Dough oxidation refers to the process in which oxygen interacts with the components of flour, particularly the proteins, during the dough-making and fermentation stages. This oxidation process can have both positive and negative effects on the final product. Oxygen exposure can lead to the strengthening of gluten in the dough, enhancing its elasticity and overall structure. However, excessive oxidation, often caused by prolonged mixing or overexposure to air during the dough-making process, may result in the degradation of desirable dough characteristics. This can lead to a loss of extensibility, causing the dough to become overly tight and resistant to stretching. Bakers often aim to control the level of dough oxidation to achieve the desired balance of strength and flexibility in the final bread or pastry product, ensuring optimal texture and quality.