In this series of videos, our Chefs are sharing some of the classic French techniques we teach to more than 20,000 students on our programmes around the world each year. Next in the series, we show you how to knead dough.
The ingredients of dough are combined first, before they are kneaded. Bread doughs must be kneaded to encourage the development of the gluten into long, intertwining strands. This process completes the absorption of the water into the flour, allowing the gluten to continue to develop. The dough will go from a soft, sticky mess to a smooth, elastic dough.
1. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
2. Fold the dough onto itself and give it a quarter turn.
3. Using the heel of your hand, push the dough forward.
4. Fold the stretched dough over itself and give it a quarter turn again.
5. Push the dough again with the heel of your hand, fold and turn.
6. Continue until the dough takes on some body and no longer sticks and resists when pushed.
7. Once the dough is firm and no longer sticky, shape it into a ball.
8. The dough is well kneaded when it is smooth, shiny and elastic. When you press the dough, your finger should come off cleanly and the dough should bounce back.
Chefs tip: When kneading dough try to ensure both your hands and the table surface are dry and clean of any residue dough. This, along with a light dusting of flour on your hands and work surface will ensure that the dough does not stick to the work surface while kneading.