How to tell if pizza dough is kneaded enough – With 5 easy ways to tell

Do I need to learn how to knead? (Excuse the pun!)

Being able to tell if your pizza boodle is kneaded enough is a key part of learning to make great dough. There is no decline way to knead dough, everyone has a different technique and it doesn ’ t truly matter how you do it. once you can tell when pizza boodle is in full kneaded, you can experiment and find your own technique that works for you .

What is
kneading?

Kneading is essentially a fancy way of mixing dough. We ’ ve all seen people kneading boodle before, probably on the television .Kneading doesn’t have to be this messy! Honest! Kneading normally takes place on a work surface, and it normally looks like a floury, doughy mess. But there is method in the madness ! And it doesn ’ t have to be in truth messy !

Why do you
knead pizza dough? – The science behind it

The reason we knead pizza boodle, simply put, is that it produces a nice boodle. Kneading improves the texture of the dough and increases its strength and stretchiness.A properly kneaded dough is strong and stretchy To understand how this happens when we knead boodle, we ’ ll have to go into a moment of the skill : Kneading pizza dough achieves 3 main things :

  1. It
    evenly mixes the ingredients
  2. It
    hydrates the flour
  3. It
    strengthens the gluten strands

Let ’ s take a expression at these one at a time :

1. Kneading pizza dough evenly mixes the ingredients

beginning and foremost, kneading combines all the ingredients into one single lump of dough. evenly mixing the ingredients is very unmanageable, if not impossible, to achieve without some mannequin of knead. Some recipes instruct to mix the dry ingredients ( flour, salt, yeast ) first but this is unnecessary, the knead process will mix all the dry and wet ingredients in concert at the lapp prison term .

2. Kneading hydrates the flour

When flour and water are shuffle together, the flour starts to absorb the urine. This is much referred to as the flour becoming hydrated. When we talk about the flour becoming hydrated, this is different to when we talk about the hydration of a particular boodle recipe. Although related, they two are unlike things. ( If you have never heard about hydration and baker ’ south percentage, check out my article here. I explain everything you need to know, in childlike terms. ) As dough is left to rest, the flour will become hydrated on its own. The water will slowly intoxicate into the flour over time. however, kneading helps to speed up this process by forcing the water into the flour. This can be seen as a dough goes from chunky to smooth during the massage summons .

3. Kneading strengthens the gluten strands

a soon as flour comes into contact with liquid ( water in the case of pizza dough ), gluten strands are formed. This is where the proteins in flour, known as glutenin and gliadin, combine with body of water to form a new protein called gluten. As kneading takes place, gluten strands become aligned and this allows them to stick together. As the strands stick together, bonds are formed which in turn, creates a gluten network .Extensive gluten network in a dough – Source With continued kneading, this gluten network becomes larger and stronger. During the massage process, air is besides incorporated into the dough, which far helps to strengthen the gluten network. ultimately, the boodle becomes stronger and stretchier ( extensile ) the more it is kneaded. Strength and stretch are the 2 most important characteristics to seek in a pizza dough. They allow us to produce a boodle that we can stretch out in truth sparse, in orderliness to make the arrant pizza. This is why massage is thus important .

Can I knead
pizza dough by hand?

many people assume that kneading pizza boodle by handwriting is excessively unmanageable, messy, and time consume. This is decidedly not true. In fact, I do all my kneading by hand. deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as being relatively easy, and not as messy or as time consuming as you think, it is besides actually fun and honor ( and quite therapeutic ). I have an article on the knead technique that I use here. It besides has a video that shows you the method acting. It works well for me and you may find it works well for you besides !Me kneading pizza dough by hand using this technique Kneading by hand will also speed up the learning process. You will promptly find out what you are looking for in your pizza boodle, and what you need to do to get there .

Can I knead
pizza dough in KitchenAid mixer?

Using an electronic stand mixer with a dough attachment is a very popular way of making pizza dough. It takes out a lot of the work and besides frees up your time to do something else whilst the dough is being assorted ( kneaded ). You besides don ’ t need to worry about your massage proficiency. A word of warning, though. Never use a food processor or bread maker for mixing pizza dough ( or any boodle for that matter ). They tend to mix the boodle excessively cursorily and aggressively, and they produce besides a lot heating system. This can destroy the gluten social organization and kill the yeast .Stand mixers can be a great way of mixing pizza dough A stand mixer on a slow setting mixes the dough much slower and steadier, more closely replicating hand kneading.

Kneading
pizza dough by hand vs using a KitchenAid mixer

There are arguments for and against kneading by hand and using an electric stand sociable. Below I have highlighted the independent reasons, to help you decide how to knead your dough.

Stand (KitchenAid) Mixer Hand Mixing/Kneading
Kitchen mixers reduce the amount of time spent handling the dough Using your hands will allow you develop a feel for the dough
Kitchen mixers require very little physical strength or technique Hand kneading requires some physical strength and technique
Quite easy to over knead dough in a KitchenAid mixer Very difficult to over knead by hand
Stand/KitchenAid mixers are expensive, bulky, and heavy Kneading by hand is very cheap and requires very little to no equipment
Electric mixers and dough hooks need cleaning out Hand kneading makes more mess on the work surface

Overall, I recommend people to knead by hand, at least to start with. This will enable you to promptly develop a feel for the boodle and learn how to handle it. You will besides quickly learn which characteristics to look for in pizza boodle. Kitchen mixers are besides expensive and bulky but if you already own one then by all means give it a fit. If you are older, or don’t have as much strength, then a kitchen mixer may make more sense for you. Whichever you chose, the rest of this article will distillery be useful, I ’ ve written it with both methods in mind. If you do use a KitchenAid mixer then be sure to stop it regularly in order to feel the dough and check its build up .

