From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Equipment | Techniques | Cookbook Disambiguation Pages | Ingredients | Bread

Dough (pâte in French, pasta in Italian) is a thick paste made of moistened flour.[1][2] This step is a precursor to its use in cooking in numerous ways such as making bread, pasta, noodles, pastry, cookies, and muffins, among others.


[edit | edit source]

Dough differs from batter principally by having a lower water content, which makes it stiffer and easier to shape free-form.[3] The most basic dough is made simply by combining flour and water,[4] though cooking this without any other ingredients or processing would make a somewhat unappealing final product.

The specific characteristics (e.g. flavor, texture) of a dough will depend on the grains used to make it. Whole grain flours and those without gluten typically make a denser texture.[5] Doughs with no leavening at all will also have a dense texture if left thick.


[edit | edit source]

The elasticity of dough depends largely on its gluten content and the degree to which the dough is worked, especially when it comes to wheat-based doughs. These chainlike molecules form an elastic network that traps gas, expanding with it.[6] To make leavened bread only from cereals with low gluten content, alternative means of generating an elastic structure are necessary. This can be supplied by the protein in eggs or by precooking all or part of the flour to produce a gelatinous mass, which can then be leavened and baked.


[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]
Yeasted dough

As the name implies, yeasted doughs are leavened by yeast. In yeasted doughs, elasticity and gluten development are highly desired to provide the structure necessary to trap the gas produced by the yeast and to provide a chewy texture.[3] Lean doughs are simply made of wheat flour, yeast, and water, and have a very sturdy, chewy texture as a result. Rich doughs contain sugar, eggs, and/or fat added, which interfere with gluten formation and yield a more tender texture.[1][7] Yeasted doughs are commonly used for breads, though some varieties may be used for more delicate pastries.

Pie doughs are tender, unleavened, unsweetened wheat-flour based pastry doughs primarily used for making pies and similar pastries. The fat, which is cut into the flour, can be butter, shortening, lard, or a mixture in order to get specific characteristics.[8] With flaky pie dough, the fat is left in relatively large pieces.[8] On the other hand, mealy pie dough or pâte brisée has the butter evenly incorporated to make a sandy texture prior to adding the liquid—it is much less flaky but more sturdy, and it holds up better to moisture.[8][6][7][9]


[edit | edit source]

Short doughs are very tender and crumbly, with a high proportion of fat and little mixing preventing the development of gluten.[8][4][5] Pâte sablée or shortbread types contain flour, butter, and sugar. Pâte sucrée is the same, but it contains eggs as well, which makes it crisper and stronger than sablée.[6] Both types may be made by the creaming method and may contain nut flours for added tenderness.[8][6][7]

Laminated dough layers


[edit | edit source]

Made with either a yeasted or unleavened base, laminated doughs are primarily characterized by very thin, even, alternating layers of dough and fat that produce a very flaky and delicate texture.[7] This type of dough is made by enclosing a block of solid fat such as butter with the dough base, then repeatedly rolling it out and folding it to exponentially increase the number of layers.[6][10] In the oven, the fat melts to create pockets between the dough layers, the steam expands these pockets to create separated layers, and the fat fries and sets the layered structure.[8][5] It's very important to get the number of folds correct—too few folds won't produce the desired flakiness, while too many will cause the layers to meld into each other, destroying them.[3][5] Yeasted types include croissant and danish; unleavened types include puff pastry.[3][6][5]

Certain pastry doughs are made to be extremely thin, and they are often used in layering for making crisp, flaky pastries. Phyllo or filo is a flour-and-water dough that is rolled extraordinarily thin and cut into sheets.[7] It is very fine and delicate.[8][10] Strudel dough is slightly enriched and stretched into a very large, thin sheet.[5] Kataifi is a partially-cooked dough made from strands of cooked batter.[7]


[edit | edit source]

Choux is a type of cooked dough base. It is made by cooking the flour and liquid together in a pot to create a pre-gelatinized dough mass. Eggs are then incorporated into the mixture once cooled. It makes a sticky and elastic dough that is piped into shapes and baked. Products made from this dough have a hollow interior and a crisped, sturdy exterior.[8][5]

[edit | edit source]
Chocolate chip cookie dough

A couple doughs are used to make cookies. Many rolled and sliced cookies are made using short dough, which gives a tender, sandy and crumbly texture. Another variety is based on a creamed fat-and-egg mixture.


[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]

Kneading is the process of repeatedly working a dough, often to produce a uniform texture and develop the elasticity of the gluten if applicable. It can be done by hand or using an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook. Proper mixing is important for homogeneous, structured doughs—however, doughs meant to be tender should not be over-kneaded.

Glutenous dough should be kneaded until it is smooth and moderately elastic. The presence of one or two bubbles beneath the surface of the dough is a sign that the dough is sufficiently well kneaded. Fat and sugar have a tendency to slow the development of gluten, so rich breads may require longer kneading. Over-kneading will break down the gluten network and result in a sticky dough, but this is rarely a problem except with powerful commercial mixers.[1]


[edit | edit source]

Yeast-leavened doughs undergo a stage called proofing, where the dough is left to undergo fermentation and become puffy. This is often done at a temperature of 70–85°F (21–30°C) and in a humid environment to prevent the dough from drying out. Generally, proofing is complete when the product has doubled in size and springs back slowly when lightly touched.


[edit | edit source]
Rolling out dough

Many doughs are rolled out using a rolling pin to get a thin sheet that is then shaped as desired. When rolling, it's important to maintain even pressure and to rotate the dough in order to make sure it spreads evenly in all directions. It is common for the dough to end up thicker in the center and thinner at the edges, especially if even pressure is not maintained. One common mistake is to repeatedly roll back and forth across the dough—instead, it's better to start in the center and apply pressure only when rolling from the inside out.

In order to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface or the rolling pin, either the dough and the surface can be sprinkled with flour or the dough can be rolled out between sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. One factor to consider is that flouring surfaces will inevitably incorporate extra flour into the dough, which may or may not be desirable.


[edit | edit source]

Finished doughs are shaped in a variety of ways to make a final product, including scooping, slicing, piping, or rolling and cutting. Bread doughs are typically either molded with the hands into a freeform shape or placed in a baking pan, which will create a more rigid structure. Flatbreads, however, are often rolled or patted out into a thin layer.


[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]
  1. a b c Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2012-04-11). The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-544-18603-3.
  2. Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  3. a b c d The Chefs of Le Cordon Bleu (2011-12-02). Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking Foundations. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-4390-5713-1.
  4. a b This, Hervé (2007-11-15). Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-51203-9.
  5. a b c d e f g The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) (2015-02-25). Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-92865-3.
  6. a b c d e f Amendola, Joseph; Rees, Nicole (2003-01-03). Understanding Baking: The Art and Science of Baking. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-44418-3.
  7. a b c d e f Labensky, Sarah; Martel, Priscilla; Damme, Eddy Van (2015-01-06). On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals, Updated Edition. Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-13-388675-7.
  8. a b c d e f g h Rinsky, Glenn; Rinsky, Laura Halpin (2008-02-28). The Pastry Chef's Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-00955-0.
  9. Friberg, Bo (2016-09-13). The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-46629-2.
  10. a b Ruhlman, Michael (2008). The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen. Black Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-86395-143-2.