The Fresh Loaf

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Hand-cranked dough mixer

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davidg618's picture
davidg618

Hand-cranked dough mixer

I've just learned that a USA manufacturer makes and markets an updated version of a hand-cranked dough mixer: EZ DOH. It claims to meet all Health Canada and USFDA recommendations for food-safe containers.

It's available through Lee Valley (www.leevalley.com) a Canadian catalogue sales company I've been buying hand tools, woodworking fixtures, and kitchen gadgets from for at least a decade without ever experiencing a dissapointment. It's 39.95 US$.

It's also available through an Amazon.com affiliate, but it's ten bucks more expensive.

Occasionally I've read postings from TFL members with pictures of similar antique versions, and others asking if they might still be manufactured, or where they might acquire one. So here's a modern version. If I were still teaching campfire cooking I'd probably buy one, but those days are long past.

David G

 

 

Jolly's picture
Jolly

A good place to look for one would be at garage or estate sales . I found and antique Dough Mixer, Manufactured by Kay Wood, Youngstown Ohio. It's Stainless Steel 3 gallon bucket, and you should see the dough hook. I've never seen such a heavy duty hook, it also has heavy stainless steel brackets that holds down the hook, and hard wooden knobs to hold on to while mixing. Has colored decals on the outside of the bucket. The Dough mixer is in excellent shape and very well built. I found an old folder inside the bucket saying " The breadmaker has been made with the finest materials and designed to give you a lifetime of use, but no date saying when it was manufactured. No one could wear out this Dough Mixer. You could hand down this dough mixer for many generations and it will go on mixing dough.

When I first started baking bread in volume I decided to buy a Dough Mixer Bucket, it was made of aluminum. The cost $14.95. I looked at the one online. "Wow! Almost 40 bucks and plastic. You can't buy quality anymore.

The folder inside the dough mixer contained 4 recipes.

White Bread, French Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, and Basic Sweet Roll Dough.

Kneading the dough - It suggested kneading 3 to 5 minutes or until the dough has elastic satiny finish.

I like using the bread bucket for mixing (Wet Doughs) for baking light artisan breads using the Dan Lepard Method. Rather than using a mixer, and its much easier to clean out the dough bucket than my mixer. I also like fermenting my dough in the big bucket. I simply throw a sheet of plastic and a towel over the bucket and place it in my back porch. And the big stainless steel bucket gets really cold during the cold winter months no need to place in the fridge overnight. And for camping or for those family reunions we have each year I can easily mix up a bucket of dough for these occasions.

The Antique Hand Crank Dough Mixer cost $5.00 bucks.

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Mine was a gift from my husband and is metal but not stainless steel. I would love a stainless steel model!

I confess I thought the same thing about   "Wow! Almost 40 bucks and plastic." I recently obtained an antique metal Universal #4 doughmaker and after making 2 batches I am very impressed!. The last patent is 1904 and it is still going strong. This particular one looks like it is from 1930's or "40's and was well used and well cared for.. It has small design features I really appreciate-there are several small "speed bumps" on the bottom of the pail that make the dough kind of trip and fold over itself-the crank is high enough over the top of the bucket that it won't hit the hand if you are holding the bucket on a table (it clamps to the table but a hand is needed to steady it)- the dough hook really stretches (almost frissage) the dough against the edge of the pan. This was the smoothest,fluffiest sandwich bread dough I have ever produced.

Here is mine:

How about this one? Looks like it is aimed at preppers and is a little pricier at $699!!! It looks like they use a Bosch Universal body without the motor and add a hand crank.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-1823-dual-speed-hand-cranked-mixer.aspx

 

proth5's picture
proth5

What a lovely dough mixer - looks a lot like my antique one :>)

Any concerns or special preparation based on the look of the metal?  Although well cared for, the metal does seem to have the same patina as mine - not rusty or anything, but definitely a patina.

I've been looking at that mixer from Lehman's for years and telling myself I do not need another hand cranked toy (well, except for the hand cranked sheeter, but that's completely different - I tell myself).  But it is way cool.

Lehman's does do a lot of business with the Amish - but I'm sure the preppers love it, too.

Have fun!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The metal was probably originally very shiny (tinned) but it has worn off over the years. The first thing I did when I received it was to test for lead. I have had a few antique pieces over the years that were lead soldered and could not be used (safely) for food prep. This piece had no lead detected and I was very happy about that! After I washed it, I put it in a warm oven to dry thoroughly and then I gave it ALL a light coating of melted lard-just like I prep my iron frying pans. I wiped it off and I repeated that the second time I used it and will prob. continue to do that after use. With the tin coating gone, it tends to rust immediately. Someone took excellent care of this for many years so I guess I will continue to do so.

