The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

stand mixer kneading question

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reisjdmd's picture

stand mixer kneading question

as a real newby to baking i need advice. my wife bought me a viking stand mixer. i use both the paddle and the hook to knead bread dough in the 65-75% hydration range. no matter how long i knead [up to 20' on low], the dough does not relax. the dough ball always has surface craters and strands, and the dough breaks when i stretch it. any advice.

MAO's picture

I also use a Viking stand mixer, but only use the hook to mix my doughs. Most of what I make are sourdough or artisinal breads. Normally I measure my water into the bowl, then add only the flours and mix, with the hook, starting on low and moving the speed up to around 3. Once combined, I turn off the mixer and cover the bowl with a cloth to rest and hydrate the flour for 15 to 20 minutes. Then add your other ingredients (salt, yeast, starter, etc.) and again start slow to mix and then raise the speed to around 5 or 6 for around 6 to 8 minutes. Most times I take the dough out and give it a few turns by hand to just check the texture and elasticity of the dough.

What you are trying to do is keep the gluten strands long and not break them down to shorter lengths which might happen with the paddle attachment. It is those long strands of gluten that give you the window pain effect. I have been baking bread with this method of kneading for years for both personal and professional production.

I hope this helps..:-)

Broc's picture

I agree with Mao --

But, after the second machine knead, try another covered 5 min rest, then stretch and fold... Tis helps develop those long strands of gluten...

Good luck!

~ B


dghdctr's picture

You might check out SteveB's blog, where he discusses issues with getting good mixing results with home-oriented stand mixers.  He came up with a unique method for addressing a lack of sufficient development:

Hope that helps.

--Dan DiMuzio

reisjdmd's picture

thanks to all and to steve's blog. i really learned somthings that i can hardly wait to try this weekend. you all cleared up some basic points.