The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

AP flour and windowpane test

BeekeeperJ's picture

AP flour and windowpane test

I have a question that concerns mixing times and window pane tests.  I currently have been making breads and pizza doughs with All Purpose flour with a good deal of success. I am wondering why I can not achieve a good window pane.  I have a Kitchen Aid mixer which I understand is rather underpowered but even at the 20 min mark the dough just gets really sticky and doesnt stretch to form that window. Is all purpose flour one of the reasons.?

flournwater's picture

I've used a KA mixer for years and never found it underpowered unless I make the mistake of overloading it.  I also use AP flour for about half of the bread formulas I prepare and, while it is not as strong a filament as I might find in bread dough preparations, the window pane does develop.  I suspect the problem you're having can be found in the Percentage of hydration in your dough.

20 minutes of kneading is waaaay too long.

BeekeeperJ's picture

Yeah the dough seems pretty wet like a batter almost maybe I should up the flour?

qahtan's picture
Mary Clare's picture
Mary Clare

A video is worth a thousand words! Wonderful.

Mary Clare in MO

Janknitz's picture

On what type of bread you are making and what the hydration level of the dough needs to be. 

Not every dough needs to "pass" the windowpane test.  Particularly if there is a high level of hydration, the gluten will develop slowly, over time, with very little kneading required.  Less hydrated doughs need more help to develop the gluten--it all depends. 

Don't make the same mistake I did.  My KA mixer "taught" me to make bread, but I mistakenly thought all doughs had to be firm and pull away from the side of the bowl because that's what the KA directions tell you.  Well, for some basic breads, that may be true, but not for ALL breads.  Many of my breads were very dry and heavy because I insisted on adding flour until the consistency the KA taught me was acheived,  It took me a long time to learn that is not desireable in every type of bread.

Most recipes/formulas will guide you as to the texture of the dough when you are done mixing and kneading.  Learn what those descriptions mean and let them be your guide.