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Old 09-29-2008, 09:04 PM   #1
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Bread Making - mixing dough

Hello everyone

I have taken a recent interest in making my own bread - and Im three loafs into it. Its fun and Im learning alot. The first one was a kind of a bust, second was good, third is rising as I type.

My question is on the initial step of making the bread. I combine the dry ingredients, add the warm water and use a wooden spatula to mix the ingredients.

My problem is that as the dough comes together, it gets very tough to mix via a spatula but way to sticky to do it by hand (I end up with a dough glove - even with flour/oil on my hands).

At what consistency should I start the kneading process? Should I wait until I practically have a ball formed or just until it sticks to itself? I feel that I add alot of flour to knead but it sticks (literally) to the surface to the point I have to quickly move it in circles to get it back together.

Any input would be great! Thanks for all the help, this site has been great to me!!

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Old 09-29-2008, 11:18 PM   #2
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I never mix dough by hand. I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.get a bigger wooden spoon to do your mixing, do not be gen til while mixing when your dough comes together gently start to knead on a floured board, adding as little flour as possible if it gets to tough to knead let it rest for 19-15 minutes then knead till it becomes shiny then shape it into the shape you want. I just had a thought your dough may be to wet. Baking bread is very specific in its water to flour ratio, and the humidity is critical if it is humid less water will be needed, conversely if it is very low less water will be needed. keep trying in this case practice does make perfect. And good luck
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:09 AM   #3
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Welcome to breadmaking. I have been doing it for a year now and I love the variety and tastes possibe..

If you have a stand mixer, or possible a food processor, with a dough blade, this would be an easier choice for the initial mix.
If not, I agree with Dave. You are looking for a "dough ball" in the initial mix. From that point you are off to the kneading. I also agree with Dave in that the "liquid balance" is everything in bread making. There is a "feel" to the final dough ball. I have heard it described as a baby's butt. Firm, but, not hard, elastic, not too soft. Once you get that feel, you are good to go for whatever kind of bread you want to make.

I suggest a bread diary. At leant a mental, if not written. If you do this you will learn by doing and it will go a long way to repeatability, which is the ultimate goal.

Again welcome, glad to have another "old fassion" bread maker.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:13 AM   #4
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I dont have a mixer and this is what I do. After adding all the ingredients, stir until well mixed in the bowl. The point that you should take the dough out and start kneeding is when all of the dough comes together very loosely into a ball/chunk. It really isnt that important, I feel, to get the timing exactly right. If it is too wet, you can add more flour when you are kneeding, if its too dry, you will inevitably add less.

Then, flour your countertop and dump the wet chunk of dough out of the bowl. throw a little more flour on the top of the ball and start kneeding. if it gets too sticky, add a large pinch of flour and keep kneeding. Repeat for like 8 minutes or so until you have a nice smooth ball.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:08 AM   #5
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Thanks to everyone for their input. I think that Im not too far off on what Im going - guess I was just looking more so for confirmation.

The third one came out great - lets see how number 4 goes :)

Thanks again!
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:35 AM   #6
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I make the New York Times no-knead bread - here are a couple of links about it:
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bread, dough, knead, mix

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