Dough Development: Kneading

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Gluten formation. The view of wetted flour through a light microscope. Left: When water is first added to flour, the gluten proteins are randomly oriented in a thick fluid. Right: As this fluid is stirred, it quickly develops into a tangle of fibers as the glutenin proteins form elongated bundles of molecules.

Kneading dough. Kneading repeatedly stretches and elongates the gluten, helping to orient the long chains and encourage the side-by-side bonding that contributes to gluten strength.