Author Topic: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane  (Read 5772 times)

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Offline edbloom

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Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« on: November 06, 2010, 01:17:02 PM »
Hey guys,

I have 5 lovely dough balls fermenting away in the fridge and relishing the thoughts of baking the first few of them this evening :)

I will post pics and details tomorrow. For this batch I've switched back to strong white flour (protein in the region of approx. 13g) whereas I used lower protein (9g) 00 flour for my last few batches.

I know that getting to window pane level is not necessarily required for pizza dough but I was adamant to try to develop a really well developed dough before dropping them in the fridge for this experiment just to see how long the process would take with hand kneading.

My vital stats so far are:

Flour (100%):    1002.09 g  |  35.35 oz | 2.21 lbs
Water (61%):    611.28 g  |  21.56 oz | 1.35 lbs
IDY (0.4%):    4.01 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.33 tsp | 0.44 tbsp
Salt (1.75%):    17.54 g | 0.62 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.14 tsp | 1.05 tbsp
Oil (2%):    20.04 g | 0.71 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.45 tsp | 1.48 tbsp
Sugar (2%):    20.04 g | 0.71 oz | 0.04 lbs | 5.03 tsp | 1.68 tbsp
Total (167.15%):   1675 g | 59.08 oz | 3.69 lbs | TF = N/A
Single Ball:   335 g | 11.82 oz | 0.74 lbs

With a LOT of hand kneading and rest periods I eventually managed to get a wonderful window pane with my dough last night. My kneading method was as follows:

1.) mix water and salt until dissolved (30 secs)
2.) in a separate bowl, mix IDY and 75% of flour
3.) gradually add 75% flour/IDY mixture to water - stirring while going
4.) stir for 2 mins until mix has come together
5.) initial rest of 20-25 mins (covered with cloth)
6.) 2 min mix with spoon in bowl
7.) hand knead for 10-15 mins adding in half of the remaining flour while mixing (dough is still quite wet and sticky at the end of this first hand knead period)
8.) second rest of 10-15 mins
9.) second hand knead of 15 mins - adding in most of the remaining flour (dough is still sticky)
10.) 5-10 mins rest
11.) final hand knead for 5 mins dropping in last bit of flour (dough really comes together here - nice and smooth - not really sticky at all at this point - all remaining flour comes off side of bowl)

At this point I forgot to prepare my plastic containers so went off and washed and oiled them so the dough got another 5 min rest.
At this point I drop the dough out onto the bench (lightly floured) from the bowl and shape into a long ciabatta shape and cut and weight to 5 equal balls which are then properly balled and dropped into containers and into the fridge.

Before balling the last 2 balls I rip off a small egg shaped piece of dough conducted a window pane test. I think the the final 5 min rest the dough got when I was preparing the containers made all the difference because it was the best window pane I've ever achieved.

My kneading method was to use one hand to lift and push down the dough while using the other to turn the bowl.

I know this method it very time consuming (took approx. 1.5 hours in total to get to window pane!) but it worked a treat.

Has anyone got any tips or comments on the method used above?

Is there any way I can speed up the process (without obviously buying a proper mixer or food processor!)

Will there by any adverse impact on my dough for it spending so much time out of the fridge given the time taken to complete kneading?

Ed




Offline scott123

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 02:02:56 PM »
Two minutes of hand kneading and 24 hours in the fridge will always give you a dough that will window pane. Getting it to window pane prior to refrigeration will just give you an overworked dough which will lack extensibility and produce a tough crust with inferior oven spring.

The window pane stage is close to a dough's peak extensibility.  Refrigeration develops gluten. You don't want to hit that 'magical' sweet spot of extensibility and then continue to develop the dough beyond it by refrigerating it.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2010, 02:12:16 PM »
Two minutes of hand kneading and 24 hours in the fridge will always give you a dough that will window pane. Getting it to window pane prior to refrigeration will just give you an overworked dough which will lack extensibility and produce a tough crust with inferior oven spring.

The window pane stage is close to a dough's peak extensibility.  Refrigeration develops gluten. You don't want to hit that 'magical' sweet spot of extensibility and then continue to develop the dough beyond it by refrigerating it.

Can I get an "Amen!"?   :P

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2010, 02:24:38 PM »
Two minutes of hand kneading and 24 hours in the fridge will always give you a dough that will window pane. Getting it to window pane prior to refrigeration will just give you an overworked dough which will lack extensibility and produce a tough crust with inferior oven spring.

The window pane stage is close to a dough's peak extensibility.  Refrigeration develops gluten. You don't want to hit that 'magical' sweet spot of extensibility and then continue to develop the dough beyond it by refrigerating it.

thanks for the valuable advice - why do so many recipes and techniques call for conducting a window pane test before a cold rise?

is this misplaced advice in those recipes?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 04:26:41 PM »
is this misplaced advice in those recipes?


