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Theory of the yeast dough

Yeast dough

We use the yeast dough to make pies, easter cakes, panettone, buns, bread, and the list can be endless.

 

Yeast dough is kneaded of water or milk, depending on the pastries for which the dough is used.

 

Yeast serve as a baking powder for such dough.

 

In addition to the liquid, the dough is added to the flour – eggs, butter, sugar and other products.

It improves the taste and food-value of the dough.

Water or other liquid

Water or other liquid is one of the main components of the dough, it helps to dissolve all the ingredients, and with the help of the liquid, the protein substances in the flour swell and form an elastic mass capable of stretching, called gluten.

 

Probably, we all have seen bakers stretching the dough and checking if the gluten window has formed. The dough is transparent, but does not tear. Only after that they begin to form pastries.

Why is it important to mix the dough correctly? 

What is gluten?

Gluten

Gluten is a group of proteins that contains in wheat flour.

In the process of the dough kneading, gluten proteins are connected, forming a gluten network.

Thanks to gluten, the dough becomes able to stretch. It stretches under the action of gases, which were formed by the yeast during fermentation, keeping them inside the dough. As a result, it becomes porous and soft and rises better. 

 

You can develop the gluten by the traditional method — this is the method of mechanical action on the dough or kneading.

As a result of kneading, glutenin and gliadin proteins are connected to each other, and they form balls. To get an elastic dough, you need to unroll them. They, in turn, form a frame that provides the qualities of wheat dough – its elasticity and flexibility.

Kneading the dough

Kneading triggers the activity of yeast due to the penetration of oxygen into the dough.

In addition, due to kneading, the gluten network is strengthened. It retains carbon dioxide in the dough during fermentation and baking.

There are several stages in the kneading process.

It is customary to distinguish the stage when the dough practically does not stick to the hands, usually they stop there. Then the gluten is not yet fully developed, but the dough is relatively elastic. Now we can bake. During the baking process, the dough may tear and the surface of the product will not be smooth enough, but this will not affect the taste.

 

If our goal is to see the well-known gluten window, during which the very thin dough does not tear when stretched, and is translucent – knead the dough intensively more. Then it is better to knead such a dough in a dough mixer or a small amount of it in a planetary mixer – using a hook attachment.

Such a dough is used for Panettone. It has well developed gluten. 

If you take a chance of kneading the dough with your hands until the gluten window appears, monitor the temperature, because the dough heats up from your hands.

The optimal temperature of the dough is 23-24 degrees.

Constantly check the dough by stretching the edge. If it does not tear, it is ready.

If you knead for too long, the bonds between proteins will break down and the dough will become sticky.

Fermentation

Due to carbon dioxide, which is released as a result of yeast activity, the dough rises. In addition, yeast produce alcohol that evaporates. This type of fermentation is called alcoholic.

Pastries from this dough are soft with a neutral taste.

 

The fermentation temperature is 23-24 degrees, it is optimal for the activity of microorganisms and for revealing all the aromas of the dough.

Dough rising

We leave the dough to rise under the following conditions: it is placed in the bowl of a mixer or another stainless steel bowl covered with cling film and a towel at room temperature.

At this time, oxygen does not enrich the dough and the yeast convert sugars into carbon dioxide.

 

Time

— from 1 hour to 3 hours.

— In the cold from 12 hours.

 

Readiness

The dough has increased in volume and become more elastic.

The gluten network has strengthened.

Repeated kneading

Stretch and fold the dough by hand to start the re-fermentation process, as well as to strengthen the gluten network.

The dough is gaining strength, after which we leave it again for fermentation.

Molding of products

Preparation of the dough before the last phase – rising and baking.
When working, do not squeeze the dough or tear it. It is better to make blanks of the same size.


Place all the products on the table with a smooth side, wrap all the edges to the center, turn over, form a smooth surface using circular movements with your hands.
Put the products with the seam down in baking forms.

The last phase of the rise

The final stage of rising begins in baking forms. It should take place at higher temperatures of 25-28 degrees, and last at least 30 minutes.

Cover the dough with a napkin.

 

During the final fermentation, part of the starch in the dough turns into simple sugars. They, in turn, break down into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Therefore, higher temperatures are usually required.

Baking

Usually, the baking temperature is 180 degrees. At 100 degrees the gluten network hardens and the starch thickens. The rising process is completed.

 

Is it possible to eat hot easter bread or bread?

It is better to wait, as they are poorly digested. Not all the gases have been released, the pastries have an unformed taste and a rich aroma. Therefore, we leave all the products on the oven grid until they cool down completely.

Hello!

My name is Svitlana. I am a pastry chef, food blogger, photographer and food stylist.

My blog is about delicious food, desserts, home baking, photos, aesthetics and people.
If you want to chat or have a proposal for cooperation, write to pr@klymovska.com, or on Instagram.

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