Gluten Development (with Windowpane Photos)

I took (actually, my husband T took, while I “windowpaned”) some photos of the stages of gluten development. I hope someone will find these useful. Most of the breads I make call for the gluten to be developed to a medium stage.

Gluten development is tested with the “windowpane test.” Pinch off about two tablespoons of dough and try to stretch it into a thin membrane (windowpane).

If you can do so without tearing, but the membrane is mostly opaque, you have barely developed gluten.

If you can stretch a paper-thin, very translucent windowpane, the gluten is fully developed.

A medium level is in between these two extremes: the windowpane is translucent with some opaque areas.

The progression from minimally to fully developed gluten:

Low gluten development Medium gluten development High gluten development

Post a comment » 129 Comments

  1. [...] to a medium development although I’m really not sure. I learned this after seeing the pictures at Wild Yeast In the beginning my first windowpanes looked like the first picture, and how they more resemble [...]

  2. [...] Mix in medium speed about 10 minutes, until dough has reached a medium-high level of gluten development. The dough is soft and sticky. [...]

  3. [...] Reinhart warns that the dough may be too large for home mixers. Make sure that your dough passes the windowpane test after kneading. Prepare a lightly oiled [...]

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for the windowpane picks. Being new to baking wasn’t quite clear what I was shooting for – thanks again.

  5. Why medium stage instead of fully development stage?

  6. Macfield, full development generally gives a tight, even crumb (interior texture), which is desirable for some breads. For breads where you want a more open and irregular crumb, medium development is usually best.

  7. Are the pictures of the windowpains in reverse order? It seems that the one on the lift shows ligt and image behind it.
    The idea of showing the actual window pain results is a great idea.Thanks to Susan again.

  8. Herb, the photo on the left is the most opaque (i.e., the least developed gluten). There is a little translucency at the edges, so maybe you’re perceiving the edges of the opaque area as an image behind the dough. This is like a Rorschach test :)

  9. [...] und Salz hinzugefügt und etwa 7 min geknetet (mit der Küchenmaschine), bis der Teig den “Fenstertest“  [...]

  10. [...] bit. I then let it rest for 2-3 minutes and knead it for 10-15 minutes until the dough passes the window pane test. Lightly oil a bowl, put the dough inside turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let [...]

  11. [...] l?tai maišome, kol viskas.. susimaišo (apie 5 minutes). toliau maišome, kol glitimas vidutiniškai susiformuoja. ?maišome likus? vanden?; minkome, kol tešla pasidaro vientisa (d?mesiaus – ji bus minkšta, [...]

  12. [...] wird, dann die Maschine höherstellen und weiter kneten, bis zu einer mittleren Glutenentwicklung (Fenstertest), etwa weitere 3 min. Nun wird der Zucker in kleinen Portionen (ca. 20g pro Portion) hinzugefügt [...]

  13. [...] point where it seemed tacky, but not sticky.  To check if the gluten had developed enough, I used the windowpane test (also called membrane test).  This is not an easy thing to photograph, so I was lucky to have my [...]

  14. Thank you so much for this demo. It has changed my sourdough making. I was never sure what I was doing and I just crossed my fingers. Now, I know what to look for.

  15. [...] into the greasy inner workings of the mixer. It was not pretty! Anyway, it will definetely pass the windowpane test. (Note: See a great picture tutorial on what it’s supposed to look like here.)3. Place into a [...]

  16. [...] into the greasy inner workings of the mixer. It was not pretty! Anyway, it will definetely pass the windowpane test. (Note: See a great picture tutorial on what it’s supposed to look like here.)3. Place into a [...]

  17. [...] I kneaded and kneaded and kneaded.  After ten minutes, I had managed to incorporate about half of the extra flour.  The dough was getting somewhere, but the gluten hadn’t developed enough to pass the windowpane test. [...]

  18. [...] kneading for 6 or 7 minutes in my stand mixer, I gave the dough the windowpane test.  Although it was hard to photograph, this was the best windowpane I’ve ever achieved!  [...]

  19. Thank you so much for this explanation! When I did my cinnamon rolls, I only had medium gluten development. Does this mean that I need to knead it longer in order to reach full development?