How long
should you knead pizza dough for?

  • As a rough guide, if you’re kneading by hand, about 8-10 minutes is a good starting point
  • If you’re kneading with a kitchen mixer, about 3-5 minutes on a very low/slow setting (or the lowest/slowest) is about right

Exact times will depend on the ingredients, particularly the type of flour you use, and your massage technique. If you are using a flour with a high protein content, such as solid white bread flour, then you won ’ t need to knead the dough as much. Likewise, if you have a good massage technique, you won ’ triiodothyronine have to knead for adenine long .

How does the
type of flour affect kneading?

Different types of flour contain different amounts of protein. When interracial with water system in a dough, this protein turns into gluten. consequently, flours with a protein content produce doughs that contain more gluten. With more gluten, these flours are naturally stronger and consequently ask less kneading.

Read more: Who Invented Pizza?

The ideal flour for pizza dough is generally considered to be 00 flour. This is a fine flour with quite a high protein content of about 11 % ( compared to approximately 9 % for plain/all function flour ). Some flours, such as firm white bread flours can be adenine high as 13 % ( hence the name strong ). solid white boodle flours can besides produce excellent pizza doughs, and they typically require less massage .The amount of kneading required depends on the flour used The ingredients in a flour are normally listed on the packet as a value per 100g – eg 11g protein per 100g. This can besides be expressed as a share – in this case 11 % protein. Expressing protein as a percentage of the flour’s weight is the most common way amongst pizza chefs. To find out more about pizza percentages, take a look at my article on baker ’ s percentage here .

Does salt effect kneading?

I have heard many times that salt hinders the gluten exploitation but this is merely not truthful. Whilst salt does slow down the fermentation (proving/rising) slightly, it actually strengthens the gluten network.Salt can actually help gluten development many recipes advise to leave salt out of the knead summons and to add it late. I recommend adding it a early as possible in order to assist in gluten development. Adding the salt straight away besides saves us time and ensures we don ’ metric ton forget to add it. Afterall, dough without salt is a disaster! – It ’ s identical politic !

Can you over
knead pizza dough?

Although uncommon, it is possible to over massage pizza dough. Over kneading most normally occurs when an electric mixer is used. To avoid this from happening, be sure to use a stand mixer (not a food processor) on a very slow setting ( or the slowest ) and don ’ thymine leave it running for excessively long .Don’t use a food processor; use a stand mixer on a slow setting Over kneading dough by hand is very difficult to achieve, this is one of the advantages of massage by hand. Unless you have a very efficient massage proficiency and you are kneading for over 10 minutes, it is pretty much impossible to over knead by hand. When people have a problem with their pizza dough, they frequently think it is caused by over kneading but this is normally not the case. I would look to early aspects first, unless you are using an electric mixer on a high-speed set .

What happens if you over knead pizza dough?

Over kneaded dough will go from being strong and stretchy to being weak and sloppy. It will rip easily when stretched and will struggle to hold its supreme headquarters allied powers europe. During shaping, an over kneaded dough is unmanageable to stretch and once baked, the pizza will be hood and dense .

Can you
under knead pizza dough?

Under massage is a batch more common than over knead and it can cause exchangeable problems. In fact, under kneading is often confused with over kneading, although its effects are generally not as bad .

What happens if you under knead pizza dough?

Under kneading causes a miss of strength and stretch in the pizza boodle. The dough will tear easily when stretched and will not hold it ’ south shape angstrom well as a in full kneaded dough. A sure-fire way to tell if your dough is under kneaded is if it’s lumpy, because the ingredients won ’ t have been shuffle by rights. With a well kneaded boodle, the surface of the dough will be very smooth .Properly kneaded dough should be smooth

How do you know when pizza dough is kneaded?

Being able to recognise when a dough is by rights kneaded is half the conflict. Once you ’ ve figured out what you ’ rhenium looking for, you ’ ll quickly calculate out how to get there. As you knead the boodle, pay attention to how the dough is changing. This is where kneading by hand actually comes into its own. Feel the dough as you mix it in order to determine how much massage it requires. If you are using a machine, stop it regularly to feel the boodle with your hand. This will allow you to keep track of the boodle ’ mho progress. Below I’ve outlined the 5 main things we’re looking for:

  1. The pizza dough should be smooth, with no lumps
  2. The dough should become less sticky
  3. The dough should hold its shape very well
  4. The dough should stretch easily without ripping
  5. The pizza dough should pass the windowpane test (see below)

What is the windowpane pizza dough test?

The windowpane test is a great room to tell if your pizza dough is by rights kneaded. This test on its own is a capital indicator. All you need to do is to try to stretch a piece of dough out between your hands as sparse us you can and hold it up to a window ( or light ). You should be able to stretch the dough so thin that you can see through it.With a well kneaded dough, you should be able to see through it With practice you will be able to stretch it indeed thin that you can see the gluten net. To start with, it ’ s easier to use a small piece of boodle about golf musket ball size .

Now you have a perfect pizza dough!

If your dough has all these 5 characteristics then you ’ re good to go. And congratulations, you have made a fantastic boodle ! Learning to knead pizza boodle can be quite an intimidate proposition but it doesn ’ t have to be. adenine well as being easier than you think, kneading dough can be really fun and rewarding .Knead your way to better pizza! What ’ s more, there is no utility for fresh boodle and once you ’ ve mastered your massage, you ’ ll be one step closer to that perfect pizza.

Read more: Who Invented Pizza?

To get going with your dough, check out my article on knead by hand here. If you ’ re ready to get making the perfect pizza, check out my authentic Neapolitan pizza recipe here. good luck, and get desegregate ! ( Or kneading ! )