Bread dough rising?
I have a question regarding dough rising ...
I am making a bread dough recipe. After the initial 1 1/2 hour rise after mixing, the recipe has me shaping the dough into balls and letting the balls rise for 15-30 minutes. After that, I shape the dough balls into loaves.
It works just fine but I am curious about the science behind it - why do you need to shape the dough into balls first? Couldn't you shape them right away into loaves, pretzels etc.?