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A Good-Looking Loaf of Bread

Feb 7, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose


I have been trying to make bread for the last couple weeks and the problem i am having is on the second rise it barely rises out of the bread pan. I use warm water (110 degrees) and set the bread in a warm place to rise. what can i do differant to get it to rise 3-4 inches out of the pan as i recall it doing when my mother made it. thanks denny


If the bread dough is rising successfully, i.e. doubling in volume, on the first rise, it sounds like the problem is not with the dough but with the amount until you are using. In order to get it to rise three to 4 inches out of the pan after baking, you need the dough to fill the pan about a half-inch from the top.


the size of the pan is determined by the type and amount of dough so that it rises nicely above the top of the pan but doesn't spread out much sideways which is called keyholing in breadtalk!


I've been working through many of the sandwich breads in The Bread Bible. My favorites are the Cracked Wheat and the Flaxseed (though today I've vowed to save a bit of the cracked wheat bread dough to use next time in your "New Favorite Whole Wheat Bread" recipe). Anyway, I have a question about bread pan sizes. Some of the recipes call for 8.5x4.5" pans and some 9x5". I have both, so that's not the problem. I'm just wondering what determines which one you specify? Either way, the bread gets rave reviews! You usually have very precise reasons for each element of the recipe, so I wondered about the different pan sizes. My apologies if this is discussed in TBB, I'm not finding it right now . . . Thanks for your great recipes and this blog!


Yes....it has your photo...(nice!)....so this is Harvest King repackaged?? Ok. I figured out the crust problem...

Patricia et al...thanks for the kind words....i LOVE no knead bread, and have figured out a way to make large long baguettes...2 at a time....can make 16 loaves in 6 hours, including the final 2 hour rise ...just one little ol oven!


"better for bread" sounds like a "better" name :).


mark, is my photo on the bag? it wasn't supposed to hit til late august but if so that means you have the harvest king flour under the new packaging and name "better for bread."


Wow - Yummmm!!!!!!!!


Mark, your breads look wonderful, I envy your customers!


Here is today's batch of no-knead baguettes using the "new" flour (taste and crumb excellent...rise not as big...some crispness has returned with complete cooling). This batch is rosemary/parmesan and one loaf (on top) has olives/whole garlic cloves/herbs/third whole wheat). One good thing is that I got greater lift when using partial whole wheat than I used to with Harvest King (assuming that this flour isn't Harvest King).


Does anyone know the difference between the two flours (nothing on the Gold Medal website). Thanks!


Hi all,
I know it's been a while since posting but I have been busy baking for the weekly Farmer's market, which has been (surprisingly) very successful. I'm up to 80 loaves of no-knead bread a week.

Which leads me to my problem.

I have been using Harvest King flour for several weeks with great results. Excellent rise, great crust, etc etc.

This weekend, I went to the stores to load up for this week's baking and all the Harvest King had been replaced with a yellow package labeled "Better for Bread." I wasn't sure if this was Harvest King repackaged, but bought it any way as I had 18 dough batches to make and didn't have time to figure out why the switch.

I am half way through the baking and the crusts are losing their crispness after 5-10 minutes out of the oven. None of the conditions has changed except for the flour.

Is this a different flour blend? What do you think is causing the softening of the crusts?

As soon as the bread cools, I can cut one open and see how the crumb is and how the taste is...but will be very sad not to hear and feel that lovely crunch of the crust.

And I'm extremely concerned given my customers who love the crispy crust my breads have had up to this point.

Many thanks,


in the bread bible i recommend using a plastic box or large bowl instead of plastic wrap.
yes it will dry out if uncovered.


How about covering the dough while it rises the second time? Is it necessary? Will the dough dry out if uncovered? I usually cover it, yet once the dough rises so nicely, it's sad and dispiriting to remove plastic wrap and watch the dough fall.
Thanks for so many useful ideas.


jen, thank you for your wonderful note which I have been treasuring since it arrived. As you can no doubt see, I've been absent from the blog for about a week, while redesigning the blog, my web sites, and a new computer system. it is a great deal of work keeping up with all this housekeeping of sites, answering questions, and posting new information, but with comments like yours it makes me realize all the more how very worthwhile it all is.
sounds like you've caught the bread bug! I know it will continue to give you great joy.


Rose, I have been reading the BB cover to cover and could hardly decide which delicious sounding recipe to make first. Finally decided my daughter would probably like the basic soft white sandwich bread. But oh my God. I did not expect it to be possibly the best white bread I've ever put in my mouth. (Including delicious things in Europe.) What a winner of a recipe. The full flavor version was well worth the time. I now want to rearrange all my weekends so I can always have a batch going. Can't wait to try the next thing. Thanks for opening up our "white bread" horizons!


i'm at 7 stories above sea level so all i can give you is theory--not actual experience. you need to check out books about high altitude baking. i've heard that susan purdee has written one recently. also, speak to the local baker.
you will need to alter the recipes. there is less atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes which means the structure of baked goods needs more support. for cookies you will need to add more flour or possible use part cake flour so that more water will be available to create steam.


Connie Hoffman
Connie Hoffman
02/12/2006 01:18 PM

Just thought of something else, moved to WA state and I am at 2,200 ft altitude. Noticed my cookies are flatter here..what can I do to alter that without changing some of my favorite recipes?


you're absolutely correct. i always pour water into the pan to see the volume.


I'm no expert, but I think it could also be your pans. A lot of loaf pans are labeled 9x5, but sometimes they're even bigger, which makes your loaf seem smallish. Some that say 9x5 are actually a little smaller, so your loaf rises nicely above the rim.



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