Challah degassing and kneeding after first rise does not work

Joined Nov 14, 2016

I don't know much about baking.  I tried to make challah yesterday, this is pretty close to the recipe I used:  

Once all was put together, it was too wet. I added more flour.  Once all together and holding a ball, I kneaded with the dough hook on my mixer for 6 minutes.  I did not get the windowpane. I did another 6 minutes and still could not get a windowpane, so I ignored that. The dough was very tight I should also note that i had one ball around the hook and a longer peice that never really joined together in the mixer. I manually joined that separate piece and formed it into a boule, placed in a oiled bowl and rolled it in the oil.

After the first rise in the oiled bowl, you are supposed to briefly knead/fold it again to degas and then reform into a boule.  However, when attempting to hand kneed, the dough would not stick to its self... so each time i pressed and folded, the fold would not hold together, no matter how hard i pushed.  This made forming it into a boule nearly impossible... i just had to squeeze the seams to the bottom, but they didn't hold there. I have a feeling the oil from the bowl may have prevented this from occurring... or was my dough too dry? or something else I am not thinking of?

Looking forward to feedback and what I might have done wrong that didn't allow the dough to kneed into its self after the first rise. Thanks. 
Joined Aug 14, 2000
I suspect you added too much flour. I also think you over worked the dough. These two things will result in a dough that is very difficult to work with.

The recipe you give is from a well trusted source. Peter Reinhart is one of my bread gurus, so I'm pretty sure it has been thoroughly tested. There is enough fat in the recipe so that you should end up with a son dough that really won't stick to surfaces like kneading boards.

The fat content will also cause the dough to take a bit longer to become cohesive. Brioche is notoriously high in fat and takes a long time to come together. DOn't try and speed the process by adding more flour. Dry dough is dense dough is dense bread. If you are new to bread baking and you add flour to the point that the dough is easy to work with you've gone too far :)

Joined Dec 1, 2015
I make challah a lot, almost weekly. I find most recipes tend to seem a little wet when first mixed (I do it by hand) but seem fine after the first rise. I knead until pretty smooth and elastic but have never really gotten a good window pane. Having said that, the finished loaf structure always seems good.

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