How to Knead Dough (bread)
Knowing how to knead dough will ensure proper development of the gluten, making the dough stretchy and elastic. Most recipes will take for granted that you can already knead, although very few of us are ever properly taught. This ‘how to’ breaks down the process for you.
1- Tip out the dough. Tip the dough onto a clean kneading surface. You can put a little oil or a dusting of flour on the surface to stop the dough sticking, but this isn’t necessary.
2- Use the ball of your hand as the initial surface. Using the ball of your hand, squash the ball of dough and push it away from you to stretch it.
3- Always reform the dough back into a ball between stages. Pull the dough back into a ball, give it a quarter turn and repeat.
4- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Keep kneading for about 10 minutes. (although it may take longer if you’re not used to kneading.) Try to stretch the dough as you knead. This makes it more elastic.
5- Look for the ‘window pane effect’ to see if it’s ready. To see if the dough has been kneaded enough, look for the ‘window pane’ effect. To do this cut a piece of dough from the ball, hold it up and try to stretch it out into a thin sheet. If you can make it thin enough to see light through it when you hold it up to the window, and the dough isn’t tearing, then it is elastic enough to stop kneading. If the dough tears when you are trying to stretch it then continue kneading for a few more minutes and try again.
Be rough with it, it can take it!