The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

DLX Dough Hook

  • Pin It
ehanner's picture
ehanner

DLX Dough Hook

 DLX-Hook
DLX-Hook

Mike,
I don't mean to turn this into an "Ask Mike" day but as far as I know you are the only one who has used the dough hook on the DLX. This is the first time I have used the hook on the DLX. I started out with the roller and was frustrated with the roller not developing the "ring". So, I thought I would give it a try. In the bowl is a double batch of your Bohemian Rye SD so it should look familiar. Is this the way it should look? Are there any clues as to when it's developed? It rolled into the cone shape shortly after starting on the lowest range and stayed that way for the next 10 minutes.

The dough was decently developed when I pulled it off the hook so I did a couple french folds and dropped it into the oiled bowl to rise.

My first impression is that the hook is way easier to use and like you say, just walk away from it and let it work. The roller seems to require my constant attention with almost any dough type. I do wonder if the hook would distribute the firm white starter as well as the roller. I broke it up into pieces and let it sit in the water to soften then ran the roller for a minute to dissolve the chunks into the mass.

Eric

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Well. as you saw, it works.  While the dough does form a cone and seem to hang on the hook, it is moving and things are happening.  Sometimes when I make multiple batches in a row the dough doesn't want to pull together, it just spins around.  I move the hook to the center and back out a few times and... MAGIC.... it starts working.

 

How can you tell when the dough is developed?  The same way as with any other machine.  Stop the machine, pull out a piece of dough.  Feel it, smell it, taste it, smush it between your fingers, do a windowpane, throw it at the cat and see if it sticks, you know, the usual tried and true techniques.

As to distributing starter and such, it seems to do a bang up job for me.  I'm baking some today as I pull together my tax documents, so I really have to use the mixer and I'm making some breads I haven't made in the DLX before.  Both the olive loaf and the flax seed bread showed excellent distribution of ingredients and dough development.

 

In the end, the test is in the baking and eating... so once you get bread out of the oven, you'll know.

 

Mike

 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

One thing I meant to say above is that when you use the dough hook, the DLX acts very much like a spiral mixer. More so than with the roller/scraper.

 

Gisele at http://www.mountaintopsmilling.com sold me my DLX and taught me how to use it. She tells me she NEVER uses the roller scraper. She couldn't even find hers to play with them. I just followed her advice and have been happy. I suppose I should watch the Electrolux video to see how the roller/scraper are supposed to work. Who knows, I might like 'em, but so far when I've tried using them, I haven't been happy.

 

Mike

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Zolablue, Are you checking this out? I used the bar today and it's way easier and at least as effective as the roller. Next time you do a double batch of something, try it out, I think you will be surprised.

Mike: I think it's the shape of the bar that works the dough inside where you can't see it. I'm impressed!

Eric

dougal's picture
dougal

Does the hook require a larger minimum quantity of dough than the roller?

 

There is provision to use the scraper with the hook (and its in the photo) - does it always get used?

 

And should one follow the DLX habit of adding all the liquid first, starting up, and then adding flour, etc?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

It's my habit to add the liquid and preferment dough first and anything I think might need distributing or hydrating. I usually run on low for a minute and then add the flours. I also always add the salt and any other dry items into the flour bowl and mix well before adding to the mixer.

I have used the roller with a single loaf batch but it looks lost in that large bowl. I suspect it would be OK using the hook on a small batch but why bother? I use a mixer to save time with larger batches. For single loaf mixes I look like Bertinet with a scraper or dough whisk.

On the scraper, you can see I used it in the photo above but it didn't serve any purpose once the dough came together. Maybe on larger (5 #'s or so) batches it might get used. I see in the video they did use it. That's 3# in the photo above.

I'm anxious to try a big 8# Miche in the DLX. Maybe next week.

Eric

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

The other day I used the bar to mix just over a pound of poolish (580 grams at 100% hydration) and it worked quite well, and I have done one or two loaf batches of bread with good results.

