The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kneading Times

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desertbaker's picture
desertbaker

Kneading Times

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL....I'm new at using a KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook attachment. I am having problems determining the kneading time; I have checked the dough (sourdough) at 2 minute intervals with the speed ranging from stir to #2. After 8 minutes of kneading it has not reached the windowpane stage and still looks a bit shaggy. Any suggestions out there??? Thanx

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Does the recipe give any instruction about the length of mixing?  Did it call for an autolyse?


Are you scaling the ingredients or using volume (cups) measurements?


In general, the flour and water are mixed at speed one to incorporate the ingredients, then allowed to rest for 20 to 60 minutes, then the sourdough starter and salt are incorporated, then mixed at speed two.  


More important than the timing of the mix is how the dough feels.


Giving details about the recipe you are using, as well as the ingredients, would be helpful.

blackoak2006's picture
blackoak2006

I use the same mixer, and I usually add all of the flour except one cup.  I watch for the bowl to scour clean.  This is usually the sign that enough flour has been added, and you can stop mixing at that point.  I then knead the dough on the counter, enough to get it from being so sticky, and then put it into the oiled bowl to allow it to rise.  Once it had doubled, I then knead it for about 8-10 minutes before separating into my loafs.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz


"I use the same mixer, and I usually add all of the flour except one cup.  I watch for the bowl to scour clean.  This is usually the sign that enough flour has been added, and you can stop mixing at that point.  I then knead the dough on the counter, enough to get it from being so sticky, and then put it into the oiled bowl to allow it to rise.  Once it had doubled, I then knead it for about 8-10 minutes before separating into my loafs."



 


The Kitchen Aid taught me to make my first successful loaves of bread following exactly those directions.  


It too me many more years to UNlearn the Kitchen Aid way.  The KA way is great for simple breads and enriched doughs like traditional white breads and challah, but it is NOT the way for many sourdough and artisan style breads which depend on higher hydration levels and will NEVER "scour clean" if properly made.  If you keep adding flour until the sides of the bowl clean (as I did for many years) some breads will be needlessly dense and heavy.  


Recipes often give guidance, and if you learn baker's math you can also get some clues from the level of hydration in the formula.  8 minutes might be fine for one type of bread, but not for another.  It may be far too long for a highly hydrated dough.  


Part of this is experience, and part is looking for clues in the recipe.  Some will instruct you to make a rough dough (very little gluten development) while others will call for a "smooth, elastic dough" (usually a clue for a high degree of gluten development.  It is also helpful to learn how to test for levels of gluten development (i.e. a "windowpane" test) so you will have some way of evaluating how close you are to the desired result.  


Regardless, times for kneading are suggestions, not set-in-stone rules.  Dough is done when it's done--if you understand what it should be like when it is "done"--let that be your guide.  

Paddlers2's picture
Paddlers2

I don't time the kneading - depending on the ingredients I add, the time will change dramatically.  I usually deal with whole-grain home-ground flour only - wheat, spelt, oats and rye typically, with all kinds of toasted and raw seeds tossed in - whatever strikes my fancy at the time.   I run the first knead untii, as you say, it 'cleans' the bowl.   I then stop for about 30 minute to an hour and cover.  The second run is where I add whatever the dough looks like it needs - water, flour, whatever.   I have never tried the 'windowpane' test - what has always worked for me is watching for the 'toe-out' of the dough at the bottom of the bowl while kneading with the old-style dough hook.  The spiral style hook works a little differently, but you can still get the 'toe-out'.   Once it hits that stage, it's ready for a final rise, and into the oven it goes.   Usually yields a nice sandwich-style crumb without being too dense.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

thanks,


anna

desertbaker's picture
desertbaker

Thank you all for your suggestions. The recipe that I was following is King Arthur, Extra-Tangy Sourdough. It calls for beating the starter, water and part of the flour vigorously. Refrigerate overnight and then add the remaining ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough... What I have ended up with is an ugly glob of dough... This is the first time that I have used this recipe.. Usually I have no problems with their recipes but, that is when I have hand kneaded the dough.. 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Kneading periods with my KA dough hook depends on the type of flour, the level of hydration, and the temperature of the dough and the amount of dough in the mixing bowl.  As a general statement, kneading with the dough hook on my mixer runs 6 - 10 minutes for a one pound loaf; speed #2.  I knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl (but usually still sticks slightly to the bottom of the bowl) and begins to climb the dough hook.  I try to achieve an internal temperture of about 80 degrees at this stage.  Then I roll it out of the mixing bowl into oiled bowl and allow it to rest about ten minutes before performing a window pane test.


I have found that, even when duplicating a formula, there are few constants in bread making so I try to learn what the dough should look like, how it should feel and how it should respond to shaping at various stages of handling.

JoeV's picture
JoeV

Duplication is the ONLY constant in bread making, and duplication can only be achieved when assembling a bread formula by WEIGHT. Volume measurements will cause inconsistencies, but a veteran baker will be able to compensate for these inconsistencies. I don't encourage anyone here to make bread like I do, because my method conflicts with the generally accepted methods. I put all of my liquids in the mixing bowl of my KA Pro 600, then dump all of the blended dry ingredients on top of the liquid, attach the bowl to the mixer and turn on the machine at speed #2 for 6 minutes and go to clean up my mess while the dough mixes. Because I weigh my ingredients down to the 1/10th of an ounce, my bread turns out the same, loaf after loaf and batch after batch. If you ever get to go into a bakery, you will see the bakers doing virtually the same thing using their scale. I have even converted my no-knead recipes to weight, even though they are mixed in a bowl with a Danish dough hook.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Thanks for the input, Joe.  I agree with the importance of weighing ingredients for your formula.  However, where I live, the relative humidity can fluctuate by 40% from morning to evening.  Inasmuch as humidity can influence how the dough develops and that humidity around here is anything but a "constant", it's an important consideration that affects the bread making process.  I have to judge my final product by its appearance and texture which sometimes means I add a teaspoon or two of water or a bit of extra flour, even when I've weighed everything as I always do.  I guess it's a regional thing.