How To Knead Dough – 7 Different Ways & Tips

How To Knead Dough By Hand- 7 Ways
26 min reading time

Kneading dough is a vital step in most bread-making recipes, and mastering it can make all the difference between an average baker and one that turns out homemade loaves of bread that are worthy of any bakery.

From beginner to expert, everyone can learn something new about kneading dough with this blog post—we’ll cover why kneading is important, what supplies you’ll need for the job, tips on how to knead dough effectively, and helpful techniques for both hand-kneading and machine-mixing using a stand mixer. So grab your ingredients (and maybe an extra set of hands!) and let’s get started!

What is Kneading Dough?

Kneading dough is an essential baking technique for making bread and other pastries. It involves stretching, folding, pressing, and repeating the process until the dough achieves the desired texture. This entire process usually takes anywhere from 3-5 minutes for most recipes.

Kneading develops gluten proteins in wheat flour that give structure to bread. If you under knead your dough, gluten won’t be developed enough to hold together while baking resulting in a dense loaf; if over-kneaded, gluten will break down too much resulting in a dry crumbly product with little rise when baked due to loss of all those gas pockets created through kneading.

Along with hand-kneading at home, there are several machines available on the market such as stand mixers with kneaders or electric handheld mixers equipped for some light-duty usage that can take on some of this work on heavier batches you might need to do at home or even commercially. Kneading doesn’t have to take long but should be done properly for the best results!

Why We Need to Knead Dough?

Kneading is an integral process in preparing dough and it serves several important functions. It helps to evenly mix the ingredients and redistribute the yeasts, while also developing gluten strength through stretching and folding strands of proteins. In addition, kneading aerates the dough by trapping air pockets between layers of gluten which makes them expand upon baking.

When ingredients are combined, they usually form what is known as a shaggy mass with little or no structure. Kneading brings stickiness into play as well as lubrication from fats, sugar, or other liquid additives that help make a more smooth texture and less crumbly composition. Plus it helps soften hard ingredients such as nuts or large pieces of fruit which can be difficult to incorporate without proper mixing techniques like kneading – otherwise these may not get evenly distributed into the entire dough mixture causing lumps during the baking process.

Another important function of kneading is that it builds up elasticity in yeast-based doughs which allows them to develop greater volume when baked in ovens because expanding gasses are captured within their strong walls created via repeated stretchings and foldings during this essential step in bread making. Moreover, taking plenty of time for your knead will produce superior results than if you rush too quickly from one step to another; allowing enough time for this stage ensures that sufficient gluten formation has taken place before proceeding any further on your recipe journey!

Image with knead dough by hand chefd com.

How to Knead Dough by Hand? (7 Ways To Do So)

Kneading dough by hand is a timeless technique that has been around for generations. No matter what kind of bread you’re making, perfecting your kneading technique is essential to achieving a crusty, delicious loaf. But let’s face it, kneading dough can be a real workout. Luckily, there are plenty of different ways to do it.

From folding and pressing to stretching and rolling, the possibilities are endless. By experimenting with different techniques and finding the one that works best for you, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master of the dough. So put on some good music, dig in your heels, and get ready to learn seven new techniques for kneading the dough by hand.

1. Basic Fold Method

Kneading dough is an essential skill in baking, as it helps develop the gluten strands necessary for making good bread and pastries. The basic fold method of kneading is a simple yet effective way to properly prepare your dough.

First, start off by lightly dusting your work surface with some flour. Place the dough on top of the floured surface and press it down into a flat disc about ½ inch thick. Now, grab one section of the biscuit from its edge closest to you and fold it over onto itself gently using your fingers or a bench scraper. Do this about 4-5 times until you have created multiple folds within the whole piece of dough. Roll out again and repeat this kneading process once more before resuming rolling out the final shape, such as for pizza or pie crusts.

When folding your dough remember to stay gentle but firm when pressing down so that you do not create too many air pockets within its layers; these can make baked goods break apart easily during baking due to their deteriorating structure strength after rising in oven heat when inflated with air pockets like balloons filled too much (this also takes away flavor). Remember that patience goes a long way here – take your time with each fold and repeat as needed!

