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chef koo

The relation between kneading and gluten

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I'm not the most well versed in baking, but it's my understanding that the longer you knead something, the more robust the strands of gluten become. It's also my understanding that if you add more fat and/or moisture to a dough, it inhibits the formation of gluten. So if both of these are true, would it make sense that a bread dough with something like 70% moisture, take a VERY long time to knead to build up the gluten? Would 30 minutes plus be out of the question?


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In my opinion, if you knead for 30 minutes, you're either going to have very sore arms or well overkneaded bread :)

 

Moisture doesn't inhibit the formation of gluten to my knowledge - it's critical in the process to create it from the two proteins that form gluten. Fat, however, coats the strands, making it harder for them to stick together, which retards the gluten development. You'll often see a formula recommend to develop the gluten first, and then add butter later in the process.

 

In my limited experience with high hydration dough, I feel they develop faster, not slower, than a "regular" dough. I think this is why stretch-and-fold technique is so effective with high hydration dough.

 

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Exactly right. High water content actually facilitates the bonding of glutenin and gliadin (gluten proteins) to such an extent that kneading can be completely or nearly completely eliminated in some high-hydration recipes (e.g. no-knead breads). Obviously there are other factors controlling gluten formation, such as pH, fat content, flour protein content, temperature, etc, but definitely water promotes and does not inhibit gluten formation.


Edited by Patrick S (log)
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