How to Knead Bread Dough

I’m not in any way a professional or advanced bread baker. I have only learned from reading too many blogs and watching YouTube videos. But I think I’m pretty good at bread baking now that sometimes I get bored from using the same recipes and techniques over and over again. So that is why I look for and try other techniques in bread baking and get into making breads from other countries. I have tried making french bread, which I think was pretty good. It wasn’t as crispy though. (See how I always say I’m good at it? #selflove lol )

bread dough inside a bowl
kneaded bread dough after 2 hours of rising

If you want to start making your own bread, I think the most important thing that you have to learn is how to knead your bread dough. Kneading was one of the main reasons why I didn’t get into bread baking until late last year. I despise kneading. But after several failed attempts at making no-knead breads (they were as hard as stones, so I don’t think I can call them bread), I finally decided to do it. I realized right after my first try, that it really wasn’t that difficult. It also helped that I kept thinking it’s a form of exercise. Haha. My only issue when kneading bread is that it gets too hot. So if you’re a newbie, I suggest you knead your dough early in the morning. That’s what I did on my first try. So anyway, here’s a video of me kneading a bread dough. I was supposed to be showing how to do the windowpane test to see if it’s ready, but I don’t do that usually. Thus, I forgot to do it while filming the video. Anyway, here’s how you basically knead your bread dough.

Ingredients

  • Bread dough (right after you mixed it)
  • Extra flour to dust the surface

Equipment

  • A clean, wide surface (I use a cutting board as my kneading board)
  • Scraper

Directions

  1. Sprinkle the space you’re going to use for kneading with a little flour. Make sure the space or surface is clean.
  2. Scrape the dough from the bowl and transfer it to your kneading space.
  3. Stretch one side of the dough with the wheels of your hands, fold it and press it down. If the dough feels sticky, sprinkle a little more flour.

bread dough inside a bowl covered with cling wrap

How to know if the dough is ready?

The dough is kneaded and ready for the first rise when it is pliable and doesn’t easily break. You will also know it’s ready when you poke it and it bounces back quickly, just like what I did in the video. Another way of knowing is also by doing the windowpane test. (Will update this article once I have pictures or a video of me showing the windowpane test.)

How to do the windowpane test?

To do the windowpane test, go to a place where you can get sunlight. If there’s no sunlight, get a little flashlight. Then, take a little piece of the bread dough, stretch it very thinly and if the light passes through it that means the gluten has developed well and it’s ready.

Have a question about kneading bread dough? Don’t be shy, ask away in the comment section below.

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