  20. [...] linki:- sk?adanie ciasta chlebowego w czasie ro?ni?cia- gluten- sk?adanie owalnych bochenków wg Tatter – metoda I i metoda [...]

  21. [...] forever, probably 2o or 25 minutes. When it’s done it’s supposed to be able to pass the window pane test. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten dough to that point, but after it rises for a few hours [...]

  22. [...] and I would be surprised if I kneaded for longer than 5 minutes let alone 10. I also skipped the windowpane test, which is the test to make sure the dough has been kneaded for long [...]

  23. [...] 2 until the gluten has developed. I usually check mine after 8 minutes of kneading. Here’s a link to help determine when the gluten has developed. If you’ll oil your hands before working with [...]

  24. [...] salt and knead for another 10 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and stretchy and can pass the windowpane test. I would post my own helpful picture here but this was a pretty messy dough and I didn’t want [...]

  25. [...] Windowpane test from Wild Yeast [...]

  26. [...] I also ended up kneading it longer than the book suggested in order for the dough to pass the windowpane test.  Because of the extra kneading, my dough temperature was higher than it should have been.  The [...]

  27. [...] together in a stand mixer; knead with a dough hook at medium low speed until the dough passes the windowpane test. Next, divide the dough into three balls, coat with olive oil, and rest at room temp for 15 [...]

  28. [...] will have been evenly distributed, and the dough will be evenly hydrated) and will pass the windowpane test. Kneading is actually a technique, so you should look up how to do it or have someone teach you. [...]

  29. [...] you just want to experience the pleasure of working with bread dough!). Knead until it passes the windowpane test, with a 5 minute rest halfway to allow the dough hydrate and the gluten to relax [...]

  30. [...] and didn’t reach the top, see? Or maybe it’s because the dough managed to pass the windowpane test this [...]

  31. [...] Pre-Kitchenaid, it used to take me 30+ minutes of hand-kneading to get the dough to pass the windowpane test, sadly raising actual concerns that my hands would fall off.  (I am the first to admit I have [...]

  32. [...] Pre-Kitchenaid, it used to take me 30+ minutes of hand-kneading to get the dough to pass the windowpane test, sadly raising actual concerns that my hands would fall off (in which case I really would need a [...]

  33. [...] Pre-Kitchenaid, it used to take me 30+ minutes of hand-kneading to get the dough to pass the windowpane test, sadly raising actual concerns that my hands would fall off (in which case I really would need a [...]

  34. [...] check if it had been kneaded enough, I used the windowpane test (which is rather hard to photograph alone, by the way).  It passed with flying colors, so it was [...]

  35. [...] check if it had been kneaded enough, I used the windowpane test (which is rather hard to photograph alone, by the way).  It passed with flying colors, so it was [...]

  36. [...] right – soft and supple, tacky but not sticky.  I checked the gluten development using the windowpane test, and it looked [...]

  37. [...] right – soft and supple, tacky but not sticky.  I checked the gluten development using the windowpane test, and it looked [...]

  38. [...] check if it had been kneaded enough, I used the windowpane test (which is rather hard to photograph alone, by the way).  It passed with flying colors, so it was [...]

  39. [...] Whisk the flours, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl, and mix in the butter until it’s pretty well incorporated into the flour. Slowly stir in the water until the dough begins to form a ball in the bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough in the bowl of a mixer for about 6 minutes, or by hand on a floured work surface for about 10. You want the dough to be smooth, and to achieve that all-important windowpane effect. [...]

  40. [...] Knead on medium-speed for 10 minutes or until dough is kneaded (must pass the window pane test). [...]

  41. [...] But baking has never been a subject I'm comfortable with. Give me a skillet, some pasta, and a well-stocked pantry and I can improvise countless meals. But if I'm supposed to bake something, I freeze. I immediately picture failure, a leaden cracker or a gummy mess. I hate the confusion of baking, the way it never quite turns out how it's supposed to in the recipe. I hate the way flour gets all over the place. And more than anything else, I hate the conflicting information, recipes never agreeing with each other, and how no matter how long I knead my bread I never get that damn "windowpane" effect that everyone talks about. [...]

