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KA for kneading at higher than #2?

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katyajini's picture
katyajini

KA for kneading at higher than #2?

Hi everyone!

I just have a new KA proline 7 qt mixer.  I posted this question elsewhere but I am reposting here as a separate question.

its a great mixer, its quiet, moves through batters and cookie doughs very easily. .

However I really bought it for kneading bread dough and I can see that it is not the 'pro' or as 'powerful' it is touted to be.  There are explicit warnings not to use it higher than speed #2 yet I can see it going nowhere to a finished correctly kneaded dough at #2 even with  5-6 cups of flour. or maybe it would have taken 20-25mins?  I didn't try that long.  Rose Levy Beranbaum openly instructs in many of bread recipes to use a KA at #4 and even #6 for both paddle and dough hook for extended periods of time until the dough comes together.  Well, why would she do that?  I tried #4.  At speed #4 there is a constant clicking, clacking sound.  Its not the motor but some part hitting against another part at the higher speed.  And it does begin to heat up after 10-12 mins of kneading. If it does this while brand new it is going to wear out sooner rather than later if I use it regularly for kneading (which I want to do!) I don't think I have a lemon.  I think the mixer works very well but its not as powerful as I was led to believe.  And upon reading the reviews more closely many people have heard the clicking which gives them pause. I think it will be inadequate for kneading whole wheat, whole grain doughs or big batches of dough. I think there are ways to work around these limitations in power, more autolysing, stopping the kneading periodically and resuming after 5-10mins of resting both machine and dough.  But I don't want to, I just wanted a simple strong mixer for when I just wanted to get some kneading done quickly!  Maybe my expectations are inappropriate for this type of mixer?

Just a question: do you all never use it above #2 for kneading? and still get proper kneading?  On this forum, as an example, other than RLB, people are making Jason's ciabatta at highest speed?

I welcome any feedback please.

 Thank you so much for patiently reading about my discomfort with my new and fancy toy.  I did really want to love and live with it forever, but I don't know now.

 

dosco's picture
dosco

I have an older Kitchen Aid ... purchased in 1994-ish. It is the tilting head type so I think it is smaller that yours (not sure).

Anyhow, I made Jason's Ciabatta and ran it up to speed setting #8 (per the video posted by Jen Menke) and I did not encounter any problems other than the entire KA shaking and wobbling about.

I then tried the high speed mixing on a sourdough loaf inspired by Dave Snyder's San Joaqin Sourdough ... it is a high hydration dough as well but not as high a hydration as Jason's Ciabatta. Seemed to work with no problems and the KA was none the worse for wear.

I would point out that your selection of flour may impact the speed and time of high-speed mixing. I decided to try KAF bread flour (moving from AP) and the gluten formed much more rapidly and effectively with the bread flour. With this in mind when using a KA you might encounter more resistance from the dough due to "better formation" of the gluten which may mean that you would mix for less time. Alternatively you may end up oxidizing the gluten but depending on the recipe that may not be a problem.

Regarding "clicking" ... I read somewhere on here that the newer KA mixers have an electronic gizmo that alters the motor torque and the clicking is normal. I suggest you search around TFL on this subject ... as I recall the person who posted that bit mentioned that they called the KA customer service number and learned about this ... I'm not sure as I have an older model that doesn't have this feature.

Good luck!

Cheers-

Dave

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

But I got my KA in 1995.  It's a tilt-head, 4-1/2 qt bowl, and I use it all the time for bread with no clicking at all.  It does heat up, but I just turn it off and let both the machine and the dough rest for awhile.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Do not run the KA any higher than speed 2 when mixing dough [Pro 6].

One thing you might try is to mix the dough with the hook for 4 minutes and then let it rest for a 30 minute autolyse. The dough absorbs the water and applies a different load on the mixer's motor. This is usually followed by an 8-10 minute kneading at speed 2 developing the gluten before adding levain, kneaded into the dough for an additional 4 minutes followed by a 10 minute rest - the salt is added [which will tighten the gluten] and the dough will form back into a rubbery ball. Knead an additional 4-6 minutes till the the dough passes a final windowpane test.

Wild-Yeast

P.S. Thanks Dave. I've wondered what the clicking sound was - now I know.

sungmo kim's picture
sungmo kim

Hello.

I also have KA 7qt model that bought by around one years ago.

KA mixer is best a cookie, cake etc. but, would worst for bread dough mixing. 

I have  turning on speed 3. could be obtain within 15m.

