or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Not kneading dough

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I attended an Italian bread baking class last night with Buona Forchetta bakery owner Suzanne Dunaway(she also has a book out "No Need to Knead". Her bread is considered as one of the best here in L.A. and rivals La Brea. I was very impressed with the rustic artisan breads she brought for us to sample, and she was a very nice and funny lady. However, her method of not kneading really confuses me. We made an "all-purpose focaccia/ciabatta dough" and pizza dough, about 75% hydration, which she just mixed for 20-30 seconds and then let ferment. No kneading at all. The product she baked at the class was good, but the focaccia was a little too heavy. What do you guys think of the "not kneading" method? Would it not produce a heavier dense dough?
post #2 of 26
Sounds funny to me. It goes against everything we know about gluten development and the ability for dough to rise. What is the basic reasoning behind her method? I've heard of the book, but don't know what the breads are like, for the most part. Does she claim that you can get an equally light loaf without kneading?
post #3 of 26
I will have to verify this but...

I think that the ciabatta in Artisan Baking Across America is fairly kneadless. When the dough is mixed it is turned 3 times at about 30 minute intervals. It the continues to ferment for about another 1 1/2 hours for a total of 3 hours of fermentation. The dough starts out as more of a batter. I was a little freaked at the prospect of dumping it out and trying to turn it. But it worked. It was amazing how the dough firmed up during the fermentation. At it's firmmest it would have slid through open fingers but it could be handled and shaped. The resulting bread was very, very good.
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
post #4 of 26
Wow. I went to amazon.com to check out her book, and see what kind of ratings (if any) it had received from other people who had bought the book.

Twenty five ratings, all five stars. Impressive. I didn't read through all of them, but I think I shall have to buy this book and give it a try...
If you don't ask, you'll never know.
Reply
If you don't ask, you'll never know.
Reply
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
I agree with you momoreg. From most of the reading I've done, I think this method might work with highly wet doughs, like Reinhart's Pan Ancienne. She did state turning the dough once while it's still fermenting, to redistribute food to the yeast cells. When I asked her why not knead, she said kneading develops a finer and tighter/denser crumb and we shouln't be slapping and overhandling the dough. I still don't agree---I cannot imagine not kneading a french bread dough, or any other bread dough. The bread she brought from her shop(which she did not bake at the class) was amazing ---better than La Brea in my opinion. Her ciabatta is called Panne d'Oso which was really gorgeous with big air pockets and a slightly thick chewy/crisp crust.
post #6 of 26
Not kneading simply produces a different kind of bread. I enjoy playing with texture and crumb by kneading more or less. I make a really nice rustic bread that is not kneaded at all. The crumb is very large, it tends to be fairly moist, and the crust is thinner and bumpier than kneaded bread.

However, is she really saying that you never have to knead? Kneading allows you to control texture, in my oh-so-humble-I-don't-do-this-for-a-living opinon, and is a tool I wouldn't want to give up.

I'm going to have to try this turn it over several times while rising thing. Sounds interesting. Could someone describe the process a little more?
post #7 of 26
The bread may not need the kneading, but you know- kneading is a great stress reliever!!! :D
If you don't ask, you'll never know.
Reply
If you don't ask, you'll never know.
Reply
post #8 of 26
It is Craig Ponsford's ciabatta as written in Artisan Baking Across America. The "dough" is mixed in a mixer with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes. I guess this could be seen as kneading. He advises "If your dough is not really gloppy, add extra water until it is soft enough to spread."

The total fermentation time is 2 1/2 - 3 hours. The dough is turned 3-4 times at 20 minute intervals during the first 80 minutes of fermentation. You need lots of bench flour. The first time you dump the "dough" onto your board it's like pouring a batter. You fold top half way down, bottom up, and then the left and right sides to the middle. A bench knife is a must :) You put the "bundle back in the bowl and repeat as described above.

With each turning, the dough becomes a little more cohesive. It never gets anything approaching firm. What you end up with is feather light bread with a wide open crumb.
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
post #9 of 26
I've actually made a similar dough, but after mixing the ingredients, I let it sit overnight (on the counter) to ferment. The next morning, I then pour the mixture on my marble board and very gently shape into a 9x13 cylinder (about 1/2 inch thick). I then cut several triangles and roll into a cylinder (almost like a crescent roll). The dough is very easy to work with. And it should never be runny. If it is, add more flour. The baked product turns out very similar to the texture of challah. These rolls are a favorite of friends and family. They actually enjoy them better than the kneaded type. This process may be used for either rolls or bread loaves. John
post #10 of 26
I've made a few of the breads from her book (I borrowed it from the library) and as I remember her reasons for not kneading involve the fact that you end up adding more flour and making it heavier, as well as potentialy losing the big holes thru the finished product. It's been a while- I don't remember my exact results.
post #11 of 26
foccaccia, slipper,doso etc. all purpose? I have different techniques for all of these.I've always mixed my foccoccia, I work ciabatta wet, I don't know , maybe I'm wrong
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #12 of 26
I can see how one might successfully make a batter-type yeast dough without kneading, for flatter breads, but I'm still not understanding how you can make a boule, for example, without kneading. Obviously, you can't use a batter, so what's her rationale?

