The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mixer loaf much different than hand mixed loaf.

Lord Jezo's picture
Lord Jezo

Mixer loaf much different than hand mixed loaf.

I know that it would be different but doing it really made me see what people had been talking about.

Going back to My Daily Bread (linked on sidebar) I had previously been doing all of the initial mixing by hand.  Yesterday I decided to bring out the mixer for the first time in a while and try it with the bread hook.  The final dough felt much lighter and softer.  The final baked bread had a much more even consitency and wasn't filled with the holes baked bread sometimes has.

I know one is mechanical and makes things even while my hands might not be as exact as a mixer, but what else causes such a big difference in the final product?

gary.turner's picture

You have probably not been reaching the proper degree of development when hand kneading. The mixer works the dough much more intensively than you can by hand. The danger becomes over working it with the machine.

See txfarmer's Sourdough Pan de Mie - how to make "shreddably" soft bread. Her blog article showed me just why my sandwich loaves had been a bit disappointing; it was the degree of development. I now get dough with a good balance of elasticity and extensibility that holds to a small, regular and soft crumb structure.

If you have access to Suas's Advanced Bread and Pastries, the chapter on mixing will really open your eyes. There are photos of just how the "windowpane" test will indicate how strongly developed the dough is.