How to Knead Dough with Food Processor

There are three ways of kneading a dough: by hand, with a stand mixer, and with a food processor. 

Many dough recipes call for kneading by hand or with a stand mixer, but why would you torture yourself when you can knead a perfectly good dough with a food processor?

Food processors can knead almost any kind of dough, except extremely wet doughs, where hydration is over 75%. They’ll do all the hard work for you and save you a tremendous amount of time.

For example, if you’re baking bread or pizza, you’ll need elastic dough with a strong structure. How to achieve that? By kneading.

The protein in your flour will form gluten chains, but you’ll need to knead the dough by hand for at least 20 minutes. A food processor will knead your dough as well as you would, only faster. You’ll get elastic dough, with well-incorporated ingredients, in no time, almost without any effort. Just measure the ingredients and press the button.

Should I oil the bowl of the food processor before kneading the dough?

This step is optional, but we would highly recommend it. Oiling the bowl will prevent ingredients from sticking to the sides of the bowl, especially if you’re making multiple batches of dough.

Tip: Oil the blades, too.

How to make dough in a food processor?

Put dry ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and pulse shortly to combine them (about 5 seconds). While the food processor is running, add some cool water, or any other sort of liquid, through the feed tube.

Mix until the sides of the work bowl are clean and the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky after about 1 minute of mixing, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour and continue to mix. If the dough is dry and crumbly add some more liquid and mix until the dough ball forms.

Tip: While kneading the dough in a food processor, always use cool water. Food processors run at a high speed and pump a lot of heat into the dough while it’s kneading. The cold water will chill the dough so the final temperature will be around 75 degrees F. A higher dough temperature would kill yeast, which would lead to a flat dough.

Can I add all ingredients at once?

Please don’t! If you add all ingredients – dry and wet – at once and then turn on the food processor you’ll create nothing but a mess. Flour and water will be everywhere. Instead of that, mix dry ingredients first and add some water, little by little. This way, the dough will form evenly and it won’t be too sticky or too dry.

Which food processor is best for kneading dough?

A lot of different types of food processors are available on the market. If you’re baking often, these machines can be very helpful. Besides kneading, they have other functions, such as chopping and grinding vegetables, for example.

These are the best food processors for every budget:

Cuisinart DLC-10SYP1 088 7-cup Food Processor

  • Best food processor with dough blade
  • 7-cup capacity
  • 600-watt powerful motor
  • Two stainless steel discs
  • Chopping and slicing blades
  • Dough blade
  • Large and small pushers
  • Recipe book and spatula
  • BPA free

Braun FP3020 12-cup Ultra Quiet Food Processor

  • Best food processor for kneading bread dough
  • 12-cup work bowl capacity (12 cups of dry ingredients or 9 cups of wet ingredients)
  • 600-watt powerful motor
  • S blades
  • 2 shredding discs
  • 1 slicing disc
  • Ultra-quiet motor
  • Pre-set speed function
  • Easy to store anywhere in the kitchen

Cuisinart DLC-8SBCY Pro Custom

  • Best food processor for making or mixing dough
  • 11-cup work bowl
  • 625-watt motor
  • Extra-large feed tube
  • 2mm and 4mm slicing disc
  • Stainless steel shredding disc
  • Compact flat cover
  • Comes with spatula
  • Two pushers included

Hamilton Beach 70820 Stack & Snap 8-Cup

  • The best appliance for kneading dough
  • It’s lighter than most other processors – item weight is 5.5 pounds
  • Convenient stack and stab design
  • 450-watt motor
  • Less noisy quiet operation motor
  • Time-saving built-in scraper
  • Health friendly BPA-free plastic material
  • Five attachments with storage case
  • Dishwasher safe attachments
  • Easy to use

Oster FPSTFP13552-Speed 10-Cup

  • Food processor with dough maker
  • Reversible Shredding and Slicing disc
  • S-Blade for chopping and mixing
  • Contains stainless steel dough blade
  • 10-cup capacity work bowl with locking lid
  • 5” Wide-mouth continuous-feed chute for larger chunks
  • Multiple speeds and pulse control
  • Solid design to skillfully stack and store
  • Equipped with a 500-watt powerful motor

What size food processor do I need for the dough?

Most mid-size food processors will be quite enough for big-batch recipes. For example, if you’re kneading pizza dough, you’ll need a 3-cup capacity work bowl. If you’re planning to knead bread dough, you’ll need a 10 to 12-cup capacity food blender.

What is the dough blade on a food processor?

Most food processors come with dough blades. Those blades are short “arms” that gently pull and spin ingredients to knead the dough.

If you’re using small quantities of ingredients, you could face a problem, because short blades can’t reach the outside rim of the work bowl. If you’re using the maximum capacity of the work bowl, you’ll get an evenly kneaded dough.

Is it better to use plastic or metal blades?

Metal blades are a better choice. Metal blades will form the dough quickly and effectively, using sharp slicing movements. They are also more durable than plastic ones.

You’ll get plastic blades with most food processors that try to imitate the kneading movements of a stand mixer. These plastic blades are dragging the dough and it can often stay stuck on the sides of the work bowl, out of the reach of short blades. As a result, you’ll pulse the processor more, hoping all the flour will be kneaded.

Tip: Keep in mind that the dough warms up while kneading in the food processor. The longer you process the dough, the bigger risk that the dough will overheat.

What is the capacity of dough in a food processor?

Most food processors have 10 to 12 cups capacity. You can make about 1 ½ pound of dough in one batch – which means you can use 2 or 3 cups of flour. If you need a bigger amount of dough, we recommend mixing a few batches and combining the dough by hand afterward.

How long do I knead dough in a food processor?

About 2 or 3 minutes, tops. Food processors are really fast. They usually spin at 1.700 rpm (revolutions per minute), while stand mixers have just a few hundred rpm. A stand mixer will take 8 to 10 minutes to knead the dough, while a food processor will form a ball of dough in just 45 to 90 seconds.

Do all food processors knead dough?

Yes, all food processors can knead dough, although some of them come with special dough blades. If you already have a food processor without dough blades, don’t be bothered, you probably don’t even need them. Standard metal blades are best for kneading dough.

If you’re shopping for a food processor, look for one with a pulse button, which will easily knead the dough in short bursts.

It’s easy to overwork the dough in a food processor as the blades spin quickly and develop gluten really fast. If you over-knead your dough, you’ll get a dense loaf. The pulse function will give you more control over the kneading process.

Can you knead dough in a blender?

Blenders can be a good replacement for food processors in many recipes, and some of them can even knead dough! Blenders have short blades, so you’ll probably have to use a spatula to pull the ingredients from the sides. Pulse the mixture a few times, use a spatula and then pulse 5 or 6 times more, until you have a nice dough ball.

Tip: Blenders are especially useful for high-hydration doughs!

Is it better to use a blender or food processor for kneading dough?

Although blenders and food processors are in theory similar (both have dishes with knives inside), their purpose is different.

For kneading the dough, we would always recommend using a food processor. Why? Blenders have short blades and dishes that look like a jar. Mixing the dough in a tight container can leave clumps beneath blades and besides that, their capacity is small. You will need a lot of batches to make one loaf of bread dough.