The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wet dough and hand held mixer

sewcial's picture

Wet dough and hand held mixer

I've been searching the archives and can't find an answer to this.

Has anyone actually had success making very wet doughs (like about 85-95% hydration) for pizza or ciabatta using a light duty hand held mixer?

We are traveling to visit our son and they want me to make them some pizza. The problem is that they don't do much baking and they have only a little hand held mixer. After bragging about my pizza, I wouldn't like to make one that didn't meet standards just because of the lack of proper machine kneading. I can't take my big Kitchen Aid on the plane.

If anyone has had success with a little mixer, I'd love to hear about it ... any problems encountered, how you overcame them, etc. or how you compensated for the lack of power in the mixer. I'll be making a standard small batch, about 500 g. flour. I'd love to do this if it is possible.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Forget the electric hand mixer.  If it's their only one, you don't want to be the one to replace it (unless that is your intention.)  Just use your normal recipe and mix the dough with a spatula or fork until all the flour is moistened letting it stand covered 30 minutes before working the dough some more into a smooth ball for a first rise.  It will be just fine. You will be just fine.  People made pizza dough long before mixers came along.

If you use the mixer at home for health reasons, get your son or any other able bodied kitchen slave to help you stir.  You may be passing down a new tradition!  :)


sewcial's picture

Thanks, Mini,

You have a point about pizza being made way before mixers. You always have good advice.

I have worked out a recipe that's kind of a take off of Daniel Leader's pizza (with a few modifications of my own). We had it here last week and it was pizza heaven. The edges browned beautifully and the crust was so light and chewy with such a crunch to the outside of the crust. When I ran the pizza cutter across it, the crunch was so perfectly audible...even in the next room, while the crumb was so light and tenderly chewy...mmmm.

I had tried the pizza from BBA (firm enough to knead by hand and shape) and it didn't brown so well on the edges even though the bottom was very browned. It wasn't so light and airy either.

Maybe I'll add just enough more flour to my recipe that I can fold and rest it several times during the 3-4 hour ferment. I wish I had time to try it once at home, first. Still, I suppose it'll be better than take-out from their local pizza parlor.

The best they can do for a stone is a round pizza stone they will borrow from a neighbor. I plan to make some other breads, too, so the baguettes may have to be curved to fit on the stone. When they come here for Christmas, I can impress them more with my big oven and big stone, etc.


foolishpoolish's picture

No need for a mixer. Stretch and fold is your friend.



Janknitz's picture

recipe for pizza dough at Very easy to mix and no kneading required, but the results are great!