 

dosco's picture
dosco

I would echo some of the comments ... if you're having problems with gluten development, using the autolyse process certainly helps. Also, using higher gluten flour (bread flour, etc.) is going to make a big difference.

So ... it depends on what you're doing. Gloopy ciabatta dough is one thing, high hydration breads another, and lower hydration yet another.

Regards-
Dave

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

may be a horse that's out of the barn.  Or maybe not, depending.  

You've discovered something that many have known for a while now, that is that they're not so great for all the bread kneading jobs.  I think that at this point you've two choices:  learn other techniques for kneading than the ones you know now or sell your KA, take the loss, and buy a different tool more suitable for your purposes.  The newer KA's have all sorts of new problems with dough that the older ones don't.  I remember teaching double rising bread using a new one given as a wedding gift to a couple that showed it off to me as if it were a jewel.  In the middle of the lesson it simply stopped running, overheated.  We had to wait for it to cool down.  They never tried it again for dough.  If you're a bread baker you can learn other kneading techniques using this website, videos, etc., or, as I say, get a different, better engineered machine.

Look at the Bosch or the Electrolux DLX (Anksarum, now).

And remember that all this bread stuff can be done by hand without a machine, if you're so inclined.

 

cjjjdeck's picture
cjjjdeck

I have a Professional 600 (575 watts) I've had a number of years. The model has metal gears but a plastic gear housing (this occurred on earlier models). I upgraded the housing myself to a metal one after I read about the plastic housing cracking from stress over time. KA has since changed over to the metal housing as standard on the Pro 600 (which they should have done from the beginning!)

.
I pretty much only process my own freshly milled whole grains and usually two to three loaves at a time. The mixer has performed very well in giving me a well kneaded dough and usually in the 5 to 10 minute range. If I use pre-ferments (which is most of the time), it only takes about 4 to 5 minutes. Always only on speed 2.

I read a lot of bad comments about KA, or maybe more accurately its shortcomings, but I scratch my head and think that I have not encountered those shortcomings..... I really like my mixer. I believe most problems come when the lower wattage models are used for bread dough. I would have thought that the Proline 7 would perform at least as well as mine or even better with a more powerful motor ( I think the 1.3 HP rating converts to about 970 watts, if I calculated it correctly). If this model had been available at the time I bought mine, I would have definitely considered it. One thing mentioned in the owners manual is to make sure the bowl to beater clearance is adjusted properly. If it's not, it will definitely have an effect on beater/dough hook performance. Check your manual for instructions on adjustment. Also, the Powerknead spiral dough hook performs better than the "J" hook of the lower power models (it's styled like the commercial Hobart mixers).

Also, from what I read on KA's website, your mixer model should have the new motor control technology.

It frustrating to hear your having issues with what should be a great machine.

FueledByCoffee's picture
FueledByCoffee

As other have stated it depends on the hydration of your dough.  A kitcheaid will labor with lower hydration doughs but works just fine when your dough is softer and can easily go above speed 2 if your dough is soft enough.  I have a seldom used pro 6 and have gone over speed 2 without issue but for the most part simply prefer to knead by hand when making bread at home.  I agree with what others have said about using an autolyse but the one thing that had me scratching my head was the full kneading process suggested by wild-yeast.  I would advise against adding your salt last -- salt inhibits dough oxidation so I would mix that in either with your autolyse or the rest of your ingredients -- either is more advisable in my opinion.  My two cents.

katyajini's picture
katyajini

You guys are just wonderful!  Thank you, thank you so much for such a wealth of input!

I am coming to the same conclusions as the general consensus is here from the comments:

will work well for small batches of dough

will work for high hydration or very high  hydration doughs

but with low hydration doughs like challah or whole grain sandwich loaves, its a struggle.

I do find autolyze and periodic rests make it easier on the mixer, just as for hand kneading, like you all have found.

I have to work/play with it some more to see if it will serve my purpose and it probably will to a large degree as most of you reassure me.  I do feel though, already, as rickaimid said, that it is inadequate in many kneading situations and probably will not go with me in whichever direction or distance I want to grow (in bread making).

Dave/dosco:  Thank you so much for your many helpful comments, specially about the clicking sounds.

wild-yeast: yours is the exact way that I have stumbled upon to go about it.  Thank you.  On occasion I just want to get the job done fast, when I don't have leisurely day to bake bread. I know that can work with some mixers, but I don't think this one.

sungmo kim: I concur this is the best mixer for cookies, cake mousse kind of things..if you need it.

cjjjdeck:  thank you for your reassurance too.  it is the many comments like yours, and that most recipes I look at were developed with a KA type mixer that I got this one. I know that you are very experienced and are relating to me what can be done. So I am continuing to explore using this machine and learning my way with it. I did check the 'fit' of the paddle and dough hook, they are correct. I do have the S hook not the J. 