2. Claw Method

The claw method of kneading dough is a popular technique used to mix and stretch the dough so that it can properly develop gluten strands, which results in a chewier texture. To perform the claw method, start by pressing down into the center of your ball of dough with your fingers, then spread them outwards. Using alternating hand motions, press down into the dough while folding it over on itself with each motion. Make sure each time you press down to get as much surface area as possible without tearing or ripping it apart. After about 10 minutes of kneading and folding, you should notice an increasingly elastic quality to the dough that indicates it has been properly developed – this is when you know that you have finished using the claw method!

3. Dough Scraper

The dough scraper method of kneading the dough is a technique used by professional and home bakers alike. It involves using a flat metal shovel-like tool with a sharp edge to shape, fold, and stretch the dough into a desired form. This technique is believed to be better than hand kneading in many ways – it enables more efficient production in less time as well as provides more consistent results.

When using the dough scraper method, you should first have your flour and other ingredients prepared according to your recipe (including liquids such as water or milk). Once your butter or fat has been incorporated into the mixture, you’re ready to begin. Place your ball of dough onto an unfloured surface and flatten it out with either your hands or a rolling pin until it’s about half an inch thick. Then use one hand on top of the dough while pressing down firmly with the dull edge of the scraper in order for it to evenly separate from its surface; this will help create those vital gluten strands that give bread its distinctive texture when baked later on!

Now here comes where all that muscle power comes in! With one hand holding the edge of the scraper against the surface while doing so, use short quick strokes which are perpendicular (90 degrees) while pushing forward then back towards yourself repeatedly, but don’t forget both do this simultaneously so it is very similar motions happening together then repeat these steps until desired character & size of gluten strands are achieved (this could take 5 mins plus), it also helps if you lift up and turn the entire piece every few repetitions just ensure even stretching/kneading is happening throughout the entire process. Once done give final roll out if required before placing directly into greased tin/pan whilst avoiding manipulating though once again just twirl a couple of times before doing so.

The outcome from this type of kneading should be far superior to any kind accomplished by hand as not only does it provide excellent elasticity structure due to giving desirable consistency amongst batches but also allows for ease when shaping different types of bread like baguettes etc. So yes if want the best quality aromas + textures at the end result worth trying out the ‘dough scraper’ technique today!

Image with best way toknead dough chefd com.

4. French-Fold Method

The French fold method of kneading dough is a technique used to evenly mix the ingredients and develop the gluten in the flour. It involves taking a portion of dough, folding it over onto itself, and pushing down on it with the heel of your hand using steady pressure. Then you rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat this process several times. This helps create an even distribution of ingredients throughout the dough, forming a silky texture for lamination purposes or creating fine-grained bread that’s light and airy when baked.

To begin, make sure your work surface has been lightly dusted with flour to prevent any sticking. Start with an amount of room temperature dough – slightly more than half a teaspoon – enough to cover most of one hand. Take each side at one time between your thumb and index finger until all four sides have been folded back into itself twice (from 12 o’clock over to 6 o’clock then from 9 o’clock over to 3 o’clock). Then pick up the folded ball by cupping both hands together as if you’re holding an egg, keeping your thumb tucked in so that no holes are formed in the ball during handling.

Move both hands in opposite directions while slowly rolling back and forth until you feel the tension building within it; this indicates gluten development is happening inside as well as providing relaxation during further manipulation techniques like laminating or shaping loaves/rolls etc. The next step would be stretching out carefully too many folds will cause tears leading to too much loss in gas thus resulting in weak rising loaves once baking starts. Finally, you can place it back onto some parchment paper before getting ready for its final rising stage. Now enjoy!!

5. French Method

The French method of kneading dough is all about the technique. It involves using your hands to push and turn the dough in a rhythmic motion until it becomes smooth and elastic. The goal is to develop enough gluten structure within the dough so that it can be used for variously shaped bread, such as baguettes or batards.

