A dough always starts with flour and water, to which a leavening agent, salt, fat, sugar, eggs or milk are added. The difference between a dough and a batter is that a dough contains more flour than water, making it solid enough to work with your hands. Mixing these two main ingredients yields a solid mass whose texture changes during the kneading process: it becomes more elastic, for example. The texture is created by three basic elements: water, protein (glutens) and starch granules. The texture of dough is always temporary: heat, for example, transforms it instantly.
Every culture has its own traditional breads and pastas, all of which start with a dough. We distinguish between ‘turned’ dough (also called water dough or détrempe), leavened dough and ‘turned’ and leavened dough.