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Any body kneeding dough?? "Cooks Illustrated"

Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
The March/April issue of Cooks Illustrated has a very good article on making "The Ultimate Homemade Bisquette". Among the many interesting subjects in dough preparation there are some timely tips. The copy is well worth the counter price for your library.[p]"New information"[p]Unquoted as I am taking it in general, not as per quoted!
The article points out that we don't take into consideration how easily dough can overheat in a mixer. In it they describe a sticky glob that results from overheating of the dough during the mixers kneading time. The dough is irreparably damaged and the character of the bread is destroyed. By kneading the dough with a bread hook you are distancing yourself from some "tactile purmutations" that take place in the dough, the doughs temperature, elasticity, and stretchiness as well as surface tackiness. Hand kneading only can produce the desired transformation of dough.[p]This is it in a nutshell but only a fragment of the information available.
Cheers..C~W

Comments

  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    Char-Woody,[p]Not to argue with the experts but, would the dough not become heated just the same from our own body heat and the friction of manual kneeding? [p]Bread making is an art and I would not argue with that for one minute as I have had my own share of success and failures in dealing with it. Bread making is a very precise science and everything about it has to be EXACT. Cooks Illustrated is a highly respected publication but, I think they may be carrying this process to the extreme just a little. Just my opinion and I'm sure Mary will be along to correct me if I'm out of line.[p]Oh boy...I know I'm gonna get it now. Like a kid waiting on a spanking :~)
  • Char-Woody, NOW you tell me; I just bought a huge Kenwood mixer for getting through ten minutes of kneading high gluten flour dough with minimal arthritus. Of course, I can just stick the machine outside and take care of the overheating issue.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Bob, from what I can gather from this extensive article is that in order get the real feel of the dough, it has to be done manually. There is a method called "Windowing" where the dough, when in its proper stage is stretched to the point you can see the outline of a object thru it. It's really a great article, and only posting some of the objective parts..Must read it all. I guess mechanical objects have no sense of feel..:-)
    C~W[p]

  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    Char-Woody,[p]Reminds me of my dear Grandmother who used to make apple strudle when I was knee high to a grasshopper. She would work the dough by hand and when finished the entire dining rood table was covered like a table cloth with paper thin dough. She without a doubt had the art down to a science.

  • Bob, I bet she was a gem...Grandmothers usually are!

  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Char-Woody,
    And a fragment of misinformation. Yes, machine mixing of dough can overheat it. The usual Kitchen Aid mixer that is used doesn't add a lot of heat. Commercial mixers bakeries use do add a significant amount of heat, but they are quite a bit different than the home Kitchen Aid that is just barely strong enough to knead dough. Commercial bakeries will use cold water to keep the dough at the right temp., taking into account the added heat from their monster mixers. Hand kneading is nice and you do get a more imediate tactile feel, but you will not necessarily ruin your dough by using the KA to knead it. I do it all the time. For my sourdoughs, I hardly knead at all because the chemistry performed by the beasties in the sourdough do almost all the needed gluten development all by themselves.[p]Making bread is much more a process of being attuned to the condition of the dough at each stage than it is a matter of recipe. The heating of the dough does not contribute to gluten breakdown as your article seems to imply. Overkneading will. Different flours have differing amounts and quality of gluten affecting how the dough developes and ripens. In the south, all-purpose flour is not very good for bread because they sell it very weak to make a good biscuit. In the north and west, all-purpose flour is stronger (but not as strong as bread flour) and makes bread just fine.[p]Unfortunatly, there's more misinformation than good information produced about bread making. you just convinced me not to bother with Cook's Illustrated.[p]Mary

  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Bob,
    This is also done more easily by machine now. Streudle making is a real pain.[p]Mary

  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Char-Woody,[p]Bread making can be an exact science, but gee, truly great bread has been made for centuries in dirty bakeries with approximate formulas. You can be exact, but once you learn what you are doing in each step, excellent bread can be made by adding a little water and a little flour with no measuring at all. I've done it many a time. Not what I would call an exact science. On the other hand, when trying a new technique, I get my scale out and weigh the ingredients to be sure I develop what the author says. Then I go back to my approximate ways once I've seen the technique.[p]The windowing stage can be most easily gotten to with machine kneading. Most people get too tired of kneading a commercial yeasted dough way before reaching the windowing stage. With sourdoughs, I don't knead the dough to that stage because it develops the gluten so much on its own, it gets overdeveloped if I mechanically knead it to the windowing stage.[p]Overkneading causes a breakdown of the gluten strands. They lose their elasticity, shorten, and can't keep the long strings together in a well developed dough. Hence the gasses from the fermenting yeast escape and are not trapped in the gluten web. This also happens in overproofed dough as well - then the loaf doesn't rise nicely.[p]Frozen Chosen should watch how much his Kenwood develops the dough. I don't have one, but I understand it is a more powerful machine than the KA and could overdo it. Use your instant read thermometer to measure the temperature of the dough before and after kneading. Then you will know how much a certain amount of kneading warms the dough.[p]In answer to the question about hand kneading warming the dough - yes to some extent, but it's so much slower with comeasuretly less friction than you get in the big commercial mixers that the temp rise is fairly neglible.[p]The main risk in having the dough too warm is the yeast grows too fast, you get a yeasty flavor in the bread (some people actually like this), and the dough might not have enough time to get fully conditioned before the yeasties lose thier food supply and go to sleep.[p]btw, Julia Child is a poor source for bread making info too.[p]Mary
  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Char-Woody,
    I always do my initial mixing in a Cuisinart. I have a Kitchen Aid, but I much prefer the results I get from the processor. While I proof the yeast, I measure the dry ingredients and pulse them a few times in the processor bowl. Then with the motor running, I pour the liquid in a steady stream. Within about 20 seconds or thereabouts, the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. I then time it to one minute. The resulting dough is absolute perfection. Warm, smooth, and elastic. I form it into a ball, lightly grease it and allow it to rise in a lightly oiled bowl until doubled, and so on...[p]A true French baguette has no oil at all. I have not had luck reproducing a really good baguette. But I'm not finished experimenting, and the troups are very happy with whatever non-baguette I bake.[p]Speaking of which, I made 8 wonderful calzones last night. I made a spinach and homemade ricotta filling, a good zesty marinara sauce, fresh mozzerella, freshly grated parmesan and freshly roasted red peppers. And for myself, anchovies and capers. BUT after I had the BGE going just fine, we were deluged with rain. I mean a real frog-strangler. So, sadly, I shut down the Egg and cranked the indoor oven, feeling very dejected. But I'll look on the bright side. The results in the indoor oven were excellent. We had leftover marinara and used it as a dip. Really delicious, and I'm very psyched to crank up the Egg and make them even better![p]Cheers,
    Gretl

  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Gretl,[p]Cuisinart kneading poses the risk of overkneading in nothing flat. Gretl is not kidding when she says 20 seconds.[p]One of the best web resources on bread making without a lot of misinformation is below. [p]I make true french bread all the time with nothing but flour water salt and leavening. It most certantly can be done at home. Oil softens the crust and crumb - beneficial in standard sandwich bread, but it defeats the purpose of the chewy, crusty crumb you want in french bread. Try dusting your loaves in flour and allowing them to form a bit of drying while doing the final proof.[p]Mary

    [ul][li]The Artisan Commentary Page[/ul]
  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Mary,
    A resource I have used, "The Best Bread Ever" or something like that; I'm at work so I don't have it in front of me, had lots of information about food processor-mixed dough and NOT overkneading. And for a light, airy crust, the book says to use no oil. Okay, fine so far. A question I have for you is: When you're doing the French bread, how do you prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl during the first rising? I have dusted the dough ball with flour, but still had a bit of a mess when I remove it from the bowl. Also, I don't have the canvas "sling" (forget the term) for the second rising. Do you use the canvas, and if so, do you just sort of roll the loaf onto the baking stone? I can't quite get the choreography with this method.[p]Cheers,
    Gretl

  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    Mary,[p]Thanks...you saved face for me. Now I can look C~W in the keyboard again and stop hidding under the table :~)[p]Just shows you can't believe everything you read but must use good judgement mixed with other available information.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mary, great post. [p]Take that on the chin "Cook's"! And you just came to FrozenChozen's rescue!

    Me think's that the entire article should be read, and I just tagged the one paragraph out of 3 pages! [p]You two gals (Gretl and MaryB) are really top notch credits to the breadmaking field..Good to have both of your inputs on the dough. I learn each time I read em...Mucho Gracias![p]Char-Woody[p]I will e.mail ya later Mary![p]

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mary, Now ya see what I did? Everytime I prompt ya I get a great post! Hey Bob, does this lady play with a full deck or what?? I love it!![p]Julia Childs, read em and weep!![p]On bended knee..C~W[p]
  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Gretl,[p]Being really into this, I have the canvass sling, more properly called a couche. It is a piece of linen canvass cloth. Linen is better than cotten - the dough doesn't stick to it as much. I've heard you can find linen canvass at art supply houses; I got mine at King Arthur's flour. i also have a couple of light pure linen kitchen towels i found for $5 each. They are not as good as the canvass, but much better than cotton towels.[p]I get the dough fully developed by kneading and fermenting, but not overdeveloped. When it reaches this state, it isn't very sticky - a little tacky, but not sticky. I use a little cold water in the bowl for lubrication before putting the dough ball in. When I pull it out of its bowl, only a little dough remains on the bowl. I take my finger and wipe it to collect the remaining dough, let it rest 15-20 mins, then cut and shape the loaves.[p]I use a peel to move the loaves from the linen to the peel, slash, mist and slip onto the stone. I modified a pizza peel by cutting the sides down to make the peel about 6" wide, then scraped it with a wood rasp to make the sides slope, sanded good and it makes a great peel just the right size for modest bannetons.[p]I give the dough plenty of time to ferment and slow it down with cool temps - 65F usually this time of year. Many of my breads take all night to ferment.[p]Mary
  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Mary,
    Thanks for answering my questions, and also for the url on artisan baking. I always use King Arthur flour, receive their catalog, and have considered buying the couche; I guess I probably will, as a really good baguette is very hard to find around here. Gotta do it yourself. And from reading your post, I fear I have been hurrying some of the bread along. Once I thought that I'd really blown it by coming home hours late to bake a loaf only to have one of the best loaves ever as a result. Your custom peel sounds great.
    Cheers,
    Gretl

  • FritzFritz Posts: 179
    Gretl,[p]Please, post a calzone recipe for us......dough, fillings, time, temp, etc.[p]And thanks to you and Mary for this thread, I am getting very hungry now for some egged bread. But unless I get going now the first time I will have to make bread is Saturday night. Guess I better get busy. :-)[p]Fritz
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