I often see recipes that just ask to mix the ingredients until you get an homogeneous mix. Others ask to mix the ingredients to exhaustion.
What happens to the though while I mix it? Does that really make a difference? What should I expect, as final result (after cooking) from a dough that was only mixed to the point it gets homogeneous from one that I mix hard for a long time?
I am mostly talking about bread and cake dough. But I was wondering if there is a general rule so I know what to expect.