Does Dough Need Air To Rise?

Bread dough on a brown granite surface.

When you sift the flour to make the dough, you introduce air. Then, with mixing and later during folding, more air is incorporated into the dough. However, is oxygen essential for the dough to ferment, or can it rise in an airtight space? In the first stage of dough preparation, incorporated air helps the gluten … Read more

How Many Times Can You Punch Down Dough?

Two hands kneading a dough.

Punching down the dough sounds quite aggressive and should not be taken literally. Punching down, or knocking back the dough really just means gently degassing it. Yeast produces carbon dioxide during the fermentation process. It is sufficient to gently squeeze some of the gas out of the dough with your fingertips, then stretch it a … Read more

Why Does My Bread Smell Vinegary? – 7 Common Reasons Explained!

A bread loaf

When making sourdough bread, it may happen that the dough smells like vinegar, even though it was not among the ingredients you used. My goal with this post is to explain what causes this exciting phenomenon. In addition to wild yeasts, sourdough contains lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria also feed on sugars, producing lactic acid … Read more