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How long to knead? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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How long to knead?

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  • How long to knead?

    I think I might be over-kneading. My recipe:

    48 oz total flour (36oz bread/12oz whole wheat). I use king Arthur.
    30 to 32 oz water at 110
    1 tablespoon yeast
    1 good glug of honey
    1 good glug of olive oil
    2 tablespoons salt.

    Proof yeast, honey and water together. Mix dry and then add to water one spoon at a time with the dough hook on my kitchen aid going. The ball comes together in about 4 or 5 minutes, then I knead for about 20.

    My dough isn't very stretchy pliable and will be paper thin in some spots (to the point of tearing) and thick in other spots. Its not uniform. The flavor is good but the end product is thicker than I'd like.

    Am I kneading too long...not long enough? Help.

    Oh, I'm cooking in my viking oven at full blast heat (500 to 550) using the convection setting and I use travertine tiles.

  • #2
    Re: How long to knead?

    This looks similar to our pizza dough recipe. Twenty minutes of kneading? Is that right? Holy Cow!! We have it in the Kitchenaid mixer for about 5 minutes, then knead it for 30 seconds, let it rest for an hour or so, then divide, and knead again about 20 seconds. That's it. Either rest and use in 60, or put it in the fridge and take out about 30-60 minutes prior to use.

    Texassourdough and a couple of others know more about the topic than I, but I'm guessing the answer is YES!
    My oven (for now):


    • #3
      Re: How long to knead?

      Well thanks for the reply. I hope the others respond as well.

      This has been rather frustrating, to say the least.

      With the quantity of dough I'm making I figured you had to knead for a while, but perhaps it's too much?


      • #4
        Re: How long to knead?

        I hand mix for a few minutes, then after the first rise, knead for another 2 minutes or less, then ball for the fridge.


        • #5
          Re: How long to knead?

          I was watching a pizza episode on that show GOOD EATs with that foodie guy something Brown.... Anyway, in his dough recipe he had the mixer kneed it for 15 minutes, which he said was neccessary to make it stronger so you can streatch it thin. I don't remember why, but I was like "wow, time to buy a stand mixer!"


          • #6
            Re: How long to knead?

            You don't say how you are kneading it. By hand or machine. If by hand you it is almost impossible to overknead. If by machine you are probably way over and your temp may be way high. I am guessing the latter.

            I don't like that your dough is not uniform. It should be. When do you ball the dough? Is it still lumpy/uneven when you form pies? It may be that you simply need to give your dough time to relax. I.e. that your unevenness is from tearing the dough in some areas and having it lock up in others. The only way i can make sense of this is that you are overworked.

            I don't do a lot of dough with oil and water so I don't have those ratios locked in my head but your dough sounds a bit dry. WW increases the ability of a dough to absorb water. Wetter should help. Add an ounce or two of water.

            And you can make most any dough thin if you work with it. But you are making NeoNeapolitan style dough (with whole wheat) which will be a pretty strong dough. So your pie making skills are likely to be tested a bit if you want really thin pies from a moderate hydration, possibly overworked dough.

            Don't worry about the windowpane test.

            Hang in there!


            • #7
              Re: How long to knead?

              Jay, why is it that many mix/knead for so long, and I don't, and so far as I can tell the result is the same? Is it because I use a very high hydration (80+ at mixing, 75+/- at hand kneading, and about 70 at balling)?


              • #8
                Re: How long to knead?

                Hi TS!

                High hydration makes a big difference. This will no doubt be viewed as heresy by some but I am not sold on the window test or the magic of "kneading" for pizza dough. A good autolyze, some stretch and folds, and some careful forming of the balls, I think is plenty of kneading for wet doughs. Dry doughs may need some development to give good results but a wet dough will form gluten all by itself. You just need to let it form and then organize it IMO.

