The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I' m missing something

scarlett's picture

I' m missing something

Hi everyone.  I'm new to the site, been reading for a few weeks now.  I've made several loafs over the past weeks, but I can't seem to get the gluten to develop.  It doesn't seem to matter how long I knead the bread, it continues to rip - I'm doing this by hand, once for nearly an hour.  Could it be the type of flour I'm using?  I am using 'bread flour'.  I'd appreciate any input, thank you!


nbicomputers's picture

need to see

the formula and the brand of flour

scarlett's picture

The formula is the 'lesson two' recipe (I've been using all 3 cups as bread flour) and the flour is Gold Medal brand 'Better for Bread'.  I've tried mixing it up 'wetter' but that hasn't seemed to make much difference. 

2 cups all-purpose enriched unbleached flour
1 cup bread flour (or all-purpose flour, if you do not have bread flour)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup lukewarm water

bottleny's picture

I don't know the weight of one-cup flour in your case (it always depends on how you scoop it up). Even based on this receipe, you may or may not need the water listed in the end.

PaddyL's picture

...picking up the dough and slamming it down on your work surface about 5 minutes into the knead, or cover the dough with a bowl, let it rest for about 20 or 30 minutes, then pick it up and slam it down a few times before continuing with the kneading.

LindyD's picture

Did you start out with baking the bread in lesson one, Melissa?  If so, then I take it you had no problems.

The fat in the butter and milk delay the development of gluten and the sugar softens it, so additional mixing time is needed when using these added ingredients.

Try mixing just the flour and water and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  It will be a shaggy mass, but that's fine.  This will allow the flour to hydrate and the gluten to begin developing.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and knead.  Just don't add all the milk at once.  Work it in a bit at a time until the dough reaches the desired consistency.

I hope this will help you out.


scarlett's picture

Thanks everyone, for the advice.  After mixing up the dough yesterday, I slammed it a few times then let it rest for 30 minutes - this definitely made a difference. 

LindyD, I did make the lesson one bread first - and I thought it turned out well.  As time went on though, I realized that the bread wasn't really supposed to be so dense and the dough was supposed to 'change' while kneading.  I did try mixing just the flour and water yesterday, but there was not enough water to wet down 3 cups of flour so I just went ahead and mixed it all up.  Thank you for the information - I had no idea that milk, butter, and sugar would interfere with gluten development.