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Kneading Dough by Hand
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bonpon2003



Joined: 25 Dec 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Kneading Dough by Hand Reply with quote

Hi All!

I am so frustrated with bread kneading.

I have taken class about bread manufacturing from dough kneading (with machine) to fermentation etc... It was 8 hrs class for 2 weeks straight, and we made all kinds of doughs, with different ingredient variations to see the effect. We controlled the water temperature, room temperature etc... so I think I know what is a under/fully/over kneading dough looks like. I think I know how to check whether a protein is properly developed.

However, when I tried to knead the dough by hand, as simple as a simple dough like 70% water and yeast, I couldn't develop the protein. And I experiment with developing the protein naturally by doing nothing for couple of hours.

When I baked, you can tell that the structure (the protein) is underdeveloped while the gas is there. The bread is dense.

So my question is: has anyone of you successfully knead the dough by hand?
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bonpon2003



Joined: 25 Dec 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:16 am    Post subject: Gluten Reply with quote

When I refer to developing protein, I meant developing gluten. What was I thinking?
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Gluten Reply with quote

bonpon2003 wrote:
When I refer to developing protein, I meant developing gluten. What was I thinking?


Technical term is a 'Brain Fart'... Big smile

Sound like a yeast problem to me. Have you tried different brands?
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bonpon2003



Joined: 25 Dec 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:34 pm    Post subject: What yeast brand do you recommend? Reply with quote

What yeast brand do you recommend?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 999
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>70% water

??hydration level?? that's a fairly slack dough and you will not get a stick smooth elastic stretchable dough - it may be too wet to come together like that.

have you looked at any net videos on hand kneading? there's about a zillion "methods" from slap&stick to fold&stretch, etc. one question,,, what is your time perception of hand kneading dough? it does take time - 20 minutes is not an unusual period for kneading by hand.

most breads take an initial kneading - followed by a proofing period to double the dough volume - then a punch down / form into shape activity - followed by a second proofing period.

time and temp have a relationship regarding yeast activity - in my northern cooler (winter) kitchen the proofing times can easily go twice as long to the "as written" - hopefully with your experience you are not clock watching but dough watching.....
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:28 am    Post subject: Re: What yeast brand do you recommend? Reply with quote

bonpon2003 wrote:
What yeast brand do you recommend?


Anything but the one you're currently using!

I don't bake, but have read that yeast is tricky in more ways than one and spoils easily. (It's ALIVE! after all)

In particular, there's a difference between "instant" and regular yeast.

Hard to diagnose at a distance, but from your description yeast sounds like a likely culprit.
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dianamoon



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Kneading Method Reply with quote

I find the old-fashioned knead with the heel of your hand to be excruciatingly boring, not to mention ineffective. It really doesn't do a great job of developing the gluten, unless you have hands and arms like a blacksmith.

Richard Bertinet, a French master, has popularized an old French method called "slap and pull." (No laughs, please.) I'm not sure of the policies here with respect to putting Youtube URLs, so I'll just tell you to look on the 'net for "Richard Bertinet."

But I'll describe it here, couldn't be simpler. You slap the wet dough (and it works with very wet doughs) on a clean surface no oil no extra flour. You pull the mess up and fold it over, trapping air. After a while your wet mass of flour, water, yeast & salt will become stretchy dough. I've done it and it works.

Caveat: this should be used w/doughs that are at least 50% white flour. It doesn't work as well with 100% ww flour, if you want a stretchy sandwich bread that slices real nice. Although you can make a decent artisanal ww bread with it, the kind you bake at a very high heat, covered, and which you break off hunks to accompany soups, etc.

Once you knead bread this way, you'll never go back to that stupid knead with the heel of your hand way. I don't know why anyone does that anymore.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1617
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:11 am    Post subject: Re: Kneading Method Reply with quote

dianamoon wrote:
I'm not sure of the policies here with respect to putting Youtube URLs, so I'll just tell you to look on the 'net for "Richard Bertinet."

