Kneading is a super important part of bread baking: It combines ingredients, incorporates air into the dough, and, most important, develops gluten. Gluten is what gives bread its structure and chew—it allows bread to expand in the oven without bursting.
Many bread recipes call for kneading dough in a stand mixer using a dough hook. This speeds things up a lot—a machine doesn’t get tired the way your arms do! Then, you give the dough a final knead by hand before setting it aside to rise. Follow the steps on this page and soon you’ll knead dough like a pro!