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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Bread results

They came out...um.

Unlike my previous attempts (from years ago), they were not undercooked, and that's already a plus. They had the right amount of sweetness, so halving the sugar was the right idea, but needed a bit more salt for real flavor.

And they had the texture of *cake* or cornbread. Crumbly. Dense - not heavy - but not breadlike.

I think.

And I feel rather silly.

That I didn't knead it sufficiently. As in, I kneaded in flour until it felt like the right consistency. And then I stopped.

jonbaker liked it, and it tasted fine, so having them for the next few weeks won't be a hardship *plus* I'm now confident I can do it right next time. Kneading. Yeah.


I let a KitchenAid do the work for me. :) It "helps" that my hands cramp up rather quickly during kneading, or even writing for more than a few minutes, these days. (I'm told there's something "wrong" with one of the bones in my family's hands.)

I have a Kitchenaid. It's a gorgeous cherry red one, or so I've been told, as I've never seen it. It's still in the original box. My mother-in-law bought it for me when it was on sale. It even lived in her country house for a couple of years before we took it home. (The blender I got 15 years ago for my wedding? Also still in the box.)

My hands are strong. My wrists have problems, but my hands are strong. I just forgot.

Yep. Kneading. Really getsthose gluten molecules to say "hi" to each other. It's my least favorite part of breadmaking, and you, with your wrist issues, should delegate it to something mechanical, be it bread machine or mixer.

Kneading the least favorite part? Wow, it's my favorite part (well, other than eating fresh bread :-), I think because it's so tactile.

It's a lot of fun, isn't it?

Yeah, I love the feel of it coming together, comparing different doughs I've made in the past.
("It's alive!" :-)

I like kneading. One of the reason I like breadmaking as opposed to cakebaking is that you can *feel* the bread come to life under your hands. I used to make pizza/foccaccia, which uses a very small amount of dough compared to this, and I could knead the whole thing between my hands.

I was effectively one-handed for a couple of months when I broke a finger, and managed to make pizza dough one-handed b/c it's such a small batch. (Toppings were limited to slices of block cheese and things I could get out of cans, mostly.)

Perhaps I never knead mine properly. Mine always have a cake-like consistency.

Ten minutes minimum say the recipes. Or maybe you like the texture, which isn't a *bad* one.

Also, it depends on how sweet/eggy you like the bread. I like things on the less sweet side.

Kneading for the full length of time that most breads need is tedious, and unless you have strong hands and forearms, painful.

What I do is a compromise. Fr'ex, I make a bread that takes 10 minutes by hand, or 5 in the KitchenAid, see? So I do *4* in the KitchenAid, and finish with 2 by hand. That way, I can check the texture of the dough, see how resiliant it is, see if it needs a little more flour or water -- but all the heavy lifting was done by the trusty machine.

I'm going to have to dig out that KitchenAid, aren't I?

A friend of mine who is a professional baker told me once that in his bakery, bread dough is kneaded with huge machines (like KitchenAid mixers, but far, far, far bigger) and that, as a puny human with small hands, there's no way I can overknead my bread -- I'm likelier to underknead. So he suggests kneading for 10 minutes minimum, every time. :-)

Glad the challah was tasty, though!

That it was. And it'll make lovely stuffing and breadcrumbs, too.

Now, where will I put that monster of a machine?