We allow most urls as long as they are relevant to the discussion. Random links (spam) isn't tolerated and if caught are deleted and the account typically banned. The different between a relevant link and spam is pretty obvious. We would have welcomed a link to a video of Richard slapping and pulling his dough... Smile
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dianamoon



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Re: Kneading Method Reply with quote

Michael Chu wrote:
dianamoon wrote:
I'm not sure of the policies here with respect to putting Youtube URLs, so I'll just tell you to look on the 'net for "Richard Bertinet."

We allow most urls as long as they are relevant to the discussion. Random links (spam) isn't tolerated and if caught are deleted and the account typically banned. The different between a relevant link and spam is pretty obvious. We would have welcomed a link to a video of Richard slapping and pulling his dough... Smile


Michael Chu wrote:
dianamoon wrote:
I'm not sure of the policies here with respect to putting Youtube URLs, so I'll just tell you to look on the 'net for "Richard Bertinet."

We allow most urls as long as they are relevant to the discussion. Random links (spam) isn't tolerated and if caught are deleted and the account typically banned. The different between a relevant link and spam is pretty obvious. We would have welcomed a link to a video of Richard slapping and pulling his dough... Smile


Actually, I was just being lazy. But thanks for the clarification.

I'm no expert on embedding URLs, but here is one of another guy demo'ing the same technique:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0

And the genius himself.

http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough

Believe me, it works. It's easier than heel-kneading, which never worked for me. Once you slap and pull, you'll never go back!
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KitchenBarbarian



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't knead by hand, ever, but with a very slack dough like you describe, a a stretch and fold technique may be more helpful.

I knead everything but no-knead doughs in my Zo these days. Soooo much easier, even easier than using my KA mixer as the KA mixer is VERY heavy, difficult for me to lift out, and the Zo is right there on the cabinet.

Here's Peter Reinhart demonstrating the stretch and fold
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Kneading Dough by Hand Reply with quote

bonpon2003 wrote:

So my question is: has anyone of you successfully knead the dough by hand?


You bet! And I have a cheap bread machine as well. I find the bread machine doesn't give me nearly the fluffy, non-dense bread that kneading by hand does. I haven't taken any classes and have no one to ask or work, it's all personal experimentation. What that means is, I truly have no idea what I'm doing. What I can say that the only time I've had problems with dense bread is when the yeast has died. The date codes mean nothing, I could have 4 months left on the yeast, and yet the bread just doesn't rise or rise well. If I get a dense loaf, toss existing yeast and start with new. Then everything comes back as it should. I'll knead by hand as my first choice.

Biggles
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yocona



Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Biggles--Your theory makes sense to me. Nothing can compensate for the human touch.

One other thing that can cause dense bread is over-proofing the loaf. If it rises too long before going in the oven, the yeast is already "too pooped to pop."
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 999
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

over-proofing often results in the loaf collapsing - in "the center" is the usual "spot"

the yeast has produced so much gas the "bubbles" in the loaf are large(r) and also more "fragile" -

oven spring - the (additional) rising you see when popping it in the oven is primarily due to the air / CO2 bubbles expanding from the heat. in an over-proofed loaf the stress is enough to make the bubbles burst - which leads to the collapse.

Biggles - I keep my yeast in the freezer - it keeps like forever. I never pay attention to the expiration date - I've used yeast that is well beyond its 'date' without issues. you can also "proof" the yeast to see if it is still alive and well.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biggles is back!

Thanks for tips, guys (and gals).

I need to learn this stuff, and these sorts of tips are great.

Jim
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 999
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>tips

(long convoluted boring story omitted...) I've had a couple bread machines. when filled with concrete, they make a decent boat anchor for a small dingy in protected waters. other than that, I would .. nebber mind - I'm sure you get the point....

kneading by hand is very 'therapeutic' - some folks enjoy it, personally it's a bit to my 'tedious' side.

some bakers insist they get better results with Method A, or B, or slap&fold, or.... I've tried most of them out of curiosity and never could really identify a marked superiority to, sigh, ye olde KitchenAid with a dough hook.

it's possible I should method practice more.
it's also possible to become so enthralled with the whirling KA that the dough is overworked. some experience and attention to detail required.
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