Dough and Batter Reference

This is a non-exhaustive reference of doughs and batters used to make sweet and savoury casings, pies, dumplings, noodles, quickbreads, wraps, pancakes, cookies, cakes etc.

This is a reference table for comparison and not a collection of recipes. The amount of serves will vary widely depending on how the pastry is used.

All amounts are in grams unless otherwise specified; note 1 large egg gives about 50g of egg (without the shell). See the end of the page for a full explanation of terms.

Baked Breads, Cakes, Pizzas and Puddings

Includes sweet and savoury breads, Viennoiserie, and cakes which are baked in the oven, regardless of leavening method.

Name Flour Fat Egg Sugar Liquid Time Temp Notes
Basic Bread 100       60     Biological leaven; Many variations with more oil etc for richness and texture.
Brioche 75 35 50 12       Biological leaven

Griddle Breads and Flatbreads (TODO)

Pastas and Dumplings (TODO)

Terms and Classifications

A batter is a liquid mixture which can be poured; a dough is a solid paste which can be kneaded, rolled etc.
In pastry and baking context this usually means Milk or Water; often these are interchangable depending on desired softness of crumb (Milk produces a softer and slightly sweeter product).
In this context “egg” refers to the weight of egg-liquid not number of eggs. One standard “large” egg provides just under 50 grams of “egg” and an “extra large” egg provides just over 50 grams. Thus, when using more than 2 eggs in a mixture it should be weighed for best results.

Fat means butter unless otherwise indicated.

Shortening” refers to fat; a “short” dough has a high fat content, and generally will be flakier and richer but weak and brittle.

Flour means “plain flour” unless otherwise indicated.

Bread Flour or Strong Flour

Contains added gluten for strength for making bread; also useful for other doughs were the added strength is useful to prevent tearing (e.g. filled pastas).

Bread flour can be made by adding 1 level teaspoon of gluten powder or gluten flour for each 1 cup of plain flour.

Self-Raising Flour

Contains baking powder (chemical leavening); can be made by adding one level teaspoon of baking powder for each 1 cup of plain flour.
Ground grains, nuts or seeds (e.g. oatmeal, cornmeal, flaxmeal, almond meal) which is larger and usually coarser than flour.
Usually Caster sugar unless otherwise indicated; finer sugars produce a finer crumb in baked goods but can produce a more fragile product (especially in shortcrust pastry).

The substance or technique used to introduce uniform gas pockets into the mixture to provide lightness/sponginess.

Biological Leavening (Fermentation)
Gas-producing microorganisms (e.g. Baker’s yeast or Sourdough starters). Usually must be given time to rise requiring longer time between initial preparation and cooking - see “Proofing” for more details on this process.
Chemical Leavening
Gas producing chemicals, usually taking the form of a base mixed with an acid (e.g. Sodium bicarbonate/Baking soda with Cream of tartar or Vinegar). Once mixed into a moist form, the product should usually be cooked as soon as possible before the chemical reaction ceases.
Steam Leavening
Cooking at high temperatures so the rapid expansion of steam or air pockets provides lift to the mixture (e.g. Yorkshire puddings, Choux pastry and some dumplings).
Mechanical Leavening
Creaming dough or whisking batter with a fat or protein in a manner which creates air bubbles (e.g. creaming butter and sugar, or whisking eggs)
Rolling or folding layers, usually separated by fat, so that the layers remain slightly separated during cooking to provide a light, puffy effect (e.g. Paratha, Crossaints and Puff Pastry).
Using no leavening, deliberately producing a flat, dense product (e.g. Pasta doughs; some dumplings, flatbreads, crackers and cookies).

Leaving a dough to ferment before baking (for yeast/sourdough breads). Generally multiple stages of proofing are required:

Initial Proof / First Proof / Bulk Proof
After first mixing the yeast into the dough, it should be left for at least 20 minutes in a warm area (~30-35C) for the yeast to grow. The dough will rise significantly during this stage, usually to at least twice its initial size.
Knocking back”
After the initial proof the dough will contain a large amount of stale gas and the distributions of temperature and yeast will be uneven. It should be kneaded thoroughly to even it out and remove excess gas.
Second Proof / Intermediate Proof

After knocking back most doughs require a second proof to allow gluten strands to relax and produce a more pleasing final texture. This only takes around 10 minutes.

Some doughs don’t need a second proof, instead having a longer first proof.

Dividing and Panning
After second proof the dough should be kneaded again, divided into proportions and moulded into its final shape for baking - any weighing also should be done at this stage, note that the dough will lose 10-15% of its weight during baking.
Final Proof
The dough should be left in its baking tray or tin for 30-45 minutes in most cases to rise to its final shape. Flatter breads such as foccacia don’t need a long final proof.

Assuming 30 minutes for the initial preparations and kneading, proofing times of 20,10 and 40 minutes, 10 minutes each for knock back and moulding between proofs, and 20 minutes to bake, it takes at least 140 minutes to prepare “basic” bread from scratch.

This includes 50 minutes of active time, including kneading by hand. If a mixer is used, the initial and knock-back kneading should take 15 minutes of these figures.

Foccacia, Pizza and similar flatter breads use a longer first proof, no second proof and a short final proof. These should take 100-120 minutes total (again, 15 minutes less for maching mixing).

Proofing chamber
If a proofing chamber (humidity and temperature controlled) is available this can be used for longer times to provide a high quality environment for the yeast to develop and produces a superior texture for the bread. Some automated bread makers provide this function.
Elasticity / Strength

The ability of the dough to support the formation of gas pockets (rising) without collapsing, tearing or falling apart; this is generally provided by a sticky protein such as gluten, eggs or gelatin.

Elasticity is significantly affected by how the dough is kneaded and mixed, so that stretched out chains of gluten are formed. High fat content (“short”) doughs are generally less elastic.

(“Elasticity” is not the same usage as in Physics and Material science, but is common usage in baking).


Initial version; just the ratios of ingredients, missing most temperatures and times.