The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Covering the dough

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Bella's picture
Bella

Covering the dough

Hi guys, I was just wonder your thoughts...how to cover in the fermenting processes and the rising stages

In the recipes that I have tried for artisan breads some say cover loosely with plastic wrap, some just say cover with plastic wrap (not loosely, I assume) and some have you cover with a tea towel. What is the difference and which is better? I find that the authors maintain the covering choice throughout the dough's process so it seems to be a rether personal decision or style. What do you think?

Thanks,

B.

Barkalounger's picture
Barkalounger

I always cover loosely with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with olive oil.  It's very dry here in southern Colorado (esp. during the winter) and if I cover with anything else, my dough dries out.

 

I do use a floured towel during proofing, though. 

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I usually discard the author's advice except for whether to cover tightly or loosely.  Typically, I use a shower-cap-like (or even a shower cap) plastic cover.  For tighter coverage, I have a plastic cover that fits my KitchenAid mixing bowl, except that it has a large indentation (so the mixer head can be lowered over it) and I can only do that for smaller doughs.  I hate to use tossable plastic wrap if I don't have to.  Tea towels let the dough dry out.  (I'll bet if you spray the towel with oil it will work better - but then you have to get it clean, or dedicate it to this task.)

Rosalie

Barkalounger's picture
Barkalounger

Rosalie, I love your idea of using shower-cap-like covers instead of all that plastic wrap. I did a little looking and found these.  The kitsch factor is a bonus.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Yes, that's exactly it!  The smallest ones can be used for open cans when you are going to finish off the contents the next day or so.

Rosalie

Bella's picture
Bella

I like the showercap-like idea. I too cringe when I feel I am using too much plastic wrap. I have seen some around - with polka dots and fruits if I remember correctly, not the great plain set Barkalounger found. I'll have to keep an eye out. (I wish we could order from American websites without getting slammed at the border. In January I ordered a book that cost me approximately double when all the extra border fees were factored in.)

Winter is dry here, while summer is very humid, the shower cap idea for fermentation and first rises is probably ideal.

Thank you,

B.

audra36274's picture
audra36274

I too love the bowl covers from the Vermont Country store, and another handy tip is that they (or regular shower caps) can be used to cover your sifter when you sift flour to keep it from covering you and your counter and clothes. Simply add your flour to the sifter, cover with the cap or cover and crank away. I love baking, I don't love the mess. anything I can do to cut down on the mess without wasting is a plus!

                                                                                  Audra 

bnb's picture
bnb

Bella, 

 I was watching Julia child's show where  Danielle Forestier  goes through French bread making process. She says covering dough with a fabric like cotton/terry keeps the heat trapped in the bowl and keeps the dough at room/optimal temperature.

So I cover the dough first with plastic wrap and then the cloth. If I am using a large bowl with more than enough room for the dough to double/triple, I wrap the plastic snug and then the cloth. If I am doing a free form dough, I loosely cover it with plastic and then the cloth.

BNB.

 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I loved a comment made by Floyd, about using the long (and large) plastic bags you'll find in the veggy and fruit sections at the supermarkets. They're food grade and reuseable. The bags supplied at my local markets are large enough to hold a cookie sheet or my large peel. The price is right, too. Just buy a dozen apples or oranges and bag each one individually. :-)

Thanks, Floyd!