The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Impossible to Overknead in Kitchen Aid

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

Impossible to Overknead in Kitchen Aid

I just picked up Reinharts book, The Bread Bakers Apprentice.  In it he mentions a detail about kneading and goes on to say that the home mixer will burn out before it overkneads dough and the human body will cramp up before IT over kneads the dough. Anyone have other ideas about this. I feel the home mixer ie. Kitchen Aid could break down the dough before it burns out. Opinions? Or personal experiences ?

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Well I tried one of his recipes that claimed the dough couldn't be over-kneaded, and while it's true the KA didn't die of it, the dough was definitely over-kneaded.


Worst baguette yet.

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

The BBA statement sounds a bit facetious in nature rather than an "iron-clad" guarantee - could possibly be re-worded to "extremely hard to do".


On the worst baguettes ever - could you elaborate and be more specific on the final result of the baguettes. Was it the taste, the crust color, the crumb texture, the overall appearance, etc.


Ben


 

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

Ok so I conducted my own test with my basic kitchen aid mixer.  I mixed up a batch of 70% hydration dough 1/2 pound flour tsp salt 1/2 tsp yeast 5ozs water. Mixed with dough hook for 1 min rest for 10 mins , then cranked up the mixer to 6 ish and let it rip for 6 mins, snipped a piece of dough for window test and failed.  Cranked it up again for 6 more mins, stopped clipped and passed with a nice windowpane.  Cranked it up again for 6 more mins clipped again great window pane best ive ever seen in my dough. Crank it for remaining 2 mins and took the final test for stretch heres the pic . Amazing no degredation of dough great stretch and elasticity and Im sold on the fact that my mixer would have died first before this dough died.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

you maye have used a strong flour, resistant to over-mixing, but not all flours resist  that stress. In a couple of cases the gluten of my dough was totally broken by overmixing and it released all liquids.

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

I disagree. I used Gold Medal All Purpose flour.  Bought it at Walmart. Not sure of the protein content but its not a bread flour.  Im gonna try 30 mins next time and see if I can kill the dough. This is very perplexing considering all the talk about over kneading and rough handling of dough in general.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

are U using with your KA mixer? Spiral design? C-hook design? Thanks.

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

C-hook i believe

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

The KitchenAid mixer manuals all warn against kneading above the level of two.  I assume it's to keep the mixers from burning out.  How can you have kneaded for several six-minute whacks at level six?


Rosalie

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

The manuals may warn against it but it did not burn out the machine at level 6 . It got hot yes but my point was to break the dough and I have yet to do that.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

5 ounces of water divided by 8 ounces of flour yields a hydration of 62,5 %. Not a big deal for the purpose of your experiment but it seems appropriate to note the proper hydration to avoid confusing those who don't understand hydration.


 

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

All of the above.  It appeared to rise as it should, but came out very dense with a very fine crumb.  It developed a thick hard nasty crust.  I ended up tossing it.


That was about 4 months ago and I knocked that recipe off my list, so I have not tried it again.

yy's picture
yy

I've always taken overkneading to mean "mechanically developing dough past the optimum point for the particular bread you are trying to make" rather than "pushing to the point of gluten breakdown." I've found that the crumb structure of my breads have improved since I've stopped kneading to full development, and started letting more of the development to occur naturally during bulk fermentation. I found Peter Reinhart's book misleading on this topic - it led me to believe that all doughs should pass the windowpane test before the bulk fermentation stage.

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

Yeah i understand that point. Just trying to see where that breaking point is not trying to disregard a more gentle touch. Thanks for the response, I agree with experimenting with a longer stretch and fold.

wally's picture
wally

First off, there is a difference between just overmixing and overmixing to the point of gluten degradation.  You want to avoid the latter, but you want to avoid the former as well.  Most doughs that are mixed as long and hard as you did are overmixed - intensive mix is the technical phrase.  What you lose in the bargain are the carotenoids that provide nutrients, color and flavor, and any chance of attaining an open crumb is that is a goal.


