The Fresh Loaf

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can a blender be used as a dough mixer?

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sallam's picture
sallam

can a blender be used as a dough mixer?

Greetings


I don't have a dough mixer, and I was wondering.. if its possible somehow to use a blender for mixing and kneading? My blender is a 2-speed, with a powerful motor.


I was thinking, in particular with high hydration doughs, maybe if I use half the dry ingredients and all the liquids, blend well to develop enough gluten, then add more flour just before turning it off, or mix the rest by hand. Will that work?


Did anyone try that before? I'd love to have any tips in that regard. Many thanks.

SulaBlue's picture
SulaBlue

Blenders work by creating a vortex that pulls things down through the center. This is why sometimes if you add protein powder to a blender before it's turned on that there are clumps of it beneath the blades that never get mixed in. Ice and large chunks of fruit, veg, etc. get broken up by having the blades slam into them at high speed.


I honestly don't think this would work. The blades are too short and moving to actually knead anything. I think what you'd end up with is a highly mixed first inch or two of floury water, then a huge mess, and possibly a burned-out blender. And really - if you can't knead the whole thing in there, why start mixing in the blender? It's just more dishes to do.

noyeast's picture
noyeast

Sallam, I tend to agree with sulablue.


 


Have you tried the autolyse method then followed by just a very short kneading phase ?


Paul.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I don't think the blender will work either. 


If you are on a tight budget, you can buy a dough whisk some places for under $10 (see, for example:  http://www.breadtopia.com/store/danish-dough-whisk.html,) and I am quite amazed by how well it works in high hydration doughs (70% and above)--I didn't think it was going to be that effective.  I have shoulder problems and can't mix much, but the dough whisk just slices through those ingredients pretty painlessly. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Although I do use a mixer at times for high hydration doughs, my preferred method is the "stretch and fold in the bowl technique." See this


no-knead video


and this


Hamelman's “Stretch and Fold in the Bowl” no-knead technique


I wouldn't use a blender.


David

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Janknitz, that's an interesting gadget there! 


I have to agree with everyone else.  The blender probably won't work too well.


LindyD's picture
LindyD

I found mine for $5.95 at a local store selling kitchen gear.  I use it daily to mix my sourdough cultures.  Fantes sells them for $6.95.


I've often wondered why it's called a Danish dough whisk when the ones I've seen come from Poland.

Freckleface's picture
Freckleface

I started to learn to work with dough about 5 years ago.  When I got married, I got a gift of a Hamilton Beach blender / food processor and I hadn't used it much so I figured I'd use it for that.  I put the food processor parts onto the motor and started to make really awesome pasta.  It burnt out after only a few attempts.  Blender motors cannot handle heavy dough.


I bought a Cuisanart food processor which I use for all sorts of things.  It works great for pasta dough and smaller batch of bread dough.  However, the recipe I use for bread dough makes quite a lot, and the liquid goes past the liquid-fill line.  So I made it by hand, which was fun but hurt my shoulder.  


Then I watched a video called Breaking Bread with Father Dominic and he introduced me to the danish dough wisk.  I have to agree with the others, its inexpensive ($6 - $10) and is invaluable to a baker.  I made my dough by hand using this tool for a long time, sometimes giving a jump start with a hand mixer at the beginning parts.


I now own a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and it is my favorite for pumping out my mass of bread dough.  (My family eats a lot and I've started to sell some to coworkers.)  I am forever grateful that I learned to make dough by hand because it has given me the experience of learning the dough first-hand (pun intended).


So, with my experience with various ways of making dough, I would suggest to save your blender any unnecessary stress.  It might be okay to give it a jump-start in there, but I'd caution you against going past the "pancake batter" stage.  Even better would be going straight to the bowl, jump-starting it with a hand mixer and then switching over to a danish dough wisk. :)


 


Good luck!

cryobear's picture
cryobear

I use my VitaMix 3600 to grind grain and make pan ready dough.  It works very well if you're in a hurry for a single loaf.  You do have to use caution because of the "Friction Factor".  If you grind the grain for too long, it will over heat and kill the grains ability to raise.  Most people don't know that you can make a great boiling hot veggie stock just by tossing in some veggies and cold water.  It will be boiling in just a few minutes.


Cryobear 

sallam's picture
sallam

I tried this and it worked nicely. I thought, since kneading is needed to develp enough gluten in the dough, I tried blending equal parts of dry and liquid ingredients (all the liquids of the recipe blended with equal part - in volume - from the dry ingredients). My idea was to over-develop gluten in part of the dough, so that I get enough gluten for the whole thing. For example: in a recipe that calls for 9c flour and 4c water, I blended 4c water with 4c flour for 3 minutes, then spoon mixed the batter with the rest of the flour in a bowl. The result was nice elastic bread. It seems that the fast blender can develop enough gluten for the whole dough. This, with slow fermentation (less yeast), would probably give results similar to that of pricey stand mixers. I think I can live now with one less electric tool and save some precious space in my kitchen.