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The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

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With the exception of enriched doughs, such as Pain Brioche, Kugelhopf, and Challah, there will not be an enormous increase in volume during the final proofing of most bread doughs. This is contrary to what home bakers often use as a measurement—let rise until doubled in volume—and makes it difficult to explain the point at which the dough is sufficiently risen. At The French Culinary Institute, bakers are taught to press gently on the dough with a fingertip to make a little indentation, then to watch how fast the dough springs back to its original position. If it quickly pops back, the dough is not ready to be baked; if it gradually (over a few seconds) returns, then it is ready to go into the oven. If the dough does not spring back at all, it is overproofed and should go into the oven as quickly as possible.