Don't know how to do it? Dr. Gourmet explains common cooking techniques and the hows and whys of what they are and why they work. More Cooking Techniques
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The process by which dough is combined, made smoother and more elastic. Ingredients and air are also incorporated during the process.
Dough is usually kneaded by hand on a board by gently pressing, folding and turning until the desired consistency is achieved. This can also be done by machine as with a food processor or mixer fitted with a dough-hook. Kneading allows proteins called gluten found in flour to expand. This makes it possible for the dough to trap gas bubbles formed by a leavening agents allowing it to rise.
Depending how the dough will be used, the kneading time can be anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.