Bread and dough troubleshooting guide and table

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does anyone know if old flour loses it’s gluten content so it won’t rise as well? my flour smelled fine, but it was over 2 years old! Organic unbleached white flour! It could be this reason when I let it rise, and then I went to touch it, shrink back to original size, and wouldn’t rise again.

Comment by Osiris on April 5, 2013 1:05 pm


used new flour today. tried window pane test and it was correct. left dough in covered bowl to rise, first hour it rose a little and i poke tested it was fine, second hour was too high and poke tested and it shrunk back! and the dough is really slimy and slippery too!

Comment by Osiris on April 16, 2013 11:29 am


So you’re having the same problem with new flour that you did with old flour? How much volume is it gaining when it rises? Does it double in size? How much water and flour are you using? Slippery and slimy might be okay depending on the type of bread you are trying to make. You may find that a lower hydration ratio will be easier to work with though.

Comment by phil on April 17, 2013 9:17 am


yes I had the same problem last time with new flour. It rose 50% and held volume and then after the second hour it was double original size, but when I touched it, shrunk back to original size. I used 1 cup water and 3 eggs to make the dough with 4.5 cups flour. I think the yeast content overfermented, today I am going to just let it rise for 1 hour and not 2 because the second hour ruined it last time. It still rose 50% again in the oven when baking last time. But it was impossible to braid and make challah like the directions said after the first rise.

Comment by Osiris on April 23, 2013 9:34 am


Yeah, I think the first loaf you were referring to overfermented since it shrank back down when you touched it.

How did your 2nd one turn out?

I haven’t tried baking breads with eggs, such as challah, but perhaps you could try using more flour next time. According to a few recipes I found online (such as http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/honeywholewheatchallah) you could probably have an extra 1 to 1.5 cups of flour to get your hydration down a bit. This should also slow the yeast’s activity.

Are you using all-purpose flour? It’s probably okay to do so, but just curious.

Comment by phil on April 29, 2013 10:57 pm


Last weeks loaf rose double in the oven, after shrinking beforehand like the week before. I don’t know how I would get 2 more cups of flour in there. I thought adding too much flour, it wouldn’t consolidate into a ball of dough. I always add just enough water to make sure I can make that ball. Maybe the recipe since it called for 1/4 cup sugar, that sugar was used to feed the yeast so it didn’t eat too much gluten? Not sure if yeast picks and chooses what to eat while it’s rising.

Comment by Osiris on May 2, 2013 3:15 pm

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