The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

The need to knead vs. No-knead technique

nsimon's picture

The need to knead vs. No-knead technique

  I have had some good success with no-knead breads (about 80% hydration), and I am starting to experiment with different hydration levels in my breads in general.  My questions are:

1.  At what hydration level will the no-knead technique not produce adequate gluten, neccessitating some kneading?  Can lower hydration levels (65-75%) produce good dough without kneading if given enough time for the gluten to polymerize (perhaps 24 hrs)?

2.  Do the wet "no-knead" doughs still get any additional benefit at all from kneading, such as in a stand mixer or via Bertinet's technique?

  As a relative newbie, I certainly appreciate any guidance you all can give me!

sdionnemoore's picture

I've been wondering the same thing and would love to have an answer. Thanks for posting for me, nsimon. 

arzajac's picture

But I'll tell you my experience.

1.  I've made bagels with 60 per cent hydration and only used stretch-and-fold to develop the gluten.  As far as I am concerned, stretch-and-fold can develop gluten as well as kneading.  I find it superior because the dough is well developed, but not as tough as when kneaded.


2.  Not in my experience, but please try it and see for yourself.  I find that kneading the dough after it has been stretched-and-folded results in a dense loaf - like knocking down all the things you just built up.