So I had written a post on this, about how I had never heard of bread made at home without kneading. Then my mother reminded me that “duh! That’s why the KitchenAid mixer you bought has the hook”. When I asked her about doing it by hand and letting the dough rise, she told me I was crazy to want to do it by hand, as it’s too tiresome. I got to thinking about it because some people on FB were discussing it, The New York Times had an article about it on Tuesday and the people at The Kitchn posted on a recipe on it yesterday.
So far, my skeptic baker mind thinks it’s a cheat. Yes, I love my stand mixer and use it A LOT, but I am not sure just letting the machine do it for me is what I’d go for. Besides, what I like about doughs is the sensory, therapeutic part of them. Getting your hands dirty, working the ingredients to form a a sticky, pliable mass, letting chemistry do its thing. And don’t get me started on how good it is to get your frustration out by pounding and kneading dough. Yes, my mother is right, it’s tiresome, but it’s rewarding. And though I did learn some things from the NYT (who’d have thought my favorite breads actually come from the school of “little kneading”?), I guess this calls for an experiment. Yet another one to put on the “to do list”. To settle this, I will bake a regular, old-fashioned bread, and one of the “five minutes of hands on time” other ones. Granted, I think the last time I made bread was in home-ec class in school (all my kneading experience comes in the butter cookies I’m always making), so this is a challenge. But what better time than the present to practice?
Will report when ready, and if any of you has done a bread at home, send me your tips and thoughts.