The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about using a KitchenAid mixer

yam's picture

Question about using a KitchenAid mixer

Last weekend I made two batches of bread from the Lesson 1 recipe on this site.  The first one I made and kneaded by hand and the second was made using the dough hook on my mixer.  I could sorta feel when the dough was ready by hand-kneading, but when I used the hook, I saw the dough riding up the hook in some sort of mad attempt to eat the gears or some such!


1) Is this a sign that the dough is either a) done or b) possesed?

2) I scraped it back down, but it insisted that it wanted up -- is this normal behavior?

3) After being a bit freaked out, I scraped it out of the mixing bowl and kneaded it by hand a bit.  Should I have done this?

Both loaves turned out ok, but I won't use the dough hook until I know the dough won't eat my mixer...

Thanks in advance...

jim baugh's picture
jim baugh

Hi There!

My experiance with the kitchen aide as far as baking is in Pizza dough, baguette's (French -Itlaian, etc)

which all for me is a pretty wet mix, more like a batter during most of the kneading. So, it is never a problem.

If I have a low hydration dough, not wet enough, yeah, it will fly right up and eat the machine.

BUT, I never let it get to that point anymore, everything is very hydrated, then I will firm it up some on the bench with the bench flour.

I actually use the kitchen aide as much for grinding my own meat and making salads. The attachments are a BIG plus with this machine.

Jim Baugh

yy's picture

That is definitely a problem that I've had with kitchenaid standmixers, and it's frustrating because the dough just takes a merry-go-round ride around the bowl rather than being mixed and developed. Depending on the level of hydration of your dough, it sometimes helps to crank the speed up to maximum, let the dough fling itself off the hook, and then return it down to the proper speed. This is only a temporary fix, but occasionally the dough will hit a "sweet spot" where it stays down in the bowl for a few revolutions.

Leolady's picture

using a higher speed than speed 2 will void your KA's warranty.

yy's picture

Wow, I haven't heard that before. Is that true? I called kitchenaid a few months back because the head of the mixer was coming loose, and the lady told me that 2 is the minimum speed you should use for doughs to prevent straining the motor. Perhaps different models have different warranty terms?

addendum: In my experience, using a speed higher than 2 will not void the warranty. Kitchenaid took responsibility for the head of the mixer coming loose and sent me a new one in the mail - no questions asked about whether i'd been using higher speeds.

yy's picture

did some further research, since it's a good thing to know in general. I've been using kitchenaids for so long that I no longer read the manual (maybe not so smart). I think Leolady is right. When it comes to kneading doughs, speeds higher than 2 are not advised, and could work against you in any warranty claims. However, in practice, as long as you don't mention that you've been using higher speeds with doughs to KA on the phone, your warranty is probably still good. They won't come to your house to look for telltale signs of bread.

txfarmer's picture

I think if the dough is climbing up the hook, it's a sign that

1) the dough is "too dry" for the mixer, and/or

2) the dough is on the bigger side

No matter how the dough is kneaded, by hand or by mixer, you can use "windowpane test" to judge whether it's done.

I have always used speed 3 or 4 to knead my bread dough, it's been 2 years, no problem so far. I think if the dough is not too stiff, and not too much (I almost never go above 500g of flour, which is roughly 4.5 cups), it won't strain the machine in a deadly way. Do note that at a higher speed, the mixer WILL walk, so keep your eyes on it.



jmcbride's picture

My experience is this happens when there is too much dough in the bowl.  I have the type of KA where the bowl lifts up to the mixer.  If I have too much dough and it starts to try and climb over the hook, I just lower the bowl a little bit.

flournwater's picture

I've been using the KA for about five years.  Before you begin kneading, spray your dough hook thoroughly with a spray cooking oil (e.g. canola) and keep the dough hook speed below 2.5 on your speed adjustment.  Kneading with the KA generally takes about 5-7 minutes for most breads. dependingn on level of hydration.

Paddlers2's picture

I usually make only whole grain doughs - my most frequent is 70% fresh ground hard red wheat and about 15% freshly ground spelt with the rest made up of whatever I toss in - seeds, rye or oats, etc.    I have noticed the 'climb' on my machine, too - it usually indicates the dough is a little on the dry side.  I add a Tbsp of flour or so at a time and it corrects within a short time.  I only use speed 2 for any dough - it seems to be the only speed that allows the dough to 'toe out' at the bottom, which is when I know it's ready to shape for the final rise.

One thing - I have both the old-style KA hook and the newer spiral hook - I prefer the old hook for most doughs, though that's probably only because I'm more familiar with the way the dough acts.   I have just lately watched some of the hand kneading videos on this site and am intrigued - I'm going to try this soon...