The Fresh Loaf

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Dough whisk. What size should I get?

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althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Dough whisk. What size should I get?

I always wanted one of those.  Have searched high and low in Calgary, Alberta but couldn't find one locally.  Seems like Brotform will ship international.  I am going to order one but not sure what size to get.  I am short and have very small  hand (I wear child's large size gloves).  I consider getting a small one but am afraid it won't be enough to make a dough for two loaves.  Any suggestions?  Al


SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

the long handle is the same on both my small and large wisk.  You can grip it down low or up higher, which ever is more comfortable for your hand.  I don't hold it like a spoon, but with my hand in a fist and thumb facing up.  I use both but mostly the large one.  I hardly ever use the small one.  the size is based on the bottom wisking part, small is a smaller circle wisk and large is a larger circle wisk.  I like the large because it reaches into the dough better and you are pressing it on the bottom of the bowl usually while mixing.  the smaller one tends to have the dough come over it and gets dough on the wooden handle.  if you are making one very small batch of dough in a small bowl then the smaller one comes in handy.


I hope this helps..I use mine a lot and like them very much.  They really mix things up quickly and are easily cleaned.  I would say get the large wisk.



Both handles are different in length but the same size where you will be gripping it.


Sylvia

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I bought the larger dough whisk through Amazon.com and it works well when I've got the hydration levels right and the morning caffeine is lighting up my brain cells. The whisk itself was shipped through Breadtopia's store and is identical to the whisk in the King Arthur catalog, minus the branding mark.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Thanks Sylvia!  Think I am going to order the large one.  I love my dough hooks but I am curious about this simple tool.  Can't wait to give it a try.


Postal Grunt, I did check Amazon.com unfortunately this is not one of the few items they ship to Canada.  Even I am going to order through Brotform,  shipping will be more than what the whisk itself.  It's ridiculous but if I can't find it in Canada, paying the high shipping cost plus tax and duties is the only way to go.


Al



mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

You might try ordering directly from breadtopia.com.


Looks like it's $8 for the large whisk, plus about $5 US for 1st class international postage to Canada.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

When I tried to purchase the dough whisk from Breadtopia via Amazon.com they wouldn't let me check out because of my location.  But I was surprised that I could order it by going directly to their website.  


If I knew they shipped to Canada I would have ordered it early enough for Christmas! Well, Christmas or not, I have just ordered a large one. Will have fun with it. Thanks again!


Al

jeb's picture
jeb

You might also look at Fantes(http://www.fantes.com The whisks are on http://www.fantes.com/whisks.html).


Their large dough wisk is $6.99 and the small one is $4.99. I don't know if they ship to Canada.


Like SylviaH, I rarely use the small one.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Thanks jeb!  Fantes sells it cheaper but the ship exclusively within the United States only.  Al

Cooking202's picture
Cooking202

for whipping up english muffins, pancakes, muffins and such.  I almost ordered from KA but read a post here in time to save enough to order both from Breadtopia.  I can't imagine being without them.


Carol

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I have ordered a couple of times from Eric at Breadtopia - his prices are good and you can't beat the shipping. I just ordered an oval banneton and a dough scraper from him last week. I ordered it Dec 10 and *may* get by Christmas..but I doubt it. Over the past I've ordered a few items up from the states and they seem to get stuck at customs...I have visions of the customs employees sitting around reading our magazines and trying out or dough whisks before shipping them on to us :)


Let me know how you like that dough whisk - I tossed it around whether to get one or not - I use dollar store silicone spatula - but that dough whisk is supposed to be amazing.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I picked mine up at Sur La Table for $6.99 (still can't believe that price--there) and it is so handy.  I think I have the large one. 


I particularly like it for mixing up no knead doughs like AB in 5.  It's easy to clean and works great.  Wonderful, low tech toy and I think it looks pretty cool, too. 

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

I'm not trying to criticize anyone who has purchased a "dough whisk".  Even though I've never seen one used by bakers or pastry chefs in a shop, I think it could be useful for mixing heavy batters.  Using a regular balloon whisk in making a batter can cause too much gluten development sometimes, and they're much more of a pain to clean.


But you don't really need any sort of hand tool to mix a dough by hand, besides a metal bench scraper or a plastic bowl scraper.  I can't see the point of using a whisk to make a dough.  Is the object to keep the dough off of your hands?


We all have our phobias (I hate having a big dough build-up on my hands over time), so I'm not trying to be snarky here.  I'd just encourage anyone who's considering making hand-mixed doughs to rely mostly on their hands to actually combine the ingredients, judge the consistency, and bring those ingredients together into a synchronous whole.  Your hands are complex tools that still can't really be duplicated by industry, and their capabilities are still a wonder.  If you want to hand mix, it seems counter-intuitive to introduce any other tool that would minimize their usefulness.


