Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bread Making 101: Kneading

Now that you have your dough all mixed together, it's time to start the kneading process. If you've mixed your dough in a large enough bowl you can simply knead your bread in the bowl itself. If not, then turn the dough onto your counter for kneading.
If you're using the counter then you can lightly flour it or pour a little oil onto the counter and rub it around to grease it.
Kneading is a process that takes a little practice. You want to make sure than you knead your bread dough just enough but not too much. Sounds complicated but it's really not. You'll learn to just "feel" when it's done. If you under-knead your bread then the gluten doesn't develop enough. If you over-knead your bread then it can turn out stiff as a board!
You can knead with your bare hands or with a rolling pin. To knead with your hands simply pull the dough out and then fold it back over itself. Continue this method over and over. You can use a rolling pin to roll the dough out, fold it over 3 or 4 times and then roll it again and again. Using your hands though is more fun and doesn't require the clean up of more utensils.
To test your dough for doneness when kneading, pull off a portion of the dough and ball it up. Then pull it apart. Does it break apart or stretch apart? You want it to stretch. Usually 8-10 minutes of hand kneading is all it takes.
When you're done, place your dough into a greased bowl.

Tomorrow we'll finish up with Phase 3 and 4: Rising and Baking


Anonymous said...

I can smell the yeast! Yummy...fresh bread. I'll have to make some this fall...I don't think I want to get into it this summer. =)

Amy said...

Thanks for step two. I am preparing to step away from the bread maker and do it myself.

My daughter is a huge pumpernikel fan.

Have a blessed day.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Home made bread is the stuff of memories!

KaHolly said...

I have been trying to learn to bake bread for years. I have had kittle success. I have asked friends and acquaintances both to let me be their helper next time they put out a batch, but they must forget. These are the best directions about kneading I've ever read. I can feel my confidence building! ~karen

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