Monday, May 28, 2012

Tidy Loaf Step 2: Mix and Knead

Add dry ingredients and knead the dough. Continue to add flour until the dough sticks to itself more than to the bowl. Knead until your arm hints that this step is complete.
Add 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon yeast. 
Sprinkle the salt and yeast on top the flour. Otherwise the yeast tends to clump. 

Mix until just incorporated. The dough will be runny and sticky.  About two thirds of the total amount of flour has been added at this point.
Allow the dough to rest (autolyse) from 20 minutes to several hours. 
The dough after 20 minutes of autolyse.
Ready to begin kneading.
Knead by wiping against the sides of the bowl with the spatula. Because the dough is still relatively wet, kneading with a spatula is easy and reduces mess.
Tip the bowl and use the spatula to smear the dough against the side of the bowl, rolling the bowl as you do so.
When the dough is smeared around the sides, use the spatula to scrape it back into a sticky ball and then repeat the process.
When the dough toughens and resists smearing, add approximately 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, kneading between additions.
The dough will become elastic and harder to smear and begin to leave the sides of the bowl. 
When the dough is quite elastic and more kneading seems difficult, scrape it into a ball. Total kneading time is typically 5 minutes.
Allow to rise until doubled in volume. Optionally, chill overnight to several days. 

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