FueledByCoffee: I did not know that salt inhibits oxidation.  I will certainly experiment with that.

just another question if anybody is still reading: do any of you use or have experience with an Electrolux as well? How would you rate that for kneading?

Many, many thanks!

 

 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

In a word? Superior.

The DLX works against the spring loaded arm rather than the dough, so it simply doesn't care about the hydration or (to a great extent) the amount of dough. The manual suggests switching to the hook for more than 5# (2.5kg) of dough. Since I don't make that amount at a time all that often, I can't make a definitive statement regarding its suitability other than it worked fine when I did.

I believe gluten development is faster with the DLX roller and scraper than with the KA. This is not a tested hypothesis. It comes from suggested times for KAs in various recipes being about a third to half again what the DLX takes for the same degree of gluten development. See for example txfarmer's soft sandwich bread recipe, where she says

Quote:
In my KA pro6, this dough took 13 to 15 min of mixing at speed 3 or 4 (I know, I know, it violates the KA mixer manual. If you are worried, don't do it, just mix at speed 2, it will take (quite a bit) longer.

My DLX reaches the same test result in 8 to 10 minutes at a medium speed.

I have no issues with non-bread mixing jobs, from stiff cookies to batters, or mashing potatoes. I have made a cookie recipe that required 45 minutes of constant mixing with no over heating.

In sum, there has been no mixing job to small or too large for my DLX.

cheers,

gary

dosal's picture
dosal

I have a 6 qt. KA 900 Watt bowl lift machine. I just did a batch of soft dough on 4 and it clicked like crazy. I found out that if you hold the bowl down in the back or raise it a bit by the handle the clicking stops. The problem lies in the raising mechanism. You can actually shake that without a bowl attached. BTW my machine didn't get hot with a 2-3 minute mix at 4. I have 1000 g in the bowl and have an S hook. I used to have a 1000 W Regal with less capacity that worked like a charm even if overloaded. This KA is not what happiness is made of.

 

Doris

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Gary:

Thank you about the DLX.  The DLX is beginning to look more and more attractive all over again.   That's what I had wanted to get in the first place. Since so many recipes are written for a KA type stand mixer and  the one I got is said to be so good I went ahead and got it thinking that I wont have to adapt so many recipes.....

The fact the dough is ready faster is very attractive to me.  To be able to get things done and have time for my family is the reason why I am getting a machine at all.  But it is significantly important to me that the mixer should last well and for a very long time.  I worry that if the KA is struggling and heating even a little every time it will deteriorate and may even break.

Just another question:  How will the DLX do for small recipes of Brioche (2-3cups flour) and working in butter at the end?  And with small amounts of very wet dough like ciabatta?

And thanks for the link!  I had never seen it and it will help me out a lot in where I am at in my development!

 

Doris:  I am going to make some dough tomorrow and report.  I don't like that kind of noise in a new machine but some people are saying it is a positive thing for this KA  

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

See my comment here and others that follow for info on small batches.

cheers,

gary

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Gary:  Thank you for that link. What a discussion and what info!

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Doris:

I paid attention closely when I was making dough this time.

My bowl essentially makes no sounds whether the motor is spinning, without dough, or with dough, or dough plus hook.  Just a little bit of noise is inevitable here because the bowl hangs loosely on metal pegs and fastens at the back with a metal snap.  But I heard nothing untoward.

The motor or something about how the dough hook relates to the motor (and not the pivot hanging mechanism that it is hanging on during kneading) where the clicking is coming from for me.  And the it gets worse as the motor speed increases and the weight of the dough being made increases and as the gluten gets tighter.

Just what I feel, I don't know at all since I have not spoken to KA yet, the clicking may be a systematic intentional design issue.  Then again it can be a systematic design mistake.

I am still thinking how I want to feel about this (?)

 

Gary:

Because you presented me with those links, and it may be a little out of context in this thread, or maybe not.  Long ago in my tiny bread baking career I found as you did that I was way, way, underkneading my bread. I didn't have a mixer and made everything by hand. One day while making challah, I was not getting the dough to feel right as described in the recipe and on this site.  The resilience and blisters under the skin. So what to lose, I just kept kneading and slamming without adding more flour.   About 45 - 50mins the dough came together as something amazing.  The texture and rise on the bread was out of this world (for me).  And I could see that a little more kneading would be better still.  That's when I decided to get a mixer if I wanted to proceed with bread.  I have been doing breads but the not the types that knead good kneading.   

