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Using a Kitchen Aid Standmixer to make bread... having problems, need advice!

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gizzy's picture
gizzy

Using a Kitchen Aid Standmixer to make bread... having problems, need advice!

Hi,

I'm trying to use my kitchen aid standmixer to kneed my dough.. however, it seems that no mater what I do the dough always primarilly sticks to the side and bottom of the bowl and only a small portion actually gets kneeded. Usually at this point, I take the dough out of the bowl and kneed it by hand; however, this is time consuming. I'd much prefer to leave it in the stand mixer to finish kneeding. Is there something I can do to stop this? is it normal? do I just add small amounts of more flour?

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

Don't add more flour (like I used to do) because your bread will become too heavy.  I have a similar problem.  You may need to adjust the height of your bowl.  I know I do.  Also, I find that periodically turning it off and redstributing the dough helps.  Also, make sure to knead long enough that the dough does grab the hook.  I used to stop too soon and didn't realize that eventually the dough would come together and wrap around the hook.

But now, unless I need to hurry the bread along, I don't knead on the mixer.  Instead, I use stretch and fold and let time develop the gluten.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I disagree, and let me explain why. 

I think it's easier for new bakers to work with drier doughs than wetter doughs, to get a better feeling for satiny, smooth dough and good gluten development. It's really tough to gauge that with wet dough. I've struggled with this so much over the last few years and hundreds of recipes, and that's how I've come to this conclusion. The exceptions: rye doughs, which are just notoriously sticky, and focaccia. If you keep adding flour to rye breads until they clear the bowl, then they will be too dense after baking. Focaccia is more like a batter bread anyway, so you just plan on it being sticky. 

In addition, if the dough is so sticky that it's not clearing the sides of the bowl at all, the mixer is not kneading it very effectively, so by all means add more flour. 

Here's what I suggest:

  1. Add flour about 1 tbsp at a time while running the mixer. Let the flour incorporate for at least 30 seconds before adding more. You want the dough to clear (and not stick to) the sides of the bowl, and only stick maybe a 1"-2" disk on the very bottom of the mixer (under the hook). The dough should clear the sides in all cases. For most doughs, you'll know it's right if you hear a "slapping" sound, of the dough hitting the sides of the mixer. 
  2.  If it doesn't stick to the bottom at all, it may be too dry, certainly 60% hydration or less, so you can add 1 tsp of water at a time, until you get back to the state where it sticks as a small 1-2" disk on the bottom. 
gizzy's picture
gizzy

Hi Cranbo,

Thanks for you advice. I made a rye/whole wheat tonight which was a little firmer than usual and quite sticky. I didnt want to add more flour so instead I worked it as best I could. Heres to hoping it will come out right :)

I'll keep this in mind when I make regular bread next time (rather than a rye/whole wheat mixture.

jcking's picture
jcking

Gizzy,

Are you using the paddle for the first few minutes to mix the dough then switching to the dough hook?

Jim

gizzy's picture
gizzy

Hi Jim,

 

Yes. I'm using the paddle to do the innitial mixing and then switching to the dough hook. While I use the dough hook it seems to go wrong and everything sticks to the sides of the bowl rather than the dough hook.

jcking's picture
jcking

Hi Gizzy,

I've heard of people having problems with dough climbing up the hook but not sticking to it is a new one on me. Is it a small batch? Does it come together after the paddle spin? Is there butter or oil in the dough? Describe the dough after paddling; sticky, wet, firm, dry... Glass bowl or metal bowl? Dough very cold or hot? Room temp hot or cold?

Jim

gizzy's picture
gizzy

the dough is room temp, sticky.. very sticky. When I pull it out of the bowl globs of it stick to my hands. It's generally firm to start, but after hand kneading it by hand it softens. It's a stainless steel bowl and the dough is room temp. It does come together after the paddle spin, and once I switch to a dough hook it will form a ball and act normal, but within a minute or two it's like the dough starts sticking to the sides and the bottom and it no longer works. I find I have the same problem with hand kneading too, i'll be able to work with it just fine for a minute or two, but then it becomes so sticky that I have to scrape dough of my hands and wash them several times just to be able to continue kneading. It goes away after hand kneading for awhile, but with the stand mixer it just doesn't work. Except once, and then I made another batch right after that one and had the same exact problem as I always have... massive stickiness.

jcking's picture
jcking

The flour could be old, if the flour is organic it may need barley malt; otherwise follow cranbos' suggestion of adding flour.

Jim

gizzy's picture
gizzy

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your help.

The flour isn't organic and it's not old (I dont think). I bake so often that I get a new bag every 6-8 weeks. I'm either baking bread, cookies, or some other baked good that a bag of flour just doesn't last long on my shelf.

 

jcking's picture
jcking

I'm assuming you're using unbleached flour?

Jim

gizzy's picture
gizzy

always unbleached. I've never even bough bleached flour.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

You might consider switching to stretch and fold so you can keep the sticky dough which results in a lighter bread.  Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1timJlCT3PM

gizzy's picture
gizzy

Hi HeidiH,

Thanks for your help. I've actually tried working with doughs that wet before and not knowing what to do, just added more flour and continued to get frustrated as my hands became more dough then flesh. I'll keep this technique in mind next time. :)

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

The videos on this page changed my bread baking life.  It is exactly the right method for me and it is magic.

http://www.sourdoughhome.com/stretchandfold.html

gizzy's picture
gizzy

I will definately look at that. I need all the help I can get. I think I'll also search for more Peter Reinhart videos... I'm sure those videos will be a great addition to go along with my book.

