BBC

How to knead bread dough

When flour is mixed with water this makes gluten. Kneading develops the gluten and makes the dough stretchy and elastic.

- 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.

- Using the ball of your hand squash the ball of dough and push it away from you to stretch it.

- Pull it back into a ball, give it a quarter turn and repeat.

- Keep kneading for about 10 minutes. (It may take longer if you are not used to kneading.) Try to stretch the dough as you knead. This makes it more elastic. Don't be too gentle with the dough.

- 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. But if the dough tears when you are trying to stretch it then continue kneading for a few more minutes and try again.

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