The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Kitchenaid mixer question

gringogigante's picture

My Kitchenaid mixer question

I have a Kitchenaid mixer that a recipe called for using it to knead dough for 20 minutes. My wife asked if it would overheat. I told her it looks like it could power a Cessna, but I'd ask the experts.

It did feel warm at the end of the 20 minutes, but didn't feel or sound like it was having trouble.


cranbo's picture

20 minutes seems like too long...unless it's a rye-bread or really high hydration dough. 

Can you share some more details about your recipe?

Most lean doughs (for 2 loaves) I run in my kitchenaid for 5-7 minutes total: usually 2 minutes for initial mix, a rest period of 10-20 minutes, then 3-5 more minutes at maybe speed 3. 

Beware, the KitchenAid folks  don't like it if you run their mixers too fast. I've heard anecdotally that it can lead to a voided warranty. 

BeekeeperJ's picture

20 mins is not too long in a Kitchen Aid. In fact theres a good chance that that ball was just spinning its wheels on the dough hook without a single bit of gluten developement.  I find that the Kitchen Aid works great with a 70% hydration or higher. If not you have to manually lift the arm of the machine to remain in contact with the dough hook and the dough. I have even performed an experiment where on my basic kitchen aid i kneaded at 6 min intervals to see my windowpane progress. I spun the dough on speed 6 ,,,, yes I know overheating but I did it anyway. because my dough was more like 60% percent hydration, I didnt get a windowpane until 14 minutes in because much of those rotations were just spinning the dough without an efficient knead.  Autolyse also works well.  I have yet to burn my KA out and I have been beating on it for about 3 months now even at the max speed. Yes it gets hot and doesnt sound healthy but the company must put the lower side of the limit for warranty reasons.

Wild-Yeast's picture

Amount of power expended in kneading is dependent on whether you're using the spiral dough hook or the straight one.  The Pro series with the spiral hook doesn't seem to have any problems. The older lower power mixers with the straight hook will have problems if run too long on high dough loads.

I smoked the old one and that's how I know about it..., now...,


caraway's picture

WOW, 20 minutes!!!  Even on speed one that's more than I've ever heard of.  I have an old KA 5 qt. (about 25 years?) that is still in daily use in my kitchen and wouldn't trade it for the world.  But I think 20 minutes might be pushing the machine's limits.

Am soooo curious.  What did the bread turn out like?


gringogigante's picture

Here's the recipe typed by me from Ed Wood's Instructions for New Zealand Sourdough Culture:

Whole Wheat

 -This simple recipe is a real sleeper. It produces a super light, 20% whole wheat sourdough with an open crumb and exquisite flavor.


1 cup active New Zealand wheat culture

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt


1. Mix/knead all ingredients by machine 20 minutes. Proof 12 hours at room temperature.

2. Mix 1 minute in the machine, shape, and proof until within 1 inch of pan top (3-4 hours).

3. Bake at 375 degrees for 70 minutes in machine.

4. Cool on wire rack


I don't hve a bread machine, so I used the Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook on level 1 for 20 minutes.

Another thing is that he recommends several places to put the bread in a cold oven with water in the bottom for 70 minutes and spraying the top of the dough with water every ten minutes. He didn't specifically say to spray water in this recipe, but I did it anyway because the crust tends to be less hard when I do this....


clazar123's picture

I have a 35 yr old Kitchen Aid mixer.It is a K5A-5 qt and uses a straight dough hook.Most recipes call for a shorter mix but there are some that do require the long mix.(Jason's Quick ciabotta comes to mind)

 2 VERY important rules:

1.Never leave the machine unattended-it can walk right off the table and crash or the dough can creep right up into the mechanism in about 5 unwatched seconds. It reaches a certain stage of tackiness and stretch and zoop up it goes. It is a BIG mess then.

2.Keep it on a low speed and monitor the heat of the motor-turn it off if it gets hot enough to cause your hand discomfort or if it sounds like its straining (mine has never had a problem).

gringogigante's picture

It's dense as hell. None of that sterotypical air bubbl-y look. It's very dense and very heavy. See photos below....

This is my first ever sourdough, so I'm very new to this. Frustrating, though, to follow directions to the letter and it comes out looking like some no knead peasant bread.....

cranbo's picture

Don't get too frustrated, most first sourdoughs don't turn out well. My first one looked the same. Sounds like your recipe needs some tweaking, especially because you're adapting from a bread machine recipe. 

If you're set on trying the same recipe again, here's what I suggest. 


  1. Increase the water somewhat, so that the dough is a bit sticky; after 3-4 minutes of mixing at KA speed #3, it should clear the sides of the bowl, but should stick to the bottom of the mixer bowl in about a 2" diameter circle while the dough is mixing. 
  2. Knead at Kitchenaid speed #3 for a total 5 minutes, but no more than 8 minutes! 20 minutes for your recipe I think is way too much. 
  3. After proofing, you don't want to mix in the KA again, just shape! Otherwise you're knocking all the air and lovely bubbles out!
  4. Bake at 450F for about 30-40 minutes with steam for the first 20 minutes. I think you'll get a nicer crust. 
Let us know how it works out!




clazar123's picture

How did the dough do with a 12 hour fermentation?Did it double?Triple? Collapse?

