Everyday Recipes from Our Recipe Family.
Recipes will be sent
out each weekday (Mon-Fri)
Want to share this page with a
to send this page to a friend ]
Print FREE Grocery Coupons
How to Mix Bread Dough
Bread DoughThere are four major steps to
bread making: mixing, rising, forming the loaves, and baking. In this
article, we’ll address the first of these steps: mixing the dough.
There are three easy to accomplish objectives to the mixing process:
(1) To evenly distribute the ingredients.
(2) To develop the
(3) To initiate fermentation.
If you understand
how these three processes are accomplished, you understand mixing.
Distribution of the ingredients is accomplished through mixing and
is a straightforward process. Mixing the water and the dry ingredients
together can be done by hand or by machine—a stand-type mixer, a bread
machine, or a food processor. Different ingredients, different water to
flour ratios, and different equipment dictate different mixing times. In
any of these instances, once the dough has been worked enough to develop
the gluten, the ingredients will be distributed adequately.
Gluten is what gives bread its chewy texture and is critical to a
satisfactory loaf. Fortunately, with a good high-protein flour, gluten
development is easy.
Wheat flour contains two proteins, gliadin
and glutenin. When these two proteins are hydrated and the dough is
mechanically worked, they come together to form strands of gluten. Think
of them as tiny twisted ropes.
How that mechanical manipulation
takes place is of little consequence. A dough hook in a stand-type mixer
works marvelously well. But then, so do the heels of your hands.
Even if you are committed to your stand-type mixer, we recommend that
you knead an occasional batch by hand. Mixing the dough by hand is an
intimate experience that gives you a feel for the dough as it transforms
through the kneading process. You will feel the dough change as it
absorbs water and as the gluten strands develop.
knead the dough by pressing the dough with the heels of their hands,
folding the dough back over with a rolling motion, and pressing again.
(It’s easier to do than to describe.) Depending on how fast you work, it
will take about fifteen minutes to develop the gluten.
gluten is developed, the dough will be elastic. Traditionally, the
“window-pane test” is used to gauge gluten development. Pinch a small
piece of the dough and pull it away from the dough ball. It should be
elastic, almost rubbery, and pull away into a thin membrane.
few batches, you will be able to gauge gluten development by the feel of
the dough, if you are mixing by hand, or by the appearance of the dough
ball if you are using a stand-type mixer. Again, gluten development is
The fermentation process is initiated with the dissolving
of the yeast and the distribution of that yeast through the dough.
Yeast is a living organism. As such, it requires three conditions to
sustain itself. The first of those conditions is moisture. The yeast
spores are encapsulated in the granules of starch or sugar that you find
in your packet. If you are using instant yeast, the yeast granules will
dissolve as they are worked through the wet dough. If you are using
active yeast, you will need to dissolve the yeast in a cup of water and
then mix the resultant slurry into the dough. yeast must be in a moist
environment to be active but can stay dormant in a dry environment.
The second condition is temperature. yeast grows (the yeast cells
multiply and divide) best at 70 to 80 degrees. At 40 degrees, the yeast
becomes dormant. At 120 degrees, the yeast begins to die. Most recipes
call for water at 105 to 110 degrees; the real target is to create a
dough with a temperature around 80 degrees.
Yeast is very
sensitive to temperature. A difference of ten degrees in the dough
temperature makes a big difference in how fast yeast grows. Because
temperature is so critical, most experienced bakers use a thermometer.
The third condition is food. yeast is capable of converting starches
to sugars which are then converted to energy, the carbon dioxide gas
that form the air bubbles found in the dough, and by-products--mainly an
alcohol that gives bread its yeasty flavor. Sugar or other sweeteners
like honey or molasses accelerate the growth of yeast by providing ready
food. Incidentally, salt slows down the growth. As little as one-half
teaspoon of salt more or less in a two loaf recipe will make a
significant difference in the growth of the yeast. Always measure salt
There are three caveats in the mixing process:
(1) Salt kills yeast. Either mix the salt through the flour before
adding the yeast or place the salt and the yeast on opposite sides of
the bowl before beginning to mix.
(2) Don’t over mix. You have to
mix the ingredients long enough to develop the gluten. Once the gluten
is well-developed, stop mixing. If you continue mixing, you will
break-down the gluten. It’s not as if there is a narrow window between
when the gluten is developed and the gluten starts to break-down; over
mixing usually occurs when a stand-type mixer is left running
unattended. (By the way, many stand-type mixers will walk off the
counter while mixing dough if left unattended.)
(3) Use the right
water temperature. We always use a thermometer. Investing in a $12
insta-read thermometer will go a long way toward assuring consistent
The bread making process is remarkably forgiving. If the
temperature is off a little, the bread still works. If it is under or
over mixed, it still works. It may not be perfect bread (and who is to
say what is perfect) but most homemade bread is darned good bread.