Or am I mistaken in assuming she has that kind of recipe in her book?
post #13 of 26
On her website Suzanne Dunaway says she is happy to answer any questions and provides an email address. I sent the question about boules etc. to her. I also sent the link to this thread and an invitation to join the discussion. I hope we hear form her :)
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
post #14 of 26

Not kneadding dough

This is the way the were preparing bread in Greece during the German occupation in 1941-1945.
Germans in order to punish Greeks for the fierce resistence they had left the country to starve.

So, in the country side, because in the cities they were just dying of famine , they prepared bread without kneadding , because a fluffy, nice bread would cause more famine. This what they thought.

The bread that they produced was firm and heavy.
They thought that it helped them control better their famine.
I confirmed this with my mother in Law who has lived that and she told me how she made it.

She didn't knead it AT ALL. Instead, she used a large wooden spoon to give it 2-3 rounds and then leave it to "rise" for 3-4 hours.

I have to tell you that this bread haunted for decades the nightmares of Greeks, this is the reason that none produces this kind of bread here.

One bakery , last year , tried to make such a bread and it became an issue in the newspapers...

Thanks for mentioning though, I will give it a try. But just flour and water and salt, nothing else.I wait to hear from the expert also.
"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
Reply
"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
Reply
post #15 of 26
I just bought the book recently for about $9. I haven't made anything from it yet, but I'll try to make time this weekend and bake a couple of loaves or so.
post #16 of 26
We're counting on you Risa!
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
post #17 of 26

no knead breads

Oops. lost my reply. So, to finish up: When I teach a class, and I have taught many, I am trying to interest students in making their own breads at home and I wish to dispel the fear that many have of baking, plus dispel the myths and mystique of bread which often give the novice baker the sense that unless he or she makes 14 day starter and uses spring water and grind his or her own flour that the bread will fail. Nonsense. I can teach a complete novice how to make a good, tasty, chewy and memorable bread in 90 minutes. So, there's my take on kneading, and yes, I do it for brioche, banging the dough, crashing the dough, slapping the dough against my granite board with gusto! But brioche is not ciabatta. Give me a good open-structured, wood oven tasting bread anyday.
post #18 of 26
Thank you for joining our discussion Suzanne :) It seems a shame that the bulk of you message is floating around in CyberSpace. I think I get your point though. We here at ChefTalk are a pretty adventurous lot. When it comes to bread we ain't ascared a nuthin! On the contrary, we are a curious lot and love to learn new things.

There are some who would have you believe that baking bread is a complicated process that requires strict attention to detail, that any deviation form the rules will result in disaster. Thankfully there are others, like yourself, that make the matter of bread baking approachable and enjoyable:)
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
post #19 of 26
Suzanne, I'm glad you could join us here, and I look forward to future posts by you. I'll have to look for your book in the stores.

A warm welcome to cheftalk!:)
post #20 of 26
Suzanne:

May I say that I tackled breadmaking by purchasing a 50 pound bag of all purpose flour from a local organic mill, a Kitchen Aid mixer, and a 1 pound bag of SAF Red Instant yeast. And I had at it. It's been a great experience.

May I recommend that you inform your students that they, too, can get 50 pound bags of all purpose flour - even King Arthur flour - from their local food distributor. The distributors do, indeed, sell retail. And the flour should cost about $15 or less per 50 pound sack.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #21 of 26
Preliminary Report:

I made the foccaccia dough from No Need to Knead last night. It took less than 10 minutes to mix and I only messed up one bowl and one wooden spoon. I baked half last night and half this morning. The one that was in the fridge overnight didn't get much oven spring, but I didn't bring it to room temperature before baking. It still tasted good and had plenty of holes in the crumb. The one I baked last night had lots of oven spring and nice, great big holes. Both have a very moist and tender crumb. I brought them both to work this morning and they're getting raves. This recipe is definitely better than the one in Best Recipes and on par with the sourdough one in Breads from LaBrea. The flavour really wasn't all that different and these were much less chewy and much easier to digest. Actually, I'd say it has the edge over the LaBrea foccaccia because it was so much faster to make. I didn't even spray the oven and it still developed a crisp yet chewy crust.

I have a Sourdough Caraway Rye dough currently fermenting in the fridge that I will bake tonight for dinner. I think that will be a better test.
post #22 of 26
Sounds good so far!
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
post #23 of 26
I made the sourdough caraway rye last night and it's delicious. It was good enough to make me crave pastrami. I don't usually buy any sort of processed meats, but the bread was just calling for some pastrami and dill pickles. I've never made rye bread before, so all I can compare it against is supermarket rye bread and it's definitely better than that. It doesn't have the crisp, crackly crust but the crumb was moist and creamy. I'll definitely be making this again. I'll experiment with shapes next time. The skillet pan shape isn't so good for sandwiches.

Score: 2 for 2 in recipes tried out of No Need to Knead.
post #24 of 26
Risa - based on your success, the book is on its way. Any new reports?
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
post #25 of 26
I'm more interested to hear about your results since you are more of a bread officianado. I don't eat all that much bread. I just like baking.

One thing I didn't like about the book was that I missed shaping the loaves. I just love shaping boules. However, this is the book I would turn to if I need to have good bread quickly.
post #26 of 26
I can see where shaping her dough would be a challenge. From what I gather, kneadless doughs are very wet, slack doughs. These tend to be better suited for free form breads like ciabatta.
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pastries & Baking