01/4The logic behind bread dough rise

Have you ever wondered why does the bread dough rise? Hate to break it to you, but there’s no magic trick behind it. The science lies in the combination of gluten and leavening agents, which is behind the rising of bread dough. Without these essential constituents, baked products like bread won’t rise and stay flat and dense instead of fluffy and airy. This is why baking with yeast makes a stark difference in making fresh bread and you must never skip this step.

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02/4What makes dough rise?

You may have noticed that most bread recipes require either active dry yeast or instant yeast. These are important for making the dough rise. How exactly, you ask? You may be surprised to know that yeast is actually living. They are organisms that are part of the fungus family. They are activated in instant yeast, while in dry yeast they need to be stimulated. Like any living organism, yeast loves eating sugary things. Hence, they consume the sugar in the flour and burp out, forming air bubbles in the dough. The type of yeast you choose depends on your recipe. Also, you must know how to use a particular type of yeast. You can use instant yeast in your dough straight from the packet but for dry yeast, you must first “proof” or activate it in warm water for at least 20 minutes before adding to the dough.

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03/4​Science behind rising of the dough

The yeast consumes the sugar present in the dough and burps out carbon dioxide gas and alcohol called ethanol. This gas gets trapped inside the bread dough due to the presence of gluten in it, thus making the dough rise. The alcohol gets evaporated in the baking process. Dough that uses yeast rises slowly and for a longer period of time. The more gas that forms in the dough, the higher the dough will rise and thus, the fluffier your baked bread will be.

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04/4​What traps gas bubbles in the dough?

The dough traps bubbles released by the yeast because of the gluten present in it. The gas is caught in the elastic bit of the bread called gluten. When the proteins inside the dough develop contact with water, gluten takes form by swelling and creating a fine matrix in the dough. The amount starts to increase once the two ingredients are kneaded together. The elastic molecule makes the air bubbles get trapped in the dough.

To make the dough rise better, most recipes ask to leave the bread to rise twice. Once after the yeast is mixed and kneaded with the dough. Then again after an hour, the dough is kneaded again and left to rise for another hour. This helps the yeast eat sugar and burp more carbon dioxide in the dough to make it airier. The yeast keeps doing their hard work even after the dough is placed in containers and placed in the oven. And after the baking is done, you have a delicious, fluffy loaf of bread that is based on science but for sure tastes like magic!

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