Straight dough is a breadmaking method used in commercial bakeries.

Straight Dough

Also known as No Time Dough

What is Straight Dough?

Straight dough is a one-step mixing process for breadmaking, in which all the dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, and yeast are first put into the mixing bowl and mixed with water and ice at low speed.

After the ingredients are evenly mixed (this is called the “pick up” stage,  the mixer is turned up to the second speed till the dough is fully developed. The dough temperature after mixing should be between 26 and 28 ℃ (79-82 °F).

Straight dough method is primarily used in mid-scale to larger commercial bakeries for short production runs of specialty products. It is the preferred method of bread production for high throughput lines, and facilities with space constraints.

Factors needed to control the straight dough process1

Yeast level: Dough development for the straight dough method depends to a significant degree on yeast activity. More yeast is required with shorter straight dough fermentation. Typically, a period of at least one hour in bulk should be given to the dough, for gluten modification and for acceptable bread quality.

Flours: The stronger the flour, the longer the mixing requirement, but the better the product will turn out. As compared to sponge fermentation, the straight dough method would need a stronger flour.

Water levels: Dough becomes softer with the increasing bulk fermentation time. To achieve a standard dough consistency for dividing and moulding, water level is adjusted during dough mixing according to the water absorption capacity of the flour. Unlike the sponge method, the straight dough method cannot absorb as much water because the fermentation time is not long enough.

Optional ingredients: Some ingredients are added for dough quality improvement besides the essential ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, water). These ingredients could be fat and emulsifiers for gas retention and crumb softness, or enzyme-active malt flour for gas production, gas retention and crust color etc.

Process variations: Some processing steps may include “knocking-back,” “pouching down” or remixing the dough part way through the fermentation time. The advantages of these operations are to equilibrate dough temperatures and incorporate more air into the dough to improve yeast activity. The exact time for punching, in principle, starts when the volume of the dough increases by one and one-half times after going through the fermentation process.2 Other variations include the delaying of the addition of salt and yeast to the later stages of mixing, which are claimed for the modification of flavors in the dough.

Dough conditioners: The straight dough method requires more dough conditioners than the sponge and dough method because there is less time for the sulfhydryl groups to interact. Therefore, more oxidizing agents, SSL, DATEM and enzymes need to be used.

Advantages and disadvantages of sponge-and-dough and straight dough methods

Straight Dough Method Sponge-and-Dough Method
Yeast level More Less
Processing (fermentation) time Shorter Longer
Labor, powder and equipment cost Lower Higher
Fermentation gas losses Reduced Increased
Scheduling flexibility Flexible Inflexible
Correction of over-fermented dough Not possible Possible
Flavor of bread Bland Aromatic
Shelf life of bread Shorter Longer


  1. Cauvain, Stanley P., and Linda S. Young. “Chapter 2 Breadmaking Process.” Technology of Breadmaking. 2nd ed. New York: Springer, 2007. 28-33.
  2. Zhou, Weibiao, and Yiu Hin Hui. “Part III Principles of Baking.” Bakery Products Science and Technology. Ames, IA: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 263. Print.
  3. Hui, Yiu H. “Bakery Products.” Handbook of Food Science, Technology, and Engineering. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, 2006. 148-35. Print.