sticky and more elastic. When this happens, the back of
the bowl begins to be cleared of dough and eventually
becomes completely clear. At this time you should use
careful judgment not to allow the mixing to progress too
far or the dough will breakdown to a point where it loses
elasticity and becomes sticky and runny. There is no
rule governing the mixing time for dough other than the
feel and appearance of the dough. When the mixing
process is completed, the temperature of the dough
should range between 78°F and 82°F.
FERMENTATION. After the mixing operation,
the dough is either left in the mixing bowl or placed in
a dough trough to ferment.
Fermentation is the chemical change that takes
place when yeast (or other leavening agent) in the bread
releases carbon dioxide gas, causing the dough to rise.
The fermentation period is the time that elapses between
the mixing of the dough and the time the yeast is killed
by the oven heat. The correct temperature for the dough
during fermentation is indicated on the recipe card. A
higher temperature will cause the growth of undesirable
bacteria (wild yeast) and excessive acidity, which will
result in a coarse-grained bread of poor flavor.
The length of the fermentation period depends on
the amount of yeast used, the strength of the flour, and
the temperature during fermentation. Too much yeast
and higher temperatures than those designated cause the
dough to rise too fast.
Insufficiently fermented or
conditioned dough is called young dough while that
which has fermented too long is known as old dough.
PUNCHING. Punching the dough after it rises
develops the gluten and also redistributes the yeast cells.
The temperature of the dough is equalized, and some of
the carbon dioxide gas is forced out. Yeast dough is
ready for punching when it is light and approximately
double in size. To test the dough to determine if it is
ready for punching, press the dough lightly with a
fingertip. If the impression closes up immediately, the
dough is not ready. If the impression recedes slightly, it
is ready to be punched or folded. The dough should then
To punch the dough you should use both hands and
punch the dough through the center, going from end to
end of the dough trough. Then, use both hands to grasp
one side of the dough and pull it on top, once again
working from end to end of the dough trough. To punch
dough in a mixing bowl, punch the center, fold sides into
the center, then turn completely over. After the dough
has rested for approximately 30 minutes, it should be
taken from the bowl or trough to the bench for makeup.
DOUGH MAKEUP. The dough is divided into
uniform pieces of the desired weight. When you are
dividing the dough by hand, cut off the dough with the
dough scraper and weigh the dough on a scale. Use the
scraper to add or remove dough until the desired weight
is obtained. This process is referred to as scaling. In a
machine-operated bakeshop, the baker scales the pieces
by machine, making adjustments so that the pieces will
be the desired weight.
ROUNDING THE DOUGH. After scaling, the
dough is rounded by tucking the raw edges and forming
a smooth round ball. This process seals the raw edges
that are left after the dough is divided.
PROOFING. T he
intermediate proofing period is a stage when the
rounded piece of dough is allowed to rest between the
time it is divided and rounded and the time it is formed
for panning. The intermediate proofing period should
be just long enough for a piece of dough to recover from
being divided and rounded. The dough should be loose
enough so that it can be easily molded. This requires
from 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the dough and the
conditions of the room.
Some of the advantages of rounding and giving the
dough intermediate proof are it achieves uniform shape,
facilitates panning, makes texture uniform, stretches
gluten slowly, expels excess gas, and forms skin on
surface of dough.
MOLDING AND PANNING. The pieces of
dough are shaped so that they can rise in the pan and
form a shaped loaf of bread. Use the following steps in
Place each piece of dough on the board, top side
down. Use as little dusting flour as possible.
Press the gas out of the dough and pull
lengthwise carefully, shaping the dough into an
oblong loaf about the length of a finished loaf of
Flatten the dough with your hands or with a
Shape the dough by folding in the ends to form
Fold the dough lengthwise to the center and seal
by firm finger pressure.
Fold over the other half of the dough and press
for additional seal.
Roll the dough to complete the sealing and
molding of the loaf.