Split-Batch kneading is a handy little trick for the bread baker. Suppose you want to make a lot of rolls for a festive dinner or several loaves for a bake sale but your mixer is decidedly small for the job. Don’t despair, help is as near as your two hands!
The split batch method will make large batch baking easier for you. I’ve pictured it using the fountain method, but you can easily just mix two small batches of dough and use the split-batch technique to knead the dough.
- Measure out all the flour you will need and put it on the counter.
- Mix the water, yeast and any other ingredients you can beforehand.
- Make the dough using the fountain method.
- When the dough is mixed, cover it and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. This is the autolyse.
- Cut the dough in half and knead one half in the mixer for part of the kneading time.
- Remove the partially-kneaded dough from the mixer and place the other portion in the mixer.
- Knead the second half for the same amount of time as you kneaded the first half.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and stack the two doughs one on top of the other.
- Divide the dough in half. this will give you two halves of dough, each with one half of the two doughs you had from the first step.
- Repeat kneading the two halves.
- Repeat stacking and dividing and kneading as many times as you need to complete the kneading.
- At the end of the process you will have a fully kneaded large batch of dough.
One point to remember is that the total kneading time you will need is actually twice the recipe kneading time. If the recipe calls for 6 minutes, you will have to do 3 divisions and kneads of 2 minutes each. Each half must be kneaded 3 times for 2 minutes each time. This way, the whole dough will be kneaded for 6 minutes.
|We start with the final stages of mixing and folding.|
|The dough is pretty well mixed, now to knead it. First, cut the dough in half.|
|The total kneading time is 6 minutes. Knead one half for 2 minutes.|
|Switch halves and knead the other half.|
|The two halves after 2 minutes kneading each. This counts as two minutes of total mixing time.|
|Stack the two halves one on top of the other, not side by each.|
|We cut the stack half in two. Each half contains some of each of the original halves. Neat, eh.|
|The two halves have been kneaded for 2 minutes each and are now stacked.|
|The stack cut half in two, ready to knead some more.|
|Here’s the finished dough. It has been kneaded in the mixer for a total of 6 minutes for each part. I then rolled it around a bit to see if it was kneaded. It was.|