Dennis, the Prepared
Click Here to Print this Information.
Dennis at the
Prepared Pantry has a wide variety of bread machine mixes. I have
used many of his mixes and love them. They have turned out perfect
everytime I remembered to include the yeast, LOL. Only one time it
failed and I found the packet of yeast was still on the counter and not
in the bread machine. The most wonderful smell in the world
is the smell of fresh bread baking. I can almost smell it now. My
favorite mix is
California Raisin Bread and
Fully Loaded Baked Potato Bread Machine Mix
Bread Machine Mixes (and sugar free mixes)- Click Here
The recipe for microwaved bell peppers has an incorrect cooking time.
I have tried to find out the correct time but have not gotten a reply
back. Please do use this recipe until the time has been corrected.
Cooking the time stated could cause a fire or damage the microwave.
It has been deleted from the site until the time can be corrected.
Thanks Mr. Myron Drinkwater - Lake
Forest, CA for letting me know there was a problem with the recipe.
Hate peeling garlic
as the paper thin skin sticks to your hands? Put garlic cloves in the
microwave, one second per clove and they peel like a dream and are not
cooked. Five cloves=5 seconds. That is why nothing sticks to the hands
of the TV Food Cooks.
Joy in PA
Good morning Nancy and all Landers,
Don't have any recipes this
morning but just a note on bread makers. I lost the manual to my
breadmaker (a Toastmaster) and couldn't find one online but did find out
some important things about breadmakers. Been using a breadmaker for
years and never knew this is how you should load them. I know most
recipes say to load the breadmaker in order ingredients are given but of
course I thought my way was better lol. You are to
put all liquids
in first -then flour- smoosh(my word) flour to completely cover
liquids-then add your dry yeast and any other ingredients(raisins,nuts
This way your yeast won't start working till the
breadmachine is turned on. I was always putting the warm liquid in then
the yeast because I thought it should be done that way.
too old to learn and sometimes we don't always know best lol. And
another tip is to fill your bread pan with hot water and let it sit for
5 minutes then empty out the water and put in your ingredients. Thus the
warm pan will make your bread rise better.
Dianne in Wisconsin
Our Message Board (over
30,000 recipes) - Click Here
Chef notes every Friday, chef recipe every
Get free grocery coupons here
I sent in a request several days ago about
won ton wrappers. I never
saw it posted.
I am looking for recipes made with won ton
wrappers. I tried making baked crab rangoons, and it was a disaster.
I have many wrappers left over, and I am looking for other uses for
them. Any suggestions would be helpful!
I love this cake recipe, as it can be all mixed together right in the
pan it's baked in, so don't even have to dirty a bowl! It's nice to have
cake recipes too that just make a smaller size. I'm sure you'll agree
this cake is a "winner".
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. EACH baking soda, baking powder
1-1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 eggs, lightly beaten
cup cooking oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
ungreased 8 or 9 inch square pan, mix together all dry ingredients using
a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix briskly with fork until
thoroughly blended. Bake at 350 for
30 minutes, or until toothpick
inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool before serving. Can
sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, but I like to make a cream cheese
4 oz. cream cheese (half of a 8 oz. package)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
Beat together until creamy. Spread on cake when it's
completely cooled. I also sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of the
Judy (in Alaska)
Click Here to
Print this Recipe
Nancy, I would suggest you add
to your free Kindle eBook
You can just go to the site, or can sign up for a daily
email, with all the NEW free Kindle eBooks for that day, sometimes as
many at 6-7-800 new books on any day. Broken down into multiple
categories, and then sub categories.
Or you can access everyone
that is listed, up to 40 000 or so at any one time. I use it every day
myself. There is one category that is dedicated to only cooking, and
wine books, and another that has a dieting subcategory that sometimes
has cooking books. I usually access both each day myself. And there is
also a search function that I seldom use.
The number of recipes, tips and suggestions is determined by the amount
sent. There are two recipes missing from this newsletter because I put
them into the wrong folder and didn't have time to search for them.
Both recipes will be included in Monday's newsletter.
As usual an extra newsletter will be sent
out weekends anytime enough messages, tips and suggestions are sent.
Free Cook Books and Charts
To view and download click on the bold
Choose up to 30 FREE e-books.
1500 pages of tips, methods, and recipes.
Click Here for Your 30 Free e-books
Free Baking Lessons
- American Baking Essentials Course 201
How to Bake: The
Art and Science of Baking
Muffin Top Baking Guide
Guide to Chocolate
Manuals and Recipes
BreadMan Pro BreadMaker Manual and Recipes
Zojrushi BBCC-V20 Home Bakery Manual and Recipes
Many Bread Maker Manuals with Recipes
The past several days he newsletters have had
lots and lots of recipe files in pdf format. If you missed them
here are the links.