- About Kneading -

By Kerenza

What is kneading?

Kneading is a process of adding water and flour to create a desired dish. It involves a perfect mix of water and flour, followed by some kneading to the point where the flour becomes a solid, sticky dough.

The characteristics of kneading vary depending on what you're trying to make. If it's noodles or bread, you'll need dough that is very elastic and sticky; whereas if you're making cake or frying batter, the dough must be soft.

How do I make dough?

As I've previously mentioned, in order to make dough, you'll need flour and water. Pour some water and flour into a pot, and make sure the flour is evenly wet with water so it gets sticky. Once it gets sticky, you'll start kneading to turn it into a large-sized ball. Once you've become more adept, you can come up with different portions of flour and water for different dishes.

How do I know if I kneaded successfully?

A good dough is evenly distributed to the point where the flour is not powdery inside. It's also evenly elastic, as opposed to being too sticky or bland. In order to make dough with those characteristics, the ratio of water and flour is important, as well as the ratio of other ingredients.

First, pour flour into the pot. Then, pour just the right amount of water into the pot, preferably water that is warmer in temperature. (Make sure that you don't pour in too much, for the flour will become too gooey.) When this happens, there will be layers of flour where one will be fully wet. Please listen carefully here: you're NOT massaging the flour to make dough; be gentle and cover all spots to make sure the water is evenly distributed. You'll have to softly stir it until it's ready, then you can massage it. This will facilitate the process of making dough. If you want to make the dough more elastic, it's suggested that you store it in a damp sack.

A Good Dough and a Good Chef

Just like any other dish, it's important that you visualize exactly how each ingredient will be used to complete the final dough. Good chefs are like architects in how they create a culinary blueprint, if you will, to map out and execute a product to perfection.

Ultimately, it's the chef's duty to remember every step of cooking, taste it, and alter the steps to ensure the best possible food will not only be made, but also duplicated. In the process, please learn how to make a basic, non-decorated version of the dish--it will prove useful in unexpected times.

Above all, remember the key to making good dough is patience and carefulness; in fact, remember these two elements whenever you're cooking at all, for that matter. So, here's to good dough and a better life--cheers!