Start by sprinkling a little flour onto your work surface, then make a well in the middle of your flour pile with your fists. Add some cold water and incorporate it into the flour well with your fingers until everything comes together into one shaggy ball of dough; this should take around five minutes. If you notice any dry bits still left on the edges, add more cold water until they are combined. Work from outside in as you bring everything together into one mass of dough Then lightly oil both sides before covering with plastic wrap or a damp towel – this prevents sticking on both sides while resting later on.

Once you’re ready, begin kneading – use only one hand and press down firmly but carefully stretching out with the heel of your palm then rotate 180 degrees (dough should then look like an X). Make sure not to flatten completely as there should be some air pockets left inside – this will help during proofing later down! You’ll also want to continually dust off extra flour from top/bottom surfaces to prevent sticking throughout the process (this also keeps things looking clean).

Kneading times vary depending on the type & hydration level desired resulting flavor though most will take between 10-15 minutes total time spend working overall mass back and forth across itself repetitively (aka ‘folding’). As go along drape plastic wrap over the entire surface to ensure it starts to stick and doesn’t become overly tacky–ensures uniformity and consistency throughout the product each fold! The once finished result will differentiate itself strong and develop fatty acidic flavors due to yeast fermentation which occurred within the walls of gluten structure built up during the process – enjoy!!

6. No-Knead Method

The no-knead method of kneading dough is a technique that was popularized by popular baking figure Jim Lahey in 2006. This simple and easy technique has become a go-to for many bakers, as it eliminates the need to physically knead the dough before allowing it to rise.

This method starts with combining your ingredients into a bowl. Flour, yeast, salt, and water are mixed together until they form one homogenous mixture; however extra ingredients such as sweeteners or milk can be added as desired. Once you have your ingredients combined, you will need to cover either the bowl itself or place some plastic wrap over the mix and allow it to sit for up 12 hours until doubled in size. This process is called fermentation which develops gluten and allows for great flavor in whatever you ultimately bake with this dough.

As time passes during this fermentation period, there is no real need for an additional physical kneading of the dough aside from folding it over onto itself when putting back into shape after rising which gives even further time for essential flavors to develop due to oxidation occurring within this recipe depending on how long it is allowed to rise (upwards of 14-20 hrs).

Once ready – preheat your oven to its highest temperature and place a covered pot inside while heating simultaneously – you’ll want a pot with a heavy lid that can withstand high temperatures such as cast iron Dutch ovens; also make sure not too much oil gets into the top of whatever vessel used otherwise sticking may occur once done baking (lids off!)

Finally, pour out contents onto parchment paper, fold edges over twice lightly then take those two corners created and tie them together like tying a small bag – put knot facing downwards towards parchment paper so the surface won’t burn – now gently toss/drop the wrapped ball inside heated pot side down first! Cover tightly. The steam trapped inside helps create a nice crust on the outside while leaving the tender center untouched – bake for 30 minutes total taking a break halfway through by lifting the lid briefly & flipping the entire content upside down & returning back into the oven.

Image with knead dough to perfection chefd com.

7. Window-pane Method

A windowpane method is a traditional approach used by bakers to knead dough for bread and other baked goods. This technique ensures that the gluten strands in the dough are properly developed, resulting in a light, airy texture with an ideal crust.

To accomplish this goal, you will need to work the dough for up to 10 minutes (or longer if needed). Begin by forming your dough into a ball and then flatten it out on a lightly dusted surface until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Then use your fingertips to create a pleated effect on top of the flattened round of dough – this helps strengthen the structure while also providing more elasticity as you knead. From here, grab each side of your pleated round and pull them away from one another so that they stretch without breaking apart (this resembles ‘window panes’). Then fold these newly created windowpanes over each other before pressing down with both hands until all folds have been sealed together.

Finally, rotate the ball and repeat this process until it has reached desired consistency – when done correctly, you should be able to stretch out one corner of your now-ball-shaped piece of windowpane-pleated-dough until thin enough that light can pass through without breaking apart (hence “windowpane”).

