The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Surface temperature of kneading area

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martha2273's picture
martha2273

Surface temperature of kneading area

I have a question about surface temperature of where you are kneading the dough.... I have a tiled kitchen counter and the temperature of it is rather chilly compare to the rest of the house... I find that the dough gets very rubbery after kneading for a bit.. Is it suppost to do that or do you think the temperature of the counter is effecting it.?

jonqisu's picture
jonqisu

I've had similar experiences when making bread away from home--different surfaces seem to be easier/harder to work on.


It seems to me that wood countertops are much easier to flour evenly and consequently are nicer to work on. But that's just my opinion.


Not to hijack the thread, but as a sidenote: Does anyone work on granite/stone on a regular basis? Do you find that dusting flour clumps up rather than spreads out?.


 


In any case, it would seem that a chilly surface would tend to bring the temperature of the dough down--if you pull your dough from the refrigerator, you'll notice it handles significantly differently than a dough that was sitting out.


My suggestion would be to try kneading on a wooden cutting board to see if that makes a difference.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Jonqisu,


I have soapstone countertops and have not noticed that flour is any more likely to clump on that surface than on Formica countertops that I have used previously.


Paul

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I have a textured laminate counter top that we're planning on replacing with a non-textured one in a couple years. It seems great for kneading bread, and stretching and folding goes reasonably well. The only problem I have, and it's a big one, is that it sometimes causes sticking with the wetter doughs. Never had a problem with temperature.

Jamestuk's picture
Jamestuk

Dough sticks to mine too... well annoying!

Susan's picture
Susan

My countertops are granite and are often too cold for breadmaking.  I bought a leftover section of solid surface (Corian, Wilsonart, et al.) countertop about 2.5 feet wide to place over my granite.  It's much more forgiving temperature-wise, and I enjoy using it.  A picture's worth 1,000 words in this instance...


xaipete's picture
xaipete

I have formica countertops. But since I do a lot of cooking and baking, I went to a granite place and had them cut and polish me a 25 x 25 inch piece; it cost about $100. I put sliders on the bottom of it because it is really too heavy for me to lift and keep it on top of my formica countertop. It works great for pastry, bread dough, cutting up chicken (because it is easy to clean), plopping hot pans, serving stuff, etc. I also have a large boos cutting board on a different counter that I use for slicing bread, cutting up vegetables, etc.


I think I have the best of both worlds (maybe three worlds). I like formica because its inexpensive, not difficult to care for, and not cold. But I also have two other large surfaces, wooden and granite!


--Pamela

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I used to use our Boos butcher block table for kneading and it was great - dough stuck to it just enough for the stretch and fold technique - but it was incredibly hard to clean.  I "took over" a whole thread asking for advice on how to deal with the piece of Corian that my husband bought me when he had gotten tired of cleaning and oiling the block.  Over time I have modified my kneading technique (thanks to wisecarver's advice, mainly) in order to accomodate the Corian's slickness and now I'm used to it.  It cost about $75 for a 2'x3' piece, which is plenty large enough for kneading, not too cold, and of course, very easy to clean.