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Gluten development and pandoro

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Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Gluten development and pandoro

This video is driving me crazy: http://vimeo.com/8012448

My dough never windowpanes like that, but I can't tell if the gluten is under- or overdeveloped, because it has characteristics of both. It can't stretch out that far and thin without tearing, which might mean underdevelopment, but the gluten is definitely active. The dough is tough and resists pulling. The flour mix has 14% protein.

How do I get the dough to windowpane properly? Lower-protein flour? More or less mixing?

Janet

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

There's just something about how the pro's do it that, for some reason, is VERY difficult to replicate at home. They machinery with which they are working; the savoir-faire they bring to the table, cultivated over years and years of labor; the consistency of ingredients; the exactness of measurements; these are just a few of the advantages that those you see in the video have over the home baker.

But that's not to say there's no hope ! Generally, I would say that HIGHER protein flour would encourage the development of the windowpane effect, as more protein usually means more gluten, thus more possibility for stretchiness. You could try adding Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG) to the mix in small amounts to see if this improves things.

Also, these cakey Italian breads (pandoro, panettone, etc.) require a LOT of mixing. The exact opposite of a little mixing. We are talking 20, 30, 40, even 60 minutes of continuous mixing, to be completed in different stages, as different ingredients have to be added at different points in the process. When I make panettone, it usually takes my stand mixer (or rather, my parents') at least 20 minutes to develop the dough sufficiently--and that's 20 minutes of EXHAUSTING work for the machine, mind you--after which it will require another 15 to 20 to incorporate the butter. Throughout, it will seem like it will never happen. No way, you will say to yourself, I've spoilt everything and I'm throwing the dough away and calling some company in San Francisco that's going to charge me 40 bucks a panettone and as much for overnight shipping which they require for items like panettone.

But you MUST persevere ! It will come together, you just must be patient.

Hope this helps and let us know about your pandoro adventures !

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Since its a high protein flour you should be able to windowpane after a good kneading. For white flour about 20 min by hand. Maybe the way you are kneading is not on point. You should be able  to feel a rhythm going and always turning the dough 90 degrees on itself and stretching out again or pushing with heel of hand whichever way you prefer. In any case a good sign the dough has developed is if you start to hear popping noises and becomes more airy and tight. When formed into a tight ball and pressed with a finger it should spring back immediately. This is  away of the dough saying its had enough.

In my opinion always more mixing if by hand, since you can never really over handle this way.

 

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

I'm using a KitchenAid stand mixer, and taking an hour to add the egg, sugar, and butter in stages.

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

I use King Arthur Bread Flour, plus enough vital wheat gluten to bring it up to 14%. 

The biggest mystery to me is the trade-off between elasticity and extensibility. The more the gluten develops, the more elastic my dough becomes AND the less extensible. It's as though it is tensing its muscles!

Janet

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Expert advice from Lepain. With very wet doughs always slow on machine for a long time. Patience is key and you will feel the dough cleaning the bowl as you finish. You will get there in the end these doughs require lots of mixing

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

Also, it's important to keep your eyes on the dough as the machine is working it. Often, I find that the stand-mixer (also a Kitchen-Aid, in my experience) sometimes just spins the dough around the bowl without really working it (this is during initial development, before adding in the butter). As one wants to get pretty solid gluten development even before the incorporation of lipids, I will often take the dough out of the bowl and work it by hand on the counter for a few more minutes until I get the necessary development.

It's truly an art, these breads, and it certainly leaves a lot at which to wonder : how did people even conceive of methods like this in the first place? In any case, I'm sure glad they did.

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Often, I find that the stand-mixer (also a Kitchen-Aid, in my experience) sometimes just spins the dough around the bowl without really working it

...or else half the ingredients stay on the sides of the bowl instead of getting incorporated!

These days I begin the mixing using a paddle beater until the ingredients are blended and start to hold together, then switch to the dough hook. 

Before adding the butter, do you mix the dough to the point where it is hard to stretch? Does that allow it to loosen up and windowpane? 

In another video (http://vimeo.com/8012578), Didier Rosada warns against overdeveloping the dough, and developing it too soon. Unfortunately, he doesn't say what an overdeveloped dough looks like, or what happens if it reaches that point. Do you know?

Janet

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

I have never quite ventured into overdeveloped dough territory, but I'm sure it's awful (a lot of work and ingredients spoiled !), and that it's probably not too difficult to identify. Basically, the dough can get so overworked that the gluten starts to degrade and break down, so I imagine the dough would become extremely sloppy.

I haven't made a panettone since Christmas ('tis the season), but from what I remember, before the incorporation of the butter, the dough was pretty tough, to the point where I was considering giving the middle finger to the French Culinary Institute (whose formula I was borrowing) and dumping in some extra liquid. But I took it out of the bowl and worked it, and, after a few minutes, it felt a little bit better, though still slightly tough (a little bit stiffer than, say, croissant dough, pre-lamination). Probably too tough to pull a good windowpane at this point, though the gluten is certainly well developed.

The butter will then soften up the dough, after which (from what I remember) it spends a pretty good amount of time in bulk ferment, followed by a SUPER long proof (8-16 hours, methinks).

