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Methods of kneading dough

QuestionsCategory: Bread BossMethods of kneading dough
Myra groves asked 10 months ago

Can you tell me what the difference in final baked dough using your kneading technique vs stretch and fold and vs coil folds.

i am asking this because I am not strong enough to to perform your keading  technique.  I’m female, 100 pounds and 73 years old!

1 Answers
Boris Staff answered 10 months ago

Hi Myra,

Good question. Kneading is all about modifying the flour protein to impart flexibility with strength enough to trap, yeast & bacteria generated, CO2 gas. It’s important that the protein network in the dough remain in tact so the gas doesn’t escape like a deflating balloon.

See these photos below of wheat flour protein (gluten matrix) being stretched by expansion of the dough due to gas produced.

Proteins are repetitive strands of amino acids that form cross bonds
Generally speaking the less intense the mixing technique, the longer the bulk fermentation required to condition the protein. This modifying of flour protein requires both physical work and enzyme action in the dough. This physical work can be achieved in many ways:

* gentle expansion during resting (bulk fermentation) combined with stretch and folding (reminiscent of the “no knead” method requiring a long bulk fermentation & DTO (dough to oven time)

* more intense hand mixing with slightly shorter bulk fermentation and folding

* mechanical mixing with machines very short fermentation & DTO

* very intense mixing with machines very very short fermentation

As the intensity increases the dough to oven time (DTO) is generally shortened because the protein has a finite time frame in which to be at it’s optimum for the oven.

DTO is the overall time from completion of mixing until the dough enters the oven.

Dough made with each method will have different characteristics and will yield different bread characteristics.

* Less intense mixing with longer DTO usually produces a more open crumb structure with a smaller overall bread volume. Better keeping qualities and a more complex flavour.


* Conversely, the more intense mixing with shorter DTO achieves a finer softer crumb with a bigger overall bread volume and slightly shorter shelf life. There are other more complex features that each method results that are more esoteric and I won’t go into here.

If you’re using the low intensity method, which in your case would be sensible, I’d say that is just fine. Just make sure your dough is nicely mature but not over mature when it goes to the oven.
I hope that is helpful and good luck.