 

I have the latest model of the DLX, and I don't know if anything was changed from the earlier model other than the size of the motor.  So, with that caveat, I can either use the scraper or not.  It seems to help with some doughs, not make much difference with others, and get in the way with some others.  I usually start the mixer without the scraper.  If the dough isn't coming together, I'll put the scraper in.  In general, it seems to help more with high hydration (wet) doughs than with dry ones.

 

I've never followed the "liquids first, start the motor, add the flour" technique.  I add all the liquids, then add all the solids, then turn it on.  The only time I don't do that is when the batch is very, very large (over 5,000 grams or so), then I add all the liquids, half the flour, and all the salt, sugar, yeast and what not.  Then I turn it on, let the flour get wet, and add the rest of the flour as quickly as I can.  The reason is to avoid clouds of flour being tossed out by the mixer at startup.  This is only a problem when I make very, very large batches.

Mike

 

 

 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Eric, you asked if that's how the dough should look.

 

Amusingly enough, as I answered your questions the first time around, I was making a batch of that bread in my DLX. I am playing with a new (to me) bread pan. It's a strapped bread pan with 3 pans that should hold about a 2 1/2 pound loaf each. I made about a 2 pound loaf in each this time. You live, you learn. I like hte pan because it fits into my oven. I've liked strapped bread pans ever since we used them in the bakery - they reduce handling. One pan to handle instead of three or four or five. If you don't make multiple loaf batches of the same bread, or pan breads, it's not worth it, but if you do, they are great! You can usually find them on eBay. Look for strapped bread pan - as I type this, there's only one set available. At this time, I'm not selling any strapped bread pans and have no interest in anyone's ebay sales other than my own.

 

Anyway, your dough looks nice.

 

I gotta say though that moving back to sea level has been harder on my baking than moving to the mountains. I have 8 years of high altitude adjustments and habits to unlearn. And the water here is *SO* soft it may be causing issues too. Despite that, the New Bohemian Rye came out great! A nice rise, great crumb and a taste that goes on for miles! My wife wants some toasted for breakfast (rye breads are her favorite... the only question is whether she'll put nutella on it this time).

 

Mike

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You should be able to make one big batch in the DLX and fill 3- 2-1/2 # pans yes? I think the next time I make that recipe I'll bake it in pans.

I didn't get much rise in the oven and I thought I would. Sure does taste good. I got a very nice sour this time. I usually cheat and add a IDY spike but this time I resisted the urge and waited for the ferment to double on it's own. 

Have you tested the Ph on your water since you moved?

Eric

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Oh yes, I should easily be able to do 3 2.5lb loaves in a batch.  I could do 4, but I wouldn't have the pans for it.

Rye usually give a nice sour without adding anything to it.  I've been known to add rye to non-rye sourdoughs to give it a kick.  It works nicely.

 

I don't think it's a matter of pH, I think it's a matter of hardness.  The water in Colorado was very hard, the water here is amazingly soft.  And that can cause problems.

 

Also, I've switched flours, which is another can of worms.

Mike

 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

A lot of flailing and I found out it was the water's pH.  The water here is very alkaline.  Dough prefers neutral to slightly acidic.

 

Mike

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Mike
Are you doing something with a whole house water conditioner to boost the acid levels? There would be other health considerations to think about that would make me want to look at a system. It would be interesting to know if there is a higher than normal incidence of arthritis in the area. I know several people who swear by the use of a shot of tart cheery juice or vinegar mixed in water every day. The result is an adjustment of personal pH levels that seems to aid arthritis pain. Then the basic nature of the local water would change the normal ability of bacteria to flourish in the body.

Maybe David will comment from a physician stand point.

Eric

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

No, I'm not using a whole house water conditioner.  We just use bottled water for bread making and filtered water for making coffee and tea.

 

For most cooking and for bathing, we use tap water.

 

I'll be interested to hear what David will say about alkaline water if he has the time and inclination to chime in.

 

Mike