How Long Does It Take For Bread To Rise?

Proofing bread is essential for making soft and fluffy bread. Allowing gas to raise bread dough takes a bit of time, but how long does it take for bread to rise? And does a no-rise bread exist? Well, let’s find out:

The short answer is there is no set time for bread to rise. The length of the rise is dependant on many things with the amount of yeast used and the temperature of the dough having the most impact. Bread dough typically takes around 1-4 hours to undergo its final rise, yet this can potentially be much longer in cooler conditions.

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What happens when bread rises?

Bread dough usually undergoes two rises. The first otherwise known as the bulk fermentation stage develops dough maturity and flavour. In the second, or final rise, the gas is retained in the gluten structure which allows the bread to rise.

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For a more detailed answer, check the proofing bread page.

How to speed up my dough rising?

The CO2 gas that inflates the gluten matrix is provided by the yeast. The yeast supplies enzymes which break down the starch in the flour into simpler sugars. Yeast then consumes the sugars in the bread fermentation process to produce CO2 amongst other products. Yeast operates best when it’s warm therefore warming the dough or the doughs proofing temperature will speed up the rise as well as using more yeast in the recipe.

One of the hardest things to manage is temperature. Temperatures fluctuate with the weather and rise, especially when the oven is one to preheat filling the kitchen with warm air. The best solution is to get yourself a home proofing box like this one from Brod & Taylor:

Brod and Taylor home proofer

With one of these bakers toys you are able to fine-tune the temperature of your proofing environment, making inconsistent rise times a thing of the past! Click to see the price on Amazon, or here to get the best price from the manufactorer.

Other factors that speed up the rise include:

  • Humidity
  • Dough hydration
  • Minerals available in the flour and water
  • Mixing time
  • Dough maturity

You can see how these features impact the speed of the rise in the proofing bread article.

Bread proofing timetable showing the impact on the amount of yeast and temperature changes 

To give you an idea of how long it takes bread to rise in certain recipes here is a simple table. As just mentioned there are more elements that impact the speed of the rise than this, so it’s better to learn how to tell when dough is done proofing and bake it when it’s ready than relying on timings. I’ve based these timings on a Desired Dough Temperature (DDT) of 26C. This is the temperature of the dough once it finishes mixing. This is also based on a bread recipe that has a 1-hour bulk fermentation before they are shaped.

Bread rising timetable

*The yellow section is the area best suited for bread bakers except when retarding the dough in the fridge.

** Active yeast quantities should be halved. For example, 2% fresh yeast is the equivalent of 1% Active dries yeast. See yeast conversion table for more.

How does the amount of yeast affect how high bread rises?

If you are in a hurry you can add more yeast to speed up the rise and produce a higher risen loaf but this is not the best solution in all circumstances. A slowly risen bread dough will benefit from more fermentation activity and gluten development. The dough maturity this provides enables the bread to rise higher.

How do you know when bread is done proofing?

The most recognised way to tell when to end proofing is the poke test. This involves poking your finger into the dough and measuring how quickly it springs back when you remove your finger. The optimum time is around 3 seconds for it to spring back. Less than this and the dough is not done proofing yet.

You can also become familiar with the height of that the bread rises in your baking vessel (loaf pan/banneton). Once you repeat the same dough weights in your tin you’ll be able to tell how when the bread is risen just by looking at it.

Can I use proof dough in the fridge?

Placing bread dough in the refrigerator for its final rise is a popular choice for many bakers. The cool temperatures of most home fridges halts the action of the yeast and the enzymes that would supply it with sugars. Because of this, there is very little rising that occurs in the fridge, the process is otherwise known as retarding the dough.

When retarding, even though there is very little gas produced, starch continues to be broken down into sugars and organic acids populate. The resulting bread is often sweeter and more flavorful than otherwise.

This and the ability to prepare bread to bake the following day make proofing dough in the fridge a fantastic option for artisan and sourdough bread bakers. It’s also used for enriched doughs such as Brioche during the first rise as the cooler dough is easier to shape.

If you are going to proof your dough in the fridge I suggest that you allow for some rising time at warmer temperatures.

For large loaves it’s best to proof till ½ -¾ proofed before placing in the fridge.

For small rolls or baguettes retard right after shaping and proof them on the counter or a proofer until ready to bake.

Is no-rise bread a thing?

Loaves need time to rise in order to populate the gas in the dough. There are breads such as Campaillou that mature during bulk fermentation to be divided and baked right away with no final rise. Flatbreads such as pita bread or tortillas can be made without any proofing at all but tend to benefit from some time to rest before baking. 

How long does it take for bread to rise FAQ’s

What is the ratio of yeast to flour?

Most recipes use 2% of fresh yeast or 1% dried yeast to the weight of the flour used. This is roughly a 7-gram packet of dried yeast per 400 grams of flour.

How do you make bread rise higher?

The use of fat will soften the dough and allow the dough to rise higher, as will the inclusion of soy flour. If you are not wanting to add ingredients to your recipe, producing a well-formed gluten structure and adding steam to the oven when baking will produce a higher rise.

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