Bread dough needs to rise for a couple of different reasons -- not only does it improve the texture, resulting in a lighter loaf, but the flavor develops better too. Depending on what kind of yeast you use or what kind of bread you are making, the dough will need to rise at least once and sometimes twice. Hand-shaped loaves usually require an additional rising before baking and some recipes suggest another rising after dough goes into a bread pan.
Things You'll Need
- Large mixing bowl
- Cooking oil spray
- Plastic wrap
Place your well-kneaded ball of bread dough in a large glass mixing bowl that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Spray the top and sides of the dough ball with cooking oil as well.
Pull some plastic wrap over the top of the glass bowl to seal it tightly. Let the bowl of dough sit for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. The bowl should be left in a warm area that is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Punch the dough down with your fists to reduce the size and reshape the dough into a ball again. Rewrap the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit for another hour, or until you can press your fingertip into the dough and the imprint stays. If you used active dry yeast to make your bread dough, punching it down and letting it rise a second time is not necessary.
Tips & Warnings
- Make sure to use warm water while mixing your bread dough. This will help the yeast rise better as long as the water is not hot.
- Do not allow the salt to come into direct content with the yeast water while mixing the bread; instead, mix it into the flour before the wet and dry ingredients come together.
- Photo Credit Kris Timken/Photodisc/Getty Images
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