Kneading a dough can sometimes be an intimidating task specially if you are kneading it by hand. Nowadays the dough making machines or kitchen aids have made this quite easier. But still there are a lot of people I personally know who prefer to mix the dough by their hands, they say, it adds to the softness of the bread. Kneading a dough requires quite an amount of practice, it’s no fun trying to adjust flour is to water ratio. Ending up with flour all over the kitchen is no fun either. After all, a lady running around the house with flour on her hands is just as good on screen.
Frankly I am no expert in this, but over time I have found some tips that have helped me in making my dough a lot better. Yeah, you’re right, earlier mine used to look like a big glob of substance whatsoever. Below are some of my tried and tested (several times) tip :
(Note: These tips are based on my experience for making chapati dough. Although the physical method of making all other doughs is more or less the same.)
1. Use luke warm water to knead your dough. This makes your chapati or breads soft.
2. Get the hang of water : flour ratio. What this actually means is we do not want to make our dough sticky by adding a lot of water. Neither do we want to make it hard and dry by adding too less water. But the amount of water required is different for different doughs. That’s why, be very careful. Pour water little by little while mixing the dough rather than everything all at once. If, by accident, you happen to add more water and your dough has turned sticky, add flour and mix. But do not get caught up in the flour – water vicious cycle.
3. Roll and punch – Once the flour has been combined with water, your next step is to ensure that the dough gets smooth. Punch your dough till its flat on the vessel. Roll it up and punch again. Do this for about 5-7 minutes for a smooth dough and softer chapatis.
This is how rolling and punching is done: