The Fresh Loaf

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Is 7 minutes enough to develop gluten?

BakerNewbie's picture

Is 7 minutes enough to develop gluten?

I'm going through a recipe that has the following steps:

  • Mix (flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, improver) for 2 minutes at low speed.
  • Add shortening then mix for 4 minutes at high speed
  • Add vegetable oil and continue mixing for 1 minute at high speed or until fully developed.

This comes up to a total of 7 minutes mixing time. Is that enough to get a "fully developed" (I assume this means window pane stage?) dough?

phaz's picture

It can be. Main thing is to get the desired level of development, however long it takes, or doesn't take. Enjoy! 

mariana's picture

Yes, if your flour, water and mixer are the same as in the autor's of the recipe and if the amount of dough per mixer is the same. All flours and mixers are different and depending on how soft or hard is your water it will also affect gluten formation and development. 

Otherwise, you would have to judge by the signs of gluten development. It is not so much the windowpane per se, but how transparent the windowpane is and how many bubbles it forms on the surface of the freshly kneaded dough, how shiny and glossy its surface becomes.

Please, see images of different stages of gluten development here and in many other articles and discussions. 

Full development of gluten means extremely thin and fully transparent gluten window, a total of about 2000 turns of dough. The ball of dough would look very shiny in the mixer and stretch into very thin windowpanes, through which you would be easily able to read newspaper. 

Colin2's picture

"Fully developed" does not always mean windowpane. 

Are you making this one?  (

If you are, that particular recipe has moderate amounts of sugar and fat and is baked in a tin.  My guess is they are not looking for windowpane, just an even dough with basic gluten development: smooth and a bit elastic.

Moreover, if you poke around on the same site and find "Artisan baguette" ( for that recipe they specify "Mixing times are 7 minutes (slow) and 9-10 minutes fast (dough temperature is 26°C), until dough is fully developed (Membrane Test)."  So that's windowpane (and enough time to get it) and that's what you typically do for baguettes.  Hence the fact that they don't mention any membrane test for your Pan de Sal recipe, and specify only seven minutes total mixing as you note, seems significant.

albacore's picture

The type of mixer used will have significance. If it's a commercial recipe, a spiral mixer may well be expected. The 5 minutes at high speed will be enough for many recipes.