When you love to make your own bread at home, you know the best way to get a tasty loaf every time, you need to create a good dough first.
Wet Towel Or Plastic Wrap When Letting A Dough Rise? Plastic wrap is the first choice for many bakers, as it helps to trap the moisture and it prevents any dust or flies to get to your dough, but if you’re looking for an environmental alternative, a wet towel will cover well your dough while it rises.
Why To Cover A Dough Is A Good Idea?
When you make a yeast dough, it needs time to raise and proof, and your dough needs to be placed in a warm place for some time, covering the bowl with a plastic cover or a wet towel will prevent any dust or flies to touch your dough during raising time.
Another good reason to cover your dough while it rises is to prevent the escape of moisture and drying out.
Why You Need A Good Covering For Dough?
When you’re learning the basic of baking your own bread at home, you might want to know why it is important to cover your dough during the rising time.
There are 3 characteristics for a dough cover:
- Keeps humidity
- Let excess gas escape
- Won’t stick to the dough
Whether you pick to use a plastic wrap or a wet towel, it needs to help you to keep the dough humid, if the dough is covered with an open weave kitchen towel, the humidity will escape fast and your dough might dry out fast.
If the cover you’re using is too tight, it won’t allow the excess gas to escape, as a yeast dough rises, it produces CO2 gas, if this gas has no way to escape, it will make the cover to pop up. If the cover pops up, it won’t help to retain the moisture inside the bowl where your dough is, and it might get dried out.
When you’re using a plastic wrap, you can make some small holes with the help of the point of a sharp knife, to allow the gas to escape.
When you place your dough on a bowl for the first rise, there will be plenty of room for you to worry about your dough getting in contact with the wrapping, but when the dough is shaped and let it to proof, it might get in contact with the wrap fast, if you’re using a plastic cover, you can spray some oil on the wrap to prevent it getting stuck to the dough.
Wet Towel Or Plastic Wrap, Which One Is Better?
At the time to choose a wet towel or a plastic wrap to cover a bread dough while it rises, most bakers will go with the plastic wrap, as it’s easy to use and it will always help you to cover your dough well.
If you want to stick to the idea to bake your own bread at home this is one way to help the planet to be a better place, then the wet towel will be on top of the list as a way to cover your bread dough while it rises, but you need to keep in mind some points.
- Choose a kitchen towel for this purpose and only use it for covering your dough, and wash it always after using it.
- The kitchen towel is best if it is made of cotton or linen, but it should not be made with an open weave.
- Keep the towel wet if you live in a dry and warm place.
A dry towel is not good to cover a dough while it raises as it will absorb the humidity from the dough, and in case it gets in touch with the dough, it can get stuck to the towel.
More Alternatives To Cover A Dough While It Raises
When you love to make your own bread, soon you will be discovering more ways to cover a dough while it raises, without the need to cover it with a plastic wrap every time, this will help you to get the best results and keep the dough moist, without feeling bad about using one use plastics.
- Use A Cooking Pot – You can let your dough to raise on a lightly floured surface and cover the dough with a cooking pot, the only con about using this idea is that you won’t be able to see the dough through the pot, and you will need to uncover your dough to check if it’s ready or not.
- Use A Plastic Box – Buy a plastic box big enough for this purpose, you can make two or three little holes on the lid to let the CO2 gases produced by the dough to escape, the plastic box will be good to see through it to check if your dough is ready or not.
- Use A Reusable Plastic Bag – There are reusable plastic bags big enough to put a dough inside, you can wash this bag after each use, let it dry and it will be ready to be used again, anytime you use this bag again, you can put some olive oil inside of the bag with a cooking brush used for this purpose only to prevent the dough to get stuck to the plastic, remember to make two or three small holes in the bag.
- Shower Cap – This method will help you to place your dough in a plastic, glass or ceramic bowl to raise, you will cover the bowl with a shower cap, wash the shower cap after each use.
If you know about another alternative to cover your dough while it raises, share it on a comment, this way we all learn from each others.
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