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Help - Electrolux doesn't knead 10 lbs. bread dough enough

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JWK1's picture
JWK1

Help - Electrolux doesn't knead 10 lbs. bread dough enough

I bought this Electrolux mixer from Pleasant Hill Grain because it states on their website that the mixer will handle up to 15 lbs. of bread dough.  I make three very large loaves which will just fit into my oven.

67.5 oz freshly milled Whole Wheat

22.5 oz KASL

68% hydration

 

So this is 75% WW flour and 25% KASL high gluten stuff.  Pretty normal hydration IMO.  This is just our every day sandwich bread, nothing fancy.  I let it cool a few hours or so and then slice it up and freeze it.  The whole idea of getting the Electrolux over other mixers was to be able to make this amount at one time.

 

I dissolve the salt in the water, then mix the WW in with the dough hook until well blended.  Then I let it sit for 2 - 3 hours.  Then I mix in the IDY into the Sir Lancelot and mix that into the WW mixture, again with the dough hook until blended.  At this point I go to the roller and scraper.  When I'm making anything up to about 6 or 7 lbs., it works great without problems.  The roller and scraper do a great job of kneading and the bread comes out wonderfully.  Then I try and make my big batch of sandwich bread and I end up with semi bricks.

 

I was pretty new to bread making when I first got this machine.  After hanging out here and reading a lot of books and making a lot of bread, I learned a few things.  Now I know what the dough should look and feel like when it's been kneaded enough.  Now I know that if it's not,  you get bricks.   Duh.  My biggest problem was that I was following all of their directions and suggestions and getting frustrated with bread coming out lousy.  I didn't realize until fairly recently that the problem was very simple.  The machine just wasn't kneading the dough enough.

 

If anyone here makes anywhere in the neighborhood of 10 lbs. of bread with their Electrolux, please tell me about your process and techniques.

 

 

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I have an Electrolux.  I do not mix the quantity you do though so I suggest that you call PHG and talk to someone who can help you.  I have always found them to be VERY helpful as well as knowledgable about the products that they sell.

You might even call the repair shop in NJ and see what that gentleman has to say too.  He is also very helpful with questions and PHG has their number.

My only other suggestion is to try to use the hook for the entire kneading.  I start out with the roller and use it on most of my breads but if I have a larger amount of dough I switch to the hook so my routine is the opposite from what you are doing.  I find that the hook works with stiffer and smaller amounts of dough better than the roller does.

Janet

holds99's picture
holds99

I have a DLX that I purchased from Pleasant Hill about three years ago and have been using at least weekly since I purchased it .  I think it's a great mixer.  I frequently make what I consider a large batch of dough (8.0 - 8.5 lbs,) using the DLX and use only the paddle bowl-scraper and metal dough hook for mixing.  

If my calculation is correct, your dough (total flour = 90 oz., plus water (at 68% hydration) = 61.2 oz. which amounts to 151.2 oz. (9.45 lbs.) of dough  The DLX is rated for 10 quarts.  While mixing 8.5 lbs. of dough on low speed I have to stay with the mixer and use a wet wooden spoon or a metal cake spatula to keep the dough from climbing up the dough hook. My guess is that you may be pushing the bowl capacity when you exceed 8.5 lbs. of dough.  

You stated: "Then I try and make my big batch of sandwich bread and I end up with semi bricks." One thing I don't understand is why, at 68% hydration, you're having problems with your dough being too stiff ("bricks").  I always mix the levain with the final-dough water before mixing the dry ingredients into the levain/final-dough water mixture.  The only two things I can suggest is that you double check your hydration calculation for your sandwich bread dough, or cut the size of the dough batch down to 8-8.5 lbs. per batch.  Like I said, I've never had a problem (other than operator problem) with my DLX.   

Howard 

adri's picture
adri

What electrolux mixer do you refer to?

henkverhaar's picture
henkverhaar

Sounds like with this amount of dough you should be staying with the dough hook rather than switching to the roller. I'm pretty sure that your amount of dough exceeds the weight at which Electrolux recommend using the dough hook rather than the roller.

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

hydrating a dough that has 75% wholegrain flour at 68% seems way too low for me. And freshly milled too! Generally the minimum hydration I'd use for wholegrain wheat is 75%, even if it's a sandwich bread, it really won't be too wet. So, if you keep the same proportions and hydrate white flour at 66% (a bit low, because it is high gluten flour), you get a combination hydration of

0.75 * 0.75 + 0.66 * 0.25 = 0.7275

I'd not go lower then 73% myself. It will be much easier on the mixer and won't produce bricks neither.