This time-consuming but effective method provides many benefits; not only does windowpane help create an incredibly light crumb within baked goods – giving bread an exquisite flavor – but also encourages optimal rise due to improved gas retention during baking processes. It imparts greater cell flexibility so that interior starches can swell quicker during baking steps – allowing more even browning throughout final products – while also increasing overall strength which can produce much taller loaves compared to methods that lack similar results when utilizing the same ingredients at different hydration levels. In essence, using a windowpane technique ensures maximum gluten development occurs within chosen recipes & provides uniformity vital for creating successful bakery goods every single time!

What Are Some Tips for Kneading the Dough by Hand?

Kneading dough by hand is a great way to get in touch with your baking skills and experience the joys of connecting with something tangible. Now that you know the 7 techniques of how to knead the dough, here are five tips that can help you become an expert kneader:

  • Make sure you have the right consistency – Kneading requires a good amount of pressure and motion, so it’s important to ensure that your dough is at the right consistency. If it’s too wet, add more flour; if it’s too dry, add a little bit more liquid such as water or oil. The ideal texture should be non-sticky and soft and should remain intact when rolled into a ball.
  • Don’t overwork your dough – Overworking your dough can create tough strands of gluten which can result in dry baked goods, so avoid doing this! You know you’ve kneaded enough when the texture is uniform across the entire piece of dough and no cracks or splits remain on its surface after being pulled taught between two hands or fingers.
  • Use correct techniques – Be sure to use consistent folding motions while kneading the dough rather than pressing down hard on it with both hands simultaneously as this could lead to over-kneading. To achieve an even texture throughout your creation, turn clockwise each fold before pushing down firmly and repeating until all cracks have been eliminated from its surface area (the number of folds needed will vary depending on how moist/dry your ingredients were).
  • Take timing seriously – Knead for gradually longer periods of time as directed by whichever recipe you’re following — usually around 10 minutes for bread recipes — because this gives the gluten time to develop shaping strength without becoming overly toughened from prolonged handling (which again could lead to dry baked goods).
  • Add spice – If possible try adding other natural flavors such as herbs or spices while kneading; these additions will infuse their aromas into any dish they’re used for adding extra depth and complexity! Keep in mind though that some ingredients may affect how quickly yeast rises during rising stages so keep track accordingly if using them together with yeast-based recipes like pizza crusts etc.

How to Knead Dough In a Stand Mixer?

Kneading dough in a stand mixer can be a quick and easy way to produce delicious homemade bread, pastries, and other baked goods. You’ll need a stand mixer fitted with the appropriate dough hook for the best results.

To start, gather your ingredients and put them into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer (a KitchenAid mixer works great here). Make sure to measure out all dry ingredients first, before adding any wet ingredients or liquids. Start the mixer on low speed to blend everything together until it forms small clumps; then turn up the speed just above medium so that it kneads more thoroughly. If too much flour is added at once, stop the machine and scrape down any extra that is stuck to the bowl walls or sides of the beaters before continuing with the mixing/kneading process.

Once you’ve reached the desired consistency (the dough should form an elastic ball around beaters), you can add optional flavors like herbs and spices for flavor variations as desired! Knead on medium-high speed for about 8 minutes; you should end up with a smooth dough that passes the “windowpane test”—meaning if stretched thinly between two fingers, the light will pass through without breaking apart!
Take care not to over knead though – too much kneading can lead to tougher texture biscuits/bread than desired; just keep an eye on the timer while running the mixer so baking results come out perfect every time!

How to Knead Dough In a Food Processor?

Kneading dough in a food processor can be a great way to save time when making bread. It’s important, however, to know the proper technique for doing so in order to get the desired results.

To knead dough in a food processor, you’ll need flour, salt, sugar (if using), and unsalted butter or shortening. Begin by measuring out your ingredients and then adding them to the work bowl of the food processor (in that order). Then add enough lukewarm water until the mixture forms into a ball of dough – it should come together easily without sticking to your hands too much.

