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Old 01-26-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
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To knead or not knead bread dough.

I am finding many recipe's about making italian bread, some knead the dough, some don't. Can someone tell me the difference? I thought all bread dough's had to be kneaded.

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Old 01-26-2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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Kneading develops the gluten in dough, so if making the dough and baking the same day, than it will need to be kneaded. If you just make a dough, don't knead, just rise and bake it will have a crumbly texture, gluten gives it the structure to hold together and rise high.

Gluten can also be developed with time. The famous no knead bread is made this way, a long rest develops the gluten.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:01 PM   #3
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A little mentioned advantage to kneading dough is if you've had a bad day at work or your partner is giving you hell you can give the dough a name and knead away with abandon. It's surprising how much better it makes you feel. Baking as therapy!

There is a method of making a loaf with wholemeal flour which is known as the "Doris Grant loaf" after its inventor. The dough is very wet and sticky and kneading is impossible so it's just mixed with a wooden spoon or hand and put into the baking tin. It turns out like a house brick but some people like it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_loaf
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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Knead time depends on the recipe. =) For every "rule" there is an exception.

This No Knead Bread - NY Times is my go-to for bread. I love the crust, the crumb, everything about it. It's painless and comes out perfectly every time. For me the results on this way WAY exceed the effort!

That said, I tend to follow the recommended guidelines pretty closely the first time around I make a new recipe and then experiment the next time around. Of course, you get to a point where you feel comfortable knowing when to fuss around / change / ignore recipe techniques the first time you make something as well once you get your cooking groove on in general.

How's that for a circular answer??
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:52 PM   #5
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The gluten is formed by just adding liquid to the flour: adenine and glutenin in combine into the gluten. Kneading the dough forms and strengthen the gluten-net. The better the bet is developed, the better the bread will rise. The net will form the bubbles which will swell up for the expansion of the inner gas which is developed by the "digestion" of sugars made by the yeasts. When the gas will dissolve, the empty "dry" bubbles will hold up the bread structure making if fluffy. This is why u need to knead the dough: gluten is formed with water and proteins but the net is formed and activated by stretching. Otherwise it will collapse.
Then, how to knead and how long to do it, depends on both the flour type (weak or strong, whole or white) and yeasts (wet yeast, soda, sour dough). The flavour of bread, then, will depend not only on ingredients, but also on the yeast quantities and on rising time. The slower the rising the better the taste.
May be you could tell us what flours and flours you are using? Check the protein percentage of flour on its labels: 15% means it's very strong flour, 10%is weak...
Please let us know so we can be more specific giving u hints :)
Hope I've been of some help :)
Cheers,
Marco
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:28 PM   #6
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I am using pillsbury bread flour, i don't see any protein numbers on the bag.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
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Hi! I had a look on the internet: that brand isn't available here in UK. Looks like the protein % is not specified. Although they talk about Proteins: 4g... That's what I see on the screen. There are no other hints. I'm just guessing here, but commonly a bread flour in supermarkets are medium strength flours: 12-12,5%pf proteins which means a 220-240w (another parameter usually only for professional use). If so, I'd suggest this recipe: 1kg of flour, 600gr of water (60% is usually enough), 18gr of fresh yeast (or 6gr dry yeast in pearls), 12gr salt, 14gr honey.

METHOD

Melt or reactive the yeast in some sweater then add it to the test of water. Mix this to the flour. Knead to abstain a quite lumpy dough. Add the honey and knead again. Then spread the dough, sprinkle the salt all ove, roll it up roughly and knead again until the dough looks smooth and elastic (may need 8-10minutes? I just guess since I never take the time for it and I am quite quick!). Put it in a plastic or glass bowl (oil the insides a bit so it want stick) and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it rest for about 4 hours or until the dough has triplicated the volume. Then take it out press gently to expel the gas and knead it again for a minute or two. Put it back in the bowl and let it rest for another 30-60minutes or until the dough has swelled up again like before. Take it out again and knead it for 30 secs or so. Flatten the dough and fold it in 3 (like puff pastry,ok). Knead gently then flatten it again and react the folding and kneading for another couple of times. Give the dough the shape of a loaf and put it on a baking trey. Cover with a towel. Rest it while u bring the oven to 220C with a small trey of hot water on the bottom of the oven. When perfectly hot, cut the loaf's skin longwise with a very sharp knife or use scissors ( wet the blades in water before doing it). Immediately put the brad in the oven, lower it to 180C and let it cook for 80-100minutes. To check if it's ready, hold it whit one hand and knock on its bottom side: it should sound like a drum. Nice a clean sound. If not, means that it needs a bit longer... This is all depending in how u sharpen it and how good your oven is!
Well that's all... I guess... Yes, I think so :) let me know! :)
P.S.
If you use bread machine I really don't know anything about them, sorry! I don't have fun with them! Lol
This is a loaf I kneaded with my 4y/o niece Linda :) she had lot of fun! :)

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Old 01-29-2014, 05:14 PM   #8
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My first loaf of italian bread

I am very pleased with my recipe and the loaf of bread I just make.
Thanks for everyone's help. I made a slit on the site, i think a little too deep.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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That's brilliant! Bravo! :)
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:20 PM   #10
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I too love the no-knead bread. When baked it has an open texture like a chiabata bread. It is so easy and versatile. I actually made English muffins from it this past weekend...fabulous. I doubt I will ever do one of those breads that need to be kneaded again (but don't quote me on that. )
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