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Kneading dough by machine

Poll Results: How do you knead your breads

Poll expired: Nov 24, 2010  
  • 0% (0)
    food possessor
  • 66% (4)
    mixer
  • 33% (2)
    by hand
6 Total Votes  
post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have kneaded my whole wheat with honey sandwich bread by hand for the last 6 months. I live alone, no family, no entertaining etc. I make two loafs a week and its alright. But I am wondering if I would get a better loaf if I did it in a food possessor or a mixer to knead them with which I am thinking about buying one for that purpose. I would like a variety of points of view on if I would get better texture, rise etc with a machine. If you got an opinion and have done all three ways on which one please tell me why you like doing kneading with a possessor, mixer or by hand. Is one style better for one application or bread type over another? How many people do it by hand now of days? I wonder by not seeing it done on TV that doing it by hand is out of date these days. I could not find anything on the Internet on this subject.

 

                          Thanks in advance

                                "Nash"

post #2 of 5

I've mixed and kneaded by hand, stand mixer and machine.

 

In small quantities, if you have the skill, time and strength to do it, kneading by hand is superior.  Touching the dough lets you know if it's under or over hydrated and which, in turn, allows you to adjust.  You put less heat into the dough, and are more likely to knead it to an appropriate finish.   On the down side, hand kneading carries a risk of under-kneading from boredom or tiredness.

 

In addition to not being able to feel the dough change as the glutens are stretched, you're as likely to over-knead as to under-knead with either type of machine.  Also, the heat transfer -- especially noticeable with FP mixing/kneading -- makes for a tough loaf.

 

To guard against over-kneading, It's a good idea to shortcut the knead in a machine and finish by hand. 

 

BDL

post #3 of 5

I've kneaded regularly by hand and by stand mixer. Tried the food processor  and don't believe a decent bread dough can be made that way.

 

As BDL points out, hand kneading is best because it puts you directly in touch with the developing dough. Science and technology are great things, to be sure, but the best measuring device for determining temperature, texture, hydration, etc. are your fingers and palms. Dough speaks to you through your fingers in ways you can never hear if using a machine.

 

That said, there are reasons a machine makes sense. As my arthritis gets worse, for instance, I use my stand mixer more and more. But the final minute or two are still done by hand. (as an aside, if you use your stand mixer, as a general rule, knead with the dough hook half the recommended time). And, fwiw, Eric Kastel, in his books, makes a point about using a stand mixer only.

 

All in all, my question is: if you're physically able, why would you not knead by hand? Hand kneading almost always produces a better loaf. And there's no significant time savings using a machine.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 5

You left out the best way...in a bread machine!

 

Seriously though, I have a hard time kneading dough due to a back injury, so I do almost all my yeast doughs in my bread machine now.  Then I take the dough out and bake in the oven because while the machine kneads well, it doesn't bake all that great.

post #5 of 5

Didn't realize there was a poll attached. I checked off "mixer." But see my comments above.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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