Dough is a thick, malleable, sometimes elastic paste made out of any grains, leguminous or chestnut crops. Dough is typically made by mixing flour with a small amount of water and/or other liquid, and sometimes includes yeast or other leavening agents as well as other ingredients such as various fats or flavorings.
The process of making and shaping dough is a precursor to making a wide variety of foodstuffs, particularly breads and bread-based items, but also including biscuits, cakes, cookies, dumplings, flatbreads, noodles, pasta, pastry, pizza, piecrusts, and similar items. Doughs are made from a wide variety of flours, commonly wheat but also flours made from maize, rice, rye, legumes, almonds, and other cereals and crops used around the world.
Doughs vary widely depending on ingredients, the kind of product being produced, the type of leavening agent (particularly whether the dough is based on yeast or not), how the dough is mixed (whether quickly mixed or kneaded and left to rise), and cooking or baking technique. There is no formal definition of what makes dough, though most doughs have viscoelastic properties.Leavened or fermented doughs (generally made from grain cereals or legumes that are ground to produce flour, mixed with water and yeast) are used all over the world to make various breads. Salt, oils or fats, sugars or honey and sometimes milk or eggs are also common ingredients in bread dough. Commercial bread doughs may also include dough conditioners, a class of ingredients that aid in dough consistency and final product.
Flatbreads such as pita, lafa, lavash, matzah or matzo, naan, roti, sangak, tortilla, and yufka are eaten around the world and are also made from dough. Some flatbreads, such as naan, use leavening agents; others, such as matzo, do not.