The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Over Kneading

PabloJ's picture

Over Kneading

Hi everyone. It’s my first time posting on this site. I recently started using the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book, and tried the introductory basic whole wheat bread recipe for two loaves. It calls for 20 minutes of kneading, which I did, and it turned out tasty, but it didn’t rise much at all. Then I recently saw something online about how the bran in whole wheat flour can shred the gluten in the dough if it’s kneaded too much, And I wonder if that was the problem. So I’m pretty confused.  Any advice is appreciated! 

Abe's picture

20 minutes kneading will not be make or break. You need to look elsewhere in your process. If it hasn't risen nicely then probably it's the yeast or temperature and time. 

DanAyo's picture

Hey Pablo.

In Laurel’s book there is a chapter called, “A Loaf for Learning”. I assume this is the bread you are attempting. Pretty sure over kneading is not your problem. BTW - In my opinion this is the best instructions for learning to bake 100% whole wheat bread.

  1. Are you sure your yeast is good? Take a look AT THIS.
  2. Your room temperature will have a great affect on the fermentation times. What would you estimate your room temp?
  3. Did you deviate from her formula or instructions?

100% Whole Wheat bread is challenging, but well worth the effort to learn. You’ve got a great book for that.


alcophile's picture

I agree that LKBB is a great resource for whole-grain breads, but I didn't have a lot of success with the Loaf for Learning. I really couldn't hand-knead for that long to develop the gluten. I may have over-proofed my loaf as well.

It wasn't until I got Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads that I had real success with 100% whole wheat. Even Reinhart mentions that LKBB's instruction to knead for 600 strokes is "pretty exhausting." His solution is to use delayed fermentation (overnight resting) to develop gluten and flavor. I highly recommend his method for whole-grain breads.

PabloJ's picture

Thank you everyone, these are all helpful comments.