Full disclosure: I once opined here that I didn't think it was possible to overmix dough in my poor Hamilton Beach stand mixer.  However, since hand mixing baguette dough and comparing the results, I'm persuaded that I get a much more open crumb with much less mechanical mixing and the use of both autolyse and more folds.


While that's a beautiful windowpane in your picture, unless you're mixing brioche or panettone dough, it's way overmixed.


Larry

mcs's picture
mcs

The windowpane test is used as a reference point to gauge gluten development i.e. whether or not you need to mix/knead your dough more.  Just as a muffin recipe will say something like "mix ingredients just until combined" to avoid getting a brick of a muffin, the windowpane is used as a stop sign to see when you're getting close to mixing it too much.  As it's getting closer to windowpaning, you're nearing the end of the mixing time.  Many people consider a dough that windowpanes fully like yours (as Larry said) overmixed or past the point of necessity, and compromising flavor/crumb at that point. 


If you stop one or two minutes before it would windowpane, then at stretch and fold #1 or #2 it might be at full windowpane and desired development.  It depends on your mixer, dough, hydration, and all that stuff. 


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

Point taken. I was really just curious as to what would happen to the dough . I thought it would implode or explode or break apart in erratic pieces but it really didnt do any of that. I would never use this intensity in an eating loaf and realize a lighter touch produces a very nice bread. I wanted to kill the dough in some way to see its breaking point and that didnt happen with the kitchen aid.

mcs's picture
mcs

...in your 'overkneading is a myth' post where you differentiate between overkneading with a commercial mixer and not being able to 'kill dough' with a kitchenaid mixer.  The kitchenaid is so inefficient in its mixing that it is difficult to, as you say, 'kill the dough'.  The first few minutes are about as efficient as sticking your finger in the center and swirling it around in the flour/liquid.  A commercial mixer accomplishes much more in a shorter time, making it much more likely to break the dough down with over mixing, or 'killing the dough'.


-Mark

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

is rather inefficient in kneading dough. Here are two variations on the C-hook dough attachment  (the left one for a 5-quart, the right for a 4-1/2 quart)



I find that, once moderate gluten development is reached, the dough tends to ball up around the hook, so it is no longer really being kneaded.


Since the original poster is using the C-hook design dough hook, I would think it would be almost impossible to over-knead the dough using a KA mixer with this type of dough hook.

Robby's picture
Robby

Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead...

But how on earth did BeeKeeperJ develop the gluten into that window?  Once my dough wraps itself around the C-hook as subfuscpersona describes above, gluten development slows to a crawl.  Scraping the dough hunk off the C-hook and flipping the dough doesn't exactly help because it will wrap itself around the hook in a mere three rotations.  After mediocre gluten development, all I see is the dough going on a merry-go-around ride in the bowl with minimal (if any) further kneading.  

I'm curious to see how everyone is countering this design flaw. (Aside from finishing by hand.)

For reference, I own a Kitchenaid Artisan 5qt.

jcking's picture
jcking

If the dough climbs the hook; kick up the speed a little till it starts to come down.

Jim

ananda's picture
ananda

This is a really poor hook attachment; I'd achieve better development with my bakers hands than using this!

Andy

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

When the dough wraps itself around the hook it does not stop the mixing. Because it is plastic, the outer layers drag on the bowl while the inner core of the dough continues to rotate at hook speed. This results in continuous shearing of the dough which is further developing the gluten. Only if the dough does not contact the bowl does the process stop.

For high hydration doughs (70% and up), you can successfully use the paddle attachment on a K45 or similar 4.5 qt mixer and run at speed 4 with no problem.  For Kitchen Aid mixers and high hydration doughs you are at greater risk of overheating at low speed than you are of gear damage because the fan is direct-coupled to the motor shaft and at low speed both the motor and the fan are very inefficient.  It is with stiff doughs (anything less than 65% hydration) and large batch size that you load the planetary gears heavily.  I think that the smaller mixers have an advantage in that the cooling is substantially better than for the larger (i.e.,600 Pro) models.

Doc