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Baking 101: How to knead a loaf of bread

How to Knead a Loaf of Bread (Photo: Knead To Be Loaved)

Kneading is one of the most important parts in making homemade bread.  Kneading bread not only helps to incorporate all of the ingredients, it helps develop the gluten and create a wonderful texture.  But many bread bakers have trouble with kneading, and as a result, have trouble with their loaves of homemade bread.

The video below demonstrates how to knead a loaf of bread properly.   As you knead the bread, gluten is stretching and moving, resulting in a tender crumb.  If you knead to much, the loaf of bread can become tough, dense, and sometimes hard.  But not kneading enough means that your homemade bread can be underdeveloped, with a poor rise and texture.

Learning when bread has been kneaded "just right" is something that takes practice.  But, a properly kneaded loaf will most often feel slightly sticky, but not so much that it will stick to your hand.  It should feel smooth, but not overly satiny.

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