Don't cover that dough!

breadCouple interesting observations lately that busy parents may find interesting. The other night, I was making pizza. Toppings that night were seasoned pork, caramelized onions, mozzarella and some San Marzano tomatoes (canned). Very nice. Today, I'm making a couple baguettes. When I'm proofing the dough for these two household staples (the final rise prior to entering the oven), I'm usually cautious to dust the dough with flour (to prevent sticking) and cover them with an inverted bowl or a piece of plastic weighed down with a dishtowel to prevent the dough from drying out. In both of these cases, the dough was made the day before and placed in the fridge for the first rise. Don't know if this is a critical factor or not.*

During the final proof of the pizza, I was too busy getting the dog to pee and preventing Frankie from doing something that I didn't cover the thin slab of dough for up to 45 minutes! It was lightly dusted with flour and it didn't dry out - at all. I topped it, baked it and voila! Pizza as usual with no fuss covering it during the final proof. Same with the baguettes. Shapped the loaves, placed them in the baguette pan and let them proof for 20 minutes (since the dough had just come out of the fridge and only briefly warmed up, this proof could've been a bit longer) and then popped them in the oven. Great oven spring and great loaves. Pretty handy to know. It's not that it saves a ton of time, but covering these lumps 'o dough, involves a bit of extra care and cleaning that I no longer will do.

*One possible hypothesis is the slightly cool dough has a net flux of moisture outward (from dough to environment) as it warms to room temperature, thus preventing the dough from drying out, or maybe this temperature difference causes condensation also preventing drying out the surface.?

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