  42. [...] mostly passed the windowpane test.  If you look closely you can see that it’s tearing in spots in the middle, but it was good [...]

  43. [...] 6 minutes or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The bread should pass the windowpane test and register 77° to 81°F. If the dough hasn’t fully developed, it can be kneaded more. It [...]

  44. [...] fine. Continue kneading the dough until you achieve good gluten structure and the dough passes the windowpane test. This took me about ten minutes by [...]

  45. [...] bit. I then let it rest for 2-3 minutes and knead it for 10-15 minutes until the dough passes the window pane test. Lightly oil a bowl, put the dough inside turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let [...]

  46. [...] for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees [...]

  47. [...] still pliable and smooth and should clean the sides of the mixer bowl. The dough should pass the windowpane test. If the dough is too dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough [...]

  48. [...] further but only until medium gluten development (you can find nice demonstration in Susan’s Wild Yeast Blog on gluten development ). Here is the dough where I stopped kneading. Minimal kneading with folding [...]

  49. [...] mixing on low or medium speed until the dough reaches a medium level of gluten development. This might take about 5 minutes, but will depend on your [...]

  50. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing with us your gluten development together with the photos taken. Will show it to one of my friends who likes baking.

    Paul

  51. [...] until you get a good gluten window. (You’ll have to take my word for it that I got a good gluten window; I couldn’t figure out how to hold the camera in one hand and show the gluten window with the [...]

  52. [...] shiny, tacky but no longer sticky.  At this point, you can check for gluten development using the windowpane test.  I forgot to do it this [...]

  53. [...] check if the dough had been kneaded enough, I performed the windowpane test.  This dough passed with flying [...]

  54. [...] all the bread ingredients for 15 min. or until combined and can pass the windowpane test. Let it rise in a warm humid area for 1 hour, or until it doubles in [...]

  55. [...] set the speed above 2 when making bread, but I’ve never achieved anything close to a windowpane being a good girl and following the manual. It seems that Reinhart means for you to knead at a [...]

  56. [...] to make it easier to handle. Not being a hearth bread, I didn’t subject this dough to the windowpane test, but here it’s appropriately stretchy and, once floured, relatively easy to [...]

  57. [...] theory, this dough should pass the windowpane test, but it’s kind of hard to actually test it because the seeds break up the windowpane [...]

  58. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  59. [...] this point it should pass the windowpane test.  Mine didn’t.  I kneaded it for another minute or so then just moved [...]

  60. What a brilliant tip! I have been making a sort of rustic bread for a few years now with a pate fermentee, but I suspect any success was down to luck. I shall definitely be using this in future!

  61. Hi Susan,
    I need to be honest with you: these pictures have been driving me crazy for weeks! I knead and knead and knead and knead and…well, you get the picture. My point is that the most development I seem to get is somewhere between “minimal development” and the middle picture.
    Do you have any tips for making the jump to the next level? I have a kitchen aid mixer but that didn’t seem to help too much…the window pane eludes me!
    Thanks!

  62. we use mixed nuts as bird seeds when we are feeding our pet birds`:;

  63. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  64. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  65. we always use sunflowers as our bird seed*;’

  66. [...] te? r?cznie) do uzyskania ma?o rozwini?tego glutenu (mo?na zobaczy? jak to powinno wygl?da? tu). Powinno to zaj?? ok. 10 minut, przy wyrabianiu mikserem. Prze?o?y? ciasto do nasmarowanej [...]

  67. [...] it tightens right up after a few turns. However you like to knead the dough, it should pass the “windowpane test” and be between 77F and [...]

  68. [...] to the mixer and knead the dough at the lowest speed for 15 minutes, or by hand until it passes the windowpane test. It is worth looking at this link, the gluten should be fully developed. I didn’t consistently [...]

  69. Thanks for the post, this is very interesting.
    I have only just cut out gluten from my diet and have found some amazing results in my skin.

    Looking to learn more.

    Thanks again for your post

  70. [...] it’s time to test for gluten development in the dough with a window pane test.  This is done after the dough feels right and is beginning to get resistant to [...]

