You will need:
- 3-4 level teaspoons of sea salt or rock salt
- 5-7 L plastic bowl, greased with a small amount of neutral flavor oil
- a large thin plastic bag
- the flour put aside to sprinkle the pastry board
Add 3-4 level teaspoons of good-quality salt (preferably sea salt or rock salt, without anticaking agents or any other additives) to the dough. Salt helps control the fermentation process and causes gluten to harden (when you knead the dough by hand, you will feel that it becomes slightly stiffer).
If you knead by hand, use the technique described in the First kneading section, until the dough surface gains a satin gloss and air bubbles are visible. If you knead vigorously, this takes approximately 10 minutes, but you can knead the dough longer, until you reach the desired texture (see the pictures on this page).
Texture after second kneading in a bowl
If you use a mixer, then, after adding the 3-4 teaspoons of salt mentioned above, leave it to work at medium speed for another 6 minutes, occasionally scraping the dough from the mixing bowl wall with a rubber spatula. When mixing is done, the dough should easily come off the mixing bowl wall (see the picture on the left). Afterwards, it would be a good idea to make some extra effort and take the dough out to a pastry board sprinkled with flour and knead it by hand for a minute or two (see the picture below). This dough is biologically active and touching it with a warm hand, even for a short while, is very beneficial for it.
Dough after the second kneading on the pastry board.
Third kneading on the pastry board
The kneaded dough should be soft, smooth and elastic. If you stop kneading, it should settle *slowly. If you lay your hand on it, you will feel the air bubbles moving under its surface. The texture of your dough should be like the one shown in the picture below.
Dough after the third kneading
When you finish kneading, put the dough in a plastic bowl greased with a thin layer of neutral flavor oil.
Dough left to rise in the bowl
The next stage is fermentation.