It makes as little as 2 loaves of bread but works better for at least 4. The hook has a tendency to just swirl the 2 dough lump in the bottom without catching it on the side to stretch and turn.

Your kind offer still warms my heart and the look on my husband's face when I read it to him was priceless. I had shown him the auction site for this doughmaker just a few days prior so I couldn't believe he already had it in his possession  I got my Christmas present early! He tries so hard to surprise me (rarely successful-I'm just too curious and can read him) and this time he really did! As did you!

A hand cranked sheeter! Jealous! I will have to keep my eyes out for one of those!

proth5's picture
proth5

for the care suggestions - I really didn't think in those terms. D'oh! (or: Dough!)

Machines Caplain in France has a hand cranked sheeter - I saw it when I was there last year for Europain.  But it isn't inexpensive... I haven't done the deed on that yet, but I feel it coming.

Have fun!

 

chris319's picture
chris319

Wow! Made in the U.S. (not China)! No chance of the motor going up in flames, and $40 instead of $400+. I'm getting one!

But can it beat egg whites and do small batches? :)

chris319's picture
chris319

The hook has a tendency to just swirl the dough lump on the bottom without catching it on the side to stretch and turn.

This is a common malady when automating the dough-kneading process.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

Here's an interesting PDF brochure from 1910 - Basically a bucket with a crank dough kneader. - INCLUDES RECIPES.

"How to make bread but not in this disagreeable old-fashioned way"
"The Universal Three Minute Bread Maker"
Published 1910

https://ia600506.us.archive.org/31/items/howtomakebreadbu00sall/howtomakebreadbu00sall.pdf

https://openlibrary.org/works/OL16759761W/How_to_make_bread

chris319's picture
chris319

https://www.google.com/patents/US663795?dq=kneading+dough+1900&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HbOUUrfoH4_qoAS99YKoDA&ved=0CGoQ6AEwBw

What sometimes happens when kneading dough in a mixer is that the dough ball either gets pushed around on the bottom of the bowl or the dough wraps itself around the hook and goes for a ride, spinning around the hook. Some designs rely on the dough ball clinging to the bottom of the bowl and the hook stretching the dough, but this works only so well with low-hydration doughs.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

is the stretch and fold technique for dough. It's not just for slack dough. I've used it to make 65% hydration light wheat bread. 

"Made stretch & fold with 65% hydration dough"

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/272950#comment-272950

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I have a pdf copy of the original booklet with the original recipe and it is quite a dry dough compared to what I usually do. The first time I used the doughmaker, I tried the original proportions and it was terribly dry. I just started adding ingredients (milk,oil,kefir,more salt,etc) until I liked the taste and consistency and then went to town cranking. Great texture! Wonderful sandwich bread-soft and lofty.

Because of the way the hook is designed, it is not tight to the bottom of the pail-it is about an inch off the bottom. That means that ingredients have to be high enough to get mixed. It is able to do 2 loaves but barely-I had to pull the dough out and finish hand kneading as it was riding on the hook. A larger dough ball doesn't do that.

I will be making a double batch of brioche either tonight or tomorrow and it should be perfect for that dough.

Great fun!

chris319's picture
chris319

Clazar:are the speed bumps at the bottom of the bucket at all effective in making the kneading process more effective? Could you describe the form of these speed bumps? Thank you.

I am toying with some ideas for mechanized kneading but they may or may not take off.

Jolly's picture
Jolly

Clazar 123 - I found the picture of your dough mixer very interesting and its features. Especially the speed bumps. 

My speed bump its different, its raised up in the middle of the bucket like a bowl that's been placed upside down and then recess's or drop down all around the inner wall of the bucket. Looks like a ditch. So when you're kneading, the dough trails along the ditch and keep turning and folding the dough over itself. And like you said the dough hook really stretches the dough (almost frissage). That explains why you don't need to knead the dough very long. That also eliminates the step of folding the dough.

My dough hook sets about 1/2-inch from the bottom of the bucket.

Now the first Hand Cranked Dough Mixer that I bought, it was squatty and had a flat bottom and wide bottom base. So when I was looking at this bucket with a narrow base, the large speed bump in the center and the ditch for the dough ball to trail in I thought it would do a better job mixing up the dough.

If you're looking to purchase a hand cranked dough mixer do look for these features speed bumps and a ditch to direct the dough while kneading and a narrow base bucket. I would not consider buying a plastic dough bucket.

It's hard to believe how spendy a hand cranked dough mixer can cost today.

