The different kinds of dough and batter

Early this year, we published a blog talking about the different kinds of flour.This is with the goal of educating you when you go to your supermarket and be able to confidently look for the right kind for your recipe.

Now we are going to cover the next step in the process of making those baked creations. Combining flour with different kinds of liquids and other ingredients producing the raw product: Dough and Batter. Let’s start with the basics.

Difference between dough and batter:

In cooking terms, the word batter has two definitions. One: Its a mixture of flour, egg, and milk or water that is thin enough to be poured or dropped from a spoon. Examples are cake and pancake or waffle batter a well as the majority of cookie batters.

Two: A coating, often of flour and egg though sometimes with bread, these are most often being added to food for the main purpose of being fried. For instance, deep-fried fish and seafood are often battered. Japanese tempura also falls into this category.

The word dough has a different meaning-A mixture of mostly flour or ‘meal’ and a liquid (often milk and/or water) that is stiff enough to be kneaded or rolled. This covers many baked breads and rolls and some rolled cookies.The main difference between the two if you noticed is the consistency. Dough has elasticity and can be kneaded into a shape while batter has a more fluid consistency that can be poured. Ratio and proportion separates the one from the other. Dough has more solid component i.e flour while batter has more of the liquid component. We made a table below for you to have a visual comparison on the kinds of dough and batter.

From difference


Now that we have those out of the way. From the top level view of the main categories and difference of Dough and batter, let’s now dive deep and cover the different types of each.

The Different Types of Batter:

Pour Batters– Usually contains 2/3 to 1 cup of water per 1 cup of flour thus producing a more watery consistency. Examples are. Pancake, Crepes, Waffles and frying batter.

Drop batter – Do not contain much liquid. Usually ½ cup to 2/3 cup of water for every cup of flour. Examples are biscuits, scones, muffins and cake batter.

Cake Batter– This category of batter deserves it’s on section since cake batter is the most common and popular to most aspiring chef. Professional bakers has pushed to the limits on how you can make and prepare batter and here just some examples according to, here’s the different kinds of cake:

  1.   Butter or oil cakes-Batter that fall in this category contain some kind of fat—often butter, but sometimes oil—and baking powder to leaven them or make them rise. If the fat is butter, the ingredients are usually combined using the creaming method, which means that the soft butter and sugar are beaten together in an electric mixer to partially dissolve the sugar and to incorporate some air. Then the dry and wet ingredients are added in alternating doses. This results in a light and airy crumb, though not quite as light as that of a sponge cake.
  2.    Sponge and Foam Cakes-These are notable more for what they are missing than for what they contain: They usually do not include fat, such as butter or oil, and they do not use  leaveners, like baking powder. Instead, volume is created by whipping the eggs or egg whites. The air that is incorporated into the eggs expands during baking, causing these cakes to rise on their own without baking powder. However, techniques-wise. This is a very technical batter due to the success of this method depends on not deflating the eggs after whipping them. To this end, dry ingredients are usually sifted over and gently folded in, and fat is often avoided, as it would weigh down the foamy batter.
  3.  Low- or No-Flour Cakes-Cakes made without flour (or with very little) generally have a creamy or silky texture. They can be baked or unbaked. These include baked cheesecakes and flourless chocolate cakes
The Different Kinds of Dough:

We move to the more varied kinds of dough. There are two general kinds and then cover the sub categories.

Stiff Dough– Along the lines of consistency, stiff doughs are 1 part water to 4 parts flour. The most popular kind as of late are sourdough due to its artisanal qualities and a resurgence of tried and tested classic style of baking.

Soft Dough – Soft dough are more viscous compared to stiff dough but is not classified as batter. Commonly 1 parts water to 3 parts flour. Examples are your bread rolls, empanadas and pan de sals.

Kinds of dough depending on use:

Pizza Dough – Consists mainly of all-purpose flour(some prefer semolina) with yeast and water added to add fluffiness to the bread. The thin crust variety has a lesser yeast content and has been pressed to produce a flatter crust.

Puff Pastry – is a flaky light pastry made from a laminated dough composed of dough and butter or other solid fat. The butter is put inside the dough (or vice versa), making a paton which is repeatedly folded and rolled out before baking. Commonly used to make croissants, strudels and turnovers. It is made with butter or any other vegetable fat but it needs to be created with a different sort of process…. so that the butter can be in layers in between the dough. As it bakes, the butter melts, the water turns in to steam and separates the layers of dough giving the puff pastry its characteristic flaky layering.


Shortbread – is a Scottish biscuit traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. Other ingredients like ground rice or cornflour are sometimes added to alter the texture. Modern recipes also often deviate from the original by splitting the sugar into equal parts granulated and icing sugar and many add a portion of salt.

Bread Dough – It can be made with a variety of wheats and various amounts of water along with yeast. It needs to kneaded very well in order for gluten (protein) to be created so that a nice bread can be made. A different taste and of course a different texture can be given depending on what type of flour is used. By the way, we have a whole class of making local breads! Don’t forget to check it out!

Pasta Dough – Your typical fresh, Italian-style pasta is made from a combination of eggs and flour. The eggs and flour are mixed into a stiff-but-pliable dough that’s kneaded, rested, and then rolled—usually through a machine—and either cut into strips for noodles. Pasta is the younger brother of the Asian Noodle, though it was generally thought that Marco Polo has brought pasta/spaghetti to Europe from his travels from China but the way it reached Europe is unclear, though there are many theories—some believe that nomadic Arabs are responsible for bringing early forms of pasta westward. Once it reached European shores the process was refined, and durum wheat became the ingredient of choice for pasta flour because of its high gluten content and long shelf life and was the locally abundant source for flour. When durum wheat pasta is dried, it lasts indefinitely, making it a very convenient food to store.

Noodles -The Asian big brother of the Pasta dough. Noodles are a staple food in many cultures. They are made from unleavened dough which is stretched or rolled flat and cut into different kinds of shapes. Most common is the long strips that are used for dishes like ramen, chapchae or pho.It also comes into a different sizes and shapes. Noodles are usually cooked in boiling water, sometimes with cooking oil or salt added. They are often pan-fried or deep-fried. Noodles are often served with an accompanying sauce or in a soup. While Italian pasta are almost all made out of semolina flour. Noodles, depending on the region can be made from rice, buckwheat even potato flour.

Flatbreads – A flatbread is made with flour, water and salt, and then thoroughly rolled into flattened dough. Most varieties are unleavened with the exception of pita bread that uses small amounts of leavener. Throughout history, many if not most cultures have had foods that can be classified as flatbread. Middle Eastern countries have the most variety and in some locations, flatbread is their staple diet.

Biscuit/Pie Dough – The modern biscuit and pie has deep roots in history. In the search of portable and easy to store and long lasting foods. The pie was created so that ingredients like meat are covered in bread for easier storage and transport while the biscuit is a quick source of nutrition and in fact biscuits are part of the diet of early seafarers due to its long shelf life.


We hope that this blog is informative and helps spark an interest in this skill. Be sure to check our online classes in baking and familiarize yourself with the different kinds of pinoy breads!


As always please leave a comment or any suggestions of future topics you would like us to cover.

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The Bailiwick Team


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