Kneading, dough, flour, pizza, traditional food, homemade bread, elaborated
There are different kneading techniques that can be done in the traditional way (with using the hands) or with the kneading machines available on the market. Regardless of the technique used, the aim of all of them is the same: to develop the gluten protein through kneading, which will allow to stretch and work the dough well to give it the desired shape, without it breaking or tearing, and to achieve a soft and spongy texture.
To ensure a good kneading process, the following steps must be followed:
● Mix well the flour, yeast (whether natural, chemical, sourdough, etc.), salt and water in a bowl (we must weigh the ingredients to have an exact proportion; go to references to see an example of ingredients for bread dough).
● When the ingredients are well mixed in the bowl, we take the dough and put it on the countertop (which we can sprinkle with flour so that the dough does not stick) and start kneading.
● There are several kneading techniques, such as the French fold, the Dough scraper, the Claw method or just the basic fold, which entails taking the dough on one side and stretching it as much as possible and then rolling it or folding it over to stretch it again. The process must be repeated until the dough is elastic, smooth and lump-free.
● The dough can be kneaded for short periods, letting the dough rest (10-15 min) in a bowl covered with a damp cloth. This allows the gluten to form and the dough to rise thanks to the yeast.
● When the dough is completely smooth, firm and does not stick to the surface or the cook’s hands, it needs to be shaped into a ball, lifting it up and letting it fall, if it keeps its shape, the dough is ready.
● After the dough ready, it can be now shaped it into whatever shape desired for the baking process.
Like any homemade food, the health benefits of kneading and baking homemade bread, for example, are far greater than if bought at the supermarket. Obviously, the quality of the ingredients can be controlled, and because it is more natural, it will stay soft and tender for longer. It will also be beneficial for the digestion and if there are any kind of intolerances or allergies, the recipe can be adapted and making sure it will not be hazardous to your health.
Flour, homemade bread.
It should be noted that homemade bread has a shorter duration, implying it might get harder or mouldy in a shorter time than usual.