A method that helps us especially if we work, or cannot follow the dough for as long as necessary by checking them visually.
The right hydration of the dough is one of the main stages in the preparation of baked products. The quality of the dough depends on the characteristics of the finished product, so a correct execution is fundamental to obtain an excellent finished product.
All flours improve if hydrated in the right way but for gluten-free flours hydration is essential.
Brisee and Sucree Pate
Shortbread biscuits and cakes prepared with crumbly dough that contain butter It is important to let them rest in the refrigerator before rolling them out because:
- the fat which has been brought to room temperature for the preparation must solidify again
- flour, made elastic by the addition of liquids, must lose this characteristic
Crumbly doughs left to rest in the refrigerator lose elasticity become more stable and do not shrink when they are rolled out.
Crumbly doughs can be stored raw in the refrigerator at + 4 ° C for a week. After this period it begins to be less workable and loses flavor.
The famous American crumbly biscuits, which often have molasses among the ingredients, achieve maximum flavor and best consistency if prepared with a paste that has rested in the refrigerator before cooking. If cookies are baked immediately after mixing them with flour, liquids and fats do not have time to amalgamate, there is a risk of having little tasty and soggy biscuits.
Planning their preparation in advance allows you to hydrate the cookie dough before baking it. The idea is that during the rest, of at least 6 hours in the refrigerator, the flour will completely absorb the egg, the result will be a dry dough that will guarantee biscuits with clean edges with a delicious external crust, soft heart and an intense flavor.
The pancake batter was left to rest in the refrigerator overnight:
- it is more dense, the liquid and dry ingredients are well blended and do not force us to stir the dough continuously while we cook
- leavenes better
- cooks more evenly.
Dough for muffins, plumcakes and cakes that contain baking powder among the ingredients
t is very important to let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (and no more) before cooking them, as it will:
- flours and liquids mix completely. Sometimes homemade muffins can have an aftertaste of raw flour, those that never rest in the refrigerator
- the chemical yeast (used to induce a leavening effect, thanks to the development of carbon dioxide which is trapped inside the products) it is composed of a basic component (baking soda) and a sour one (cream of tartar e.g.), the latter contains two acid salts: sulphate, which reacts at lower temperatures, and phosphate, which needs heat to produce carbon dioxide. So if we cool the product before cooking, it will obtain a greater development, making the most of the effect of the yeast.
- he butter, when present, creates a barrier effect that helps the development of the product and, on the whole, the whole dough matures better. Attention however: if you exceed 4 hours the humidity risks dissolving the yeast compromising the optimal success of the final product.
It is possible to let the muffins in the mold rest in the refrigerator and pass the muffin molds directly from the refrigerator to the hot oven. Some people think this method makes muffins too dense. Do not worry that the muffins do not increase enough, cook them at 200 ° C for the first 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180 ° C and finish cooking.
The rest of the leavened dough in the refrigerator overnight makes the finished product much more digestible, tastier, better leavened, honeycombed, lighter.
The doughs with beer yeast are less affected by the cold than those prepared with mother yeast, but the rest in the refrigerator (for indirect leavening or pre-dough liquid which helps our dough to retain fermentation gas) it allows to reduce the quantity of beer yeast very often increased in an unhealthy way to make the flour rise without gluten.
Other factors influencing refrigerator rest are:
- the percentage of yeast compared to the weight of the flour
- the type of dough (its complexity). The more fat sugars and eggs there are in the dough, the longer it will take to rise, both inside and outside the fridge
- he ambient temperature in relation to the quantity of the dough. If the bowl I am about to put in the fridge comes from a high ambient temperature or from the heat of the oven turned off with the light on, and it contains three kg of dough, it will take some time before reaching 4 degrees once put in the fridge: I will have to therefore consider that the more the quantity of the dough is, the more time it will take to cool down, or to warm up once it is pulled out
- the temperature of the refrigerator. The fridge temperature must be 4 degrees, the dough must be placed in the coldest area to correctly block the activity of the yeast. It can also condition the fact that the fridge is often opened during the day, even worse if it’s hot: only at night when nobody opens the fridge can you be sure that the 4 degrees will be kept all the time
- the flour used
- hydration. The doughs containing a greater percentage of liquids ripen before the scheduled hours due to a higher humidity inside them which stimulates the metabolic process of the yeast more. This is the reason why doughs with liquid yeast are more “quick” than doughs with solid sourdough.