How To Tell Your Bread Isn't Kneaded Enough, According To Paul Hollywood

Bread is a very serious topic in most culinary conversations. Even those who are gluten free tend to be on the lookout for bread alternatives they can get their hands on that are close to the real thing. (Healthline rounded up the best alt options that have come out in 2021). From Buzzfeed round-ups highlighting "things for people who really love bread" to Eater overviews of where to get your hands on fresh bread in New York City, there is no denying that people love their bread.

And not only is takeaway bread popular, but there's a strong yearning to learn how to make bread from scratch. The Globe and Mail documented the uptick in breadmaking in 2020, citing it as a "creature comfort" that is "simple" and "satisfying". It's also a relatively inexpensive endeavor.

But baking bread, while rewarding, can also be quite tricky to nail. Enter the stars of "Great British Baking Show." Not only do they entertain us on TV, but one of their judges has some prime tips on how to make sure that at least one step in your breadmaking process goes smoothly.

You knead to know his trick

For recipes that require it, kneading is a crucial technique and step in the successful creation of bread. The catch, of course, is knowing just how long to knead the dough. Recipes themselves can be maddeningly vague on this point. And yet, according to The Spruce Eats, if you don't knead your dough enough, it will not be able to hold its shape and will also likely fail to rise and "inflate," instead of producing the fluffy, chewy, rich results you're likely aiming for. So how do you know when you've kneaded it enough?

Paul Hollywood of "The Great British Baking Show" has a very useful trick. According to the "Top Tips" section of his website, he advises the at-home baker to "pull out a piece of dough between your hands. It should be able to stretch to 20cm without breaking." There you have it: A quick, easy, visual technique to make sure your dough will dough-light instead of falling flat. Armed with this new trick, it should not be difficult to ensure that you have a delicious end result that will look and feel exactly like the way it should — and even more gratifying, you will have made it yourself.