What Are The 3 Types Of Dough?

There are so many ways to make dough and get creative with it. Fortunately for you, there are in fact 3 different types of dough you can make when it comes to baking. 

The 3 different types of dough are Lean dough, Rich dough, and Enriched dough. The lean dough is a very popular dough that is used to make bread and consists of water, egg, yeast, and salt with very little to no sugar. It’s the easiest dough to start with and very beginner friendly.

Rich dough has a high concentration of fats, Sugar, and Dairy and it usually is very soft inside. and it’s best eaten warm. Sometimes yeast will be added. Because of the added ingredients, the dough can be hard to knead and may require more effort to ensure it is mixed well. 

The enriched dough is also is a type of Rich dough and very similar. It also has fats, sugar, dairy and cream but the difference is it requires gentle kneading and can be changed to have less of any of the ingredients. This type of dough has less fat than rich dough it’s a little bit leaner but it is very similar when it comes to ingredients. 

Knowing the different types of dough is very important to know but also knowing what exactly you can make with each dough. What you can do with the dough is endless. That you will find out below.

What Can Be Made With The 3 Types Of Dough?

Now you’re probably wondering what type of dough should you start with? The type of dough that you choose, really depends on what you are trying to make, the type of texture you’re going for. Are you looking for a soft or hard texture bread? Are you looking for a more solid or soft interior? 

See the chart below of the different things that you can make based on the type of dough that you choose.

Type of DoughExample of Baked GoodsTexture

Lean Dough
Hard rolls 
Chewy and hard exterior -very crunchy  ( There is usually bread flakes everywhere)

Rich Dough

-Soft rolls
-Cinnamon Rolls -Brioche 
Soft interior and very tender exterior a bit softer

Enriched Dough
-Naan Bread
Editable – same as rich dough but not as many fats  (i.e. Cream, milk, butter, etc) The only difference is you can choose to use less fats to get your desired outcome.

What Is A Starter Dough? 

What will really make the dough different is the type of starter dough that you choose. If you’re looking to make a specific type of bread it will be considered fermented bread. The fermented dough is a leavening agent that is usually mixed with lean dough and not usually dough that has milk, dairy or sugar. 

The leavening agent is what allows the bread to rise and causes the texture of the bread to change.

Examples of bread that are considered fermented bread that is made with Lean dough are sourdough, Rye bread, Pumpernickel Bread, Ciabatta, and Focaccia. 

What Are The 4 Types Of Starter Doughs Used With Yeast?

The 4 types of yeast Preferments  dough that you would add to your dough 

to make different types of bread are: 

Poolish uses an equal amount of flour and water. Usually has a battered consistency. Lots of water. It is commonly used for baguettes. It is usually wobbly and bubbly and has pocket holes. 

Biga can be used to make all Italian bread perfect for pizza and ciabatta. You can use just flour when making this type of preferments and then add the water the next day when it rises. It is usually very stretchy.

Sponge yeast is perfect for enriched dough. Can be used for Cinnamon rolls and butter rolls. This type of yeast can be made with milk. 

Pate Fermentee is the only starter dough where you mix the dough with salt. It rises quickly. It is perfect to use with lean dough. 

What Dough Should You Make First?

The Dough you should start with is lean dough. Ingredients are probably already in your house, so no need to go to the grocery store. The is easy to make and as someone who is a new baker you will be able to easily bake bread even if you have no experience prior. You can’t go wrong with that. I grew up seeing my parents and grandparents use lean dough as a base for making different types of bread-related dishes and it tastes great all the same. But if you’re looking to step it up a notch using the starter dough and the three different types of dough is the next step that you would take to make some rich bread.

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