The Importance of Kneading Bread-Dough

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Chief Longwind Of The North

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I just discovered something interesting about bread. First, a bit of history. I have been making breads for years and am pretty good at it. I can make a good Itallian Loaf, with a course, almost dry texture and chewy crust. I can make whole grain breads both heavy and light. But that bread that is dreamy soft in the middle, with the yeasty, lightly sweet flavor, and very tender crust has eluded me, that is until just a couple days ago.

The difference? I just kneaded the dough enough to mix all of the ingredients and form a cohesive dough-ball. Teh bread came out soooo soft and tender, and the flavor part was traditional home-made bread flavor. Also, I made sure the dough surface was sticky to the touch. The amount of oil in the dough is important as well. Figure about /14 cup per average loaf.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of teh North
 

Audeo

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Hmmm... If this had been posted by anyone other than you, Goodweed, I would have raised an eyebrow.

I'm game. I'll try your advice today.
 

Michael in FtW

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I can understand how increasing the fat and not trying to mix in too much flour would make a big difference in the texture and how moist the loaf is. I don't understand how decreasing the kneading would make a difference unless it has to do with the friction coefficient that kept the dough at about 75-80 degrees. I also don't understand how less kneading would have anything to do with the "yeastyness" of the flavor. But - I'm always willing to learn something new!

Care to share the recipe for your success???
 

scott123

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Audeo said:
scott123 said:

Guess what just got added to MY Christmas List? Egads. I've been toiling away for naught, it seems.

I probably should add that I have read this book and made some no knead breads and I don't buy into it 100%. It seems to work well with certain rustic types of breads, but not with anything with that fine of a crumb. At least that's been my experience.
 

Michael in FtW

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No Audeo ... your kneading was probably not in vain. It depends on the recipe and the type of bread you are trying to make. A loaf of French or Italian bread is NOT the same as a loaf of sandwich bread.

That is why I'm eagerly awating word from Goodweed to see what his recipe was.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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I agree that this isn't for all bread types. Kneading helps the wheat protien, or gluten develp its elasicity. For a fine grain, less kneeding works as the dough won't expand expand as much (like little ballons). That is, the gas volume produced by the yeast will pop the "balloons" more quickly. Thus, the dough will have a finer grain, like cakes and quickbreads. The moistness is a result of the oil. Much of the water evaporates during the baking. That's why the oil is important. And as for the yeast flavor, that's a funtion of how much the yeast is allowed to grow and multiply in the bread dough. The longer it sits, the more yeast flavor is developed. It has nothing to do with the kneeding.

I didn't mean to infer that less kneeding produced a more pronounced yeast flavor. I appologize for being unclear.

What I was looking for in this technique was a softer, more moist interior, with good flavor.

For a good Italian loaf, or French Baguette, I would still knead the heck out of the raw dough. The same is true if I'm making home-made pasta.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

Audeo

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Goodweed of the North said:
I didn't mean to infer that less kneeding produced a more pronounced yeast flavor. I appologize for being unclear.

What I was looking for in this technique was a softer, more moist interior, with good flavor.

For a good Italian loaf, or French Baguette, I would still knead the heck out of the raw dough. The same is true if I'm making home-made pasta.

Actually, Goodweed, I believe that I was the one who was unclear. I didn't find your posting confusing at all. I understand the distinction between textures of a Country Bread vs. Italian Bread...and it is that Country Bread that, for me, can be heavier than Ellie May Clampett's bisquits! It never occurred to me to not knead every single loaf I make. While, like you, I will continue to knead the dickens out of Italian, I'm going to try your technique here for the country loaf. And, by the by, most of the breads I make are those. Had I shared that little tidbit, all would understand my comment of toiling away for naught....!

I appreciate your notes here. And Michael, thank you for trying to save me!
 

jasonr

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No kneading?! This entire thread is blasphemous, and should be locked. :twisted:
 

Audeo

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Well, before we get shut down here, let me add a codicil of sorts.

