We’re kicking off our Better Baking Academy with our Do-It-All Dough, a versatile enriched dough powered by Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour. This miracle recipe can go sweet or savory, depending on the baker’s whim. Our module includes info on everything from how the ingredients work to how to knead, proof, and shape your dough to perfection. Your first step to becoming a better baker? Preheat your oven! Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson, or keep scrolling to view our digital lesson.
Before you get to baking, be sure to enter our Instagram giveaway to win a prize pack of baking essentials you’ll use in this lesson. The giveaway closes on February 10, 2020, so hurry to enter!
Great recipes require great ingredients. Here’s how each key ingredient helps make this enriched dough so adaptable.
Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour: This versatile all-purpose wheat flour has a protein content of 10% to 12% and is an excellent choice for baking bread, cookies, cakes, muffins, piecrusts, pizza crusts, and more.
Granulated sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast. We opt for a small amount (2 tablespoons) so the dough can go sweet or savory easily. Plus, using sugar makes this a true enriched dough.
Active dry yeast: Yeast is essential to all bread doughs. It needs food (sugar and carbohydrates), warmth (water temperature and room temperature), and moisture for proper fermentation. Yeast is killed at 139°F (59°C), so keep your thermometer on hand. The ideal temperature for yeast to proof is 78°F (26°C) to 82°F (28°C).
Kosher salt: The ratio of salt to flour in breads needs to be 1.8% to 2% by weight. That means it’s important to weigh your salt because different salt crystals measure differently. Dough without enough salt easily overferments. Salt enhances flavor, increases shelf life, and helps with crust color.
Water and whole milk:We use milk to add both fat and flavor, but we cut it with water to keep the dough from getting too dark during baking. The temperature of the liquid is important. Warmer doughs ferment faster than colder, and heat is needed to correctly activate the yeast. Whisking the yeast into the flour insulates it, so the temperature of our liquids (120°F/49°C to 130°F/54°C) is slightly warmer than when blooming in order to jump-start yeast activation.
Unsalted butter: We use unsalted butter to control how much salt is added into the bread, as different brands have various ranges of salt in their salted butter. The milk fat in butter helps tenderize the dough, making it “enriched.”
Egg: Adding an egg also makes this an enriched dough, incorporating a boost of fat. It must be room temperature in order for it to not affect the temperature of the dough.
Enriched Dough 101
What it is, how you make it, why it works.
An enriched dough is a bread dough made with the baker’s richest ingredients: milk, butter, eggs, and sugar. They’re set apart from lean doughs, like sourdough and focaccia, by these incorporations. They take a good amount of mixing to properly develop gluten. Because both of our recipes (Almond Cream Rolls and Garlic Herb Clover Rolls) require rolling and shaping, gluten is essential to help them hold their final form. We conduct a windowpane test (see tutorial on Testing for Proper Gluten Development) to see if we’ve nailed the gluten structure. With all of its added fat affecting fermentation, enriched dough can take longer to proof than lean dough. To efficiently check proofing, we measure and track the dough in height using a large 8-cup measuring cup or ruler and then conduct a finger dent test. (See tutorial on Testing for Proofing.) After shaping, the enriched dough will rise again, but it won’t be the standard “doubled in size,” puffing up only 66% to 77%. Then we perform another finger dent test. As for baking, all enriched doughs are done when a thermometer inserted into the bread registers 190°F (88°C).