Author Topic: Knead Time  (Read 3753 times)

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Offline charbo

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Knead Time
« on: June 09, 2006, 03:00:45 PM »
Virtually all of the many cookbooks and websites I've checked recommend, for various types of breads, knead times of about 10 minutes by hand and 5-8 minutes by mixer.  In a recent posting by Pete-zza, he noted that Tom Lehmann recommends slightly underkneading pizza dough.  Yet the pizzamaking.com recipe for NY-style recommends kneading 15 minutes by mixer, and a lot of experienced forum members seem to follow suit.  Help.

cb 


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006, 04:35:35 PM »
cb,

This is a subject that comes up from time to time. A typical example is this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2964.msg25398/topicseen.html#msg25398.

My observation is that the trend on the forum had been toward slightly underkneaded doughs rather than long-kneaded doughs, even for doughs that use what might be considered "weaker" flours, such as some low-protein, low-gluten 00 flours which typically (but incorrectly) have called for using very long knead times. I think it is also important to keep in mind that knead times in relation to a dough batch means very little out of context. What I mean by that statement is that for a particular knead time to mean anything, it has to be specified in the context of several factors, including 1) the mixer used (e.g., its type, brand and model), 2) the bowl shape and capacity, 3) the size of the dough batch, 4) the hydration of the dough, 5) the tool used to knead the dough (e.g., paddle or helical or C-dough hook), 6) and the mix/knead speed(s). These factors also presuppose that the user does not stop the machine during the knead process to reorient the dough (e.g., if it rides high on the dough hook), help incorporate pesky ingredients (like oil), or otherwise help the dough along. Otherwise one has to exclude these events when calculating the total knead time.

My advice is to look to achieve the desired finished dough texture, consistency and feel rather than slavishly following a particular knead time (unless it is specified in the context described above). I personally look for the dough to be soft, smooth (i.e, with few or no surface irregularities), and a bit on the tacky side. In a typical home stand mixer, the dough will usually reach this state when the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl and there is a little patch that sticks to the "dimple" at the center of the bottom of the mixer bowl. As it so happens, for the typical dough batch size I make (e.g., about 21 ounces for a typical 16-inch Lehmann NY style dough), the average knead time (which excludes mixing time at the Stir or 1 speed), is around 5-7 minutes. I tend to use the 1 and/or 2 speed of my KitchenAid mixer for the basic kneading (after adding the oil in my case) but if I used, say, the 3 speed, the total knead time would be less. That is why I pay more attention to the dough condition than the actual elapsed knead time.

You are correct that Tom Lehmann prefers underkneading of the dough. In fact, I quoted his position on this matter in Reply 4 of the abovereferenced thread, to wit:

You want to mix the dough just enough so that when you take an egg size piece of dough, and form it into a ball, then holding it in two hands, with the thumbs together (pointing away from you), and on top of the dough piece, gently pull the thumbs apart. The dough skin should not tear. If it tears, you should mix the dough a little longer. The dough will have a decidedly satiny appearance. Prior to the satiny appearance the dough will have more of a curdled appearance. Do not stretch the dough out between the fingers to form a gluten film. This test for development is for bread and roll doughs, not pizza. Pizza dough is not fully developed at the mixer, instead, it receives most of its development through biochemical gluten development (fermentation). After the dough has been in the cooler for about 24 hours, you should be able to stretch the dough in your fingers and form a very thin, translucent gluten film.

Peter

Offline DKM

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 05:12:15 PM »
You are correct that Tom Lehmann prefers underkneading of the dough.

It should be pointed out that even the 'experts' disagree on how long to knead a dough under the same circumstances.  Some preferring longer kneads than Lehmann.

I avoid the issue by going by look and feel and not a clock.

DKM
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 07:58:22 PM »
I suspect what DKM says is correct but I don't know what really qualifies one as an "expert". I personally would consider Tom Lehmann an expert on dough, and especially pizza dough, since this is what he does for a living--from his job at the AIB (American Institute of Baking, his research and courses on pizza dough making, his consulting work to the pizza trade, his articles in pizza-related magazines, and his participation in several online pizza-related forums. I understand that Evelyne Slomon is considered by many within the profession to be an expert on dough making--as a professional with her own pizza establishment, as a pizza cookbook author and instructor, a member of the PMQ staff, and a consultant to the pizza industry.

