It takes practice. You are doing good.
When you say "it didn't rise" what I'm guessing you meant was, "I waited as long as it took to rise last time and then baked it even though it didn't rise as much as before"
If that is the case then you simply should have waited. You can speed it up a bit by putting it in an 85-90F environment (although I think 75 is ideal, given the option). I don't have a ton of time, so I'm pasting in the answer I gave recently to an email I got. Hope this helps:
I'm glad you liked it.
It takes a while to get a feel for how your culture will react. First, I'm
assuming that the culture was good and bubbly before you used it. If not, that
could be a problem. But even so, it should have worked out. They key test is the
smell. If it smelled good, then the yeast is in there and ready to rise.
When the dough comes out of the fridge, it has not risen much at all. But it
really varies. It could be 20%, it could be 50%. It could even vary by dough,
depending on different temps within your fridge. If you stack the dough in
containers when you put it in the fridge, they won't cool at the same pace, and
that can carry over after 3 days to one being risen and another not.
In any case, once you take it out, you have to wait for it to finish risiing. It
could be a half hour. It could be 5 hours. It depends on how it did in the
fridge. Once you get to know the culture you will be able to adjust. I'm making
pies tonight at 8 for friends. I took a look at the dough around noon and I made
an assessment. I guessed, from looking at it's progress that it needed 3+ hours
to finish rising. So I took it out of the fridge at 5:30. If I took it out at 5
and I was wrong and it was perfect in 2 hours, I'd be screwed - by 8 it would be
overrisen. So I took it out late. If it gets to 7PM and it looks like it's not
moving, I'll toss it in the upper oven which I'll warm to like 90F. That will
speed it up. It may even be that one dough gets more warming than another, etc.
So the bottom line is simply that you should have waited until it did rise
enough. You are kind of on it's time right now, until you figure out how it
works and then you will more in control.
An extra day in the fridge is good for flavor, but the basic rise process is the
same. You might shave 20% off the rise time by waiting a day, but it will still
vary and need manual adjustment.
FYI, pizzzamaking.com has blogs which talk about the green egg gasket.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed Falis" <[email protected]
To: <[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 5:03 PM
Subject: pizza rise
> Hi Jeff,
> First let me say that your web page has been an inspiration to my wife and me.
> Then a question.
> We followed the procedure you give but came out with pies with a tough crust
> and very little rise. We're using the sourdo.com Italian island culture. We
> saw very little rise in the refrigerator after making thet dough balls (1-1/2
> days), and the same during the ~2 hours we had the dough balls out before
> spreading and prepping. Note that the dough was very nice and elastic and
> tasty, though.
> We started with a liquid culture (Ed Wood formula) right out of the
> refrigerator. Is the problem likely that we should have gone through some
> kind of activation steps on it before mixing the dough? Or that the dough
> should have refrigerated for 3 days or so? Or is there something special to
> consider when using such a small amount of culture (5%?). We did not add any
> commercial yeast.
> We also did not have a really hot oven, so that could be a compromising factor
> (had my big green egg up to 900, but couldn't use it because the gasket was
> melting and a white powder was everywhere - but that's another story).
> Anyway, your thoughts would be appreciated.
> - Ed