I don't know what people are taking about when they say knead 10 mins by hand or 4 - 5 mins by stand mixer.  It would never work for me in those short times.  I too found that I need about 12-15 mins at least at #4 to get the kind of gluten development that makes the bread I want or looks like and tastes like  the good, desirable bread I buy.

Thank you for your input and highlighting these issues.

 

Well the KA does a far better job at kneading dough than I could by hand.  I am just trying to figure out if it has any construction issues that will cause it fail if I use it regularly to knead dough.  I don't want that.  Also rethinking if the Electrolux will fit my bill better.

 

Thanks

 

   

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Quote:
I don't know what people are taking about when they say knead 10 mins by hand or 4 - 5 mins by stand mixer.  It would never work for me in those short times.  I too found that I need about 12-15 mins at least at #4 to get the kind of gluten development that makes the bread I want or looks like and tastes like  the good, desirable bread I buy.
It is likely those short mix times are meant to be used with stretch and folds during the bulk rise. Sometimes it's only once or twice during the rise, others times it may be more. For example, Reinhart has you mix just enough to make a shaggy mess, rest for 20-30 minutes then do two letter turns. Follow with a 10 minute rest and another double letter turn three times. Then let rise until doubled. You end up with very strong gluten development with minimal working of the dough.

cheers,

gary

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Thank you Gary!  I am going to try that when I next have a little time to experiment.

Kind of sad thing is, today I looked up the Electrolux and the price is 799.  I could have sworn when I looked at it end of Dec right before I got the KA it was 699.  I don't think you ever get deals on the Electrolux.   

 

 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

That is my recollection on price, too. I got mine about three years ago for $599. Seems a shame it's gone up 33% in three years.

I'm certain that were I to buy today, I would still get the DLX. I might spend a lot of time thinking about it, but if bread is important...

The cost might make the Bosch more attractive, but I'd definitely want to discuss the pros and cons with bread makers who have owned one long enough to provide a long term critique of the machine.

cheers,

gary

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Gary,

thanks for the tip on stretch and fold after kneading by machine  It works so well  Everyone here seems to know but I didn't.  It takes a little more time, but nice method.

Just a question about DLX, if I may:  I have some recipe where you cream some ingredients with the paddle attachment, the work in the flour little by while still on the paddle until you almost have a dough and finally switch to a dough hook for kneading.  I think the answer is yes but can you cream ings in the bowl with roller and scraper then gradually add the flour to form dough? 

Thanks!   

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I don't do a whole lot of creaming, but have been very satisfied using the roller and scraper for that purpose. For cookies, I have used both the roller in the SS bowl and the cookie whisk in the plastic bowl without problems. For custards to be baked, I prefer the roller as less air is incorporated. This is especially important for cheesecake, as bubbles cause dark spots when baked. For ice cream, I use the whipping whisk simply because it is easier to pour from the plastic bowl.

I do not use the dough hook for less than about 6# of dough, and usually forget in those cases. The roller does a great job without changing to the hook (but I don't push the capacity limits).

cheers,

gary

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Thank you Gary, so much for always taking the time.  Glad to know that the DLX is just as easy.

chris319's picture
chris319

You have to listen to your mixer. It will tell you when it's being overloaded. The pitch of the sound made by the motor will drop. That's when it's time to stop and remove some of the dough to lighten the load. Don't make the mistake of going to a higher speed when the motor is laboring. That's how motors get burned out. This applies to every electric mixer, be it a KitchenAid, Bosch, Ankarsrum, Kenwood, Hobart, you name it. Even the huge Hobarts will fail if overloaded.

All electric motors produce heat. The case of a KitchenAid mixer acts as a heat sink. It dissipates some of this heat through the case to help keep the motor cool. Those KA engineers knew what they were doing back in the 1930's. The case will get warm in normal operation; it says so right in the instruction book. Provided the mixer still runs and there is no white smoke or burning smell I wouldn't worry.

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Thank you chris319,  I am intuitively learning to pay attention to sounds from the machine, I am not a machine person but I am enjoying using this one.  As I don't stress out and slowly work with it, things are falling in to place. Thanks for your tip about not speeding up but rather taking out some dough.  I would just turn it off for a few mins.