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Hand Kneading Bread
From Dorothy McNett's recipes at www.dorothymcnett.com.
Choose any good yeast bread recipe, using unbleached all-purpose flour, or bread flour, whole wheat, rye, buckwheat flours, etc. A combination of flours is nice to work with as well.
Use any favorite recipe. Combine the ingredients, using warm liquids (not higher than 110 - 115 degrees). Turn dough out onto work surface. Add more flour as needed, as you knead the mass. The dough should not stick to your hands, but it should not be so stiff that it is hard to knead. The best way to knead is to shape it into a ball. Flatten it with your hands, pick up the half that is farthest away from you and bring it down on top of the rest. Using your palms, press it gently together. Rotate the mass and flatten it again. Proceed as above. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat......for 5 - 10 minutes. The dough should feel springy to the touch and seem elastic and shiny. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover. Allow to stand in a warm, draft-free place for at least 40 and up to 60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. (Whole grain breads may take 60-90 minutes.) Punch the dough down with your closed fist. Shape into a ball. Cover and allow to rest about 10 minutes. Then, shape as desired. Dough can be shaped into rolls, cloverleaf rolls, buns, twirls, twists, swirls, or even just a plain loaf in a loaf pan. Cover, and allow to stand in a warm, draft-free place for about 30 minutes or so, or until light and puffy. In meantime, preheat oven to 350-375 degrees and then when the dough is ready, place in hot oven for about 15 minutes for rolls, and 30-40 minutes for a loaf of bread. The bottom of the bread should sound hollow when thumped. This indicates that it is done on the inside. Place on a cooling rack to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing. My Mom always had a chunk of butter to rub all over the hot bread as it came from the oven. This softens the crust, some people like that and others favor a crispier crust.
Recipe created 1996-02-02.