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Best mixer for 52% hydration bagel dough?

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joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Best mixer for 52% hydration bagel dough?

Here I am again, deciding between the Bosch and the Electrolux.  I tried mixing the bagel dough in ITJB, with 52% hydration, as dense as dough can be.  I first used my friend's loaned Electrolux Assistent (the Magic Mill brand, over 10 years old).  I followed the directions I saw on the Bread Beckers video, adding the liquid first, then gradually incorporating the flour.  It just couldn't cut it--even after trying (first) the roller and then the dough hook, then back to the roller.  I even broke up the dough into four pieces.  No luck.  So I went back to my old method, first a short spin in the food processer in two halves, then, surprise, surprise, went over to my KitchenAid Pro 6 (with a newly purchased spiral dough hook).  It did a very respectable job.  Maybe because the dough was beaten down by this time it worked; I don't know.  But I had a lovely, supple, if dense dough.  Baked beautiful bagels.  My questions is for Bosch Universal owners:  Have you done bagels with the Bosch?  Would love to know!  It's getting down to the wire for a purchase.  Thank you for your help!

Joyful

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

At what distance from the bowl's rim did you lock the roller?

At what speed did you mix?

At what speed did you knead?

cheers,

gary

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I've made the Krakow bagels from ITJB in both my KA 600, and my Bosch.  They were the main reason that I replaced my KA 600.  The Bosch works fine and has plenty of power, the mixer is driven via a belt, not gears.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Joyful.

I have no experience with the DLX mixer, but I turn to my Bosch whenever I am mixing large or stiff doughs. It hasn't even breathed hard yet.

David

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Thanks Gary, dwcoleman and David for your help (it really does help!).  As for your questions, Gary, I started with the roller and mixed at low speed (no #'s on this old model), then when the dough balled up I moved the roller about 1/3 of the way to the middle.  I kneaded first on low to medium speed, then moved to medium high (this was about 6-7 minutes kneading time); I tried the hook then went back to the roller.  The motor was getting quite hot and, since it was a loaner from a friend, I stopped at about 9 or 10 minutes.  The dough never got past the lumpy stage and never really "caught on."  (I even coaxed it with the spatula and divided it into 3rds and 4ths. 

Thanks for the Bosch info, dwcoleman and David.  It sounds like a powerhouse.  That sure gives me food for thought (pardon the pun, none intended!).

Joy

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

No speed numbers on my 1 year old DLX either. Start the mix at the lowest speed (knob pointing to 12 o'clock), with the roller ¾ in. from the bowl. I measure from the roller's drive wheel to the bowl's rim. With the machine on, and the liquid(s) in place, add the dry ingredients scoop by scoop until about half done. Sweep the roller arm across the middle a few times, then add the rest. Repeat the sweep as needed.  For really dry doughs, and 52% hydration is really dry, you might want to stop the machine, reach in and massage the dough and pick up any stray bits of unincorporated flour. The mix phase will likely take about three minutes to give you a shaggy mess. Let the dough rest to equalize hydration and unravel the protein blobs  before kneading.

Kneading in the DLX is just more of the same. Start the machine and ease the speed up 'til the indicator is between the second and third block. You may be able to go a bit higher, but if the arm starts banging against the adjuster stop, turn it down. It isn't necessary, and may be contra-indicated, for the DLX to run at high speed to knead dough. There are multiple actions going on that aren't always obvious. The roller primarily squeezes the dough. The scraper at first pulls the dough away from the sidewall and turns it so it goes through the roller at a different angle. Once the gluten starts to become organized, the scraper acts more like a spiral's breaker, holding the dough mass while the spinning bowl twists and stretches it.  A similar action occurs when the dough is stretched between the breaker and the roller; the dough is stretched and twisted in opposite directions until the breaker releases it to be squeezed again by the roller.

In general, the kneading times for spiral mixers suggested by Hammelman  in Bread, and Suas in Advanced Bread and Pastry seem to work just fine with the parameters I've suggested.

I find the progression of these actions quite fascinating, as you might have guessed. I don't know of any other mixer that so closely mimics the actions found in kneading by hand, so gently and with so little friction.

cheers,

gary

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

What is the specific reason for 52%?  I know why I mix bagels at 55% (it is the balance between a sticky dough that will bind to itself when forming the bagel, ease of handling, and the limit of mixability) but I can't yet appreciate why somebody would want to go any drier than that.

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Gary, thanks for the detailed mixing description.  It's hard to relate the action of the DLX to hand mixing or even to dough hook mixing (the spiral hook) on the K/Aid, but, yes, it is gentle.  The professional spiral mixers apparently have the same bowl-turning action, but wouldn't it be nice if the Assistent had a nice spiral hook instead of the one it has!  OK, my idea of the "perfect" mixer, which is just an idea.  I think hand mixing isn't very gentle if you slap the dough down onto the board; good thing dough is so forgiving!  

Doc, good question re. the formula.  I'm using the bagel recipe in Inside the Jewish Bakery, which gives the percentage of water at 52%; I assume that's the final dough statistic as there is no poolish or starter with this straight dough.  Maybe I ought to look at some other recipes.  Just adding water to that recipe doesn't seem quite right, and the finished dough is smooth, elastic and really good to work with (even sometimes adding a drop of water to seal the bagel "ring").

I think I am, after all is said and done, going to give the Bosch Universal a try.  I think it will give me the capacity and the power, albeit noisy power, that I'll need.  I know I'll be making bagels regularly, even if not quite as dry as currently, but I found a method with the processor first (using cold water) and then the mixer, so far so good with my K/Aid Pro 6.  That spiral hook really does make a difference.  I'll be happy to report back when the new mixer gets here.  (Now I need to make up my mind for good!)

Joy