Ed,

I believe the notion of kneading the dough to the point where it would pass the windowpane test came out of bread making. Notables such as Peter Reinhart, Alton Brown and Jeffrey Steingarten use that method. However, Tom Lehmann, and also Evelyne Slomon, both of whom have spent a good part of their lives and careers on the pizza side, advocate slight underkneading of the dough and letting biochemical gluten development (BGD) do a good part of gluten development. You can read Tom Lehmann's advice on this matter in Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3560.msg30582/topicseen.html#msg30582. You can actually see Tom Lehmann and his assistant Jeff Zeak make the dough and see Tom Lehmann conduct the dough test in the videos at
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtiOxq73uM&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtiOxq73uM&amp;feature=related</a>
and
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVbIbTDiCJ0&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVbIbTDiCJ0&amp;feature=related</a>
. When those videos were taken, Tom Lehmann and Jeff Zeak had not yet changed from their Halloween costumes.

Peter

cornicione54

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2010, 04:47:19 PM »
Speaking from my own experience, I've never had a dough (~60% hydration) with a super-low knead time (eg <2 minutes) show what I could label superior results  Nor have I seen a direct correlation between "overkneading" and a tougher crust. Conversely, I have experienced poor extensibility and inferior oven spring from "two minute mixing". Perhaps that's just me?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2010, 05:24:34 PM »
cornicione54,

Not very much happens in a two-minute knead time in my basic KitchenAid stand mixer using a C-hook, so that number would not be a good one for me. On the other end of the spectrum, I have noted before that we have members, notably ThunderStik, who conducted tests in which he kneaded doughs for 25-50 minutes, with very good results. The hydration in most cases was 60% I believe and he did use some rest periods in the 50-minute knead experiment. I posted the relevant links to ThunderStik's work in a post at Reply 22 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11731.msg108665.html#msg108665. If you look at the photos of the pizzas in the posts referenced, I think you would be hard pressed to conclude that the results were sub-par. I believe we concluded that a long knead time could delay the fermentation process, perhaps even more than one might ideally want, but with the right factors in place, particularly a very hot oven, it is possible to still get good oven spring and good overall results despite the long knead times.

Peter

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2010, 08:29:40 PM »
Speaking from my own experience, I've never had a dough (~60% hydration) with a super-low knead time (eg <2 minutes) show what I could label superior results  Nor have I seen a direct correlation between "overkneading" and a tougher crust. Conversely, I have experienced poor extensibility and inferior oven spring from "two minute mixing". Perhaps that's just me?

+1
my last experiment involved underkneading my dough (and to be fair my hydration was probably too high for the 00 flour I was using as Peter suggested)

see last experiment results here
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12226.msg115424.html#msg115424

However my results tonight were far superior - my crust was definitely not tough - and I got my best oven spring so far - despite the long knead - pics will follow in this thread shortly.

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2010, 08:34:22 PM »
Ed,

I believe the notion of kneading the dough to the point where it would pass the windowpane test came out of bread making. Notables such as Peter Reinhart, Alton Brown and Jeffrey Steingarten use that method. However, Tom Lehmann, and also Evelyne Slomon, both of whom have spent a good part of their lives and careers on the pizza side, advocate slight underkneading of the dough and letting biochemical gluten development (BGD) do a good part of gluten development. You can read Tom Lehmann's advice on this matter in Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3560.msg30582/topicseen.html#msg30582. You can actually see Tom Lehmann and his assistant Jeff Zeak make the dough and see Tom Lehmann conduct the dough test in the videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtiOxq73uM&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVbIbTDiCJ0&feature=related. When those videos were taken, Tom Lehmann and Jeff Zeak had not yet changed from their Halloween costumes.

Peter


Thanks Peter - the different schools of thought can be confusing to newbies like me sometimes :)

I have watched those 3 videos many many times before as they have really helped me understand the gluten development process. I gotta get me a costume like theirs :)

From my experience baking the first batch of pies this evening I think the long knead to windowpane produced superior results for my variable set where I am, with my oven and bake method so I guess right now I'm in the Reinhart/Brown/Steingarten corner!

Some pics to follow.

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2010, 09:06:34 PM »
ok some pics

sorry for the poor quality pics!

1.) quick pic of my first pie being cooked - the pie is sitting in a pre-heated cast iron pie under the broiler
2.) pie 1 is actually a garlic bread :) - 8 cloves or garlic minced with sea salt and mixed with olive oil. Brushed over the crust and then plenty of Asiago cheese - delicious!
3.) pie 1 crumb shot
4.) skirt shot of pie 1
5.) i've also included a shot of what look to be small blisters which I've seen before here but I've never managed to get on my pies.
6.) shot of pie 2 - pepperoni, sweet red jalepinos, fresh cows milk mozz and asiago
7.) crumb shot pie 2

Overall, the pies were delicious and I look forward to the remaining dough balls in a few days.
Ed


Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2010, 09:07:59 PM »
garlic bread

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2010, 09:08:30 PM »
pie 1 crumb

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2010, 09:09:08 PM »
aforementioned blisters

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2010, 09:10:00 PM »
skirt shot pie 1

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2010, 09:10:38 PM »
pie 2

Offline edbloom

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2010, 09:11:30 PM »
pie 2 crumb

Offline Jeep Pizza

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2010, 10:29:52 PM »
Ed,
  Great looking pies. Thanks for posting the details of your hand kneading process, my next batch is going to be a hand knead and I think I will give your method a try. I am also giving the technique from the Tartine Bread book a try. I want to try to get better results than I get from my KA mixer.
Time is money, money is power, power is pizza and pizza is knowledge.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2010, 12:57:25 AM »
Underkneading, overkneading, and just kneading in general can be subjective.  When speaking of kneading, everyone should also consider the context of the type of flour used, specifically the protein content of the flour,  hydrations ratios, use of oils, and the method of mixing/kneading used or how rigorous a dough is being kneaded.  If we aren't clear on these other variables we won't be on the same page, things won't make sense, and questions never truely get answered.

