Yeast does not rise: You should definitely avoid these things

Baking with yeast
You should definitely avoid these mistakes

© SKatzenberger / Shutterstock

Countless delicacies can be baked with yeast, but the dough does not always turn out well – yeast is a diva and even small mistakes can mean that the yeast dough does not rise properly. Here’s how to avoid them!

Not only baking beginners know this scenario: You want to bake a fluffy yeast plait or crispy Sunday rolls, but the yeast is on strike – the dough just won’t rise. So that this doesn’t happen to you next time, we’ll uncover some sources of error and explain how baking with yeast works.

Mistake #1: The yeast is too old

Unfortunately, fresh yeast has a limited shelf life; it can usually be stored in the refrigerator ten to fourteen days can be stored, but if left uncooled it will only keep for two days. If the best before date has passed, some of the yeast fungi may already have died, so the dough doesn’t rise as well. Dry yeast can also expire, but it has a much longer shelf life of at least one year.

After the expiry date, however, the yeast does not have to go straight into the garbage: If mold has not yet formed and it does not smell bad, you can still use it. In this case, however, you should increase the rising time and use a little more yeast if necessary than indicated in the recipe, so that the raising power is increased.

Tip: To test whether the yeast is still active, you can Dissolve in lukewarm water with a teaspoon of sugar and leave covered – if small bubbles form after about ten minutes, you can use them.

Mistake #2: The ingredients are at the wrong temperature

As a general rule, ingredients such as eggs and butter should be at room temperature when they are stirred into the yeast dough. The liquid (milk or water) with which the yeast is mixed must be lukewarm, but not too hot: At a temperature above 40 degrees, the yeast fungi are otherwise killed. You should also let the dough rise in a warm place, for example near the heater, and cover it so that it is protected from drafts.

Yeast dough in a bowl on the countertop

Mistake #3: The dough isn’t kneaded properly

In order for yeast dough to succeed, it not only needs warmth, sugar and moisture, but also has to thoroughly kneaded and tumbled. It is best to first mix it in a food processor and then knead it again with your hands until it is elastic – muscle strength is required here, and this process can take up to ten minutes!

Mistake #4: The dough wasn’t allowed to rest long enough

yeast dough must always go twice: Initially at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour) when kneaded with the flour and all the other ingredients and again before baking, once shaped into the right shape. For some baked goods – such as our Easter braid – it is also necessary to make a pre-dough, so that the dough has to rest three times. Baking with yeast requires patience, but it’s worth the effort!

Here you will find creative recipes for yeast cakes and pastries and we will tell you how you can make yeast yourself.


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