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Bread from the
I learned this technique from Charles Van Over's book, The Best Bread
Ever. It sounds kooky but it really works, honest! For a
full discussion of the procedure and the benefits, read the
book. The short version: using the cutting blade will
give a fast knead that may actually make better bread.
I posted an illustrated version of this here.
The recipe sizes and timings in his book are based on using on the
Cuisinart Pro 14C processor, so YMMV with other makes/models.
However, if you have a large bowl and strong motor, it's worth giving
this a try. My kitchenaid mixer dough hook hardly gets any
Here's how I adapt my recipes for this technique:
•Make one loaf's worth of bread at once, maximum 500g or 3 1/2 C flour
for a single batch, in a 14C size cuisinart. Make multiple
batches if you need to make more loaves.
•Instant yeast is added with the dry ingredients. I have used
sourdough starters, but dissolve them into the wet ingredients first.
•The wet ingredients should be chilled to refrigerator or ice-water
temperature. The mixing will heat up the dough considerably, so
starting with warm liquids will overheat and may kill the yeast.
•Measure all of the dry ingredients into the bowl with the blade in
place. Pour the chilled wet ingredients in all at once, with the
blade spinning. Let the dough just come together, then turn off
the processor and let it sit for 5-15 minutes to hydrate the flour (the
Add a bit of water or flour if needed to adjust the texture. The
dough may not be completely mixed or smooth at this point, so it takes
some experience to get this part right. Then start up the
processor again. When the dough is starting to clean the sides of
the bowl, start counting and check it after about 45 seconds. It
should be done or nearly so. Give it a bit more time, if needed,
in 5-10 second zaps.
Turn out and shape for rising, rise, retard, bake as usual.
Occasionally, very soft, sticky doughs that start out over-hydrated (to
which you generally add a fair bit of flour while kneading) will ooze
up inside the blade, around the spindle, during the autolyse, and will
slow or stop the processor when you try to restart and knead in
earnest. You can transfer the dough to another bowl long enough
to clear the spindle and the blade, and return the dough to the bowl,
and knead away; I generally transfer it to the kitchenaid and give the
dough hook a little exercise when this happens.
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