How does one do an improved mix with a KA stand mixer if the instructions say only use speed 2 for bread doughs?
What do you mean by "improved mix"?
At school, improved mix meant mix the dough on speed 1 first, then put the mixer up to speed two for further gluten development.
I had learned that there were three "levels" for gluten development through mixing:
Short mix would not involve much mixer time and would result in minimal gluten development, but also wouldn't oxidize the dough. Most of the gluten development would come from stretch and fold or just time.
Intensive mix involves a significantly longer mixer session, and results in full (or nearly full) gluten development, easily passing the usual windowpane test. You get much finer crumb and a fuller rise because of the strong gluten, but less flavor and a whiter color from the oxidation.
Improved mix is somewhere in the middle.
To ge improved mix on the usual home stand mixer, you can still use speed two, but regulate how long you mix to get the degree of gluten development you are looking for.
Thanks Brad. I will look into that.
Per Suas's Advanced Bread and Pastry, an improved mix is about 5 or 6 minutes at speed 2 on a planetary mixer such as the KitchenAid, after the initial mix of 3–5 minutes at speed 1.
Thanks Gary. According to the manual that comes with the KA mixer, use of any other speed than 2 to mix or knead yeast doughs creates high potential for stand mixer failure.
I believe the maximum warranted speed for kneading dough is "2". To my hearsay knowledge, using speed "1" for initial mixing is pretty well standard.
Got it. Thanks.