I suspect that many people who write books on pizza making may also be considered "experts" on pizza dough.  I don't know how true that is or how they measure up to someone like Tom Lehmann and Evelyne Slomon, but, out of curiosity, and to try to address charbo's concerns more fully, I took a look at all my books on pizza making to see how the authors make their dough, with emphasis on knead time, mixer speeds and flour quantities (as a proxy for dough batch size). Apart from Ms. Slomon, whose pizza book I do not own, this is what I found:

Peter Reinhart: For just about all of his dough recipes (including Napoletana, Roman, Neo-Neapolitan, NY Style, and Pizza Americana), Peter Reinhart uses 4 minutes knead at low speed, a rest period of 5 minutes, and 2 minutes at medium-low speed, for about 5 cups of flour (all-purpose, bread and high-gluten). (American Pie)

Pamela Shelton Johns: Ms. Johns specifies 10 minutes plus 20 minutes (mixer speeds not specified), for 6 1/2 to 7 cups of flour (a blend of all-purpose flour and pastry flour to simulate 00 flour). I might add that pizzanapoletana (Marco) believes that Ms. Johns has followed improper instructions (knead times) from the Italian doctrinaire document on authentic Neapolitan pizzas. (Pizza Napoletana!).

Diane Morgan: Ms. Morgan specifies 2 minutes at low speed (mix), 5 minutes at medium-low, and 3 minutes at low, for 7 1/2 cups flour (Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour). (Pizza. More than 60 recipes...)

Tony Gemignani: Tony, in the same book written with Diane Morgan, specifies 4 minutes at low speed (mix), a 2-minute rest, and 6 minutes at low speed, for 5 1/4 cups of bread flour (for NY style). (Pizza. More than 60 recipes...)

California Pizza Kitchen (through its founders Flax and Rosenfield): CPK specifies 2-3 minutes at the two lowest mixer speeds, for 1 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour. (The California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook)

Some of the pizza books I have also specify times for kneading by hand, and some specify only hand kneading. For these books, typical hand knead times are 10-15 minutes, for 2 cups of flour (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Pasta Pizza & Calzone); 10 minutes, for 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (The Complete Book of Pizza); 10 minutes, for 3 1/2-4 cups of flour (Charles & Michele Scicolone, Pizza Any Way You Slice It); 4 minutes, followed by a 5-minute rest, and 2-3 minutes knead for about 5 cups of flour (Reinhart); 12-15 minutes, for 7 1/4 cups Caputo 00 flour (Morgan); 10-12 minutes, for 5 1/4 cups of flour (Gemignani); and 5 minutes, for 1 1/2 cups flour (CPK). Chris Bianco, of Pizzeria Bianco, is said to knead his pizza dough by hand, but I don't have any idea for how long, and, in any event, he is reported to make large dough batch sizes at one time. I'm sure that there are other artisanal pizza dough "experts" out there making dough day after day. I just don't know or read enough about them.

Interestingly, only one of the pizza books I own (The Pizza Gourmet), by Carl Oshinsky, who once hosted a PBS program on pizza making (several years ago), does not specify knead times at all, for either his hand knead version of food processor version. Rather, the condition of the dough determines when it is ready to be used.

Peter

« Last Edit: June 17, 2006, 11:06:44 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline DKM

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006, 11:56:00 PM »
I suspect what DKM says is correct but I don't know what really qualifies one as an "expert".

Neither do I.

In fact I really don't even like the word when it comes to things like this.

Not that I question Tom Lehmann's knowledge or abilities.  I hold him in high regard.

But are there people in this world that do things differently and make just as good or even better pizzas?  I think so.

DKM
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2006, 10:51:22 AM »
DKM, 

I have never liked the term "expert" either. To  complicate matters even further, it isn't good enough to refer to a knowledgeable and informed and proven individual in a particular field as just an "expert". He or she has to be a "top expert", "leading expert", "foremost expert", or "the Number 1 expert". And if enough is written or said, the "expert" becomes a "recognized" or "acknowledged" expert.

