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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Cooking & Pairing > Kneading Bread
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:27 AM   #1
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Default Kneading Bread

I've been making bread for a while, it always comes out good but Its not really fluffy like I like it. I can knead it for 20 - 30 minutes and its never gets smooth and elastic. Whats the deal? Anyone want to tell me how you do it? I know your out there!

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:34 AM   #2
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Unless you have a heavy duty mixer you are not going to get that smooth elastic dough. It is a reaction of the glutens in the wheat becoming more complex carb. chains due to the friction and heat. I myself(been a baker for 20+ years) prefer old world style bread with coarse texture and paper thin super crisp crust

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:44 AM   #3
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Would you say a bread machine would solve my problems?

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:44 AM   #4
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I use bread flour, which has higher gluten content than regular flour, but even so, I only knead by hand for 10 minutes. My bread comes out very good, but I also am not getting exactly what I want, so I'll be interested in hearing any other responses to your question. In my case, the bread doesn't have quite the soft elasticity and strength that I want for sandwich bread. It makes great toast, but on a sandwich with any bulky fillings it tends to break up.

I don't use a mixer. I mix the dry ingredients including instant dry yeast thoroughly, but I hold back the salt. I use instant dry yeast and I don't bother to proof it, as I've never had a problem. Then I add the wet ingredients, which in my case is just water and very soft, but not melted butter. I mix that thoroughly by hand, then cover with a cloth and let sit 20 minutes for all the liquid to be absorbed and for autolysis of the yeast to occur. Then I add the salt, mix a bit more, and turn it out on a floured board and knead for 10 minutes, adding as little flour as I can manage. It's a fairly wet and sticky dough, but I've gotten good at handling it with lots of practice.

I put into a oiled bowl, let rise to double, punch down and turn out on the board. I treat it very carefully at this stage. I divide it with a spatula, weigh each half and adjust to make them equal, then I very carefully form a smooth loaf and put it in the oiled bread pan. Any density differences in the loaf will materialize in the baked loaf as heavier or lighter areas of density, holes, texture differences, fallen areas, etc. I've found that shaping the loaf is very important. I let rise again, then bake at 375 to start, then drop my temp to 350 after 10 minutes. It takes about 35 to 40 minutes total baking time.

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:49 AM   #5
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Ah, I see niquejim is speaking from professional experience. That's good news that we have a professional baker on the board. I'll take any advice from a pro!

I'll try using a mixer next time. Probably tonight, in fact. Best to use a dough hook?

I like the hearty old-world style coarse-textured breads too, and I have no trouble making those, although there is more work involved. But I also want to make good white sandwich bread.

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Old 08-25-2008, 01:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk View Post
Ah, I see niquejim is speaking from professional experience. That's good news that we have a professional baker on the board. I'll take any advice from a pro!

I'll try using a mixer next time. Probably tonight, in fact. Best to use a dough hook?

I like the hearty old-world style coarse-textured breads too, and I have no trouble making those, although there is more work involved. But I also want to make good white sandwich bread.
Dough hook------Yes
Mix until you can take a small piece and stretch it paper thin without tearing.

And old world is easier just more time consuming,,,,like good beer

Remember bread starts with
Flour + salt + water + yeast
and just those 4 make great bread...

everything else makes it softer and sweeter, your choice.

I would rather have a slice of my White chocolate candied pineapple bread than pie or cake for dessert. And a sandwich made with roasted garlic and rosemary bread beats white bread anytime
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:30 AM   #7
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Read, mark, and inwardly digest The Breadmaker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. That book made a significant difference in the quality of the bread that I make.

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Old 08-25-2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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Im not an expert, in fact most of my experience comes from making pizza dough. but you should knead the dough to the firmness and elasticness that you want the final bread to be at, the only other thing I can think of is punching down the dough after it rises and kneading it again. the more times you re-knead it after letting it rise the finer the co2 bubbles from the yeast in the final bread.

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Old 08-25-2008, 01:44 AM   #9
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Try this No Knead bread recipe from Sullivan Street Bakery. It requires the use of a big cast iron covered pot or a dutch oven to duplicate the effect from a commercial steam oven, but it comes out absolutely fantastic!!!


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Old 08-25-2008, 02:35 AM   #10
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Thats a great video, I'm going to have to try that recipe soon. After watching that, I may be using too much flour. My bread never kneads well because it is tough and dry, maybe being the reason my bread never get elastic and smooth. Just watching someone make bread makes me hungry for some!! The thing I like most about bread making is being able to put anything into it I like. I work with Jalapenos, cheese, oregano, and garlic alot.. MMMMM! Mixing and matching ingredients its great. Thanks for the info, anyone else have anything to add?

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