Puzzled by dough tests
I've been baking bread for almost a year now and after a few early disasters I'm now confident with a variety of loaves: White, Wholemeal, Pizza base, Baguettes, Ciabatta, Sourdough etc.
They usually turn out well with good crumbs, nice crust and most importantly, the family love them and we haven't bought a shop-baked loaf for a long time.
Now what puzzles me is the dough tests often mentioned here and in various books. The window-pane test is the most confusing in that I've never achieved it. I've kneaded by hand using the French slap or push and fold methods. I've let dough rest during kneading, I've used a stand mixer. I've extended the kneading times to as long as 30 minutes - until I'm exhausted - none of these give the window-pane effect.
And yet I always get good oven spring, good crust
Let's take a basic recipe for white bread:
500g strong white bread flour (Alinson's)
7g fast-action dried yeast
40ml olive oil
Tray of water in bottom of oven
Spray inside of oven with a mister at start
Bake at 210C for 25 minutes (Fan oven)
Lower temperature to 190C and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
This seems to produce a decent loaf every time so:
Where am going wrong by failing to produce the elusive window-pane effect with the above?
Would the bread be better if I could produce the window-pane effect?
Should I just stop being nerdy & continue as I am?
Your thoughts please.