Author Topic: Hand kneading tips  (Read 4421 times)

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Offline villosil

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Hand kneading tips
« on: November 06, 2008, 11:45:46 AM »
Hi,

After buying an electric hand mixer for knead the dough and see I was going nowhere, I started kneading by hand the dough. After some practice I started getting better results, but I still would like to improve my technique. Do you know any good videos or tutorials in internet that show how to do it? Any advice related with hand kneading from you would be appreciated. Thanks!


Offline asheborobluecomets

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Re: Hand kneading tips
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2008, 12:51:55 PM »
go to youtube and search for Simon dough kneading.  He has a very unique technique & it works very well.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Hand kneading tips
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2008, 02:49:39 PM »
villosil,

If you do a YouTube search, you will find many videos on how to knead dough by hand, although most such videos that I have seen tend to be with respect to bread dough rather than pizza dough. However, when I hand knead pizza dough, these are the basic tips that I use:

1) Sift the flour, for improved hydration.

2) Work with manageable dough batch sizes. What is a manageable dough batch size will vary from one individual to another, based on hand/arm strength and other factors.

3) When using a high-gluten flour, use a hydration that is commensurate with the rated absorption for the flour. For example, for a high-gluten flour with a protein content of around 14%, use a hydration of at least 63%, and preferably a percent or two higher.

4) When working with doughs made from high-gluten flour, which are harder to knead than doughs with less protein (King Arthur says to use a machine for high-gluten flours), let the dough rest from time to time during the kneading process. This will improve hydration of the flour and it will allow the gluten structure to relax, making it easier to knead the dough.

5) Unless the dough recipe specifies otherwise (e.g., a classic autolyse), if using salt and/or oil in the dough, add them to the water, not to the dough being kneaded. This will make incorporating all of the ingredients easier and more uniformly, making kneading easier.

6) Avoid excessive kneading of the dough. However, the dough should be kneaded sufficiently to develop a gluten structure that will capture and retain the gases of fermentation over a prolonged period. The degree of gluten development should be less than with bread dough, which usually requires full development of the gluten. With pizza dough, greater reliance is placed on biochemical gluten development. In this regard, see the Lehmann PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=34193#34193.

7) When working with high-hydration doughs, use a bench knife, or even two of them, to handle and turn the dough during kneading. This will help reduce incorporating bench flour into the dough. Using wet hands or hands dusted lightly with flour will also help handling the dough.

Another hand kneading technique that I often use, usually for fairly high-hydration doughs coming out of the mixer, is the one shown in Images 4a-4c at http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style_dough.htm.

Peter

Offline Davydd

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Re: Hand kneading tips
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2008, 09:14:54 PM »
I found this video to be informative on hand kneading.

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/997-pizza-how-to-make-dough-by-hand-part-two
Davydd

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Hand kneading tips
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 01:07:39 PM »
I found this video to be informative on hand kneading.

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/997-pizza-how-to-make-dough-by-hand-part-two

My only caution in using Ruth Gresser's kneading method is that if you are using weights, as I most often do, you will want to include the bench flour as part of the formula flour. Otherwise, all dough balls will feel the same. That is fine if you are making only one type of dough, but a different style dough can and usually will have a different feel. For example, an American style dough with a lot of oil or a low-hydration Neapolitan style dough using low protein flour will have a different feel than say, a NY style high-hydration dough using bread flour or high-gluten flour (which I assume is what you have in mind by posting in the NY style board).

Peter
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 01:17:02 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline villosil

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Re: Hand kneading tips
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 04:49:48 PM »
Thank you for the advices.

My main doubt when I hand knead is when to stop. I don't know if there's any trick that I can do to check if the dough has developed the gluten enough.

About the hydration, I noticed that the more hydrated is the dough, the flatter the dough ball is after cold fermenting in the fridge, turning in to a disc instead a ball. Would you re-shape into a ball when the dough ends being a disc, right away out from the fridge?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Hand kneading tips
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 05:32:13 PM »
villosil,

It is hard to generalize about when to stop kneading because different types of doughs have different "feels" when properly kneaded. For example, a NY style dough with a fairly high hydration and little oil will feel stiffer than a dough for an American style dough with the same hydration but with a lot of oil. The latter dough will usually be quite soft because of the reduced viscosity attributable to the oil. I used to use the classic windowpane, or gluten window, test, but no longer do so. Rather, I generally strive for a dough ball that is smooth and malleable without a lot of surface imperfections. The surface may be dimpled and look a bit like cottage cheese but that is OK since the "dimples" will usually disappear while under cold fermentation. I think it is difficult to overknead a dough by hand but I do believe that if you knead too long you may end up with an overly developed gluten structure that may result in a stiff or dense dough. The finished crust in such a case may have a lot of small, like-sized voids rather than irregularly-sized voids that create an open and airy crumb.

You are correct that a high hydration dough will spread and flatten more than a low hydration dough. A dough with a lot of oil will also tend to spread and flatten. Part of the reason for the dough spreading is that there are enzymes in the flour (protease enzymes) that attack the gluten and soften it, causing the dough to spread out. This effect is much more noticeable with high hydration doughs than low hydration doughs, such as those used to make cracker-style pizzas. I do not recommend that one re-shape or re-knead or re-ball a dough ball (or disk) upon removing it from the refrigerator. That will only cause the gluten structure to be disturbed such that you end up with a dough that is overly elastic and difficult to shape and stretch out to size without tears or rips forming in the skin. Sometimes the dough will recover if you have several hours to let the gluten structure relax and permit you to work with it again.

In your case, when working with the flattened dough, you should handle it fairly gently as you press it outwardly and then stretch it out to final size.

Peter


 

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