The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

DLX users question

Edthebread's picture

DLX users question

Hi Everyone

I have a question for all you seasoned DLX users out there.  I recently bought one and I'm getting the hang of it for kneeding bread, but I had a question about the mechanism.  I kneed about 10 cups of flour with the roller, setting it about one inch from the side of the bowl, and when it has been kneeding for a while and the dough is nice and stiff, the arm moves out quite a way towards the center of the bowl when the dough comes round.  Is this the way is should be to kneed the bread efficiently, or should I place the roller farther from the edge so it does not need to move out so much when the dough comes around?



ehanner's picture


I have found that the roller works best with less than firm doughs. You can manually hold the roller in to the edge, enough to try to spread the mass into a circle. That is one of the sort of awkward aspects of the DLX. Don't get me wrong it does work but especially right after starting the mixing before the flour has fully absorbed the water and loosened up, It is a little clumsy feeling.

I suggest that you try using the Hook on your next batch. It was a surprise to me how well it works, especially with medium and firm mixes. It's much easier to use from the stand point of being able to turn it on and leaving to run with the need to futz with it constantly. When I do a large 4 loaf batch, say 7 lbs or more, I keep a spatula handy to prevent getting the dough on the arm but other than those few seconds, it is much easier. I use the hook on most (90%) of my mixes these days.

Be sure to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together first before adding them to the bowl. When I mix a preferment, I usually start with the water and (be aware of the tendency of the rather solid bowl to affect the water temp) add the preferment in pieces to break it up with the hook. Then I spoon the dry ingredients in together as quickly as I can with a 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup spoon. That seems to be about the right rate for me. Regardless of what the recipe calls for, I always mix until incorporated then stop and cover the whole thing with a towel for 10 minutes or so to allow the flour to absorb the water. Then start the kneading on speed 1 or low in earnest and as per the recipe.

The Hook is so simple I initially disregarded it as an effective tool. I had read a post by some fool that it was just made for the American market to put in the box and not really intended to be used. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Good luck with your new mixer. I know you will love it once you get over the shock of how it works so well.


maurdel's picture

I use the roller exclusively and your description sounds about right to me.

I tighten the roller close to the edge while still allowing the dough to move around, but always being careful not to let the dough get too high up the sides of the bowl.  My preference is to work the dough on the wet side and keep adding flour through the kneading till it achieves the right mix. So it works well for that.

I find that the DLX is doing a great job of kneading even though it may not look that way. The roller always appears, as you said to be moving out (or in) away from the dough, but it is in fact doing the job.  I will frequently move the arm myself to "help" the kneading.

I would say that you should tighten the roller close to the edge and the arm should move in and out quite a bit.

Edthebread's picture

Thanks for your very useful comments, ehanner and maurdel.  Looks like there are two ways for the dough to get a good kneeding, using either the hook or the roller.

I'm assuming the roller would be better for wetter doughs?

baltochef's picture

Hi!!..I recently discovered this site..I am new here, and this is my second post..


When I purchased my DLX seven years ago it did not come equipped with the dough hook that I hear so many people on this forum talking about..I adopted the following procedure after some trial and error..


I set the roller approximately 1/4" to 3/8" away from the rim of the bowl, screwing the knob down tightly..I then install the scraper blade..I place the liquid (wettest) ingredients, sponge, etc. into the bowl first..If I am using a sponge, I make the sponge, including the first proof, in the DLX's bowl..I turn the machine onto the lowest setting, and with the spatula in my right hand, I slowly start adding the dry ingredients in a steady stream..I use the spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down constantly until there is a homogeneous ball of dough that is moving cleanly around the inside of the bowl..During the initial process of getting the wet and dry ingredients to combine into a dough, I also use the spatula to constantly manipulate the nascent dough mass into doing what I want it to..This includes pushing any flour / dough back down into the bowl if it is trying to climb up the roller or sides of the bowl..This initial process usually takes approximately 1.5-2 minutes to bring the dough into a clean ball with the sides and bottom of the bowl becoming free of all ingredients..The spatula is very handy for scraping off any hard, crusty bits that might have formed while a sponge is proofing in the bowl..At this point I usually increase the speed up to half power, or just below half power..I sometimes increase the speed halfway through the initial dough-forming process..


I have found that most doughs need approximately 6 minutes of total kneading time using this methodology for the dough to form proper gluten strands, and to reach an internal temperature of 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit..This is usually several minutes less than the reccomendations for machine kneading included with most recipes..Which, I assume, are geared towards the planetaty action, dough hook machines such as the KitchenAid brand mixers..Once the dough ball has formed, and the sides and bottom of the bowl are clean of ingredients, I can usually leave the machine alone to knead unattended until my timer goes off signalling the completion of the kneading process..


I completey wore out the clear plastic blade of the supplied spatula within a year of recieving my DLX..I balked at the, then, $10.00 price tag, plus shipping, for a replacement spatula..So, I turned to the stiffer, cream colored spatulas that come with Cuisinart food processors..The more rigid blade of the Cuisinart spatula allows me to more effectively scrape the sides of the bowl while the mixer is moving..


I have come to prefer medium-wet to wet doughs, as these seem to be the easiest to work with my DLX..The economic crisis is dictating that there will be no equipment purchases for the forseeable future, so it will be some time before I can afford the dough hook attachment for the DLX..It sounds interesting..


Cafemich's picture

I bought a DLX 2 months ago and I'm in love. It can get me a windowpane on my 100% WW bread in about 6 minutes. Amazing, as the same recipes nearly caused my KA to croak.  But, I do have questions regarding the action of the roller and arm.

1) My arm seems to migrate all the way to the edge of the bowl, even after I tighten it down at 2-4cm from the edge, as the manual recommends. It just seems to loosen itself. Is this normal?

2) Is it normal for the spatula and arm/roller to whack against the sides of the bowl as my dough makes its way around? I want to make sure this is normal and it's not hurting the machine or wearing out the parts.

3) If I do 2 loaves with 750gm whole wheat flour, is this enough to justify using the dough hook? The whacking motion & noise of the arm is kind of bugging me. I'm reading other posts that say you only need the dough hook for larger batches.

The Freshloafers sage advice is well appreciated, as always.


toyman's picture

Recent DLX user, but here's my procedure:

Set up DLX with scraper & roller.  Add wet ingredients to mixing bowl.  Take 75% of flour.  Start mixer on low speed and add flour a cup or so at a time.  As it starts to thicken, lock the roller about 1.5" from the bowl.  Once the flour is incorporated well, let rest in bowl for 25 minutes min, up to a few hours.  Remove & clean roller and replace with dough hook.  Start on low and add yeast, incorporate, add balance of dry ingredients including 25% flour.  You don't have to add all the balance of the flour if the dough seems good.  Need the dough until the temp gets between 77-82*. 

I find that adding the dry a little at a time keeps the dough under control with either the hook or roller.