The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

High hydration kneading

SorryLobster's picture
SorryLobster

High hydration kneading

Do others find it necessary to knead higher hydration doughs for longer for proper development? Or is the illusion of improper elasticity given because the wet dough tends to 'run' while it sits in contrast to other doughs?

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Perhaps 11 min vs 3 or 4.  I think it is because you can't generate as much shear in a low viscosity mix.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

slap and folds really come into their own.  This method really helps develop gluten in slack doughs.  A 75% hydration dough takes at least twice as long as a dough at 68% - but it will get there if the flour isn't too lousy gluten wise.

SorryLobster's picture
SorryLobster

I like to use the Bertinet method for high hydration doughs. I find it is much easier to work with and it introduces plenty air and life in to the dough. I have been kneading longer in comparison. I was wondering what the results of 'over-kneading' are in case I was intersted in pushing the kneading boundaries for extra elasticity.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Perhaps the easiest and most productive way to understand the limits of dough development is to split a batch and continue to work the half of your choice until it breaks down and becomes goo.  If you work it in five minute increments you have time between them to take notes.  I suspect you will be surprised at how hard it is to overdevelop.

When the gluten is fully developed in a high hydration dough the surface is a shiny smooth continuous skin.  When you begin to rip it you are over the edge. A fully developed dough ball will not really fold without ripping (at least that is my experience). And you don't want to go that far. Big batches are more forgiving but harder to work. Small batches are hard to judge because all of the forces acting are external and the dough isn't big enough and doesn't weigh enough to really fold.