I would also advise that you not worry so much about the windowpane . . . it is only a test, and an approximate one at that. I have had plenty of doughs which have not passed the windowpane test whose crusts have held up beautifully under some pretty demanding oven springs. Just because you don't get a windowpane like in the video does not mean that your dough isn't strong !

PetraR's picture
PetraR

In the beginning of my bread baking I really was dead set on to getting this great windowpane done , I got to the stage where I could see light to it but never like the pros.

And you know what, I now, after so many loafs baked, I go by feel of the dough and by eye and that is enough for me.

 

ghazi's picture
ghazi

I never check for windowpane, its the dough that tells me its finished. It just has a feel and look that says well incorporated. As Lepain says its not the end if you don't get it, your bread will still come out nice as long as you've worked the gluten

I have ventured into over mixing territory and the dough becomes very sticky, no structure at all just collapses on itself. Its a good idea to use your hands as much you can to get a feel for things also

 

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I started kneading my dough by hand to get the feel for the dough in all the different stages so now I know when it is done kneading * if I knead * or needs more S&F when I do S&F's.

My standmixer was used 3 or 4 times for mixing and / or kneading bread dough since I am baking bread but I do not like using it so I don't.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

To simply answer your question, more mixing is required.

Unfortunately domestic, ie. planetary mixers, don't have the appropriate mechanical action nor force to achieve the same results without over-heating the dough.

 

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Won't more mixing make the dough more resistant to stretching? You could out-muscle the dough and force it to extend, but it didn't need to be handled that way in the video. Wish I knew how he got the dough that way. I know all the ingredients except for the brand and strength of the flour.

What type of action do professional mixers have? 

Pandoro has been around for hundreds of years before electric mixers. Imagine the manual effort required to pummel the dough into shape!

mwilson's picture
mwilson

No. Think of kneading as a way to work out the resistance. That's actually what you're doing. Behind all the sugar and fat you've got a low hydration dough. Lower hydration requires more force to work out. As you knead, gluten chains get longer and longer, increasing extensibility and elasticity.

Pandoro may well have a long history but the pandoro as we know it today dates back to 1894 when the process for making it was patented by domenico melegatti of Melegatti.

The twin-arm / pluging arms mixer is the most commonly used mixer for this type of dough in Italy. See this age-old picture:

read more: http://www.melegatti.it/en/company/book.html

 

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

I experimented with a simple flour and water doughs and you're right—gluten develops differently in the mixer! I would not have expected that.

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

How do you knead your pandoro by hand? Push away, fold back, rotate 90°, push away, fold back, rotate 90°, etc. ?

What type of motion do the two-arm, plunge-type mixers apply to the dough?

Antilope's picture
Antilope

A Kitchen-aid spiral dough hook seems to knead dough better than the "J" dough hood. The spiral dough hook also seems to put less strain and cause less motor heating on the mixer than the "J" shaped dough hook.

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The spiral dough hook presses the dough into the bottom of the bowl and kneads back and forth through it.
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The "J" hook beats the dough against the side of the bowl and the dough climbs up the hook.
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These YouTube videos show how each dough hook handles the dough during kneading.
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Kitchenaid with Spiral Dough Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSi2F4KUVF8
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-oDTmgKF80
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdpvpxnIuEs
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI6QwhvRoog


Kitchenaid with "J" Dough Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9AZmJ0y1s4
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRPDXe02G9w
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9ngieRWWFs
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEA4Pq0B5Pg
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I have a Kitchenaid 5-qt bowl lifter model that came with a "J" hook and I found a KA Spiral hook that fits it. My mixer runs cooler and with much less motor strain while using the spiral dough hook. The spiral hook seems to develop the dough faster and with less heating of the dough than the "J" dough hook.

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

How would you describe its texture, density, moisture content, ...? Medium-size holes versus fine holes? Light and fluffy or a bit more substantial? etc.

I learned of pandoro when an acquaintance brought one back from Italy. One taste and I was hooked. I asked Mrs Tunioli if she had a recipe, but she assured me that nobody in Italy made pandoro at home, as it was so readily available. That particular pandoro had come from a neighborhood bakery (remember those?).

That was over fifteen years ago. Since then, I've purchased good pandoro at specialty food stores, although they didn't quite measure up to that first one. For one thing, they weren't as moist. Of course, they weren't nearly as fresh, and might have formulated with shipping and shelf life in mind. 

After all this time, I can no longer remember how a proper pandoro should be. Any information would be appreciated, as it will help my experiments with recipe-tweaking.

Janet

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I have only ever eaten a commercially produced pandoro but even those are made with natural yeast (lievito madre). And as you say they tend to be dry. Pandoro is known for its fine / even crumb but it's very light in texture. Commercilly produced pandoro and panettone typically have artificial flavouring added.

The Pandoro procedure has many stages and that contributes to it's flavour and texture.

What recipe do you use?

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

I use Susan Tenney's recipe (http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2009/12/15/pandoro/), from the class she took at the San Francisco Baking Institute. 

The video (cf. driving me crazy) was recorded at SFBI.