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Minimum Development @Dmsnyder

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Minimum Development @Dmsnyder


It was wonderful to see Miyuki handling dough and shaping, but the biggest surprise was feeling the dough at various stages of an improved mix. Miyuki did use the window pane to demonstrate the degree of gluten development. The surprise was how low a level of gluten development she took as her end point for mixing.



David, could you elaborate on this statement from your first day post at SFBI? Perhaps you could tell us what kind of mix she used. Thanks,


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Ah, Eric, that's why I enrolled in the Artisan I workshop. I couldn't get an intelligible answer to questions such as yours in words or photos. I wish there were a way of digitally transmitting a ball of dough to you.


Hmmm ... Imagine you mix your dough before an autolyse. You would mix just to the "shaggy" stage, with no visible dry flour. Right? That's about the appearance of "short mix" dough. Using a commercial spiral mixer and 65-68% hydration dough, that's 4 minutes at First speed and 45 seconds to 1.5 minutes at Second speed. 


Miyuki also demonstrated hand mixing of about 2 kg of baguette dough. She mixed (with all ingredients in the bowl), using her hand only, for maybe 1.5 to 2 minutes - just to the shaggy stage. She then fermented the dough for 3 hours with 3 S&F's on the board. At that point, the dough was very smooth with the same (moderate) degree of gluten development as you get with a short machine mix. The difference is that, with the machine mix, she only does 2 S&F's. The crumb of the hand mixed baguettes was amazing. It had a similar structure to the short mix baguettes, but the crumb color was even more yellow. The flavor was very good, but the flavor of the short mix with about 30% pre-fermented flour was the best.


Seeing this just reinforced my faith in a long fermentation and S&F's. 


I hope this helps.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yes, that does help.I have been feeling recently that the more I bake, the less I need a mixer. A little hand mixing followed by a long ferment with the S&F. Coupled with a good autolyse the crumb is the best for me. I just have to remember to keep this in mind.


 


Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

my chime in.. I was asked just yesterday by a member about getting a copy of 'the Art of Eating' magazine 2006 Number 73+74 edition.  Shiao Ping had a copy sent to me as a gift. Remember her posts on the Pain de Tradition and our bakes?  Your statement reminded me again of this wonderful article by James MacGuire on The Baguette and the Pain de Tradition.  I don't know if you have a copy, but I'm very pleased with mine, it's apx. a 10 page wonderful article with photos, history, formula/technique with step by step photos, 15 in all just of the hand mixing. 


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I couldn't put mu hand on it quickly but it is a great article. I think you can order copies of past issues from the publisher. Thanks for reminding me of this. It is related to what we are discussing isn't it?


Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

If you are looking for a dough that's not overmixed to achieve a good gluten formation, and a crumb that has a creamy color and full of flavor, ect.  You can order a copy for $10 from the publisher if you are interested.

ananda's picture
ananda

Thanks for raising this question Eric.


David, your answer is illuminating, but makes me want to confirm a couple of related issues.


As a side note, there are some photos in AB&P of the differently mixed doughs subjected to window paning.   Can you confirm these photos are consistent with what you learnt at SFBI?


I really wanted to look more at the autolyse angle from a hand-mixing point of view.   I really don't think I've worked with anyone to agree exactly what a "shaggy mass" is.   I suspect I haven't been mixing the autolyse correctly since I started using this technique a few years ago.   My autolyse has often been a bit lumpy, with some flour traces not mixed in.   I am now thinking this is a mistake, as it can prove very difficult to then complete final dough mixing without a few small lumps remaining.   I only mix by hand at home, and this is the only time I have problems.   As a result the expected reduction in mixing time just does not occur when I am hand mixing.   I want to reduce the time; from what I write, do you think I am just under-doing it on the autolse mixing?


Secondly, I note you didn't seem to do any "super-hydrated" doughs such as Ciabatta etc.   I would expect the reduction in mixing time will be less marked, owing to the extra time needed to develop gluten when the dough contains so much water.   Did this come up in discussions at all?


