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Old 08-23-2013, 11:38 AM   #31
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I used to think it was my gas oven but it turned out that I was not "kneading" the bread dough correctly. Once I got the hang of it, everything was fine!

As many times as I watched my mother knead dough, I don't think I know how to do it. Also, I always have trouble with anything I make that contains yeast. As much as I love a good home made bread, my family doesn't eat enough to warrant making it. And I don't need to eat that much bread. I'll end up looking like the Pillsbury doughboy.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:38 PM   #32
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I used to think it was my gas oven but it turned out that I was not "kneading" the bread dough correctly. Once I got the hang of it, everything was fine!
I don't consider kneading an important step at all. Get your ingredients mixed thoroughly, let it sit for a while, repeat. That should be all it needs.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:32 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
I don't consider kneading an important step at all. Get your ingredients mixed thoroughly, let it sit for a while, repeat. That should be all it needs.
Sorry, Greg, can't agree with you. Kneading develops the gluten, mixes in the ingredients and distributes the gases produced by the yeast uniformly into the dough giving you a light, evenly risen loaf.

It also serves to dissipate the negative thoughts of the baker. Give it a name of someone who has annoyed you that day and after ten minutes you'll feel so much better

The exception is the Doris Grant wholemeal loaf which had no kneading at all and if you like making sandwiches with slices of house brick it will suit you down to the ground.

Obviously, soda bread, which has no yeast in it doesn't benefit from kneading.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
As many times as I watched my mother knead dough, I don't think I know how to do it. Also, I always have trouble with anything I make that contains yeast. As much as I love a good home made bread, my family doesn't eat enough to warrant making it. And I don't need to eat that much bread. I'll end up looking like the Pillsbury doughboy.
Kneading dough isn't just a case of thumping it around. You need to stretch the dough. Start with a ball of dough. Using the heel of your hand, press it into the middle of the lump and push the dough away from you. Fold the dough over, give it a quarter turn and repeat the pushing, folding and turning for about ten minutes. You develop a rocking motion with your body which has a remarkably soothing effect on your soul.

If you have a food processor that can cope with bread dough or a large stand mixer you can use it to shorten the kneading time. I usually run the processor until the dough looks smooth and silky then put it on the board and do some manual kneading for a few minutes (not really necessary but I feel I've done something and made sure the dough is sufficiently kneaded.

It is true to say, although I don't know why, that the resulting bread is always better in texture and taste if you make a lot at once (say 3lbs of flour or more) than if you just make a small loaf. It could be that when you make a big batch of dough you need a smaller ratio of yeast to flour than if you use a small amount of flour. This isn't a problem because if it's properly wrapped, home-baked bread freezes very successfully (and with bread in the freezer you are not at the mercy of the bakery or the supermarket's opening hours).

Interestingly, you also get a better flavoured loaf if you allow it plenty of time to rise slowly at room temp than if you get it to rise quickly by putting it in the airing cupboard or a low oven with the door left slightly open. Again this isn't a problem. You can watch television, clean the house, go out to lunch or to work, catch up on your emails, have friends in for coffee, have a nap or anything else that you feel like doing while the bread dough is doing its own thing. You can make bread fit round your life rather than the other way round.

Do persevere. It will come right all of a sudden and you'll be away and a pappy, tasteless, plastic-wrapped supermarket sliced loaf will never cross your threshold gain!
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Sorry, Greg, can't agree with you. Kneading develops the gluten, mixes in the ingredients and distributes the gases produced by the yeast uniformly into the dough giving you a light, evenly risen loaf.

It also serves to dissipate the negative thoughts of the baker. Give it a name of someone who has annoyed you that day and after ten minutes you'll feel so much better

The exception is the Doris Grant wholemeal loaf which had no kneading at all and if you like making sandwiches with slices of house brick it will suit you down to the ground.

Obviously, soda bread, which has no yeast in it doesn't benefit from kneading.
I have always considered kneading a very inexpensive therapeutic means of therapy. I can always drift of to daydreaming to a much nicer world.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Kneading dough isn't just a case of thumping it around. You need to stretch the dough. Start with a ball of dough. Using the heel of your hand, press it into the middle of the lump and push the dough away from you. Fold the dough over, give it a quarter turn and repeat the pushing, folding and turning for about ten minutes. You develop a rocking motion with your body which has a remarkably soothing effect on your soul.

It is true to say, although I don't know why, that the resulting bread is always better in texture and taste if you make a lot at once (say 3lbs of flour or more) than if you just make a small loaf. It could be that when you make a big batch of dough you need a smaller ratio of yeast to flour than if you use a small amount of flour. This isn't a problem because if it's properly wrapped, home-baked bread freezes very successfully (and with bread in the freezer you are not at the mercy of the bakery or the supermarket's opening hours).


Do persevere. It will come right all of a sudden and you'll be away and a pappy, tasteless, plastic-wrapped supermarket sliced loaf will never cross your threshold gain!

First Paragraph - Your description of kneading dough allows me to once again see my mother kneading her bread dough, exactly the way you described it. That was about 55 years ago.

Second Paragraph - She made 6 loaves of bread every Saturday and that was our bread for the week. Occasionally, if we ran short before Saturday, she bought a loaf of store bread. Rarely. She bought 25# bags of flour.

I could probably use my bread machine to mix and knead the dough. I have only used that once, in probably 20 years. We don't eat much bread, and I just don't see myself making it. I could eat a loaf of bread in one sitting, I like it so much, but due to diabetes, I'm not supposed to do that.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:47 PM   #37
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Sorry, Greg, can't agree with you. Kneading develops the gluten..

It also serves to dissipate the negative thoughts of the baker. Give it a name of someone who has annoyed you that day and after ten minutes you'll feel so much better
Your reply precludes any serious comments.

Kneading simply means mixing it up real good and then letting it sit for a while.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:59 PM   #38
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Your reply precludes any serious comments.

Kneading simply means mixing it up real good and then letting it sit for a while.
I think my previous post corrects you on this.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:20 PM   #39
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I think my previous post corrects you on this.
I think my next post corrects you on this.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:42 AM   #40
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Kneading dough does more than just "mix it up". The kneading process helps the gluten form into chains. This helps with the structure of the bread itself. Too much kneading can break these chains which is why the bread will fall flat when baked and turn into a brick.
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