Dough is soft but not flexible

I have a general question regarding the kneeding process, which is, for some reason inconsistent.

When I kneed I sometimes get a nice soft dough that doesn’t stick, as if should be for a Challa or pita dough for example. The problem is that it doesn’t always become flexible and stretchy and keeps tearing while I kneed it.
Could it be related to missing water? Flour?
I kneed by hand since I don’t have a mixer, could that be problem?

The end result is usually OK, but thought it could improve if I knew what I’m doing wrong.


Sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes, not a native English speaker

If dough is soft, but tears, it might mean that the gluten is not developed fully. A solution might be, letting it rest, kneading more until the dough is flexible and does not tear. There is a test called “window pane” where you stretch the dough until you can see through it, but it does not tear (small section between your fingers or google “dough window pane test” to see photos.

It would help me and other bakers help you if you gave an indication of what kind of flour, how much water and what kind of bread you are making.

You might wish to incorporate an autolyse into the recipe where you mix just the flour and water, before adding anything else, and allowing it to rest for anything from 30 minutes for an all white flour dough to up to 2 hours for a wholgrain loaf. This allows the gluten formation to get under way before the yeast and salt is added. It also helps with texture and flavour.

Ok, great tips.
Thanks a lot.
I’ll try both and let you know if it works and add the recepie I use.

1 Like