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When baking bread, you’ll notice the lengthy steps that may tempt you to cut a couple of them short. While the rising of the dough is especially vital, its preparation is equally as valuable. Without the proper steps taken, you may end up with a disappointing outcome. With patience comes perfection, so if you’re wondering why does dough need to rest, begin by thinking of it as a necessity to achieve perfection!
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Let Dough Rest?
- When Should the Dough Rest?
- How Long Does the Dough Need to Rest?
- Should You Cover a Resting Dough?
- What Happens if You Don’t Let the Dough Rest?
- Resting Dough
Why Should You Let Dough Rest?
One of the most important steps in making bread is resting your dough. This allows it to relax and be prepared for baking. In other words, letting the gluten in your flour relax by allowing it to rest makes it easier for you to work with the dough, resulting in a lighter, airy loaf of bread with larger holes. The time that you need to allow your dough to rest will depend on the type of recipe you are using, and how much flour you use.
The more water or liquid there is present in the recipe, the less time is needed for rest, as this will have been taken care of during mixing by hydration. If you’re using white flour then resting can be anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, depending on personal preference, as well as the temperature in your kitchen. Wholemeal doughs need far less resting time – usually, just 15 minutes while they rest before shaping into loaves – because wholemeal flours need far less fermentation than white flour ones do before baking; this is because their bran particles already contain so much protein that they interfere with gluten development when mixed into doughs made primarily from white wheat flour alone.
When Should the Dough Rest?
If you’re making bread, then the dough needs to rest after kneading so that it can relax and develop more gluten. If you’re making pizza, then letting the dough rest once it’s been kneaded is important because it allows time for fermentation to occur. This can happen naturally or if an enzyme has been added during mixing. It also gives time for salt and sugar concentrations within the cells of wheat flour particles to be equalised before being combined into larger gluten networks during further processing, which includes rolling out or stretching into layers, eventually used in baked goods like pitta bread, or pasta.
How Long Does the Dough Need to Rest?
Doughs that contain a lot of yeast, such as sourdough bread, need to rest for at least one hour before using them. This is so that all of the yeast has time to activate and expand. For other types of doughs, it’s best to not rush things. If your recipe calls for letting your dough rise twice – once through bulk fermentation and again after shaping – this is because there are benefits obtained in both stages.
Should You Cover a Resting Dough?
It’s important to ensure that your dough is appropriately covered. Whether it’s in the fridge or on the counter. If you don’t cover it, any moisture from the dough can evaporate out into the air and leave you with a dry crust. If you don’t cover your dough at all, it will dry out during its rest time. If you can’t seem to find anything specifically suitable to cover your dough, then you can cover it with a damp towel or plastic wrap instead.
What Happens if You Don’t Let the Dough Rest?
Without resting, the dough will not rise as much. This is because the flour has a large quantity of starch, which needs time to dissolve into the water before it can be incorporated into the gluten network, allowing you to make a good loaf of bread.
The texture won’t be as great in the baked product since it’s been worked out too early, so you’re missing out on some of those tasty air bubbles that give your bread its chewy bite and moist crumb. It may not cook properly or evenly if there are still large chunks of raw flour in the mix when it goes into the oven; these bits will singe while they’re baking causing uneven browning throughout your loaf. You’ll end up with a less tasty product, and some dryness, which means that fewer sugars were caramelised during baking – and caramelisation is where all the flavour comes from!
The main reason for letting your dough rest is to give the gluten time to relax and strengthen. After mixing, baking off straight away can lead to dense loaves with holes in them as well as poor flavour. The best way of getting around this problem is by allowing your dough to rest for about an hour after mixing before shaping and then again for 30 minutes before baking. This will allow enough time for all those strands that are beginning to form, to become strong enough, when they go into the oven without being overworked!
What Happens if You don’t Rest Dough?
If your dough doesn’t rest for long enough, then the bread will emerge dense, rubbery, and less flavourful.
Why do We Need to Rest the Dough After Kneading?
Allowing your dough to rest after kneading, will allow the gluten to relax and expand, fully absorbing the liquids in the dough.
Why is it Important to Allow the Dough to Rest Before Rolling it Out?
Allowing the dough to rest before rolling it out, will permit the present gluten strands time to settle down and relax, making your dough easier to roll out during the baking process.
Why do We Need to Rest the Dough For 45 minutes?
Resting your dough for 45 minutes, allows for better absorption of water, helping the gluten and starches to align.