Next pulse for about 10 seconds at low speed or until all of the ingredients have combined with each other. Once done remove and turn out onto a lightly floured surface where you will knead it further for several minutes or until it has become smooth and elastic-like; as noted earlier this is very important as over-mixing will result in an overly dense loaf which won’t rise properly when baked later on.

Finally, shape it according to what type of bread you are making; if baking right away cover it with waxed paper while prepping any additional inserts such as herbs or fruits before placing it into greased pans ready for baking. If you are not baking right away wrap up tightly in plastic wrap before freezing until needed – when ready just thaw overnight at room temperature before continuing with your recipe instructions from there!

And that’s all there is to it! With this easy but effective method kneading dough no longer has to be tedious – now sit back and enjoy fresh homemade bread made quickly and effortlessly thanks to modern technology!

Image with how to knead dough in a food processor chefd com.

How to Identify That Your Dough Is Done?

Identifying that your dough is done is an important step in making sure you end up with a perfectly cooked product. The key to determining whether or not your dough has finished rising and is ready for baking lies largely in sight, smell, and touch.

  • Sight: While the exact timing will vary based on the type of yeast used and how warm it was when mixed into the ingredients, most recipes will call for allowing a bread or pastry dough to double in size before moving on to shaping it. You can check how much it has risen by measuring the height of the center of the dough before kneading and then after allowing it to rise. If it has approximately doubled, then you are good to go!
  • Smell: While baking, freshly-made bread lets off an aroma that some describe as “yeasty” due to its fermentation process which produces carbon dioxide bubbles. This same smell can be detected while making bread prior to baking – if you detect this unique fragrance emanating from your dough then chances are it’s almost ready!
  • Touch: Another physical indicator that dough may have matured sufficiently is its texture; when given a gentle poke with a fingertip, even though there may still be some resistance offered by wetter parts of the mixture – if overall elasticity can be felt throughout (without having breakage) then likely this batch is ready for next steps in its journey toward becoming delicious baked goods!

In summary – keeping an eye out for visual changes such as doubling your recipe’s starting volume; being attentive towards any odors coming from inside the mixing bowl; testing consistency/elasticity via fingertip poking should all tell you whether or not our precious dough is at last properly fermented & mature enough so we can now proceed with confidence towards rolling/shaping & eventual baking!

Recipes Using Kneaded Dough

Kneaded dough is a versatile and easy-to-use ingredient that can be used to create an array of delicious dishes. Here are six recipes you can make using kneaded dough:

  • Stuffed Calzone – This Italian classic is a perfect way to use up any leftover dough. Start by rolling out your kneaded dough and cutting it into 8 rectangles, then fill each one with whatever ingredients you fancy – think ricotta cheese, salami, peppers, and mozzarella! Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F until the calzones are golden brown.
  • Pizza Margherita – All you need for this classic pizza margherita is some stretchy kneaded dough and some tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella cheese! Roll out your pre-prepared kneaded dough onto an oiled baking paper on a tray or peel (if using a wood fire), and top it with tomato sauce/passata, torn basil leaves, and small slices of buffalo mozzarella before popping it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes at 425°F until the base has browned nicely.
  • Bacon & Cheese Swirls – Take your kneaded dough balls (once they’ve been left to rise) and roll them out into thin strips before topping them with thinly sliced bacon pieces & grated mature cheddar cheese (or ingredients of choice). Carefully roll up each strip into swirls before brushing lightly over beaten egg wash – this will give them their golden finish when baked in the oven at 400°F for around 20 minutes until cooked through & crispy on top! Finish off by sprinkling over freshly chopped chives or parsley if desired!
  • Mozzarella Sticks – These cheesy bites go down well as appetizers or snacks! Simply take 2 x 2-inch pieces of prepared kneaded dough hand to flatten each piece slightly; spread pizza sauce over half before adding finely chopped pepperoni & shredded mozzarella cheese on top – place another piece of flattened dough hon top pinching together around all sides tightly to create fully sealed sticks ready for freezing prior to cooking in hot oil following manufacturers instructions (you can also bake these stars if preferred!).
  • Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks – Prepared garlic butter spread generously over flattened pieces of pre-prepared dough before sprinkling liberally with grated Parmesan cheese then making small cuts along both edges allowing space between each individual stick once cut apart; further sprinkle more Parmesan on top before transferring onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper making sure there’s enough room between each stick so they crisp up instead of sticking together when cooking in 350°F oven for 12–15minutes until golden brown all over!
  • Chocolate Pretzel Bites – Get creative by combining the savory pretzel taste combined sweetness of chocolate chips; simply melt semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl stirring frequently after every 30 seconds ensuring there are no lumps left behind inside the melted liquid consistency; dip little ends& side portions involving mini pretzels made earlier from pre-kneed Doug hand spread white icing along topside parts prior finishing off serving while still warm. Enjoy !!

