The Real Reason Why You Should Cover Your Dough

If you’ve ever experimented with baking, then you know that one of the most important steps in making a delicious finished product is covering your dough.

But why? What are the benefits of covering dough while it sits and rises?

Let’s take a look at the reasons why this seemingly small step can make such an impactful difference when baking. 


The Biggest Benefits of Covering Dough:

Here are some of the biggest benefits of covering your dough:

1. Protects From Drying Out:

One of the biggest benefits of covering your dough is that it protects it from drying out.

When the dough is left uncovered, the surface will dry out faster than the rest, creating an uneven texture and preventing the dough from rising properly.

By covering up your dough as it sits, you can help maintain its moisture levels so that it will rise evenly and be perfectly fluffy when cooked. 

2. Protects From Extreme Temperature And Humidity:

Covering your dough also helps to protect it from other environmental factors like humidity or extreme temperatures.

Depending on what type of recipe you are using, leaving your dough uncovered could be disastrous—the humidity could cause it to become too moist and sticky, while extreme temperatures can cause too much yeast activity and result in an overly-risen loaf.

By covering up your dough, you can help protect it from these external elements and ensure that your finished product will come out perfectly! 

3. Protects From Contaminants:

Finally, covering your dough helps prevent any contaminants from getting into it such as dust particles or bacteria on surfaces.

This way, you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination or food poisoning when you’re enjoying your freshly-baked goodies! 

All in all, covering dough before letting it sit and rise is essential for achieving perfect baked goods every single time!

Not only does this simple step help keep contaminants away from the surface of the dough but also maintains its moisture levels for a fluffy texture and even rise.

So next time you’re baking something special, don’t forget to cover up that precious batch of homemade goodness!

What Happens if You Don’t Proof Dough?

If you don’t proof your dough, then it won’t have a chance to rise. This means that the finished product will be dense and unappealing.

fluffy dough with some cherry tomatoes in background

In addition, if you don’t proof your dough, it can also cause other issues such as air pockets in the center of the loaf, a tough or rubbery texture, or an off-flavor.

So it’s important to make sure that you cover your dough and let it be proof as directed in the recipe—otherwise, all of your hard work could be for nothing!

How Do You Tell if Dough Is Fully Proofed?

We’ll help set your worries at ease by explaining how to easily tell when your dough is fully proofed. 

1. The Poke Test 

One of the most reliable ways of telling when the dough is fully proofed is the poke test.

All you have to do is lightly press two fingers into the surface of your dough—if the indentation remains and doesn’t quickly spring back up, then your dough has been proofed long enough and is ready for baking. 

2. The Finger Test 

Another way to test if the dough has been sufficiently proofed being by using what’s known as the finger test.

This involves lightly pressing your finger into the surface of the dough until it makes a slight indentation—if these indentation springs back up after a few seconds, then your dough needs more time before it’s ready for baking. 

3. The Float Test 

If you’re making yeast-based bread or other recipes that require yeast as an ingredient, then you may want to try out what’s known as the float test.

To do this, simply take a small amount of your prepared dough and drop it into a bowl of water—if it floats to the top, then it means that there are enough bubbles created from fermentation for your recipe to bake properly and should be ready for an oven

Why Do You Let Dough Rise Twice?

Letting the dough rise twice helps to create a more flavorful and lighter texture in the finished product.

The first rise, or proofing period, activates the yeast so that it can start breaking down starches and sugars into carbon dioxide gases that help “lift” the dough.

The second rise then allows these gases to further expand and create a more complex network of bubbles within the dough. This results in a much lighter, fluffier bread with an improved taste and texture that you just can’t get from a single rise!

So if you want to take your homemade baking game up to the next level, then make sure to give your dough two separate rises before baking it off!

Can Dough Be Left to Rise for Too Long?

Yes, it is possible to leave your dough to rise for too long. If the dough sits out too long and starts to collapse, then it has been over-proofed and will result in a tough texture once baked.

In addition to this, an overly-risen dough can also produce large air pockets within the finished product, making it difficult to achieve the desired shape and texture.

Therefore, once you know your dough has been proofed for long enough, make sure you get it into the oven as soon as possible in order to avoid these issues!

What to Do if Your Dough Dries Out?

Here are a few tips to help you do just that. 

1. Moisten Your Dough 

The key to reviving dry dough is adding moisture back into it.

  • Start by sprinkling cold water over your dough and kneading it until you feel the texture become more pliable.
  • If necessary, continue this process until you’re happy with the texture of the dough.
  • Keep in mind, however, that too much moisture will create a heavy, dense end product so be sure not to oversaturate your dough. 

2. Add Fat To Your Dough 

Another way to add moisture back into the dried-out dough is by adding fat, such as butter or olive oil.

Adding fat can also help improve the flavor of your end product as well as keep it from drying out during the baking time.

To do this, simply mix small chunks of butter or oil into your dough until your desired texture is achieved. 

3. Add Liquid To Your Dough 

If your dough is seriously dry and crumbling apart, try adding liquid such as milk or cream directly into the mixture.

This should give your dry ingredients enough moisture so they can bind together when kneading them together again.

Be sure not to add too much liquid though since this could make your dough sticky and difficult to work with.

Once you’ve achieved a pliable consistency, let the dough sit for 10 minutes before rolling it out or shaping it again. 

How Do You Make Dough?

Making the dough is a simple process that requires just four basic ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, and water.

