The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough never reaching window pain.

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

Dough never reaching window pain.

I've been making my own bread now for 5 weeks. I've used a large food processor, stand mixer, stand mixer/by hand and by hand kneading. Never reaching the window pain stage. Used both KA and Pillsbury bread flour. Same results. Bread turns out great. Well risen, even sized and spaced small holes. I've tried kneading up to 20 minuets with the same results. When stretching  under and folding to shape the final loaf the surface can stretch apart. 

Question is do I need help? If the crumb of the bread is right is the window pain that important? 

suave's picture
suave

Gluten should be fully developed by the time the bread is baked, not straight out of the mixer.  So forget window pane.  It's a concept most likely associated with the style of commerical baking that allows for very little time between mixing and baking.  At home that time is measured in hours, sometime days and gluten has plenty of time to develop on its own. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

When you attempt the windowpane test, what does the dough look like?

Can you post an image?

Lately I have been fully developing the gluten in the mixer. I often test the gluten development by wetting my hand and the pulling the dough up as far as it will reasonably stretch. If it is developed it will be elastic, very stretchy and spring back (some what) when released. 

Dan

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Panettone once a year.... if I remember to - so no worries.  It is an old way to make bread that needs to be forgotten most of the time.

Happy baking !

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

Suave, I'm guessing the gluten is developed. Because the bread raises well and has a even crumb. The holes are all about the same size. I recently made "Pain De Campagne' from 'The Bread Bible' by Beth Hensperger. This takes three days to make. Being a complete newb I made a few mistakes. Ended up with one large dense loafe. Well cooked but heavy. But that's another story in itself. 

DanAyo. The dough is smooth to the touch. I take a chunk and try the test. I've been able to get a very small one. But then the dough rips apart. When I try to form the loaf for the final rise the dough rips. This happens when I tuck the dough under to form a rounded loaf with the seam at the bottom. It's kind of a chunky, textured rip. 

I've tried this with the two bread flours I've been using. Mostly Pillsbury. I'm on my second bag of King Arthur's. My recent bread is out of Pillsbury AP flour. Same reaction. Been making two to four loaves a bread a week now. For five weeks. 

Sorry, no pictures. But I will take some shots of the ripping this weekend. Now that I've started this habit I really don't want to go back to plastic bag bread. 

Dabrownman, had to look up what Panettone was. That sounds good! 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Are you using seeds?

Seeds and other such additives will cause the dough to tear near them. Could that be the case?

If you are only using all purpose flour, you could try bread flour. It has higher gluten potential. 

Have you thought about trying a bread that is made quicker for testing. A 3 day bread after 5 weeks of baking is quite an undertaking. Sounds like something I would have done. :-)

Dan

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

if you're over-mixing your dough.  Let it relax a little after mixing. Then see if you can stretch it into a window pane.  The character of dough is a balance of strength and extensibility. Since you're saying all your holes are very even, I think that's an even further sign that you're mixing to full gluten development.

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

DanAyo, nope no seeds. I've only made three loaves out of AP flour. They have all been experiments. The one big loaf, not the French bread, I had to toss. My fault. The two I'm enjoying now didn't rise well. But still have every even holes. The fault is mine in these loaves as well. Way over proofed. But still very good bread. I think i'm going to stop experimenting. And start learning from people who know more than I do. Well, try to stop anyway. : )

Breadbabies, Thanks. I'll give that a try. My loaves may not have the nicest looking crusts. But they really do look good on the inside. 

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

I let this dough sit for 10 minutes. Got a great windowpane. However when shaping it into a ball it still tares on me. 

IMG_6668A.jpg

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m not sure what is happening to the shaped dough. I’ve not seen that before. Maybe someone will chime in with an answer. It seems to be an obvious gluten issue. It looks to me like the gluten is formed in sheets. Notice the large year on the top. There appears to be another sheet of gluten below. Just guessing. These 2 images don’t look like they came from the same bread.  Wished I had more...

A video would probably be a great help. The strange thing is, your crumb is beautiful.

Some questions that come to mind are;

How did you knead this and for how long?

Did you stretch and fold and if so how?

How long did it bulk ferment and how long did it proof.

 

Maybe you could photograph the recipe and formula, then post it.

Dan

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

Not sure if the bread is getting over proofed. Not raising in the oven. But I think it's still got a nice crumb. Cuts really thin. This is a new recipe for me. Probably the blandest tasting white bread I've make. Going to have to doctor this one up. 

"Milk Bread". Sponge Method. From G. Greenstein's 'Secrets of a Jewish Baker'. IMG_6679A.jpg

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

DanAyo

I knead for 10+ minutes. Closer to 15. I knead by pulling back with one hand wile pushing forward with the other. This is done with switching between both hands. Dough is being turned in a circle the whole time. It gets folded over across itself with each knead motion. I have a tendency to rip the dough quite a bit wile kneading. 

The sponge stood for 1 hour. Pan rase was also one hour. 

Not sure about giving out someone else's recipe. Hopefully this helps. The sponge is made with half the flour and all the liquids. Everything else is added after the sponge sits for a bit. After incorporation and kneading the dough rests for 10 minutes, Divided and left to rise in two pans till double in hight. Cooked.  i did the sponge in my KitchenAid. Mixed and kneaded by hand. The recipe calls for cooking with steam. I didn't. 

If I make this again I'll cut back on the yeast. Dough collapsed in the oven. 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

 You said, “ I have a tendency to rip the dough quite a bit wile kneading.” Maybe that is your problem. I don’t remember ever ripping the dough while kneading. Maybe you could check out some YouTube videos on kneading.

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

In this video the author shows a technique quite a bit like what I was doing. She did say "You would have to be a bit of a man mountain to do that." when talking about over kneading. That might be me...... So this weekend I'll try to be  less aggressive when kneading. 

 

Breadmaking Basics 3: How to Knead and Mix Bread Dough - The Bread Kitchen










Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

I made bread last night after work. Did my best to not rip the dough wile kneading. Worked! Sorry I didn't take pictures of the well rounded and smooth dough. 

Lesson learned. You can be to aggressive when kneading. Allowing the dough to rip is counter productive. 

Thanks for the help!