What Are The Other Two Dough Development Methods Besides Kneading?

Here is a brief overview of each technique and how you can make sure your dough is properly developed:

1. Autolyse: This is the simplest approach to dough development because you don’t need any additional tools or ingredients for it. This method relies on the natural enzymes in the flour itself, which means all you have to do is mix together flour and water, cover your bowl so that no air escapes, and wait until your desired consistency has been achieved (usually around 20 minutes).

2. Fermentation: Fermentation occurs when yeast feeds on sugar molecules within a given batch of dough, producing carbon dioxide as well as acidic compounds such as lactic acid which further enhance flavor complexity while also helping develop structure and texture within baked goods (especially breads). Usually, this process takes longer than other methods so it’s important not to rush things–give your dough at least 12-24 hours before baking according to recipe instructions! All these steps contribute towards overall quality and taste outcomes when making bread but remember that there are many different approaches out there–so don’t be afraid to experiment with various combinations/methods per recipe needs!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which technique of kneading is considered the best?

The best kneading technique is the one that works best for you and allows you to achieve the desired texture and consistency for your recipe.

How many types of bread are there?

From crusty baguettes to sweet banana bread, bread is available in countless different varieties. Some are leavened with yeast, while others use baking powder or sourdough starters to rise. Others, like flatbreads, are unleavened and often used for scooping up dips and spreads. Each type of bread has its own unique flavor and texture, and whether you prefer a hearty rye bread or a delicate brioche, there’s a type of bread out there to suit every taste bud.

How many types of kneaded bread are there?

Here are just a few of the most common types of kneaded bread: White bread, Multi-grain bread, rye bread, sourdough bread, Foccacia bread, French baguettes, and Challah Sandwich loaf.

What is the most important reason to knead the dough?

Kneading is an important step in making bread, as it plays a role in developing gluten strength and structure so that the dough can rise properly. It also helps evenly distribute the yeast throughout the dough, hydrate the flour, and release trapped air pockets.

Which one is better: kneading the dough by hand or kneading the dough by mixer?

While both techniques are effective, there are some key differences to consider. Kneading by hand requires patience and a certain amount of skill to get the perfect consistency. The process can be meditative and rewarding, but it can also be tiring and time-consuming. On the other hand, kneading with a mixer is faster and less labor-intensive, but it can be difficult to get the same level of control over the dough. In the end, the choice between these two methods comes down to personal preference and the specifics of your recipe.

Bottom Line

Kneading dough is an essential part of baking and can be a fun and rewarding experience. Whether you prefer kneading by hand, with a stand mixer, or with your bread maker machine, there are lots of methods out there to experiment with and find the one that works best for you.

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to making dough and while practice makes perfect–it also helps to have tips from experts like us to guide you along the way. Plus, once you get started with your dough-kneading skills, you’ll have plenty of delicious loaves ready for family dinner or as a gift for neighbors! So now that you know how to knead the dough, go ahead and give the kneading dough a go and see what kind of masterpieces you can make!

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