 

 

 

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Here is a picture of the "speed bumps". They are pressed into the bottom of the bucket and I think they used to be higher. I believe they have been pressed flatter over the years. The round circle is a quarter. The dough seems to catch just a bit and turn over a little bit. It makes a big difference in how the dough stretches because then the hook keeps pulling at the top part of the dough. I believe dough hook design and kneading technique can make a difference in how much energy is required to get a dough thoroughly kneaded and the texture achieved.

Whether it was design or serendipity, each design element is important. Just like the Bosch mixer, you have to add liquids to the bottom of this mixer and if you add additional liquids after it is mostly mixed, you really have to squish it in by hand a few times before you can use the hook to get it mixed. The dough hook sits about 3/4 inch above the bottom of the bucket. It really mixes the flour and water at the surface of the water and then it picks up more water/flour as the dough forms and clumps. The end of the hook is about 1/2 inch from the side wall of the bucket. Being this close, the dough gets caught between the end of the hook and the wall. It sticks to the wall slightly, gets pulled and stretched almost 1/4 around the bucket and then suddenly pulls off the side. That is the frissage part . I stirred for about 20 minutes (original instructions-3 minutes) but I was adding ingredients because I didn't like their formula. I found that slow stirring seemed more effective than fast-the dough stayed adhered to the side of the bucket and stretched rather than pulled off without stretching.

Enough for now. Good luck with the design,Chris, hope that helps.

Jolly-I'd love to see what that "ditch" looks like, if you are able to take a picture.

chris319's picture
chris319

... for posting the picture and the description. One picture is worth 1,000 words.

Things like these are not easy to prototype. I might get an EZ DOH and see if I can figure out a way to implement my idea. Newton's third law reigns supreme. There has to be some way of keeping the dough hook from merely pushing the dough around without it being stretched. Sometimes these things don't work out in practice like they do in your head.

Thanks again.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

YouTube Video

Kitchen Aid Hand Crank Conversion Mixer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2AVQ77kBkg

chris319's picture
chris319

They should make provision for adding a flywheel crank to that hand-cranked KA.

chris319's picture
chris319

I put the EZ Doh to the test. It mixes OK but does a poor job of kneading. You wind up with an under-kneaded dough ball which must be kneaded by hand or in an electric mixer to finish the job.

The bucket is made of polyethylene, a material things don't readily stick to. Because of this, the dough ball doesn't cling to the bottom of the bucket and simply gets pushed around and around by the dough hook without being stretched or compressed as is required for proper kneading.

My idea was to glue some plastic strips to the bottom to emulate the "speed bumps" of the Universal crank mixer. The problem is, as noted above, things don't readily adhere to polyethylene. The shear force of the dough ball against the "speed bumps" causes the "speed bumps" to come unglued. The only way I can see around this is to use small nuts and bolts to hold the speed bumps in place, but the nuts and bolts would accumulate dough and make it hard to clean. What's more, the average user wouldn't necessarily be inclined or capable of modifying the EZ-Doh to make it more functional.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

You may be able to make the glue stick to the plastic by really roughening up the surface. In fact-the whole inside may need a roughening. That may make the surface "tackier" to grip the dough so it stretches a bit as it is whirled. Wire wheel on a drill head? Directionality may be important.

Also, the "speed bumps" don't need to be sharp edged (squared). They can be rounded so they still elevate the dough ball into the hook so it gets turned over-like a short waterski ramp. By rounding the bump, you may reduce the force applied by the dough ball to the edge so it is not pried off but rolls over the bump. Can the bottom of the pail be spot heated and deformed upward into a bump? Not sure how to do that but it can probably be done.

Have fun! I saw another Universal on Ebay recently!

 

chris319's picture
chris319

I've seen several Universal Bread Makers on ebay. I even bid on one myself. The bidding is competitive and they get bid up higher than I'm willing to pay. I suspect some bidders are antique collectors who will never use it for dough. Interestingly, some Universals have "speed bumps" and others don't. I found the original patent and it doesn't mention the "speed bumps". I suspect the manufacturer found that without them it was fairly ineffective at kneading, just like the EZ Dough.

I got some plastic strip measuring 1/8" in height by 1/2" in width. I cut a piece to fit across the diameter of the EZ Dough bucket and attached it with two tiny nuts, bolts and washers. Now there is one long speed bump running across the diameter of the bucket. It does work. It resists the travel of the dough around the bottom of the bucket, causing the hook to stretch the dough against the strip; thus the dough does get kneaded, but it takes some muscle to operate.