  71. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  72. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  73. [...] to wash and oil your mixing bowl!). (9) Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic – use the windowpane test to determine when it’s ready. (10) Form dough into ball and turn it in oiled bowl. Cover and [...]

  74. [...] takes for the gluten to develop properly and I finally know exactly what to look for when I do the windowpane test. Not my [...]

  75. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  76. [...] does not feel like normal dough. There is no window-pane test, you will not create a nice, taut ball of dough, and you should add as little flour as possible. In [...]

  77. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  78. [...] 8 minutes or so.  The dough should be smooth and tacky, but not sticky, and should pass the windowpane test.  The dough will be around 80°F when ready to [...]

  79. I wanted by way of thanking a person because of this intriguing My partner and i definitely adored each and every little that. I have you bookmarked your web site to look at the most recent items you post.

  80. [...] Gluten Development (with Windowpane Photos) | Wild Yeast – I took (actually, my husband T took, while I “windowpaned”) some photos of the stages of gluten development. I hope someone will find these useful. Most of the breads I make call for the gluten to be developed to a medium … [...]

  81. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  82. [...] dough until smooth, shiny, and elastic and passes the window pane test, about 4-6 minutes (10 minutes when kneaded by [...]

  83. Is the windowpane test done after the first or second rise? New baker here, so sorry if it is stupid question.

  84. [...] dough is kneaded enough when it feels silky and passes the windowpane test. This took about 15 minutes in my [...]

  85. [...] pass the window pane test, this dough is really wet, i kneaded it for about half an hour and it barely become manageable or [...]

  86. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  87. [...] adding flour as necessary, until dough is tacky and soft, but not sticky. The dough should pass the windowpane test. Place in an oiled bowl, coat with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Ferment at room temperature [...]

  88. [...] den Vorteig in Stücken dazu und rühre alles auf Stufe 2 für weitere 5 Minuten. Der Teig besteht den Fenstertest, ist jedoch nicht voll [...]

  89. [...] and knead for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is tacky but not sticky, and the dough passes the windowpane test. Honestly, I only got my dough developed to the point in the middle picture – medium gluten [...]

  90. [...] proper gluten formation, which is the key to a fluffy, happy cinnamon bun, you should perform the windowpane test.  (I like to do this by raising the dough sample in the air like Simba and holding it up to the [...]

  91. [...] if needed to make a firm but supple dough, slightly tacky but not sticky. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register at 25-27 C (77-81 F). Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough, rolling it [...]

  92. [...] Whisk the flours, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl, and mix in the butter until it’s pretty well incorporated into the flour. Slowly stir in the water until the dough begins to form a ball in the bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough in the bowl of a mixer for about 6 minutes, or by hand on a floured work surface for about 10. You want the dough to be smooth, and to achieve that all-important windowpane effect. [...]

  93. [...] Next you’ll combine the two mixtures together, and add the maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and remaining yeast. Knead the dough until it passes the windowpane test. [...]

  94. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  95. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  96. Hello,

    As one commenter tried to point out earlier, it appears that your captions on the pictures contradict your descriptions. The one on the left is fine, yes, (opague and underdeveloped,) but what that person intended to say, I think, is that your 2nd and 3rd photos have incorrect captions that show up when you “mouse over” them.

    The very thin, transluscent image says “moderate development” in the middle, and the last one on the far right that’s semi-opaque says “full development.” I believe you intended that last one to be the goal- moderate/medium development, as indicated by your text narrative.

    Thanks in advance for clarifying.
    Megan

  97. Megan: Hm, I wonder if you are seeing the photos in a different order from my intended one. As far as I can tell, the captions are correct. The photo on the right shows full gluten development; the bright area of the dough is the uniformly thin and translucent windowpane (although it is “flecked,” due to my use of some whole grain flour in this dough). In the middle photo, the bright (thin) areas are more “streaky.” This moderate development is what most of my recipes call for.