  • To begin, measure out the desired amount of each ingredient then mix them all together in a bowl until you have a rough ball of dough formed.
  • Next, knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on an un-floured surface until it becomes soft and elastic.
  • Once the dough is ready, shape it as desired then move on to the proofing process which entails letting your dough rise for a certain amount of time.
  • Finally, bake the dough in an oven set to the desired temperature or fry it in a hot skillet with some oil.

What Can You Use To Cover Your Dough?

Let’s explore what you can use to cover your dough for a variety of desserts. 

1. Using Foil 

Foil is an easy way to cover your dough when baking. It is inexpensive and easy to find in any grocery store.

When using foil, be sure to poke holes in it with a fork so that steam can escape during the baking process. This will keep the dough from sticking and also create a nice crust on your finished product.

Additionally, using foil saves time because it does not need to be greased or prepared like other materials used for covering dough. 

2. Using Wax Paper 

Wax paper is an ideal material for covering dough due to its non-stick properties.

Unlike foil, the wax paper does not need to be punctured so steam can escape while baking.

You simply place the wax paper over the top of the dough and press it down gently so that it adheres.

Wax paper also helps keep baked goods moist which is beneficial when making things like bread or pastries.

3. Using Parchment Paper 

Parchment paper is another great choice for covering dough before baking as it too prevents sticking without needing any prep work beforehand.

Unlike wax paper though, parchment paper has a higher heat tolerance which allows it to withstand higher temperatures without burning or melting into your food during the cooking process.

Parchment paper also creates an even better crust on whatever you are baking due to its higher heat tolerance than wax paper and aluminum foil!  

Why Do You Punch Down Dough?

When the dough rises, it will become light and full of air.

Punching down the dough is a technique that helps to redistribute the yeast in the dough and get rid of any excess air bubbles.

This can help increase the volume of the finished product and make sure all of your ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dough while baking.

Punching down the dough also helps to make it more pliable which makes it easier to shape and work with when rolling out or forming into shapes. 

By following these tips, you can ensure that your dough will come out perfectly every time!

What Are the 5 Types of Dough?

Let’s take a look at five common types of dough and how they can be used. 

1. Yeast Dough

Yeast dough is a light and fluffy dough that is made with active dry yeast, flour, salt, and water.

This type of dough is commonly used for pieces of bread such as dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and pizza crusts.

It is also great for making sweet treats like cinnamon buns or monkey bread. 

2. Quick Bread Dough:

Quick bread dough is a type of leavened dough made without yeast but with baking powder or baking soda instead.

This type of dough uses chemicals instead of yeast so it does not require rising time before baking.

Common quick bread recipes include muffins, biscuits, scones, pancakes, or waffles.  

3. Pie Dough:

Pie dough is often referred to as shortcrust pastry or shortening pastry because it contains both fat (shortening) and flour which creates a flaky texture when baked.

This type of dough is commonly used for pies and tarts because it cooks quickly when exposed to heat due to its high-fat content.

It can also be used for savory dishes like quiche or pot pies if desired. 

4. Cookie Dough:

Cookie dough contains butter or other solid fats along with sugar and eggs (or egg substitutes). The combination of these ingredients creates a rich flavor that makes cookies irresistible!

This type of dough can be rolled out into shapes before baking or scooped into small mounds on cookie sheets prior to hitting the oven, depending on the recipe you’re using.  

5 . Pizza Dough:

Pizza dough has all the same elements as traditional yeast-based bread but usually requires far less rising time than regular bread does because it needs to be baked quickly in an oven at high temperatures in order to create the perfect pizza crust consistency we all know and love!

Pizza dough can also use more oil than traditional bread recipes which helps create a crispier texture when cooked properly in an oven with high temperatures. 

Is It Better to Let Dough Rise Longer or Shorter?

It really depends on the type of dough you’re using and what your desired result is.

For example, for light and airy bread, allowing the dough to rise longer will give you a better outcome as it will have more time to expand and develop flavor.

For a crunchier texture, like in pizza dough, you’ll want to let the dough rise for a shorter amount of time so it will cook quickly and evenly in a hot oven.

No matter what type of dough you are making, make sure to read the instructions on the package completely before beginning your recipe as all types of dough has different rising requirements.

This will ensure that your finished product turns out perfectly every time!

What Happens if You Don’t Cover Pizza Dough?

If you don’t cover your pizza dough while it rises, the outer layer of the dough will dry out, resulting in an uneven texture when baked. This makes it difficult to roll out and shape as well since the dough has become too stiff.

Additionally, not covering the dough can also increase the amount of time it takes for the dough to rise, which can lead to a dense, dry pizza crust. So it is best practice to always cover your dough while it rises!

Reviving dry dough doesn’t have to be a daunting task! With these simple steps—moistening, adding fat and/or liquid—you can easily bring life back into any dried-out batch of dough and get back on track with whatever recipe you’re making!


Covering your dough before baking is essential for achieving optimal results with whatever treats you choose! Whether you opt for foil, wax paper, or parchment paper—each has its own benefits that will help you get the most out of your treats!

This guide should give you an overview of some common types that you can use as inspiration for your next culinary adventure!

Start experimenting today with different kinds of flour, fats, liquids, sweeteners, and flavors until you find the perfect recipe for whatever deliciousness you have planned next! Enjoy!

So don’t despair–with these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious baked goods every time without having to worry about wasting any ingredients!

Happy baking!

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About the author

Natalie is a food enthusiast who spends all of her time trying out new recipes, testing out new appliances, and making her kitchen as awesome as possible. She is a professional writer and blogs here about her love of food & kitchen.

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