A Warm Oven Helps Your Bread Dough to Rise

Oven Rising Your No-Knead Bread Dough

I have been making a lot of no-knead bread this fall with great success. The only problem I have faced is getting my bread dough to rise in my cold house. It still rises but not near as fast as it would if my house was warmer. Yes, I’m to cheap to turn the heat up in my house to a good bread rising temperature. About 70 degrees or higher is good for rising bread dough. There are also times that I would have liked to give my bread dough a jump start on rising, especially on the second rise of my no-knead bread because I just can’t wait to bake it. The second rise for no-knead bread usually takes almost 2 hours but using the method discussed below you can lower that rising time to about 1 hour. The method I have found, to aid me in my rising needs, has been a slightly warm oven.

Using a Warm Oven to Help Your Bread Dough Rise

  1. Pre-heat your oven to about 150 degrees, or a little less.
  2. Turn your oven off (If you got the oven a little to hot, just leave the oven door open for a little while).
  3. Place oven safe container (for example: bread pan, non-plastic bowl) of bread dough in the oven and close oven door.
  4. Let the bread dough rise in oven to desired height.

Now you can keep your house thermostat turned down in the fall and winter and still get your bread dough to rise in good time. Plus, you can get your bread dough to rise faster when needed using the warm oven method. I don’t claim to have invented the warm oven method, I’m sure it has been used by many home bread bakers of the past and present.

Feel free to share other rising methods you use in the comments section below, I’m sure there are many other good methods used by other bread bakers. I would love to learn some new methods.

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65 Responses to A Warm Oven Helps Your Bread Dough to Rise

  1. PHYLLIS says:

    My aunt used to make bread all the time- We placed the bread dough on the top of the refrigerator..(hot air rises) and put a fresh dishtowel out of the dyer over it.. get the best of both worlds..doing the laundry and baking!

    • admin says:

      Coincidence enough, I actually set my bowl of dough on top of my fridge just last night and I noticed that it did rise faster. I put it there I didn’t have anywhere else to put it because I am redoing my kitchen counter tops right now and was surprised to see it rise well even though my house was cold. Now I will have to try the fresh dishtowel out of the dryer trick.

      • Sandy says:

        After I rise the bread in the pans in the oven with just the light on, can I just turn the oven to baking temp and leave the bread in while it preheats? Or do I take it out and hope it doesn’t fall with temp change ?

        • Zoop says:

          This is late, but for future reference to anyone, you want to take your bread out while it’s preheating. The point of preheating is to get all the air in the oven to a consistent temperature; that air is what cooks the bread.

          You’ll notice that only the bottom elements in an oven will turn on, so as to not burn or overly crisp the top of the bread.

          If you leave the bread in, it might come out fine but the uneven heating will throw off your baking time and could lead to your bread not coming out right.

          Just my 2c

    • Sandy says:

      After I rise the bread in the pans in the oven with just the light on, can I just turn the oven to baking temp and leave the bread in while it preheats? Or do I take it out and hope it doesn’t fall with temp change ?

  2. Anne says:

    I find that just turning on the oven light emits enough heat to encourage my bread to rise more quickly.

  3. Bethany says:

    When my house is cold, I boil water in a saucepan and then place it on the lower rack of my oven, I then put the dough on the top rack and shut the oven door. You will want to use a small pan for the water so it fits. I found this method on a website earlier this year but can’t remember which one.

  4. Sam says:

    I sometimes microwave my dough for 1 minute on 1/4 or 1/3 power and then let it be for a 1/2 hour and microwave it once again on the same settings. Don’t get to carried away with microwaving your dough or you’ll kill the yeast. Also, remember when doing this to use a microwave safe container or you might create 4th of July bread in your cold house.

  5. linda says:

    I put my bowl of bread on top of my hot water heater, it is usually a little warm and has worked good for me.

  6. Sandra says:

    I was reading that for those who wanted to speed the process up, they warmed the flour before mixing it with everything else. It said to warm the flour in the microwave for about 30 – 40 seconds. Has anyone tried this? What do you think?

  7. Pat says:

    If you put your dough in the microwave but leave the door ajar the microwave’s light will provide plenty of heat to rise. I use my oven’s light most of the time though.

    I let my dough rise in my french oven (Le Creuset) and skip the hot pot flip.
    I don’t even preheat the oven. I just put it in and bake.
    I finish my loaf with a 2 minute broil.
    I also add a splash of rice vinegar to my water for just a bit of tang.

    Next thing to try; grinding my own whole wheat flour.

    • sfsourdoughnut says:

      Hi Pat-

      Using the cold french oven and cold oven process, at what temp do you set your cold oven at that you put your dough in the french oven into, how long do you bake it covered and how long uncovered?


  8. Supermom says:

    I just started Making no knead breads but I’m having a problem getting my bread to stay up… Don’t know what I’m doing wrong… It will rise but once I put it in the oven, it goes down and comes out with a flat top..

    Any tips? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

    • admin says:

      It could be a number of things. I will tell you all the things I know of that could cause that and you will have to play the process of elimination to figure it out.

