How to Mix Bread Dough

HOW TO MIX BREAD: The Window Pane Test
One question we get asked a lot is, "how do I know when my bread is done mixing?" Unlike dough for cakes or cookies that look smooth and fluffy when ready, bread dough is different. With bread dough you need to build up the gluten, but you don’t want to break it. It does take practice, and gets easier with more bread baking experience. The "window pane test" is one helpful tip for checking whether or not your dough is done mixing.
Here’s how you do it:
  1. Pull off a small piece of your mixed dough.
  2. Hold the dough on the ends between your fingers and stretch it apart carefully, pulling it thin.
  3. If the dough stretches but doesn’t break (and you’re left with a translucent ‘window’ of bread) then the dough is good to go. If it rips then keep mixing and try again.

Visit our Tips & Techniques for more great bread baking ideas.