  98. Do you guys have any thoughts on how fully developed (gluten) dough would fair in a wood fired oven ?

  99. [...] Re: ____ Dough Trouble _____ you need to develop the gluten. this can be done by stretching a small piece if dough to see how thin it will get before it tears. In Australia this is called a gluten test. Asking Google it can also be called a windowpane test a basic discrption can be found at Gluten Development (with Windowpane Photos) | Wild Yeast [...]

  100. [...] together into a ball, start timing – usually a minimum of 5 minutes is needed. Then check the “gluten window” and knead more if necessary. Keep a close eye on the KA, put your hand on the part with the [...]

  101. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  102. [...] 14: Stopping to knead after reaching medium development in the dough, I oiled a mixing bowl with olive oil, rounded the dough, placed the dough into the [...]

  103. [...] All in all, each dough was kneaded for a total of twenty minutes upon reaching medium-high gluten development. [...]

  104. [...] vody, žloutky, med, mouku se solí, postupn? p?isypávejte cukr a míchejte, dokud nedosáhnete krásného okénka. Robotem to potrvá asi 10-15 minut, ale když se to stane, máte vyhráno a m?žete po kouscích [...]

  105. [...] two friggin’ hours—all of the butter was absorbed by the dough. However, the gluten development was tremendously [...]

  106. [...] To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane” ie the windowpane test, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you [...]

  107. [...] for about 10 minutes or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 88 degrees F (we never test for temperature!). The dough should be firmer than [...]

  108. [...] knead by hand until the dough passes the windowpane test. Go here for an excellent picture of this: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/07/gluten/ Dough is kneaded and ready for preferment. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to [...]

  109. [...] it. How to see the gluten development using the windowpane test – Images taken from the Wild Yeast Blog Low Gluten Development Medium Gluten Development Fully developed [...]

  110. [...] 6: After reaching medium-low gluten development, I thinly coated a separate mixing bowl with extra virgin olive oil, positioned the dough into the [...]

  111. [...] that the kneading process was short, I was also astonished that the dough reached medium-high gluten development within such a brief time. Step [...]

  112. [...] To make the dough, mix the yeast with a little warm water. Add flour, more warm water, salt, oil, and knead the mixture until you get a very pliable dough that forms a ‘window pane’ – when the dough can be pulled into a thin membrane that allows the light to come through (see photos here or here). [...]

  113. [...] board (above), then implemented the French kneading method until the dough reached medium-high gluten development. Step [...]

  114. [...] Keep on mixing till the dough passes the “window pane test”. [...]

  115. [...] much. However, I took longer than this to get the dough right, and my dough didn’t suffer.) Windowpane your dough to see if the gluten is well developed. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl and [...]

  116. [...] sticky, smooth and pliable. Get a pinch of the dough then try to do the window testing. See this link for window testing detailed. You want to get low to medium gluten development – this will [...]

  117. [...] test. English Teachers Association – Blog – Grammar lessons and reflections … Gluten Development (with Windowpane Photos) | Wild Yeast Jul 7, 2007 … Gluten development is tested with the “windowpane test.” Pinch off [...]

  118. [...] Turn up mixer speed to medium, and continue mixing until dough just about reaches full gluten development (check with windowpane test). [...]

  119. [...] we know when  to stop kneading?  One way is the “glutten windowpane” test.  The blog Wild Yeast explains nicely with photographs.  Emma’s list posted on the website The Kitchen is also very [...]

  120. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  121. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  122. [...] it is very developed. This intensive kneading is the key to a soft crumb, and proper volume. The windowpane will be thin and speckled with grains, but don’t expect it to be as strong as one would get [...]

  123. [...] We started off by making some Honey Whole Wheat Multigrain loaves, totally not vegan but easy to veganize nonetheless. It was great to work with my hands and get a real feel for the consistency of the dough. All the kneading by hand gave us an idea of how long it takes for the gluten to develop properly and I finally know exactly what to look for when I do the windowpane test. [...]

  124. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  125. [...] Continue to mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and the gluten is almost fully developed. [...]

  126. [...] off the most, as well as knowing when their bread has enough water or flour added to it. Using the windowpane method, you can easily determine if your gluten has been developed enough (that’s fancy talk for [...]

  127. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  128. [...] with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich [...]

  129. great points altogether, you simply won a emblem new reader.
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