Bread must be thoroughly kneaded to properly rise. The process of kneading develops gluten; the protein responsible for both the binding of the bread and the fluffiness. Without gluten, the bread would crumble apart. As the dough is kneaded, the gluten makes small air pockets that are then filled with carbon dioxide released by the yeast. These pockets are what make bread fluffy, porous and soft rather than thick and dense. You cannot skip or find a shortcut for kneading in a recipe. However, if 10 minutes of kneading sounds painful on your wrists, back and patience, a heavy duty stand mixer can perform the job for you.
Divide the dough in half once it comes together in the bowl. Even if your dough recipe is for one single loaf, dividing it in half to knead in the mixer and then combining afterward reduces stress on your mixer's engine.
Attach the dough hook to your mixer. The dough hook is a large, usually white, metal hook with one bent arm. Do not use the paddle or whisk attachment as it will not knead and you may damage your equipment.
Place half of the dough in the mixer. Heavy duty top quality mixers such as KitchenAid brand are ideal for bread kneading. Other quality brands work as well; however, do not attempt this in a plastic-based mixer as the engine and structure are not capable of handling the work.
Set the mixer to medium speed. On most mixers this is the medium dial, on a KitchenAid mixer set the lever to No. 2. Allow the dough to knead for a full 10 minutes. After the first half is kneaded, switch the dough halves and knead the second for 10 minutes as well. Once both are kneaded, hand-knead them together on a clean kitchen surface until they are uniformly combined.
Things you need
- Heavy duty mixer
- Bread dough