The above aside, I like the idea of accessibility to the work of people like Tom Lehmann, and am grateful for it. I have learned more from his writings, which are voluminous, than from any other person, book or other source. I guess you could even say that I am a Lehmann "groupie". But, as much as I respect what the man does and the passion he has for pizza, I don't always agree with him--especially when it comes to making pizzas in the home or when he talks about 00 flour (where he is often wrong in what he says). And I don't always think that his recipes are the best. But, I defer to his pre-eminence in the field and do my own experiments when something he says just doesn't sound quite right to me. I don't push the envelope as much or as creatively as you and others on the forum do, but I certainly encourage it, respect it, and am likely to benefit from it. Like everyone else, I am just trying to make a better pizza.

Peter

Offline DKM

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2006, 02:46:27 PM »
I guess you could even say that I am a Lehmann "groupie".

We do Pete! ;)


Like everyone else, I am just trying to make a better pizza.


A life long obsession a lot of us here have, but man aint it fun! 8) :chef: :pizza:
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Offline David

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2006, 11:43:30 AM »
You've got your own groupie's too Peter!
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2006, 11:57:49 AM »
 ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D

Offline Park.Pizza

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 10:06:50 AM »
;D  Even though I'm an expert in my own mind :-D

I run my Kitchen Aid Prof. 600 with a dough hook at speed level #2 with 5 1/4 cups plus of KA flour until the bowl is clean of flour and the dough ball looks round and smooth. This normally is within 5 minutes.

Then I lay it on the counter and start a new batch. While that's chugging along, the dough rests for about  2 minutes. I then cut my dough into 22 oz. balls and bag it for the fridge.

Yes, Pete does have a gallery here. Which proves he's a genuine guy who wants to help us all. So that's more than an expert.

Pete, just don't switch over to a different forum like those other pizza experts. We'd miss ya here.

Tim
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 10:19:51 AM by Park.Pizza »
Throw me a slice, won't ya


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 09:08:37 PM »
David and Tim,

Thank you for your kind remarks. If there is a better forum to teach ordinary people (nonprofessionals) how to make and understand pizzas, I think I would have found it. It is not eGullet, chowhound, pizza today, the PMQ Think Tank, or sliceny. If I read and understood Italian, then the Italian forum would be a contender, but only for Italian style pizzas.

It's rather amusing, but my mind is perverted enough that I even remember Tom Lehmann's inconsistencies in the advice he gives in his writings. Usually he is only off by a little, so it is of no real consequence.

Peter

Offline DKM

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2006, 10:38:03 AM »
I check in on other boards form time to time, but like Pete says when it comes to helping the average person make a better pizza, this place can not be beat.

DKM
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Offline PizzaDanPizzaMan

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2006, 11:55:21 PM »
I check in on other boards form time to time, but like Pete says when it comes to helping the average person make a better pizza, this place can not be beat.

DKM

But is is definitely..................kneaded.

Sorry I just couldn't resist. :-D
Dan

Offline buzz

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2006, 09:15:52 AM »
For deep dish, I find a short knead works; for thin crust, a longer knead.

Best is to take the time to experiment--to find out what works for you!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Knead Time
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2006, 11:57:04 AM »
buzz,

When I researched the subject of knead times in the pizza cookbooks I own, it was with respect to standard doughs (as opposed to deep-dish doughs). But in light of your last post, I went back to my cookbooks to see what they say about knead times for deep-dish doughs. When I did this, I found far fewer recipes for deep-dish doughs but those that specified knead times used essentially the same knead times as for standard doughs. Examples include deep-dish recipes in the Reinhart and Morgan-Gemignani books. In some cases, no specific knead times were recited, but it was clear from language like knead “until smooth and elastic” and “mix dough until everything is well blended and the dough is forming around the hook” that significant gluten development is intended. I found no deep-dish dough recipes calling for short mix/knead times as you use and recommend. Maybe they exist in pizza cookbooks I do not own, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find the same pattern as I found in my books.

Even “acknowledged experts” in deep-dish doughs like Pat Bruno have apparently failed to perceive or appreciate the benefits of short knead times. For example, in one deep-dish dough recipe Pat Bruno included in an article for Pizza Today, he called for 8-10 minutes of knead time (machine) after the initial mix.

Peter