I have a confession to make: I hate kneading dough. It’s probably the reason why I don’t make as much home made bread as I should considering I have an amazing wood-fired oven in my home which makes amazing bread. The problem is not the effort involved—I’m not lazy at all—but the fact that I have to do a single repetitive action for between 15 and 20 minutes.
A few months ago I made a small discovery however that means I have to clarify the above statement. I was making pasta with some other people and we were chatting away and all of a sudden 15 minutes had passed and my dough was ready. So it appears that: I hate making dough alone or at least without some kind of external stimulus.
Well, it’s not always practical to have friends round when you are cooking, so I came up with an alternative solution which for me works very well: the Pasta Playlist! Music to knead to. By the time you’ve listened to a few tracks the dough is ready. It also solved another problem for me, which is that I don’t listen to as much music as I used to. Voilà! Two eggs cracked with one hand … or something.
For kneading you need—’scuse the pun—pieces of music in either 2/4 or 4/4 so that you get into a regular rhythm. Marches are very good since they are also at a suitable speed. I mentioned the Pasta Playlist a few days ago in my post on tortelli di zucca which were rendered very easy by using it. You need about 20 minutes of music so that you don’t run out before the dough is ready (pasta takes between 10-15 minutes, bread a little longer).
Here is my current Pasta Playlist. It’s mostly classical, soundtracks, or show tunes but you could of course use anything.
What would be on your playlist?
The Pasta Playlist
- Verdi: Triumphal March from Aida
- Verdi: Vedi le fosche from Il Trovatore.
- Williams: Imperial March from Star Wars.
- Harnick and Bock: If I were a rich man from Fiddler on the Roof.
- The Italian National Anthem.
- Strauss: The Radetzky March.
- Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Lonely Goatherd from the Sound of Music.
- Prokofiev: The Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet.
- Mozart: Rondo alla Turca.
- Sousa: The Washington Post March.