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Hello,

   I got this from Mark on the site. Makes sense to me.  I find I have to increase the speed quite a lot to get the slapping effect with mine. Almost like doing Jasons Ciabatta Bread. You will find the page on this site also.

Hi Bob,
If you'd like to use your KA 600 for mixing and kneading, you have to make some adjustments for it to work right.  Since the hook doesn't work like a hook on a larger machine like a Hobart you have to use time to help you out in the process.  Let me give you an example.  This is just a basic white bread- 1 large loaf:

490G (3.5 cups) flour
333G  (1.4 cups) water (lukewarm)
9G (1.5 tsp) salt
3G (1 tsp) instant yeast

1.  Mix all of the ingredients for 2 minutes on speed 2.  Scrape down dough hook and sides of bowl, place hook in bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.

2. Put hook back on, mix for 2 minutes on speed 2.  Scrape down hook and bowl, place hook in bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 45 minutes.

3. Put hook back on, mix for 5 seconds on speed 2.  Scrape down hook and bowl, place hook in bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 45 minutes.

4. Repeat step 3.

5.  Now you've got dough you should be able to work with.  On a lightly floured surface, shape, place in a lightly oiled loaf pan, let it rise (covered) for 45-60 minutes. 

6.  Score, bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until internal temp of 204.

Steps 1 and 2 give the mixer time for the water to incorporate into the dough.
Steps 3 and 4 take the place of stretch and fold.

-Mark

 

 

 

 

 

  

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

I was experiencing the same problem. The dough goes around the outside of the bowl and will not engage with the hook. I found for me, going up a notch or two on the speed helps the dough engage with the hook and come off the side of the bowl.

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

I agree it takes a pretty good speed to get it all to work. Letting it rest after a few minutes also helps.

Good luck

Mr. Bob

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I agree with Bob that autolyse is an important step to helping your dough come together and knead more efficiently in your mixer. AFAIK, autolyse will improve dough quality on any dough, and there's no reason not to do it...unless you don't have 20-30 minutes of extra time.

That said, even a shorter rest time will be valuable to improve machine kneading. I would say a 5 minute rest would be minimum. 

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Hi cranbo,

   Thanks for the comment.  I did notice a stretch and fold in there I think from Mikes Averys site.  I learned a lot from reading all his comments I still get kicked in the butt some times and look around and ask for more answers.  Pros have most of them but not many are here on this site those that do contributer do it in  a unselfish way.  but like a lot of the post say a hands on from a pro would really help a lot.

Have a nice day

Mr. Bob

  

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

...considered reading a text book rather than a cook book?  A text will take you from the beginning on up, answering pretty much all your questions along the way.  The risk of TFL is that you, as a rookie, may not be able to tell a useless from a useful answer to your questions.  I recommend using a basic text such as DiMuzio's Breadbaking, which is available at many used book sites (Alibris, Powell's, and others).  Since you read this site, you'll be able to read and learn from a text.  There's much to learn from cookbooks but not in the organized fashion that texts offer. 

Also, do you have a local home baker to learn from?  Use this site to find someone local to you.  Tell us where you are and ask if there's someone near you.  Also, maybe there's a local short course at a cooking school?  In either case, there's nothing like have hands-on experience with someone who knows, from experience, the moves and feel of dough.

 

gizzy's picture
gizzy

My boyfriend bought me the DiMuzio book after snooping through my posts when I left it up one day (not that I mind, :) actually, I'm quite happy about it). So I'm looking forward to that.

I did put a shout out for a local baker to see if one would be willing to help in my area, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But I havent received any answers as of yet. And I have looked at short course at cooking schools, unfortunately its NYC and nothing comes cheap. The cheapest I've found is far too expencive for me. So I'm stuck reading books.

Thanks for your help!

photophosphor's picture
photophosphor

I've just bought a Kitchen Aid Pro 600 and I'm having the same problems as others with high hydration doughs. There is a problem with the dough hook design. I've seen writers here say the gear box is a common cause of failure and I wonder if the engineers deliberately designed the dough hook to be a long way from the the sides so as to remove stress on the gear box.

Two solutions that have helped me so far are:
1) Mix with the K beater until strands of gluten are clearly visible.
2) Switch to the dough hook but keep it at the lowest speed: This seems to pick up the dough rather than bashing it against the sides.

I have seen some dough problems which might be the result of overworking. I'm not sure because I don't think know enough to be able to diagnose this. I can say the proofed doughs are much slacker than identical recipies produced in my previous low end machine. (I always use Heartland Mills flour and Peter Reinhart's formulae have been recalibrated for those flours)

My next step will be to try to reduce mixing times by autolysis. In "The Taste of Bread" Prof. Calvel gives these times for a basic french bread in  a commerical bakery: low speed mixing 4 min, autolysis rest period 13 min, and final mixing on second speed 8 min. In Calvel's method, only the flour and water are mixed for the first mixing; everything else is added after the autolysis.