There are basically two kinds of yeast doughs-kneaded and batter. Both doughs need to rise before shaping and baking. To let dough rise, cover and keep in a warm, draft-free place. If necessary, place covered bowl of dough on wire rack over a bowl of warm water.
Kneaded dough: Kneading develops the gluten and results in bread with an even texture and a smooth, nicely rounded top.
After first addition of flour has been beaten in, dough will be very soft and will fall in "sheets" off rubber spatula.
The second addition of flour makes the dough stiff enough to knead. Mix in only enough flour so dough leaves side of the bowl.
To knead, fold dough toward you. With heels of hands, push dough away with short rocking motions. Give dough a quarter turn; repeat.
When dough is properly kneaded, it will feel elastic and the top will be smooth with some blisters appearing on the surface.
Dough should rise until double. Test by pressing fingertips 1/2 inch into dough. If impression remains, dough has risen enough.
Punch down center of dough with your fist. Fold dough over and form into a ball. This releases large air bubbles to produce a finer texture.
If dough is not sufficiently kneaded, the bread will be coarse, heavy, crumbly and dry.
Batter dough: Batter breads are really shortcut no-knead yeast breads. Because less flour is used, the dough is stickier; instead of being kneaded, it is beaten with a mixer with the first addition of flour. The batter is generally not shaped but spread in the pan. The bread has a coarser texture and pebbled surface.
Refrigerating Yeast Dough Yeast dough made with water (except. Plain bread dough) can be refrigerated up to 5 days. However, if milk and at least 1/4 cup sugar are used, refrigerate no longer than 3 days. After mixing dough, grease top well. Cover with moistureproof wrap, then a damp cloth. Keep cloth damp during storage. When ready to bake, shape dough; let rise until double, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Bake as directed.
Cookbook, 6th Edition