put more (i.e. decent!) toppings on them, then add Tofutti slices, and cook them again in a little pizza cooker we have.

It's the fricking best (we made our own bases once too. Disaster).

a vegan about town said...

Eloise, that's a nifty idea! I mean, I loathe Dominos, but it's a great way to liven up a really terrible pizza! Especially with those cheap vouchers.