--Dan DiMuzio

LindyD's picture
LindyD

But only when refreshing my levain.  It's an excellent tool for whipping the water into a froth when adding it to the refreshment, as well as mixing in the flour until the culture is ready for light kneading.


I personally find it's a pain to clean because often I have to use a small brush on the dough that gets caught in between the wires of the smallest loop, and if I miss a speck and it dries, then I have to rummage around for a pointy, sharp object to poke out the tiny blob.


It's also handy for mixing dry ingredients.  I don't use it to mix bread dough because you've got to get your hands in the dough anyway to get to the flour on the bottom, and hands are much easier to wash than that whisk.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Jacket9999, I have to chuckle reading your post.  Me too, often wonder what these customs people do with our stuff.  Sometimes they tend to stay at customs for a very long time.  The strangest thing about customs is the power given to their employees.  A few years ago I purchased a VHS (cartoon) for my 3-year-old son on eBay for $1.99.  When it came across customs someone decided the VHS movie was not $1.99,;they re-declared the value of the VHS $20 and charged me a heafty custom fee plus tax and duties!  I filled out a form in attempt to get the money back but of course my letter went to the moon.  So the extra $15 was gone for good and I wasted a stamp!  LOL


Dan, I udnerstand where you come from.  Having been making bread with my hands for 20 years, I have to agree there's nothing like the feeling of working a dough under my hands.  I don't really need the whisk.  But have to admit that I feel leftout when most of my forum friends have this fun little gadget and I don't.  I am not sure how often I will use it but I am all for trying it out and have some fun with it.


Al


Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I work outside the home nearly 60 hours a week and have two kids at home.  There are simply not enough hours in the day to make bread via "orthodox" methods during the week, though I greatly enjoy it on weekends when there's time!).  So my bread making methods have to be fast and easy during the week, and they may not be the ideal that you are picturing. 


I make a lot of ABin5 type doughs during the week.  These are sticky, icky, gooey puddles of dough when you first mix them.  They are a mess to mix up with a wooden spoon or scraper, half of this highly hydrated dough would end up on my hands if I mixed it with my hands.  A dough whisk cuts through this type of dough "like butter", mixes it quickly and is very easy to clean as almost nothing sticks to it. 


I certainly don't "need" the dough whisk, but I'm sure glad I have it!  I don't "need" my KA mixer for my weekend baking, but I'm sure glad I have that, too!  I love the hands on aspect of bread baking very much, but often have to adapt due to time constraints.  Little gems like a dough whisk make that possible. 

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

There was no offense or criticism intended by my post, Jankitz, as I clearly stated.  I was talking about the prospect of using that utensil to make a hand-made dough, and concluded that it was not necessary to do so.  There's nothing purist or idyllic about my bread baking methods -- quite the opposite.  I'm a gear-head.  I use a mixer 95% of the time, an electric oven, and I take advantage of any time-saving procedure or product that's affordable and practical.


I clearly think there may be some use for a utensil like that -- Lindy mentioned a couple in addition to the heavy batter I mentioned and that you seem to be making -- but it just isn't needed to make bread dough by hand.  I'm all in favor of saving time or effort in making bread when there's no significant damage to the quality of the bread.


This gadget certainly would not harm that quality, but neither is it a time-saver in mixing a dough by hand, and it seems to actually be marketed to help you keep your hands out of a hand-made dough.  My comments about its lack of necessity were restricted to that irony, and I truly don't believe that constraints of time or parenthood have any bearing in this instance.


--Dan DiMuzio

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have both sizes of the dough whisk. I find it more pleasant to use than either my hands or a rubber spatula for the initial mixing of dough for an autolyse and the best tool for mixing a starter that isn't extremely stiff. It's also great for any batter-consistancy mixing.


I find it will pick up all the flour from the bowl, although I often finish with a spatula. I find it easy to clean under running water, as long as you do it right after use.


Best of all, it's easier and faster to clean than my hands.


I haven't used it yet to mix a slack dough to full gluten development, but I imagine it might be the best tool I have for that, if I didn't want to use a mechanical mixer.


Yes. I could live without it, but there are some jobs for which it does seem to be the best tool I have.


David

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

OMG, just got an email from Breadtopia stating that they have already shipped my order!  Can you believe it?  I paid $5 for First Class Mail International so no chance to get here before Christmas.  But I have to say I am very impressed!  Al