Demonstration of the windowpane test

Windowpane Test (Dough)

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The windowpane test is a simple way to determine the level of gluten development in the dough. To perform the test, take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers to create a thin sheet, resembling a window. The degree to which you can stretch the dough and see through it provides information about the level of gluten development. The more the dough can be stretched and becomes transparent, the higher the level of gluten development.

When discussing the concept of “passing” the windowpane test, it usually means achieving a transparent “window” that indicates that we have achieved full gluten development (see picture below).

It is important to note that the windowpane is irrelevant for long-fermented pizza dough. When fermenting the dough for over 8 hours at room temperature or over 18 hours in the fridge, our goal is not to achieve full gluten development at the end of kneading. This is because the gluten will continue to develop biochemically during fermentation.

On the other hand, for short fermentations, such as “emergency dough” or dough that will rise for a few hours at room temperature, it is desirable to achieve full gluten development by the end of kneading. The limited fermentation time does not provide enough opportunity for biochemical gluten development. Therefore, it becomes necessary to primarily develop the gluten through kneading and/or folding.

Windowpane test for evaluating gluten development at different stages
Windowpane test for evaluating gluten development at different stages

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