Author Topic: Importance of proper kneading  (Read 3897 times)

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Offline Steve

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Importance of proper kneading
« on: January 31, 2005, 08:22:11 AM »
This weekend I rediscovered the importance of proper kneading to achieve a superior dough ball and crust.

What happened was that I made my usual NY style dough, only this time I decided not to take my usual shortcut (using the food processor) and instead use the stand mixer. And, using the advice of Peter, I mixed the ingredients for 5 minutes on low, then gave it a 5 minute rest so that everything could fully hydrate, then gave it a nice long 20 minute knead.

The result was spectacular. Satiny, smooth, supple, and elastic are just a few words to describe this dough. It was a real pleasure to work with. I After a 24 hour rise, this dough stretched paper thin (i.e. had a truly excellent "window pane") and didn't spring or fight back. Just simply amazing the difference.
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Offline canadave

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2005, 09:04:02 AM »
I thought we had agreed that a long knead like 20 minutes, in a stand mixer, would "over-knead" dough, because of the efficiency and heat generated by a stand mixer ???

Offline Steve

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2005, 09:51:04 AM »
I used room temperature bottled water and after the 20 minute knead the dough was still cool to the touch.
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Offline canadave

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2005, 12:32:19 PM »
Hmmmmm.  Well, that's good to know :)  I'd always been kinda paranoid about over-kneading ever since we all had that discussion on here about how kneading for long periods of time can be unnecessary due to the efficiency of stand mixers.  But there's nothing I'd love more than to really knead the heck out of my dough, so I'm glad you've verified it and given the A-OK! ;D

Dave

Offline Steve

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2005, 12:38:25 PM »
I've read that it's virtually impossible to over-knead by hand and extremely difficult using a stand mixer and dough hook. Now, using a food processor or cutter mixer is a different story.  ;)
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Offline Randy

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2005, 01:14:39 PM »
I knead for 12 min.  after a 2 min mx on stir.  I have tried the pause for hydration but prefer the contious knead method.

Randy

Offline BradLovesPizza

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2005, 06:33:30 PM »
I don't have either a stand mixer or a full-size food processor yet, and have been debating over which I would get more use out of.  This thread now has me leaning more toward the stand mixer.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2005, 12:11:35 PM »
Brad,

I have both a stand mixer and a food processor, and don't prefer one over the other. I just take advantage of the best features and aspects of each.

For example, if I want to make a single pizza, from a small Neapolitan size (with  a typicall dough ball weight of 7-9 oz.) up to a 16-inch size (with a typical dough ball weight of 20-26 oz.), I find that using the food processor does a better job with kneading than a stand mixer, where the dough ball (and especially a small dough ball) can get hung up on the dough hook and require intervention and manipulation to get the kneading process back on track. Mixing in oils is also a bit more difficult than with a food processor, which kneads in oils much faster and easier because of the high blade velocity.

On the other hand, if I plan to make several pizza, and especially large ones, then the stand mixer is the better choice. To do the same thing with a food processor, I would have to do several separate batches.

Most home pizza makers tend to start with stand mixers, which functionally replicate what professional operators use, albeit at a much more modest level in the home.

Peter

Offline canadave

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2005, 04:06:50 PM »
I was just reading some posts on the PMQCanada.com website, and came across a discussion of pizza dough vs. bread dough.  It included this comment from Tom Lehmann:

"If the cell structure of the crust is too close (like cake) then you might be mixing the dough too long. Pizza dough is typically undermixed to achieve the open cell structure characteristics within the crust."

So now I'm wondering whether shorter knead time (i.e. "undermixing") is better.  Steve, you said you liked the results of your 20 minute knead.  Care to respond to the Lehmann comment?

For my next experiment, I'm going to knead the dough in the stand mixer just long enough for it to come together into a somewhat cohesive form--based on my experience, that'll only take about three or four minutes--and see how it works out.

Dave

Offline Randy

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2005, 11:41:42 PM »
Dave I think you will be disapointed but not sure why Stev has gone to such an extreme.  It could be his water temperature is too low and mixing for that long compensates for the cold water.

Randy


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2005, 09:32:03 AM »
I tend to agree with Tom Lehmann on dough knead time, but it's important to keep in mind that you can't focus on knead time alone. There are many other factors that affect the dough and its outcome, from temperature (of the room, dry ingredients, and liquids), the operating speed of the machine used (which can vary with machine type and model), and the volume of dough being produced. In my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, the lowest setting is Stir, followed by 2 to 10. The Stir setting is unlikely to be practical to knead dough because it is too slow, but the 2 setting seems to be quite adequate on my machine, even for a 20 minute knead period since it is a rather gentle speed and unlikely to lead to oxidation of the flour, destruction of the carotene in the flour, or shred the gluten strands.  Steve didn't indicate the speed at which the 20 minute knead took place, but if it was a low setting (such as a 2 setting on my machine), I don't think that any harm would be done to the dough after 20 minutes, and especially for the volume of dough he was making (enough to make 2 large pizzas).  If Steve's machine is anything like mine, the 20 minute period may even have included a couple of stops to make minor adjustments. Also, Steve used the window-pane test, which suggests that he was monitoring the process all along so as to avoid over- or under-kneading the dough.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 06, 2005, 09:37:07 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline canadave

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2005, 12:34:15 PM »
Actually, Pete, my knead was similar to how I imagine Steve's was, as you describe it....I was on lowest speed the whole time, stopped a few times to get the dough back on track on the hook, I was making dough for two large pizzas, and our base recipes are pretty similar.  I was also hovering over the dough watching the process from start to finish, poking it, etc.  And I am aware that there are many factors that go into the final dough quality (and I'm quite prepared to admit that perhaps there were other mistakes I made that contributed to the lack of quality at the end).  I also used 25% "00" flour and 75% high-gluten flour in this experiment, while I assume Steve used solely high-gluten flour, which I imagine would account for a fairly significant difference.

But as I said, it's the similarity of the knead process for me and Steve, combined with the huge disparity of results (his: "perfect", mine: "gooey mess") that makes me wonder.  For my part, I can only say that from about T+ 3:00 to about T+ 20:00, there wasn't much of a change as far as I could see in the consistency or "feel" of my dough.  I suppose I'll need to attempt to replicate his recipe exactly and eliminate the 00 flour in order to get a better feel for what might have gone wrong on my end.

Now that I think of it, maybe I'll make two batches of dough, enough for four pizzas: one with a very short knead time, and one with a very long knead time, and see what difference there is!  Yep, that's what I'll do I think.

Dave

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Importance of proper kneading
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2005, 01:14:52 PM »
What is puzzling to me, Dave, is that the Divella 00 flour you are using in Canada (the stuff in the red bag) has a protein content of 11.3%, which is on the high side for a 00 flour. I wouldn't think that using 25% of that flour would affect the kneading. Most 00 flours can tolerate a fair amount of kneading without damaging the gluten. Since 00 flour is considered a low-hydration flour when used in dough recipes (around 50%), one thing you might want to try is to reduce the total amount of water in your 00/high-gluten flour recipe.

Peter


 

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