JWK1's picture
JWK1

Janet,

Thank you for your response and suggestions.  I won't go into all my calls into PHG for the past two years.  They have always been very nice and pleasant.  They have never been helpful or knowledgeable when it came to the Electrolux.  Yesterday I talked with the manager (can't remember her name right now) and she told me no one there has ever made that amount of bread dough.  She also said she had looked up youtube videos and it looked like the amount of bread I'm talking about is not really working.  She suggested I cut down my recipe, or perhaps knead one half of the dough and then the other half.  I thought my head was going to explode.  The bottom line was that PHG is accepting no responsibility and is offering no help.  She did wish me luck, though.  Nice.

 

PHG gave me the number of the distributor.  Is that a different place than the authorized repair shop?  If so, I will try that.

 

Actually, I did try the hook for the entire kneading.  I called the distributor the last time PHG passed me off to them.  a woman there told me it's too much dough for the roller and scraper and to knead the dough for 12 minutes on the hook.  I did 15 minutes on the hook and it came out even less developed than the time before.  Maybe just more time?  How much does your largest batch of dough weigh?

 

I also use the hook for much smaller amounts sometimes.  It depends on the dough.  Most of my bread dough is elastic enough so that even 2+ lbs. of dough works great with the roller.

 

Howard,

I absolutely do stay with the mixer and help it along with spatula and wooden spoon.  I have no problem with that and would expect nothing else with a mixer of this size.  Bowl capacity should be no problem.  PHG states on their website the bowl can handle up to 15 lbs. of bread dough.  Two different people from the Electrolux distributor from two different phone calls have told me the same and have stated that 10 lbs. should be no problem.  I think if all of us that own an Electrolux found out it really couldn't handle more than 8.5 lbs. of bread dough, we should be very, very upset.  A 15 lb. claim at that point would be way beyond an exaggeration.  It would be a blatant lie meant to deceive.  However, I do not think that is the case.  I *do* think that 15 lbs. is an exaggeration, but I think 10 lbs. should be doable.

 

As far as "bricks", well, I guess everyone has slightly different ideas on what that means.  I only meant that the dough didn't get worked enough so the bread didn't have enough oven spring and came out too dense.  Nothing inedible, just not nearly as good as my proper loaves are.

 

henkverhaar,

I have no idea why you are "pretty sure", but Electrolux makes no such recommendation.  What is the source of your information?

 

MisterTT,

I came up with this hydration through trial and error.  Once (or if) I get this kneading problem worked out, I would be more than happy to try a higher hydration.  My bread comes out great when I make it in smaller amounts and the dough gets kneaded enough.

 

To All:

Thanks again for the feedback.  Does anyone have any suggestions for the amount of time I should use with the dough hook?  I know for sure that 15 minutes is not nearly enough.  I know you can over-knead dough, but can you actually go too long with a dough hook before the dough is properly kneaded?  That might seem like a stupid question, but I've only hand kneaded dough before I got my Electrolux.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Time for kneading with hook.

ALl depends on the type of dough.  I watch the dough and not a timer when I knead.  I look for a strong windowpane when kneading an enriched dough.  Less of a windowpane when kneading a lean dough.

I know I have learned a lot from my mistakes so you might like to do an experiment with a small amount of dough you usually bake and allow it to knead to the over-kneading point so you can become familiar with the signs the dough is giving you - how extensible the dough becomes up to its strongest point and then, in going past that, how it then begins to degrade.  I know there are highly enriched doughs that I have kneaded for a half an hour or more with no ill results.  (I typically knead on one of the lowest settings when using the hook.)  

Good Luck,

Janet

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Sorry but I don't know the solution to the conundrum you present. But in my own recent course of research into home dough mixers, one relevant piece of information kept popping up: capacity with whole grains is generally half that of conventional flours. So if your Electrolux is approved for up to 15 lbs of dough, you would be advised not to exceed around 7 1/2 lbs for a whole wheat recipe. The other thing is, in legal terms, "capacity" simply refers to the maximum volume the machine is capable of handling, without risk of failure. So as long as your Electrolux hasn't burnt out during the processing of 10 lbs of dough and continues to operate normally, then technically manufacturer is in the clear, no matter how poor a job it might do. When I spoke with a rep from a Bosch distributor about using their products with sourdough, the guy answered that his wife never exceeded half the capacity of the bowl when kneading any kind of dough, simply because she could take her eyes off of it to do other chores while it was working.  Apparently if the bowl is more full than that it has to be monitored because of the dough creep thing? Guess I should have asked. Anyway he had no information for me about sourdough so I didn't pursue the matter.

