The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

DLX Learning Curve- HELP

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

DLX Learning Curve- HELP

I'm having tons of trouble with my new DLX and am looking for some help. Problems

1. Does not seeem to agitate top to bottom very well.

2. Does not seem to produce a smooth dough regardless of how much mixing

3. Inadequate gluten development. Everything seems soupy, regardless of how much I mix. things are sticking in bannetons, spreading more than rising, etc. I put an extra 20% flour in my baguettes and they still seem wet.

 

What I have been doing

1. Using known good recipes that used to work.

2. Weighing all ingredients

3. Trying various mixer techniques including mix by hand first, 20 minute autolyze, dough hook, roller.

4. Varied sizes of batches

 

This is driving me nuts. I like the capacity of the mixer, but so far, nothing else. My kitchen aid was producing much better results, but for the fact that it has, in practice, about 1/5 the capacity.

baltochef's picture
baltochef

What size recipe are you using??..What total dough weight are the recipes that are failing??..

My DLX brings the dough together faster than the KA mixers with their planetary action that I used before I owned the DLX ever did..

Are you overmixing??..

If you have tested recipes that work in a KA mixer, then my experience has been that it should take several minutes less to achieve the same level of gluten development in the DLX, as opposed to the KA..

Check out older DLX threads here at TFL..I am sure that the older threads have a wealth of information in them that address your questions..

There is a learning curve with any new kitchen appliance..The DLX basically works completely opposite to how a planetary action mixer does in the way that the dough is compressed and relaxed in order to develop gluten..

Bruce

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

Thanks bruce. Mostly in the 5lbs of flour range, but nothing seems to be working. I was pondering over mixing as well, but it is sill lumpy.

janij's picture
janij

If you are using the roller, where do you have it placed in the bowl?  If I use that much flour I put it in the middle of the bowl and give it a little give so it can move slightly.  I have not had a problem with mine unless I try to mix too small and amount of dough.

Also, do you put the water or liquid in the bowl first than the flour and other?  This helps.  I don't know why it is soupy.  It could be over mixing.

Another thought, try putting the water in and half the flour.  Put the roller about 1 in from the edge and beat the daylights out the dough.  Then move the arm out and add the rest of the flour.  That will help lumps.

I will keep thinking.

baltochef's picture
baltochef

I do not have the dough hook so I learned to use a spatula to press down on the dough as it tries to ride up the sides of the bowl around the fluted roller as the ingredients come together into one homogeneous ball of dough..I also actively scrape the sides of the bowl while the mixer is running in order to remove any bits of caked on flour so that they can be incorporated into the dough..

I am getting mixed signals from your posts..On the one hand you mention the word "soupy" which indicates a too wet dough..In this vein you also talk about adding extra flour, which is another indicator of a too wet dough..

In your reply to my first post you mention the word "lumpy" which seems to indicate a too dry dough..

I am a little confused..

Bruce

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

The final result is both soupy and lumpy. It is overly wet, especially when you go to shape loaves, but at the same time it is full of little lumps

baltochef's picture
baltochef

I will second janij's suggestion to put all of the liquid ingredients into the bowl first, then add the dry ingredients..I usually just dump all of the dry ingredients into the bowl at once on top of the wet ingredients, but the staggered method that janij suggests might be something to definitely give a try..

If your doughs have been too wet I cannot figure out why you would have lumps, unless the dough was simply not being worked around the bowl between the sides of the bowl and the hook, or roller..Is the dough just collecting around the roller, and spinning in place??..

Bruce

ehanner's picture
ehanner

twgiffen,

Your crib notes should be helpful for any new DLX user. I would add that I have always had better luck using low speed to initially mix ingredients and then give it a 10-15 minute rest to allow the moisture to absorb.

Recently I have been leaving the dough in the mixing bowl after mixing for 3-4 minutes for a stretch and fold. I cover the bowl with the plastic cover, wait 20 minutes then install the hook and run on low for 3-4 seconds. I remove the hook easily and cover again for 20 or so minutes and repeat. The key here is to learn to not over do the folding cycle. Never over 5 seconds. I usually do the last fold on the counter just to be certain the gluten is well developed.

Bassopotomus,

I suggest you try a 65% hydration AP flour mix with no additives like oil or eggs. Mix a smaller batch so you can get the feel for what works. Start with say 500g flour and 325g water, usual salt and yeast. It can be helpful to start with the liquids as stated above but just weigh the ingredients and add them. You shouldn't be adjusting to suit the conditions. If you use AP flour you will have a good dough after the first rest and 4 minutes of mixing. Let the clock do the hard work. Stretch and fold every 20-30 minutes for an hour to 1.5 hours.

You CAN mix or knead intensively until you get a window pain but honestly the results are better if you use the mixer for as little as necessary to develop moderate gluten, not full development. Tip the dough out after mixing and do stretch and folds every 20 minutes during the ferment period.

For me, I think you get a creamy light yellow color and more tender crumb by not beating the tar out of the dough with a mixer. By hand stretching you assure your self that you have a well developed gluten structure that will hold the gas during rising and hold shape for the 30 seconds between proofing and oven.

Eric