Nearly everyone loves bread. It is tasty, can be great for you and is incredibly versatile. We use bread to make sandwiches, toast and even add it to soups and salads. While purchasing bread in stores may be the easy route, there's something about homemade bread that we can't get enough. Making bread at home offers up multiple different ways to customize your bread to your taste buds. Love bread with a thick crust? You can bake it that way. Are you a fan of bread with raisins in it? Add them in. When done right, making homemade bread can be an easy and fun baking experience.
When making your bread at home, there are a few tips and tricks that you should follow to ensure that you create the perfect light and fluffy bread loaf. Keep scrolling to discover how our Bob's Red Mill Bakers achieve the ideal bread every time.
Does Rising Bread Affect Its Texture?
For a fluffy bread texture, the key is to let the bread rise long enough. Now, you may be wondering “how long does it take for bread to rise?” The short answer is that it depends on the temperature of your kitchen. For bread to rise, yeast must be activated, and yeast is very sensitive to temperature.
For an easy way to tell if your dough has risen enough, don't look at the timer. Instead, thoroughly examine how your bread looks and feels. If your bread has adequately risen, it will look soft and bloated. Another way to tell is if when you lightly touch the dough, your finger leaves a mark. If your bread is not ready, the mixture will slowly spring back into place after touching it. This suggests that your bread has not risen enough and cooking it will create a flatter, more chewy-textured bread.
How to Achieve Light and Fluffy Bread
So, what's the secret to light and fluffy bread? We already talked about the importance of letting the bread rise all the way, but there's another crucial component that all bakers must be aware of: you must use the right flour. While bread can be made with multiple kinds of flour, using a specialty bread flour like our Artisan Bread Flour is an excellent way to ensure that your texture will come out just right. High in protein and made with quality wheat, a bread flour like this ensures that your dough creates the optimum conditions for yeast growth and enables your bread to rise higher than if other powders were used.
If you're searching for a light and fluffy bread recipe that's also gluten free, make this Everyday Bread. By using our Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour, you can create an airy bread recipe in just a couple of hours. Perfect for sandwiches or toast, it's the ideal bread to make for those with food allergies.
Aside from using bread flour, several other tips and tricks can be used to ensure that your bread rises properly. Keep scrolling to discover some of our favorite ways to create the perfect loaf of bread.
Gas Is Key
If your goal is a bread that’s light and fluffy, the key is to allow the dough to rise until it is puffy. Mixtures with a higher gas content, create a lighter textured bread. Once you see a blister or two on the surface of your dough, it has likely risen enough. When this happens, be sure first to pop the blister with a toothpick and then quickly get your bread to the oven.
For the ideal bread rise, you want to make sure that your dough doubles or more in volume. The dough becomes softer as it rises, which helps create the texture that we all strive for. Rising your dough just long enough for blisters to start forming is a great way to tell that your bread is ready to go in the oven. But remember, too many blisters mean that there's too much gas in your dough and not baking it soon enough could cause it to flop.
How Do You Get Bread to Rise Faster?
Now that you understand how to tell if your dough has risen enough, you may be wondering how you can get it to rise faster. If you recently made a bread loaf that took longer than expected, the kitchen's temperature could be to blame. The next time you make homemade bread, try letting your dough rise next to a heat source. Heat helps bread rise and placing your bread in areas like on top of the fridge, next to the pre-heating stove, or in your oven with the light on are great ways to help it rise faster. The time that it takes for dough to grow also depends on the flour used. If you are making bread out of sweet flour or whole-grain flour, like our 10 Grain Bread Mix then it will naturally take longer to rise and you should plan accordingly.
How Long Should Bread Take to Rise?
Now that we've talked about how you can get bread dough to rise faster, it's time to tackle the question at hand, "how long does it take bread to rise." Though this answer may vary, if you're cooking in a warm kitchen with a moist dough, your bread will likely rise in 45 minutes or less. Now, if you're working with a firm dough with less moisture, it will take longer than 45 minutes to rise. When ensuring that your bread is rising correctly, it's essential to set a timer to tell you when to check on your dough. A timer will give you a good indication of if your bread is rising. However, it will not necessarily tell you when the bread is ready to go into the oven. Every batch of bread is different, as is every batch of yeast. The type of bread you're making and your kitchen's temperature can significantly affect the rise time.
If you are looking for ways to cut your rise time in half, as previously mentioned, we recommend putting the dough somewhere warm like on top of a warm appliance. Another trick you can use to decrease your rise time is to invest in a proofing bag. Placing your dough inside a proofing bag will help capture the heat and lock in the moisture, to create an environment where the dough will rise significantly faster.
If you're in a time crunch, make this Honey Whole Wheat Bread for a simple, quick-rising bread recipe. It is the perfect bread for toast, sandwiches, or to enjoy with fresh jam. To make this loaf, we chose to use a combination of half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. This unique flour combo creates a bread that is wonderfully chewy, but not overly dense. Sweet in flavor and oh-so-delicious, we hope you enjoy this loaf as much as we do.
How Can You Extend the Rise Time?
Not in a hurry? If you're not in a rush, then it's not a bad idea to let the dough rise slowly. Slow-risen dough has a much more acidic flavor than a fast risen dough. An example of a more acidic bread is sourdough bread. When you slow down the rising process in a dough, it causes a much different chemical reaction. Instead of the yeast creating bubbles in the batter, it begins to break down the sugars and form alcohol within the bread—minimal amounts, of course. The small amount of alcohol is what gives slow rising bread its lovely flavor.
How can you slow the rise of the bread? Many professional Baker's often use the refrigerator to slow down the growth or find a cool spot in the house. An open window on a chilly day or even a shady spot in the yard will help create a slow rise bread with a delicious flavor that can't be matched.
Eager to make a slow rising bread? Use this No-Knead Artisan Bread Recipe to make the loaf of your dreams. While this recipe is simple to make, it does require a slow rise time—10 hours, to be exact. To make, mix the dough and let it sit overnight (or for 10 hours). While you may have to plan for the 10 hours rise time, it's a much easier process than kneading the bread by hand. Plus, it's the perfect bread to mix in the morning before work and then pop in the oven that evening to enjoy a fresh slice with dinner.
Now that you know the different methods you can use to help your bread rise, it's time to hit the kitchen. Whether you choose to make a simple everyday bread recipe or challenge yourself with a more time-consuming sourdough, we're confident that your loaf will be delicious. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, happy baking.
Have a favorite bread recipe of your own? Let us know how you create the perfect loaf in the comments below.