Ed bloom, if you are happy with the results, then obviously don't change anything about your routine.  I noted that you used what I would consider a gentle hand knead on a wet dough until the dough came together.  However long that takes, I have used similar techniques and not gotten a tough leathery crumb.  Is there a way to shorten your routine and get the same results?  Absolutely. 

I posted a similar finding here.   Reply #40
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11731.40.html

Also when I refer to a crumb being dry or leathery, it is most noticeable after the cool down.  If you eat your pizza while it's hot then you'll hardly notice it, if you have dry/leathery crumb.  It will be noticeable once the pizza cools down or on any leftover slices 10-15m after coming out of the oven.  Your crumb doesn't look dry to me.

Going back to kneading, if you knead a low protein flour with a high hydration dough (wet dough) using a gentle hand technique, you can knead it all day or until the cows come home and you would be developing very little gluten and thus possibly won't ever see a leathery crumb. 

On the extreme end, if you knead a HG flour with a low hydration ratio with a lot of force for an extended time, you will end up with a tough and leather crumb.  Shoe leather as others have affectionately called it.

So what constitutes a gentle kneading technique vs a much rougher technique?  Most hand techniques you use will be gentle.  I don't have much experience with mixers so i can't speak about them.  But look at these 2 videos.  These techniques are considered IMO way too hard on pizza/bread dough.  I don't care if this guys an expert, it's not a good technique for bread or pizza dough.  BTW this technique (taught by an bread expert) is in direct contrast to Chad Robertson's technique in the Tartine Bread book who I consider to make world class artisanal bread.   You simply can not make the same bread using these 2 different techniques.  Someone is wrong here in a big way.

http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough

You can get away with this technique if you are using a lot of oil or butter in the mix and/or a fairly wet dough, but even then you are pushing your luck. 

An even worse example here....
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0</a>


So here is a challenge to anyone who doesn't believe you can get a tough or leathery crumb by overkneading. 
Use a HG/BF with a 60% HR and use the above technique to make an emergency dough with 1% commerical yeast.  No oil or butter in the dough.  You have to BANG the dough on the table as he does.  And try to keep that same pace for 15-20 mins without rest periods or resting the dough.  If you want to autolyse the dough prior to starting, be my guest, it will only produce an even tougher crumb if you can keep this up for a full 20min. This would still be about 1/2 the time member Thunderstik spent kneading in his KA of 50-60min.

Again, we would never make pizza dough this way, but it is just an experiment to show the extreme end of rough kneading.

I posted a similar challenge awhile ago and NO ONE has yet to take me up on the challenge and posted their results.   

Reply #27
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11731.20.html
  "So here's the challenge.  Anyone up for it?   Make a 60% hydrated dough and mix the heck out of it (45-50m range using a KA on level 2)  with a 1% ADY or appropriate amount IDY.  Let the dough rest for 1-2 hours max, then stretch and bake it.  I promise you will have a heck of a time opening it, the crumb will have a very distinct open cell structure to it, and will be like shoe leather (well maybe not that tough, but it will be noticeable).  Someone please do the experiment.  I don't have a kitchen aid mixer otherwise I would." 

I'm not trying to start an argument here or be disagreeab le, so I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way.  The purpose of my post is to shed more light on this controversial issue.  It either doesn't make a difference or it does.  I'm saying it does depending on several variables mentioned earlier: protein content, hydration ratio, use of oils, and type of kneading employed.  If you guys will do this simple 30m test, you can put this debate to rest for yourself, or confirm my findings. 


Chau
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 01:06:52 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline norma427

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2010, 07:39:16 AM »
Chau,

I have only done a few experiments on longer mixing times at my market stand, so I am not expert on longer mixing times.  I have not done longer mixing times with shorter fermentation times. 

I donít know if you read this whole thread or not, but there is good conversation about mixing times in this thread.  Saad, (s00da) also did some good experiments in this thread.  This is one of his posts in this thread.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9027.msg80299.html#msg80299

Here is how Thunderstick posted about how he went about his experiments in mixing at various times.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9027.msg79594.html#msg79594   

Here is one experiment Peter did with longer mixing times, with a Kitchen Aid mixer.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9027.msg79857.html#msg79857

Norma
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Hand Kneading - Getting to the magical land of the window pane
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2010, 09:36:27 AM »
Chau have you tried that french kneading method before? In the second video it seems worse than it really is because of the table making all the noise.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 09:40:51 AM by BrickStoneOven »


 

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