The first two purposes of mixing—combining the ingredients into a dough and distributing the yeast—are accomplished during the first part of this step. The remaining time is necessary to develop the gluten. Overmixed and undermixed doughs have poor volume and texture (review “Mixing and Gluten Development,”).
Mixing times given in formulas in this book are guidelines only. You must learn to tell by sight and feel when a dough is thoroughly mixed. This can be done only through experience. A properly developed dough feels smooth and elastic. A lean dough should not be sticky.