The Fresh Loaf

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rookie question - handling the dough

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John H's picture
John H

rookie question - handling the dough

I've been baking SD breads using the dutch oven and it's working great.  Now, however I'm making hot cross buns and thinking about making some kaiser rolls.  The hot cross bun recipe calls for a 3-1/2 hour proof, divide the dough into the separate buns and form them, then refrigerate overnight.  My question is how much handling can you do with the dough in the dividing and forming before messing up the structure of the dough?  I've kept it to a minimum - but I wonder if I'm being overly cautious or what.

mini_maggie's picture
mini_maggie

I think a lot of beginners are afraid of 'hurting' dough - I know I was!  Watching shaping videos on YouTube really helps to see how you can handle dough.  Here's one for shaping rolls - my rolls are typically smaller than the dough ball in the video and I use the second one-hand rolling method she demonstrates, after doing the initial stretch and fold she shows.   A dough cutter / scraper like she uses is really key to avoid stretching ./ tearing the dough when dividing.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRk96GA_GF0

Key for me was learning not to be timid handling the dough.

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

for example hot cross buns I will degas completely before shaping, because the crumb has to be fine. That doesn't mean that the buns have to be heavy, but you're not going to get huge bubbles with a standard hot cross bun recipe anyway, so best is to just degas completely, then shape.

I think you'll be fine either way, though ;)

John H's picture
John H

Thank you, the HC buns came out just fine.   The initial dough was easy to work with - the addition of the raisins and candied peel changed the dynamic of the dough considerably.