Why You Should Punch Your Dough? (Plus Other Baking Tips)

There are so many ways to alter your dough when you make it and in this article, we’re going to be talking about why you should punch your dough and how to get perfect flavorful bread every time.

Why You Should Punch Your Dough?

Punching your dough once it rises the first time allows it to reset the ingredients within your dough to increase flavor so it can rise the 2nd time. It also allows your dough to continue to grow at full capacity for the second rise while distributing all the necessary nutrients (Yeast) specifically the gluten.

When punching your dough you want it to grow at its maximum capacity. Punching the dough allows the dough itself to reset for you to then leave the dough again to rise a second time.

Using white flour is what will usually cause it to grow in size. If you use any other type of dough that has whole grains or seeds it usually won’t rise as much.

Punching your dough can be your ticket to making well-flavoured dough. More tips will be shared below, to help you bake the perfect bread each and every time even if you’re not perfect at kneading dough.

What’s The Purpose of Punching Your Dough? 

The purpose of punching a dough is to give the dough a chance of properly rising and letting the yeast bring the bread back to life. When you punch the bread it allows the yeast to work again to bring it back to life and rise Again. Letting it rise again is basically like marinating chicken it allows the flavor to be even better, once baked.  

How To Punch The Dough The Right Way?

Here’s how to punch the dough the right way. Once you knead your dough you’re going to put it in a bowl and let the ball rise..

Once it rises the first time you’re going to take it out of the bowl put flour on the table and then put the balled up dough on a flat surface. Then you’re going to punch it ( the fun part!). You can take a few fingers and start poking the ball until it deflates. Some force can be used but not extreme force just enough to deflate the dough ball. Once you deflate it you are going to then put it back into a ball so it rises again.

How To Shape The Dough Into A Ball?

This part is for you if you don’t know how to put the dough in a ball. While it’s deflated from the first rise you are going to stretch and pull around the edges of the dough.

You’re going to repeat until you get all around the dough. Do this three times. As you stretch the dough you’re going to be pulling it toward the middle so it will start to form a ball. After doing this same motion over and over you should get the perfect ball. 

Why Is Punching Your Dough Important?

Punching the dough is important because it releases the c02 gas, it helps redistribute the yeast within the dough making it become the perfect bread once you do the second rise. What may happen is that on the first rise when you don’t punch it the rise stops traveling within the dough. When you punch it out you might even hear a sound. 

What Is Shaggy Dough In Baking? 

Shaggy dough has a texture of being sticky, lumpy, and loose dough. When holding the dough it’s very spongy and drops loosely. It usually has a gooey like texture. If you were to touch the dough pieces of the flour would stick to your hands when kneading and usually it’s hard to pull off your hand.

What Causes Shaggy Dough In Baking?

It is caused by not measuring the dough correctly in proportion to the ingredients being used for example flour vs water being used. This usually correlates to the flour being under-kneaded and not having the correct hydration within the dough.

Weighing your ingredients vs measuring will help greatly when it comes to making sure that the correct percentage of ingredients is being added to avoid the dough being shaggy. 

Kneading the dough properly will help the dough not be as Shaggy. Also letting the dough rest for a few hours will help the dough be properly hydrated and allow the gluten to properly develop.

What Can You Make With Shaggy Dough Bread?

The good news is even if your dough is shaggy dough can be made on purpose and is not always a mistake. This type of dough makes delicious bread or different forms of it. 

You can make croutons, biscuits (That are soft and the right type of hard on the outside) or bread that’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside (pass the butter puh-lease!). The bread would be dense, thick and spongy on the inside.  

This technique is good for baking bread especially if you are not great with kneading bread (Yes to all the new bakers out there!). 

How Do You Know If The Dough Is Kneaded Enough?

After kneading the dough you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking. This could be done by taking a small piece of the dough and simply pulling it between your fingers, you should be able to see through it but it should absolutely not start tearing. The goal here is the dough should be stretchy but strong.

What Is Spooning In Baking?

Spooning is putting the flour in a measuring cup and then using the spoon to scrape the heaping Hill of flour off the top of the measuring cup. Then use a spoon to push the flour tightly towards the bottom of the cup and resulting in it being less than what it looked like originally.

Spooning is great when you don’t have the ability to weigh your flour by grams but you want to be as accurate as possible. Keep in mind that most times when you use a measuring cup the amount needed is usually inaccurate. For example, you may scoop a cup into a measuring cup and if you were to weigh it in grams may be way over what the recipe needs which can cause your baked goods to not come out right.

If you don’t have a weighing scale you need to use a spoon and mix the flour to create air so it makes the flour fluffy. Once fluffy then you would use the spoon and sprinkle it into the measuring cup and scrape the top off that overflows over the cup (This may take a few minutes!). This will cause it to be as accurate as possible and close to the amount as if you were to weigh it.

Why Do You Spoon When Baking? 

The spooning method is used especially if you are using a measuring cup to measure flour. When using a measuring cup because flour is easy to overflow over the rim of the measuring cup the amount is mostly not accurate. 

It’s recommended to use a weighing scale to get the most accurate measurement to remove the need to spoon. 

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