      You may have let it rise to long, sometimes it doesn’t need to completely rise before you put it in the oven and will rise a little in the oven.

      You may have put in to much yeast, cut it back slightly and see what happens.

      If you are using all-purpose white flour, you might try bread flour to see if this improves it. All-purpose flour doesn’t always hold form as well. (let me know if you do not know what bread flour is and I will explain it)

      Yeast may not be fresh enough, may need to buy new yeast. I store my yeast in the freezer to keep it fresh longer.

      It may need a little more flour, maybe 1/8 to 1/4 cup more.

      Let us know if any of these suggestions helped, it will help others to hear the solution to your issue. Thanks

  9. Tyron says:

    I never knead my dough twice.i place the dough in the pan and let it rise to the size i want and then turn the oven on.before its reached the temprature the breads done. by the way, by letting the bread rise to much will cause it to fall flat because it rises more when it starts to bake and its like a balloon thats been blown up to much, it gets a puncture lol.

  10. LittleDoughGirl says:

    When I make homemade dinner rolls around this time to get ready for Thanksgiving, I usually put my dough next to the fireplace with a few lit logs in it. After 30 minuets, I turn the bowl so the other side gets equal warmth. Just a thought for you people with nice fireplaces.

  11. I left my dough over night in the warm oven, now the dough is gluey and stiff. It did not look like it rises. What can I do with it ? I did not want to throw away the dough yet.
    Could the yeast be killed?

    • admin says:

      It is possible that you killed the yeast by getting it too hot in the oven. Even though your house is cold, you might leave the bowl of dough on the counter to rise. It will still rise this way but you will want to let it rise for about 16 hour instead of 12. If it still doesn’t rise then the yeast that you are using may be bad.

      When I use the warm oven on the overnight rise I am just getting the oven a little warm and turning it off, then I put my bowl of dough in and don’t warm it up again. It just gives it a kick start in rising. If your oven gets to warm or hot just turn it off and leave the door open for a little bit till it cools off.

      Hope this helps

      • Thank you so much for the tips. The doughs I had trouble with were not bad after all. I added 1/2 cup of flour,mixed and let it rise again for another day in a warm fire room then I turned them into bread sticks. Everyone loved it . Now I have more confidence with no knead bread.
        My basic mix is:
        2 c white flour
        1 c whole wheat
        1tsp each salt and yeast
        2 handfuls of flax and sesame seeds
        1 1/2 c warm water
        1 tbs oil
        Mix them and leave it covered overnight Just one light in the oven (no power on )
        in the morning (maybe 10- 12 or more hours) I shaped them
        with lightly disturb
        If I don’t have time I bake it right away without second rise in 400F for 1/2 hour covered and uncovered another 10 min. It worked well.

        I have made countless loaves this year. They are good present for all occasions,birthdays, pot lucks,thanks giving etc.
        happy holidays and best wishes

  12. Christie says:

    I am having so much trouble with my bread! I’ve made the Half-Wheat Sandwich loaf (this is the second time). Both times it got bubbly on top during the first rise but didn’t actually appear to have risen at all! When I’ve gone to do the shaping part the dough is super wet (more the consistency of bubbly cake batter than bread dough) and I had to just dump it straight into the pan without shaping it. The first time I made it it rose better the second time and came out pretty well despite the weird consistency, but this time it hardly rose the second time. The first time I made it, I know my house was too cold (under 70 degrees) but this time it was 73 and the bread dough was in the oven with a pan of warm water under it. I know I have a knack for screwing up any bread that I ever try, but I love the no-knead method and would love to figure out what I’m doing wrong if that’s possible! 😉

    • admin says:

      Hi Christie,
      If it gets bubbly on top then it has probably completed the first rise even though it doesn’t look like it has. I have noticed that the no-knead doughs that contain whole wheat flour in them don’t rise as well as they do with only white flour. It sounds like it may not have enough flour. I would add up to a 1/4 cup of flour and see if that helps in the forming stage, you may have to stir it a little longer when you mix it to get most of the flour stuck to the dough.

  13. Kelly says:

    I use a heating pad! Works well everytime! :)

    • Darla says:

      The heating pad idea sounds so good. My apartment is just not bread friendly, but lets say my hips are!!! could you let me no what you do, and how this works, thank you so much, Darla Schlegel

  14. Jaz says:

    Why thank you this helped a white girl out alot!!!!! :)

  15. Rolf says:

    You can also warm your dough in an electrical oven by simply turning the oven light on.
    For many years now I let it rise this way, the oven temperature is 86F and that is enough. And it does functions especially good with sourdough.

  16. Linda says:

    Heat a cup of water in the microwave until hot. Quickly put the covered dough in the microwave with the cup of hot water. Your dough will rise beautifully.

  17. Brent says:

    Ted on the GRAIN MILL GROUP on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/530072707073446/) gave this suggestion:
    “If any of you have a large dehydrator, you can rise your bread in it, turned on the lowest setting. Cover the dough with plastic wrap to keep the surface from getting dry (dehydrators use a fan to keep the heat mixed & even… it can dry out the surface & make the dough crack).”