I'm not familiar with the New Zealand starter mentioned. Is it something you just add to the dough and mix in or is it a starter that you feed and maintain over time? How hydrated is the starter? Thin like cake batter? Thick like a heavy bread dough? Pancake batter?

I agree the recipe looks like it needs a little more water.For 4-5 cups of flour, I would use at least 2 cups water and possibly more.Make the dough a little sticky when you use whole wheat flour.At the end of the overnight rise, it should be the right consistency-tacky but not sticky.

The most important thing you can do for any recipe with whole wheat is to plan a long rest or a long,cool rise. This allows the bran bits time to absorb water so they don't rob the moisture from the crumb later and get crumbly.I would mix this dough and then put in an oiled,covered container overnight in the refrigerator.In the AM,take it out of the refrigerator,set at room temp til doubled in height,shape,proof and bake.

Proofing.Use the search box and look up "proofing","finger poke""how to tell"

The loaf looks underproofed. It lookes like it needed more rise time in the pan before baking. This is a large loaf!

Are these directions and recipe for a bread machine? That would account for the "20 min" to mix. I believe bread machines "mix and pause"(esp on a whole wheat cycle) so the mix times are longer than a regular mixer and directions are different.


Leolady's picture

Use Speed 2 t o mix or knead yeast doughs. Use of any ot her speed creat es high potential for unit failure. The PowerKneadTM Spiral Dough Hook efficiently kneads most yeast dough within 4 minutes.

It will void your warranty

gringogigante's picture

I tried to openb the link to the manual, but it kept hosing up my computer.

But, why would they offer speeds 3 - 6 if the warranty was voided after 2?

What a piece of crap.... last time I'll use a Kitchenaid.....

Yumarama's picture

The other levels you'll see on aKitchenAid mixer are great for making cookies, cake batters, meringue... Some of these can be quite thin mixtures where the speed of the beater isn't an issue.

Dough, being much heavier consistency, is not so forgiving and can easily stress the gears and cause the motor to burn out.

It's not "a piece of crap" but it does have it's limitation. Know them and you can use it for a lot of breads just like a whole lot of us do without problem. 

Is it "the" best machine for bread? Probably not but not everyone can put out the cash for the bigger machines nor have several different ones in their kitchen. A KitchenAid mixer is not a bad thing to have as long as you know it does have some limits and don't push passed them.

That said, I'd still like to get my paws on a DLX.

gary.turner's picture

rainbowz wrote:
That said, I'd still like to get my paws on a DLX.
If you do, you'll never let go. The DLX is one fine machine, from whipping cream or a meringue to creaming butter to cookies to bread, it just works; I haven't even got around to trying the whisk beaters or the dough hook, just the roller and blade.

The DLX is to other home sized mixers as lightning is to a lightning bug. (to steal from Samuel Clemens)



breadman_nz's picture

I live in NZ and haven't heard of that starter culture (not that I've looked, mind).

The twenty minute instruction on the recipe is indicative of a bread machine recipe, not for a real mixer. Take a look at the size of the paddle in your standard bread machine then compare that to the dough hook of a mixer.

You probably overdeveloped the gluten with the 20 minute mix (and were lucky not to burn out your machine). Overdeveloped gluten leads to poor structure, since the wrecked gluten is less capable of trapping CO2.

gringogigante's picture

click on the link below:


Wild-Yeast's picture

Just after my earleir post our Kitchen Aid Pro 6 stopped dead.

Yep, it was a stiff dough nearly overflowing the bowl running longer than 20 minutes though not above level 2 power. An interesting difference between the old [lower powered version] and the Pro version is that the thermal cutoff switch resets after the machine cools [~30 minutes]. 

Kitchen Aid sent a replacement for the machine as it was also beginning to bleed gear greese. Luckily the old machine was still under warranty till March [Yes!]...,

Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast

RoBStaR's picture

For those who own a KA mixer that has stopped spinning, you can easily fix it with a $11.00 part.

Most of the time, the gear in this assembly is the one causing it to fail. You can either replace the gear or the whole assembly, parts price is the same for both.You can use these diagrams to identify which mixer you have and the exact part number.

Then go to and order the parts.

Here's a youtube video on how to replace the part. It was a tremendous help in helping me take apart my mixer in order to replace the gear assembly.




I was baking for about a month and half when my KA Proline mixer ksm5 stopped working. With this simple part replacement, I was able to salvage it and get it working again. Now though, I do not use it for dough anymore, I got another mixer called the Centaur 10 qt. Which does a wonderful job at mixing and kneading and beautiful gluten development. At 200 lbs, it is a beast. 

Wild-Yeast's picture

Changing the way I prepare bread dough has saved the Pro 600 from its usual fate of being shipped back to KitchenAid for warranty exchange.  

Since reading Chad Robertson's book, "Tartine Bread" I've developed the gluten in the bread using the tri-folding technique every 30 minutes.  That and an improved envelope tensioning technique [in other words I learned how to do it] now produces the most consistently beautiful loaves ever [a new slashing technique has also helped].  

Needless to say I've learned the hard way that beating the dough to death till the mixer goes and dies is kind'a dumb...,


P.S. I now have Centaur envy...,