The EZ Dough uses a stock one-gallon pail from Century Container Corp.  I doubt it would be possible for them to change the design of the pail. Each unit would have to be individually modified.

http://www.centurycontainercorporation.com/century-container-containers.php

The Achilles heel of electric mixers is the motor, so the idea of a motorless mixer is interesting. If my KitchenAid K5A were to fail and couldn't be repaired due to lack of replacement parts, I doubt I would go the hand-cranked mixer route. I'm not Amish and am thus free to use modern electrical conveniences. I'd probably go back to ebay and look for another vintage KA which can be had at a reasonable price. I'm not making bagels for a family of 12 and am happy with the way mine kneads. Everybody seems happy with their Ankarsrum but $800 is an awful lot to spend for a mixer.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Yeah it is kind of a dilemma, when one wants the simplicity and reliability of a hand operated machine but the price is double that of an electric mixer!

I was fortunate years ago to have scored a hand cranked dough mixer on eBay for cheap. It was made by Presto, and closely resembled their pressure cookers in design.  The crank fed through the top where the steam vent would normally have been, and the lid was cut out in two arcs around it so you could both see inside and add ingredients while it was fastened.  Must have been manufactured in the early seventies, because the body was painted that hideous "harvest gold." Worked pretty well, guess the body was aluminum, a surface to which dough does tend to stick, so it gets kneaded rather than just pushed around. Only little problem I had was that the whole thing was rather well worn, and the crank wobbled a bit. Handles a bit loose as well; was difficult to hold the pot still with one hand while cranking with the other, so I'd sit and clench the vessel between my thighs while kneading.  Still have that device actually, but keep it upstate at my campsite which has not yet been electrified. When I get the chance will take a picture, it's a hoot.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Like this?

Cool!

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Yes, that's exactly the one, thanks!

andychrist's picture
andychrist

But like I said, mine is Harvest a Gold.  Think the one above is Avocado.

 

andychrist's picture
andychrist

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Sorry. Dunno why my images are not being saved, they appear fine in Preview.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

with lid!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Pretty! Shiny!

An interesting comment is that there are no "speed bumps" on the bottom of the bucket but perhaps to compensate, the dough hook looks like it rides closer to the floor of the bucket.

I don't have any connection to the auction so I hope it is OK if I post a link. If anyone buys it, post a review!.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VERY-UNIQUE-BACK-TO-BASICS-BREAD-DOUGH-MAKER-HAND-MIXER-PRESERVING-TRADITION-/141178166120?_trksid=p2054897.l4276

 

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Grrr!  Purposely didn't post the link myself because I want to buy it. Oh well.

I don't think it would need speed bumps if it is made of aluminum. From my experience with the Presto, dough clings to that alloy unless it is very well oiled. Cleaning out the pot is the pain, it has to be scoured.

I think there is one little design flaw to that model though.  The crank knob is kinda small, could get uncomfortable to hold while cranking dough for extended periods.  If you'll notice, the Presto has a long crank handle, it fits between all your fingers and the palm of your hand. Still it's difficult to keep everything in one place without a table mount, which most of these contraptions lack. 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

You may be able to either replace the knob with a different one. Perhaps a transplant from the Presto?

I do like my table clamp. Another idea- I recently acquired a silicon mat that helps keep many things from walking. That may be helpful in this instance. A silicon hotpad?

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Well it takes a lot of strength to hold a hand crank mixer in place... maybe a giant suction cup would suffice - something from the Acme company. ;-). If you've seen the videos for the EZ-DOH, the "inventor" clutches it awkwardly against her body while it wriggles all around trying to escape her embrace as she cranks it.  Kinda awkward to say the least.

i think the best machine would employ a vertical, geared crank like an egg beater, with dual hand levers 180° apart, like bicycle pedals. Mounted to a table it would be extremely energy efficient.  Even better if it actually had foot pedals as well, it would make short shrift of any task.  Incidentally, I once owned a peddle operated industrial sewing machine, it had a cast iron fly wheel which could spin like the devil.  But the sewing machine itself had become rust bound, so I stupidly put the whole thing out on the curb one day.  Only later did it occur to me that it would have been physically and economically feasible to mount just about any industrial machine to that peddle table. D'oh!

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Didn't win the auction on that nice shiny Back to Basics one so made an offer on the Presto and it was accepted. Yeah it comes with extra crank arms so I'll save which ever one has the least play for the one I have upstate.  Then I can hold onto it down here in the city until I decide to spring for an electric mixer. Woohoo. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and it's an ice cream bucket!   How about rigging a bicycle?  or better yet a giant hamster wheel with a front loading  dough bucket in the axel.   Got a giant hamster?  Dough mixing should involve gravity, takes less energy that way.

Makes my rib hurt just looking at the bucket photo.  Sorry, I'd rather fold my dough on the table than deal with that contraption.  Sure it's not a butter churn? 

Andy, if you can tell me how you formulated your site name, I might be able to forget what goes thru my head every time I read it.