Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 28, 2012 02:09 PM

Hand kneaded vs. Machine kneaded

I don't have a machine of any kind for kneading, I just do it the old fashioned way, by hand. I can get good results if they describe what the dough should be like when it's kneaded, but recipes don't always describe this. And many recipes say, "knead for x minutes using dough hook". How does one translate this for doing it by hand?

And sorry if this is a silly question.

FYI I like kneading by hand! :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Even when it says to knead xxx minutes by dough hook, it's just an approximation and I go by feel. If I had to approximate, I'd say It usually takes me about twice as long as the dough hook. But, I test when it's done by the window pane test.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowser

      That window pane test is very useful. Thank you!

    2. I have never kneaded dough with a machine.

      Always, always by hand.

      You do it enough and you just understand and get comfortable with what dough should feel like when it's ready. Words simply cannot describe it.

      And, really, why use a recipe for kneading dough?

      4 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        How would you tell someone who has never made dough before how long to knead it or what it should feel like? A description, which to me is a "recipe". is helpful.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          It's not that I need a recipe for kneading dough, it's just that some recipes just say "knead for x minutes using dough hook". But they don't tell me what the dough should be like, ie. sticky, firm, forms into a perfect round ball, etc. I'm still a bit of a rookie, but I can make breads, pizza, dough, and pasta. So the lack of explanation n the recipe confuses me sometimes.

          1. re: cosmogrrl

            I usually guesstimate that it will take twice as long by hand as with a machine (be that a mixer, bread machine, or whatever) --

            I wish there was a way to verbally describe how dough feels when it's "right" -- and there just isn't -- it's a hands-on thing.

            I love kneading dough -- so while I love the idea of waking up to fresh bread, the reality is that I like doing it myself. It's downright therapeutic -- both for my hands and arms, and for my soul.

            (My husband used to know that if he came home from work and found me kneading bread on a weeknight, he needed to slip past me and leave me alone -- I was taking out my frustrations on the dough)

            1. re: sunshine842

              I hear ya about the "feels" right, I'm fairly good at it as a rookie. I'm also learning more and more the more I bake.

              Just wanted a general idea as to what to use as a rule of thumb.

              Thanks for your advice.

              And I too find it very therapeutic!

        2. I use my Omega juicer to knead dough. I have some cold ferment 100% whole wheat dough in my fridge right now. Just saying there are alternatives to dough hooks etc

          1. Great question, but I have no good answer. I always knead my dough by hand. I really do not know there is a way to translate between kneading from dough hook to kneading by hand. Not everyone kneads the same way, and not all dough hooks perform the same. Good luck.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              definitively? No. But you can guesstimate it to start with -- because you'll knead it until it's "right", anyway....