Have heard that dough should be allowed to rest for the Gluten formation to occur.

Question: What is the maximum time after which resting the dough won't make any difference to the taste and the texture of the Parathas/Rotis?

Assuming: Dough is made of 100% wheat flour (no Maida), and water only.


Why resting longer?

Resting the dough not only let's gluten linking begin, but also allows enzymes to "transform" starches into sugars. There are some technics for making bread that take profit of that to extract more taste from the wheat, such as autolyse (invented by Raymond Calvel) or Pain à l’ancienne (which uses autolyse and other delaying methods that you won't use in not leavened breads).

Originally Monsieur Calvel stated an autolyse time of between 20 and 40 minutes (that link might be in Spanish, but I don't understand why it's not in English), but nowadays people are experimenting with 2 hours, and even 4 or 6 hours of autolisis.

That enzymatic activity won't be affected by lipids, so adding fat or oil for Parathas or Rotis will work the same. They can be affected by a PH<4 or 3.3, but I don't think you'll reach that PH in a Paratha's dough.

So, how long is too long?

The longer you let enzymes make sugars, the tastier the dough will be. But if you rest too long a dough, the gluten will finally get broken: the dough will look more like a puree than a kneaded dough. It will depend on the enzymatic activity of the flour, and can vary a lot from one flour to another. It is measured by a value called falling number (you can see why is it important here).

That index is very rarely labelled in packages, but you can try getting in contact with the millers and ask them. Or you can also try to find the answer to your question empirically for the brands of flour you use (that value shouldn't vary from different batches of the same brand of flour). Touch the dough every hour to feel if it still has a workable consistency.

Note that your dough will be stickier, due to the sugars released by autolisis.

  • extremely helpful answer. :hattip: Dec 3 '12 at 0:39
  • and this link does NOT work. wheatflourbook.org/p.aspx?tabid=29 Dec 3 '12 at 9:07
  • thanks, kindly update your answer with the cache link too. Dec 3 '12 at 9:54
  • @AnishaKaul the link is working again.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Dec 3 '12 at 15:56
  • Seriously, I let my dough for approx. 60 hours (basically three days in a row I was eating pizza LOL) and it didn't turn into pure. I used flour type 504 with dry yast, some water, some sugar, some salt and a little bit of oil. It turned out quite delicious to be honest. Oct 26 '17 at 20:23

The rule behind doughs is to let it in a warm place (~ 50 Celcius Degrees) until it doubles it's size. Usually this could take something between 45 minutes-2 hours, depending on the ingredients.

So there isn't a golden rule concerning time, but you should just check volume!

If you let it over-double, the dough will be very sensitive and will loose its volume easily, so be careful! All the above are tips concerning dough which contain any bulking ingredient, such as yeast.

For doughs that don't need to be bulked, usually there is no need to let it rest. However a resting time of about 10-15min is of vital importance for poor doughs which contain only flour, water and salt. This ammount of time is more than enough for gluten formation which will dwarf the intense and rather annoying taste of flour.

  • I haven't seen any plain dough doubling by now! This doesn't contain any yeast. Dec 2 '12 at 15:18
  • @AnishaKaul: Oh no...You are right... I forgot to continue my answer... This was just an intro...Sorry for the inconvinience...
    – Thanos
    Dec 2 '12 at 15:25
  • You might want to further edit; most of your answer is still about letting yeast-leavened doughs rise rather than what Anisha is asking about.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 2 '12 at 16:44
  • Parathas or Rotis have no leavening agents (no yeast, nor soda, nor...): they won't rise.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Dec 2 '12 at 16:49

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