Too bad about all this because such expensive machines should justify their outlay by saving on time/work for the owners. If you have to split your recipe into batches then these savings are considerably diminished. :(  Then again, from some YouTube videos I've perused, it seems like a lot of even the high-end mixers get bogged down and stall when processing just two pounds of dough.  Makes the Electrolux/Ankarsrum and Bosch look truly amazing by comparison!

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I have kneaded 100 % whole wheat in a mixer for more than half an hour, so I don't think you run much risk of overkneading even if you double the time.

BobSponge's picture
BobSponge

Hi,

Hardly an expert when it comes to the DLX, I've had mine about 7 months.  It was purchased used, and it's the 400w version.  I'll share my process and a couple pictures, hopefully it will be of help.

I made the White-Wheat Blend in Tartine, 2.5 times the recipe in the book for 6 loaves.  Based on my calculations, its around 75% WW flour.  Its made up of both Type 85 (assumed 50% ww content) and white whole wheat flour (assumed 100%ww).  I add a little extra water, so its around 87% hydration.  Total for the batch is 5.2 Kg.

Process, is add all but 50 grams of the water (held back to add with the salt), flour, leaven and wheat germ.  With the hook  mix until the water is pretty well distributed- maybe 1 minute.  Next , autolyse for 20 minutes.   I then add the remaining water and salt, and mix for 4 - 5 minutes, on the lowest speed possible.  I then stretch and fold every 30 minutes, for around 3hrs. There is no reason you could not continue mixing...

Below are pictures of the dough in the mixer, a couple minutes into the final mixing. I do need to poke it down a bit as it passes the arm, but after a couple of minutes, its no longer necessary.  I could easily mix a lot longer, but prefer the stretch and fold method.  I also have a couple pictures of the final product. 

This is the most dough I've done in the mixer, I might be able to do a bit more.... maybe next weekend... Hope this helps. 

Bob

 

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

whole grain breads and the one this week was 60% whole grain home milled at 81% hydration and it was almost too thick to do slap and folds, a decent machine like the DLX should have no problen with it but at 68% hydration i'm not sure it could at all.  MisterTT is very low at 73% hydration for a 75% whole grain bread I couldn't knead that by hand very well at all and slap and folds would be impossibe - where 72% hydration is required for 100% white bread.  I would be around 86%to 88% hydration to mix it by hand one loaf at a time.

I'm pretty sure if you take your hydration to 87% your problems with the DLX will go away - your bread will also be much better too!  Your mix is just too dry.

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

the more water in whole grain breads the better (up to a point) ;) I based my percentage off of Reinhart's WGB, from which I baked quite a few times, though his doughs are a bit dry for whole grains, they work OK for close-crumbed sandwich bread.

JWK1's picture
JWK1

I appreciate all the added feedback.  I've also been able to talk to a couple of people outside the forum who have had some experience with larger amounts in the Electrolux, so I've got some things to try.

BBQinMaineiac's picture
BBQinMaineiac

I didn't wade through all of the posts. When troubleshooting the first thing I ask is , "is it plugged in?". I won't ask that now, but something similar.

Are you bringing the speed of the mixer up to 3/4 speed? Are you getting a dough ring? Do you bring the roller away from the edge of the bowl (as required by the size of the mix) and lock it in  place?

If all of that is in the affirmative, just knead it longer. If you don't know what I'm asking with the above questions you have some research to do to use the mixer properly. Look for an Ashley McCord video regarding the Ankarsrum mixer on youtube. It's about 16 minutes. She shows how to use it properly and is the one video I always send folks to. Unfortunately anyone can post to youtube and some folks posting simply aren't up to speed.

JWK1's picture
JWK1

Hey BBQinMaine,  I've spoken with Ashley on the phone about this very issue.  She verified that you can't do 10 lbs. or more with the roller.  She said she has done up to about 13 lbs. of dough once.  You go up past 8 lbs. or so and you're looking at the dough hook.  I've been using this mixer for about 2.5 years and I know what I'm doing (regarding the mixer, that is).  Ashley's videos were one of the first things I watched after I got the mixer.

 

What is the largest batch of bread dough you have successfully mixed up in your Electrolux?

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

your mix is absolutely TOO dry. Adding at least 10 oz of water will solve your problems.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

prior to letting the dough sit for 2-3 hours??

patman23's picture
patman23

Hey Bobsponge.  I wanted to tell you that I hate you.  My bread now looks like crap.  You need a disclaimer before you do that again.