The Fresh Loaf

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Difficult time establishing under or over kneading, please explain

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Difficult time establishing under or over kneading, please explain

This question pertains to the initial (1st) hand knead.

Normally, I mix all ingrediant is a mixer, and then flop it all out on the counter. I then do my initial knead by hand.

I really don't know if I am under kneading or over kneading. How can I tell?

janij's picture
janij

There is always the infamous windowpane test.  See if you can stretch the dough into a thin sheet without it tearing.  Now that being said I hate the windowpane test cause I can never get it there but my bread still turns out well.  Part of it is the kind of bread you are making.  You will be able to feel the difference with time.  Kneading by hand, I would say you will NEVER over knead.  If you are concerened about it being under kneaded just add some stretch and fold when the dough is rising.

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Windowpane after just the first initial knead....?

I thought windowpane could happen after the 2nd and final kneading, which is after the first rise?

We are talking here about the first initial kneading, which is before the first rise.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If you use the machine just to wet the flour and then stop, then there is no danger of over-mixing.  The chances of over-kneading by hand are very very small.    If however you use the machine to mix and knead the dough, it is important to time the machine and keep an eye on the dough very carefully.  

If you are lazy clever like me, I will often wet the flour and check the bottom to make sure everything is good and moistened and then cover the whole bowl and do something else for a half hour and then come back and knead the dough on the counter top.  Most of my work developing gluten was done without me even touching the dough!  (and I sorted & stuffed a load of laundry in the washing machine too!)  The dough is so much more cooperative and the chances of mixing in too much flour while kneading is reduced.  :)

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I have never seen truly overkneaded bread dough. That is to say kneaded to the point of gluten breaking down. I think the real problem with kneading too much is the incorporation of too much oxygen. Also, sometimes I find my crumb to be a little too tight if I knead too long (by machine). I'm with Mini Oven on this one in terms of letting the flour and water sit together for a while to shorten the time needed (or kneaded).

If anyone has a picture of overkneaded bread, I would be interested to see it.

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Ok, let me ask a slightly different question.

On the very first Knead just before the first rise, how can I tell if I UNDER kneaded?

janij's picture
janij

If it will not pat out at all with some stretch or make a nice smooth ball you aren't there.  I know that is not technical, but it will still be lumpy and not at all smooth if you aren't there yet.  But even that won't matter if you do a couple stretch and folds during the second rise.

 

janij's picture
janij

BKSinAZ,

I was baking today and took some pictures which will hopefully help you.  This is an enriched sandwich bread.  I mixed the ingredients

I turned it out, covered with the bowl, & let sit while I did ofter stuff for 20 min or so.

This it it after the rest.

THis is after about 20-30 hand kneading turns.

This is the first stretch before rising.

THis is the stretch after about 1 hr into the rise.  It is cold in my house today.

Ready to finish rising

Does this answer your question?  I think you may be getting hung up on getting it to a certain point.  You can always add strenght to the dough as you go.  As you can see I let time do mst of the work for me.  I spent about 5 minutes working with this dough.  This includes mixing, kneading, and stretching and folding.  Hope this helps :)

 

Maverick's picture
Maverick

It might just be me, but this dough looks a little dry at the end. Admittedly this might just be because it is an enriched bread dough. This is why I use oil instead of flour when doing my stretch and fold on the counter (I usually do my rising in a rectangular container so I can just do the stretch and fold right in the container).

That said, this is a really great illustration of how the dough changes simply using the stretch and fold technique. Thanks for sharing the pics.

janij's picture
janij

Yes it was a little dry.  But it was sandwich bread.  I will try the oil next time.

 

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Jan thanks for the effort you put into your response. Post pics of this break.