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Kitchen Smarts: How to Knead Bread Dough by Hand

Your bread—and biceps—will thank you.
By Published Aug. 28, 2018

No stand mixer? No problem. In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, America’s Test Kitchen books team test cook Joe Gitter demonstrates the best way to knead dough by hand—and why doing so ensures a more tender loaf of bread. Here are some of our findings:

  • Save some of the flour for kneading: You’re going to need flour for the kneading step anyway. Using some that the recipe calls for prevents you from adding much more than the recipe calls for.
  • Hand kneading is gentler than machine kneading: Mixing and kneading forms gluten, which gives yeasted breads their chew and structure. Stand mixers are rougher on the dough and tear apart some of the gluten strands as they form. Hand kneading is much gentler on the dough, which leads to a chewier crumb.

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What’s your favorite bread recipe? Let us know in the comments!