I pulled open my favorite bread cookbook and turned to the recipe I have made so often, I don't even need the recipe anymore. (Ref. Sister {Patricia} Schubert's Secret Bread Recipes; pp118, "Sister's Special Yeast Bread) Obviously, I should rely less on ego and crack open the books once in a while. Because there it is, the blatant fact that I haven't been following directions. You mix up the dough, stirring vigorously until the mixture is blended, then add the remaining flour stirring vigorously until the stufff pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Rise.

Then!

"Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead slowly and gently 4-5 TIMES." Note the word "times" and not "minutes".

By the by, the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of shortening, yet I use canola oil. This certainly fits Goodweed's ratio of 1/4 cup of oil per loaf.

A humbling moment, indeed.

I'm expecting today's loaves to come out "so tender, it is best cut into thick slices" just as Sister suggests.
 

kadesma

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goodweed,
I've been reading this thread and was wondering if anyone has made the rustic, long slow rise type of bread? I've done it twice now and we love the texture and flavor of the bread. I'd have passed on this type of thing as it does take some time, but, DH bought me an oven insert that I just love, and I wanted to try all types of breads and things. It makes for really crispy crusts and wonderful foccaccia. Anyway, I was curious if anyone had tried out this way of making bread.
kadesma
 

subfuscpersona

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kadesma said:
goodweed,
I've been reading this thread and was wondering if anyone has made the rustic, long slow rise type of bread? I've done it twice now and we love the texture and flavor of the bread. I'd have passed on this type of thing as it does take some time, but, DH bought me an oven insert that I just love, and I wanted to try all types of breads and things. It makes for really crispy crusts and wonderful foccaccia. Anyway, I was curious if anyone had tried out this way of making bread.
kadesma

I favor a long rise for most breads - many cookbook and 'net recipes call for too much yeast and too short a rising period. When you think about it, the slow rise methods doesn't involve any more "work" time for the baker. Have you read Reinart's Bread Baker's Apprentice?

What's the "oven insert" you mention?
 

kadesma

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subfuscpersona said:
kadesma said:
goodweed,
I've been reading this thread and was wondering if anyone has made the rustic, long slow rise type of bread? I've done it twice now and we love the texture and flavor of the bread. I'd have passed on this type of thing as it does take some time, but, DH bought me an oven insert that I just love, and I wanted to try all types of breads and things. It makes for really crispy crusts and wonderful foccaccia. Anyway, I was curious if anyone had tried out this way of making bread.
kadesma

I favor a long rise for most breads - many cookbook and 'net recipes call for too much yeast and too short a rising period. When you think about it, the slow rise methods doesn't involve any more "work" time for the baker. Have you read Reinart's Bread Baker's Apprentice?

What's the "oven insert" you mention?
Hi sub, :)
Yes I have the book, it came with my insert..The insert is a Hearth Kit that fits into my oven..It's like a pizza stone and goes accross the bottom and up both sides of the oven, has a rack and temp reader.. You preheat the oven and when you put in your bread you spray the sides with water and you get fantastic bread, it's so crusty outside and wonderful inside..Even reg. homemade sandwich bread gets a nice golden brown crust this way...I'd rather give up my Quisenart than my Hearth Kit :)
kadesma
 

Catseye

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[quote="kadesma]The insert is a Hearth Kit that fits into my oven..It's like a pizza stone and goes accross the bottom and up both sides of the oven, has a rack and temp reader.. You preheat the oven and when you put in your bread you spray the sides with water and you get fantastic bread, it's so crusty outside and wonderful inside..Even reg. homemade sandwich bread gets a nice golden brown crust this way...I'd rather give up my Quisenart than my Hearth Kit :)
kadesma[/quote]

I totally want this. Go here for a pic and a FAQ and so on:
http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/hearth_kitchen_hearthkit.asp


Cats, who has been very very good this year, and hopes Santy Claus sees this post. :)
 

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