Dough development

Dough development, also known as maturation or ripening, is a term used by bakers to refer to the sequence of changes that take place in bread dough during mixing, kneading and rising/proving. During these processes, gluten is formed in the dough, giving it the ability to retain the gas produced by fermentation.

Differences in ingredients, hydration, kneading, fermentation times and temperature all affect the way gluten develops in dough, and therefore influence the character of the finished bread. When dough has developed or matured to the baker's satisfaction, it is ready for the oven.

See also rheology.

Want to find out more? Look at the chapter on rising, proving and fermentation in the book flour and water.

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