Bread rising problems
My loaves don't rise properly. I do quite a lot of home-baking with yeast, mainly bread with a breadmaker and home-made pizzas. Recently our favourite bread, basic French loaf, which is normally very light and airy would not rise properly and be dense, damp and heavy. This particular French loaf uses no sugar which would normally aid the fermentation and rising process. The pizzas however would still be fine.
I thought I would start with the yeast. We always use Allinson dried active yeast in a 125g can, which has been fine up to now. One sniff gave a clue. Instead of that nice warm yeasty smell, it was musty and almost bitter. Checking the best-before date: January 2011 - almost a year out of date!
A fresh batch of yeast and we are back with perfect bread again.
Also check that you have not added too much water as a wet loaf never seems to rise properly.
Check your yeast is fresh and within the best before date!
What to do with a poorly risen loaf of bread?
Don't waste the loaf. Even loaves that don't rise amek perfectly good breadcrumbs. Cut the loaf into chunks, drop them into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and bland them into breadcrumbs. If the breadcrumbs are still a little moist, to dry them, spread them out on an oven tray and pop them into an oven for 15 minutes [150° C 300° F / Gas Mk 2 Slow/Low]. Stir them up half-way through.