Many thanks


Andy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Andy,


This is one of the areas where technique is so important. In my experience, if I add all of the liquid at one time and quickly begin to mix with a wire whisk, I get the best results. I also evaluate the dough for lumps at that time and do  a frissage if needed. I find paying attention to getting a consistent mass quickly, makes a difference. If there are clumps left un-hydrated for an extended period, it becomes difficult to get a smooth well mixed final dough.


I was interested in Davids comment about how quickly she stopped the mixing phase. Using a spiral mixer the shaggy mass would be more consistently hydrated I would think.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Andy may be able to speak to this better than I, but each mixer has an optimal load. We were mixing batches at the low end, and flour was not fully incorporated without a couple pauses in mixing to scrape up the flour still stuck to the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.


Otherwise, you are probably correct.


David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi


A big mixer will not combine small amounts of materials well.   A small mixer will be under strain if you try to incorporate too much flour/water etc into a dough.


David you explain it as well as I could.


BW


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Andy.


First, Miyuki's mixing differs very slightly from that in AB&P. She adds all the water minus a couple cups (in a large batch), then all the flour. She adjusts dough consistency by adding water as needed during the first 1-2 minutes at speed 1.


There are no photos in AB&P of dough mixed for autolyse. There is a photo of the window pane after a short mix. We were all amazed by how much window pane Miyuki could get and how rapidly compared to us mortals, so the photo (presumably of M. Suas' window pane) is hard to judge without feeling the dough yourself. Note that the photo is at the completion of the short mix.


Re. flour lumps: For the hand mix, Miyuki felt through her flour in the bowl and rubbed out any clumps of flour before adding the water. She said, if the flour has lots of clumps, sift it. She did not frisage.


Ciabatta was not covered in this course. 


David

ananda's picture
ananda

Sorry if I did not make this clear at the time, but the photo of the mixed doughs at window paning were exactly the ones I had in mind.   I did not mean to imply these were at autolyse, so apologise  for any confusion here.


I think Eric is right, and I need to find a good technique for mixing autolyse by hand, and then dough mixing by hand.   Machine technique is fine.   So that can be my mission at the start of the new academic year!


Many thanks to you both


Andy

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Quote:
... find a good technique for mixing ... by hand ...

I'm curious: what sort of tool do you use for hand mixing? I've been told (but don't yet have any personal experience) that using a dough wisk (some large stiff wire on the end of a handle, like this) works much better than a spoon.dough mixer


What's your experience?

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi


Hand mixing involves a plastic dough scraper, and my hands.


Average dough size I mix can vary between 2 and 7kg.   Hands are better than tools for me.


Thanks


Andy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Chuck,


I have a wire whisk that I like, just like the one you show. I use it briskly to get to the shaggy mass quickly and then quick clean it out and start with a plastic dough scraper rotating the bowl as I scrape down the sides and bottom. I try to quickly fold the dough over onto its self until I have a ball. Then I evaluate if I need to squish it with the palm of my hand to flatten any clumps (frissage).


I have made many batches with a spoon but the whisk works better in my opinion.


Eric

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The baker who taught me hand mixing poured the premeasured flour directly to the bench, so that it formed the shape of a hill.  You then gently create a hole in the hill (volcano method is what he called it), then add the water, mixing the flour and water with one hand.  The other hand holds your plastic dough scraper - which you'll need.


I made quite a mess at first, but it's fun.  It gets easier the more you do it.  Perfect for making pasta, too.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

For mixing my starter after feeding and for batches of dough up to about 1.5 kg. For larger batches, I tend to use a stand mixer. I suspect I'll be doing more hand mixing for a while on some recipes I've previously mixed in the KA or Bosch.


David

belfiore's picture
belfiore

I love the Danish dough whisks and I have a large one & a small one. Like David, I use them when mixing my starters after feeding, and like Eric I use them when mixing to the shaggy stage before I switch to a dough scraper.


They're also great for mixing brownie batter, pancake batter, etc.


I had to laugh when I received the first one I ordered because it's called a Danish dough whisk...mine came with a made in Poland label :-)


Toni