Rye Bread

Gale Question: I have used your Jewish Rye Bread recipe many, many times and everyone loves it. One question I have--no matter how long I let it rise, it tends to only rise to 3" and tends to spread to 8". How can I get a bread that is smaller in diameter and rises to the 3 and 1/2" that is indicated in your recipe?

Rose Reply: thanks--it's one of my favorite breads and i've been making it for many years. there is a mistake on the recipe--in step 2 i say to add the rye flour but there is no more rye flour to be added. are you getting the same weight of finished dough that i indicate? if you are not weighing you may be getting a different amount of flour and liquid which could affect the rise. but if it is very smooth and elastic and your bread flour is under a year old you should get the same results i do. i wrote on the recipe that my finished loaf is 7-3/4 inches by 4 inches high. if yours is spreading 1/4 inch more that is hardly significant. but the 1 inch less in height is. it could be you are not getting enough oven spring. are you preheating the oven and baking stone for at least 45 minutes? are you steaming the oven? all this helps a great deal to get the maximum rise!