                As an aside I am only using S&Fs on my bread now - hand mixed all the way. The dough never even leaves the container until it is formed into loaves. But it gets a longer bulk fermentation at room temp with multiple S&Fs compared to pizza. Pizza dough only gets a shorter bulk fermentation before it goes in the fridge. I typically mix my AP base pizza dough it a bit more thoroughly than my bread dough but still somewhat ragged, let it autolyze for about half an hour, do S&Fs until it feels right and finish with a quick knead to make sure it feels right. Then into the fridge where the gluten will finish forming. I don't worry about my AP based doughs becuase the balling process will arrange the gluten. On BF based doughs I follow the same general process but ball at a half hour to 45 minutes so those doughs get a bit more mixing in the beginning and a bit more kneading at the 30 minute mark before balling. But we're talking only a minute or two unless I decide the dough needs adjustment (more water or flour). I think the pie forming process, well done, will further arrange the gluten into sheets that help make the pie puffy.

                All that said, there is nothing wrong with mixing dough to perfection. Caputo 00 gets downright sexy feeling properly done and other flours aren't far behind. My approach does not develop the dough to the same level as a fork or spiral mixer will (safely) but the end effect is IMO indistinguishable. I am going to be taking some of my dough to my favorite WFO pizzaria to compare my results with his, head to head, in January. Should be very enlightening - and I may have to eat every word I said!

                But I don't think so...

                Last edited by texassourdough; 12-20-2010, 09:36 PM. Reason: typos


                • #9
                  Re: How long to knead?

                  About 5 mins should suffice - just experiment doing a minute less and a minute more to see if that makes a difference....
                  / Rossco


                  • #10
                    Re: How long to knead?

                    Again, thanks for the replies.

                    I am using a Kitchenaid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.

                    I run on mix (1 or 2) setting for about 3 or 4 minutes as I incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients, then on 4 for as much as 15 or 20 minutes. I'll usually let the dough rise at room temp, punch down, and then rise again. I usually don't ball until an hour or so before I'm ready to bake.

                    I'm going to try less time and increase my hydration up to 68 (I'm at 63 now) and see how that goes.


                    • #11
                      Re: How long to knead?

                      Ps...what are "S&F"s in the dough making process?


                      • #12
                        Re: How long to knead?

                        quick update...make a batch last night and achieved much better results.

                        Didn't have my normal flours in the house and had to use about 60% bread flour, 25% organic whole wheat and the balance regular all purpose.

                        I reduced the knead time to 5 minutes, not a second more, and the results were impressive. Now I need to see if I can duplicate with my regular King Arthur blend.


                        • #13
                          Re: How long to knead?

                          Sorry to be so slow responding KoverQ, but S&Fs are Stretch and Folds. Kind of hard to describe but there are lots of videos on UTube.

                          While trying to figure out what is happening it will be helpful to have consistent flour. The combo of BF (bread flour) and WW (whole wheat) will take a lot more water than AP (all purpose).

                          Hang in there!


                          • #14
                            Re: How long to knead?

                            I agree with everyone, in a way. You can't really over-knead unless you overheat the dough, but neither is long kneading necessary, especially if you hold the dough overnight in the fridge. Long kneading makes the dough stronger, and fool-proof, but the trade-off is that you might not get as much puff on the cornicione. I posted a recipe in the Instructional section of Pizza Quest, and will be posting a Neo-Neapolitan recipe on Wednesday, and in neither instance is long kneading required, as long as you hold the dough in the refrigerator for at least six hours before proceeding to making pizzas (and preferably, overnight or even for up to three days). You can, however, strengthen the dough in the early going by using the stretch and fold technique that I demonstrate on YuTube (I don't have the link here, but go to YouTube and plug in Peter Reinhart Stretch and Fold, and you will see how easy it is to do the S&F technique. It is especially effective for strengthening wet doughs. I'd love to hear what method you end up using and how the pizzas turn out.
                            BTW, Kitchen Aid highly advises against keeping the motor going for 15 minutes. I think they won't guarantee the warrantee if you go for over four or five minutes. Another good reason to use the S&F method instead.


                            • #15
                              Re: How long to knead?

                              BTW, Serf is not my screen name--I don't know how that got there unless there's another Peter Reinhart registered here. Does anyone know how I can change it to something else?