  18. Luciebear says:

    I live in an older home with the old-fashioned radiators. In the winter I put the bowl of dough on top of the radiator. Since I have the heat turned up in the house, it rises well within about an hour. Easy solution if you have an older home!

  19. john douglas says:

    i like to remember that the yeast does the rising but that the much slower growing bacteria give the flavor.
    the faster the rise the less the flavor.

    • Richard says:

      this is true and I am glad you pointed it out. Of course if you are doing a overnight no-knead bread, there is no need to slow down the second rise since it has developed flavor all night already.

      • Lori Taylor says:

        Wow…no wonder my bread was so good. It didn’t amount to anything on the shelf behind my bunn coffee maker so I stuck it in the oven all night with a clean dish towel over it. It was kinda doughy on the inside rather than dry bready texture but it was delicious. It was a artisan bread.
        If your bread needs refreshing put a couple pieces in microwave with a custard cup of water beside it for a few seconds. Just as yummy as the first slice.

  20. Frank says:

    I fill a coffee cup 3/4 full with water put a small wooden spoon in it and microwave it for 2 minutes in the microwave. Then I put my bread dough in to rise. It is nice and warm in the microwave and the dough rises great. When you boil water in a microwave you should put something in the cup and stir before you remove the cup. Boiling water in a microwave can be dangerous and has been known to explode out of the cup if not stirred before removing.

  21. Rachee-O says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I did exactly what you explained about putting it in the slightly warm oven. Indeed, it rose much quicker and I didn’t need to wait too long for it to be ready to bake for my Garlic Basil Bread Roll today.

    Wonderful tips!

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  24. grannie9annie says:

    I find that just putting the dough into the oven with the oven light on creates an ideal environment for the initial rise. My house is plenty warm during the day but it goes down to 60 at night – a little cold for rising yeast dough. So, putting it in the oven with the light on works well.
    I am so pleased to have found this web site. I love to bake bread, expecially the no-knead method. This web site is a bonanza!

  25. Dot says:

    If you use enough yeast you don’t need a warm spot to rise and you don’t need to wait 5 hours to wait for a rise. The faster the rise the less flavor is not true .bread is bread what kind of flavor.?I produce big fluffy bread every time without waiting hours and making sure my kitchen is warm. wasting time looking for A warm spot!

  26. Sondra says:

    I put the bowl of dough on top of the (running) clothes dryer. Works really well.

  27. Cheryl says:

    I made an Easter Bread for the first time and the dough did not rise. The taste was sweet but it was very dense. Thanks for all the helpful hints!

  28. Mike Holmewood says:

    I find the best way to keep the dough warm while rising is to put the basin and then the baking pan in warm water in a cooler and close the lid and then keep checking. You will not need much water and you will not have to cover the dough using this method.

  29. Eddie King says:

    I try to open a franchaise food store, a sourdough baked, dig a bowl and filled with
    soup such as new england clam chowder, french onion soup with cheese as a fast food
    establishment in the mall, everyday with soda, ice cream, or like milk shake, juice with
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  30. Srusso8912 says:

    When I was a kid, my mother would help dough to rise by placing it on top of the fitted sheet and under the comforter of her waterbed. First the dough in the bowl, then in the pans. To this day she says she got the best buns from that bed. Still cracks me up!

  31. Jean says:

    I put my bread to rise in the pans in the micro wave it is build in above the cooktop. I turn the light that shines down on the cook top and it heats up the interior of the micro wave. I remove the glass plate that rotates because it gets to hot from the light set pan on a rack and put a cup of warm water to keep it humid, works good on chilly days.

  32. paul carola says:

    I needed my dough to rise faster so i put it near a window with full sun. Best bread i ever made. Good luck

  33. Gita Changappa says:

    Good input:)
    Bangalore India

  34. Aly W says:

    I find that hard to believe because my husband put the bread in the oven and it didn’t rise once. I say let the dough rise before putting it in the oven.

  35. Brett Jeffery says:

    I live in a RV my oven has a pilot light. The temp inside oven with pilot light lit, a perfect 95 degrees.

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  41. Lynn Huntley says:

    If it a sunny day, I put my car outside and let it warm up then put my dough out there. You just have to remember to check on it occasionally and adjust airflow if it gets too warm, by cracking a window.

  42. Jodee says:

    Sure you put a basin of water in the oven in rising time

  43. Mary says:

    If I buy a fresh Dough from the local bakery can I make it rise in the oven? Also how’s long to it rises properly and how will so know it is ready?

  44. Mary Ann Gotti says:

    I have a proof setting on my oven. Can I use that for the second proofing process when making no-knead bread and if so, do I shorten the proof time down from the specified two hours. I’m new to this, just started experimenting with no-knead bread baking and just made two batches of dough for two new loaves to cook tomorrow morning and wanted to see if I should try the proof setting or not.

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