This weeks class covered rich doughs. Rich doughs are yeast-based doughs that contain butter, cream, some kind of fat or eggs. Rich dough produces a bread that is soft with a tender cake-like texture. The added fats shorten the gluten strands, making the finished product tender and soft. These are easier to make in a home kitchen than lean doughs, there is no need to steam or slash rich doughs.
This week class was smaller than usual, which was nice for learning when a dough is properly formed. After kneading in a machine for about eight minutes a “window test” is performed to ensure the yeast and gluten are developed enough before proofing. Basically, a small ball of the dough is stretched thin and analyzed. The properly formed dough should stretch thin and translucent, reviling a smooth texture. It’s difficult to describe in words, so it was nice to have smaller groups when working on this.
During the kitchen time in the class we covered techniques on how to shape different doughs. We shaped a traditional braided Challah and cloverleaf, lip-shaped and sharks-tooth rolls. The Cinnamon Swirl loaf we made also involved shaping the roll, in order to create the inner swirl of cinnamon, before placing it in the loaf pan.
Rich doughs follow a nearly identical method as lean doughs:
- Scale ingredients
- Bulk Proof/ferment (usually two times original size)
- Repeat steps three and four
- Scale individual pieces/loaves
- Shape on/in baking container or surface
- Proof (usually one and a half times the original size)
- Egg wash
- Bake (usually between 350° – 375°)
Here is what we made in class: