I'm afraid this is going to turn out to be a disaster first time I've tried baking bread lots of pies and cakes but not bread
I'd have to know the recipe you are using, but most recipes call for kneading before letting rise, at least 10 minutes. I use a fold and turn move...fold in half, push down on the center crease away from you, turn 90 degrees and do it again.. Add flour as needed. After the time the recipe states for kneading, roll into a ball; the dough should have a silky feel under your fingers. Then you let it rise, never punch, just push down lightly and fold over. Follow the recipe for further kneading or shaping after that.
Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.
If the dough is lumpy, you haven't mixed the ingredients well enough. The flour, water, etc., should be mixed well (usually by hand), then kneaded until the glutens (proteins) develop. Sometimes it takes longer than the amount of time suggested by the recipe.You can see and feel the change as this happens. The dough begins to form strings, which means it is getting strong enough to hold air when it rises. the dough also becomes smoother, and a bit shinier. when you begin to feel little bubbles popping in the dough, you have kneaded it enough.
It is pretty difficult to overknead when doing this by hand--and since you are just starting out on baking with yeast, do try to do this by hand and not with a food processor because you will learn much more from the tactile experience.
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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