The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman: adapting instructions to a stand mixer (Kitchenaid)

SaraBClever's picture
SaraBClever

Hamelman: adapting instructions to a stand mixer (Kitchenaid)

I really am enjoying Hamelman's bread, but I am not sure how to apply his instructions to my home Kitchenaid stand mixer.  He typically asks you to knead for a time on "first speed" and on "second" in a spiral mixer.  In contrast, Leader and Reinhart often ask you to mix at medium speed for a time.  I do get that Hamelman prefers to underknead (no windowpane) and rely on autolyse and stretch and fold to develop gluten, but my loaves are coming out much flatter and without as much oven spring as my recipes from Leader and Reinhart.  This makes me think I am not kneading enough in that initial phase.


For those who use their kitchenaid to make Hamelman's breads, what speed(s) do you use and for how long?  I have mainly been making Vermont Sourdough and Levain breads, and while I have been tinkering I am not getting it quite right.


Thanks!

yy's picture
yy

I usually use speed 2 to combine ingredients, and then speed 3 to mix, regardless of terminology used by the author. For Hamelman's recipes, I tend to mix for about as long as he indicates on speed 3, but I find that I have to do more stretch-and-folds than prescribed by the recipe. For instance, Hamelman's whole wheat bread calls for a single stretch and fold during bulk fermentation, and I had to increase that to 3 at shorter time intervals in order to get to the degree of gluten development I wanted without extending the bulk fermentation time too much.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The tile of the page is Mixing Guidelines and the bottom chart lists times for spiral, planetary, oblique and stand mixers, such as the KA.


Since you have a KA mixer, do not mix bread dough above speed 2.  The manual is explicit about that and it was noted here in another thread that doing so will void your mixer warranty.


Don't rely on mixing times alone; get your hands in the dough to check its consistency.  I think he wants medium gluten development for his VT sourdough and that can be easily checked via a windowpane.


Calculating the water temperature before mixing (see DDT at page 382) is also helpful.

SaraBClever's picture
SaraBClever

Thanks--I did see that but it wasn't totally clear to me--I will read through it again.  Also, when he says "medium gluten development" does he mean windowpane?  I had thought it was something less than windowpane, which could be the problem I am having.  I have not been able to sit down with the book as much as I would like just yet, so I've had to dive into the recipes and try to find the relevant points via the index, but I am sure I am missing something.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Sara,


Hamelman calls for medium dough development in the formula, which is why I noted I thought he meant medium gluten development.  I don't think I've seen any reference to a windowpane in the book.  You wouldn't want a windowpane showing anything more than moderate gluten development, anyway.  


He notes that moderate gluten development can generally be achieved within 900 to 1,000 revolutions.  That's what the chart is for: it gives the approximate timing for the various mixers to reach 900-1,000 revolutions.  I've never written down the mixing time when I mix the dough.  Maybe I should.


Anyway, for the KA, you'd mix 2.5 minutes at first speed, then four to five at second speed.  I'd stop the mixer at four minutes to feel the strength of the dough.  If you feel you've undermixed, you can always build strength with additional S&Fs.  Better that than overmixing.


Are you retarding the shaped dough overnight?  Your original post didn't say.


Finally, I don't know if you are calculating the factors to achieve the desired dough temperature (76F for the VT SD).  If not, do give it a try because it makes a difference.  I have a KA Artisan and after some experimentation, use 26 as the friction factor.  That number also works for my Bosch compact mixer and I either hit the desired dough temperature right on, or within one degree.

yy's picture
yy

I'd like to note an apparent philosophical difference when it comes to using kitchen appliances. Within reason, I try to avoid tiptoeing around things like my stand mixer to the point where the mixer controls me, rather than the other way around. If I'm mixing a 1.5 kg batch of dough with 75% hydration, speed 3 doesn't come anywhere near straining the mixer. As is true with bread, when it comes to using electrical appliances, your senses are very informative in making judgements. A struggling stand mixer clearly sounds like it's struggling. If there are starting to be grinding noises on speed 3, by all means stop and revert to speed 2 as the manual says. If it sounds about the same as it would mixing air, then go right on ahead. I think it's a case of "learn what the rules are, so that you know when it's ok to break them." The manual is manufactured en masse by the millions. As individuals, I think it's acceptable to exercise judgement on a case-by-case basis.