Raised dough is a basic part of a variety of delicious pastries and cakes, but its preparation requires serious attention. If you have prepared yeast dough with little success until now, or simply didn’t even dare to try, here are some tips so you can make the perfect yeast dough easily and quickly.
Pay attention to the ingredients
Although it may sound strange, making really good yeast dough is only possible if each ingredient you use is at least at room temperature. For example, the ideal temperature of milk is 35-37˚C.
To obtain light, crumbly dough, you should sift the flour, as this procedure will make it light and airy, and yeast will be able to work with a much higher efficiency. It is also extremely important to always use fresh yeast.
The art of kneading
The composition of the dough is also a key issue. You may follow the instructions in recipe books for preparing the yeast, but if all the ingredients are at room temperature, this step can be left out. Sift the flour into the bowl, crumble in the yeast, add the sugar, salt, eggs, and a small amount of melted fat, and then add warm milk gradually.
Kneading should be done by hand, so you are able to feel the consistency of the dough. From the bottom up, pull the dough upwards with a wooden spoon with fast and powerful strokes, to make sure that the dough fills up with sufficient air. The dough is ready when it becomes shiny and separates from the wall of the bowl and the wooden spoon.
Sprinkle the dough thinly with flour before leaving it to rise, in order to prevent it from becoming soggy. The ideal temperature for rising the dough is 27-30 ˚C, but you may also thickly wrap it to retain the heat. This way, the dough will double in size within 35-40 minutes.
The finishing touches
When the dough has risen, follow the recipe: for some cakes you need to knead the dough again, for other you don’t. Shape the dough, coat the top with eggs and leave the dough to rest again for 25-30 minutes in a warm place. The dough is done rising when it starts emitting a strong scent.
If you put the cake in a cold oven, don’t open the oven door for the first 25 minutes; if you have preheated the oven, don’t open the door for the first 15 minutes. The initial baking temperature should be 200 ˚C; however, if you are baking a smaller amount or flatter bake dough, lower the temperature to 180 ˚C after 10 minutes.