The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Low hydration dough on the Electrolux Assistan Original

flyingbaker's picture
flyingbaker

Low hydration dough on the Electrolux Assistan Original

We just got the Electrolux Assistant Original and I've already started using it for some standard breads and it works great. However I'm having a little trouble with low hydration dough's for bagels.

I'm not using large mases of flour (around 900g only) so using the dough hook doesn't seem to be appropriate. However when trying to add more flour when the dough starts to pull away from the side seems to just cause it to mass up and cause it to not mix/knead properly. Is there a trick to adding more flour to an already dry dough?

I'm looking to get 60% - 65% hydration and I've seen posts here about people doing that but I haven't seen the technique described? I tried adding the flour kinda fast so I'm guessing a slow and low amout of flour introduction is the key. Does the mixer need to be spinning fast or slow?

Thanks for any help

Jeffrey

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Jeffrey,

I mix my bagel dough at 58% using high gluten All Trumps flour. When I use the DLX, I start with the hook only and not the scraper. It is a dry mix but you can get it to absorb and become a shaggy mass. It takes a little attention with a heavy spatula to get it to combine. As soon as it is generally combined, stop and cover with a towel for a 20-30 minute rest. The flour will absorb and relax. When you start to knead again I usually turn the speed up most of the way toward the second band. You have to find the speed that works. The dough is so strong that you won't get a complete kneading if you don't stay after it with the spatula. Eventually I remove it from the bowl and hand knead a few minutes.

Keep in mind that the ferment time starts when you add water and begin mixing. The Hamelman recipe calls for 1 hour of ferment before refrigerating. Honestly I think the dough comes together better and faster by hand, using a stretch and fold after resting 30 minutes.

Let us know how it works for you.

BTW, I almost never use the roller. I find the hook does a better job on all but the high hydration mixes.

Eric

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I do a bagel-like dough at 55% hydration using La Romanela high gluten flour and also have had difficulty getting it to mix. The N28 scraper doesn't do much for you with a dough that stiff since the dough isn't going to stick to the side anyway.  Eric's use of the high end of the speed range matches my approach too - and just let it work.  Even after an autolyse of 20-30 min the dough will slide against the side of the bowl and generate friction but will eventually pull behind the hook.  I find that sometimes it climbs up the supported end of the hook and sometimes it spins on the other end, but after 30 min or so it is well kneaded.

At 65% hydration I use the roller and the scraper; in fact I just mixed a 1500g batch of 63% hydration dough for fougasse with the roller/scraper and it took about 20 min at speed 6 to develop the gluten to where I wanted it (about 80% of full development). Below 60% I have not had success with the roller either.  The use of manual intervention with a spatula to get the dough to move is something I have done out of frustration, but I am not convinced that it makes much difference.

You might try starting the mix at a higher hydration (maybe 68-70%) and add the last bit of flour gradually after the dough is pretty well developed. That last bit doesn't contribute much to the gluten development anyway - at that point you are trying to get a texture that you can work with in the next stage.  You might even consider using a slightly higher hydration dough from which to make the bagels.  If you chill it a little, or retard it for flavor, it will handle just like a lower hydration dough.

Doc

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

I just posted a cry for help in deciding whether to buy a Bosch or an Electrolux, specifically for mixing bagel dough (the ITJB recipe is 52% hydration).  So I see here from Eric and Doc some of the techniques you've used.  I guess no one mixer is the "perfect" tool.  I have used the food processor before I tried the DLX (borrowed from a friend), then the K/A Pro 6.  Now that I've bought a spiral dough hook, that old K/A does a quicker and better job.  Anyhow, thanks to you for your postings.

Joyful

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Unlike Doc and Eric, I use the roller and scraper for all doughs at less than 6lb total dough weight. I might do the same for larger batches, but I don't do larger than 6lb batches. ;)

There are important caveats to be aware of with the roller. You must have an appropriate space between the roller and bowl. For the amount of flour mentioned in the OP, the roller to rim distance should be on the order of ¾ to 1in. At the lowest speed, this will mix a low hydration dough in less than 3 minutes.

For kneading, simply raise the speed a bit. I usually go to the top of the second mark for a 60% hydration sandwich bread, higher for more slack doughs. To develop to a near-transparent window pane (à la txfarmer), takes about 10–12 minutes. The arm should not slam back against its stop; that's indicative that the speed should be reduced a bit, or the spacing increased.

I tend to regard the scraper as being more analogous to the breaker bar in a spiral mixer. A lot goes on with the scraper that has nothing to do with scraping, but lots to do with pulling, twisting, and turning the dough, either by itself or in conjunction with the roller.

On the whole, I consider the DLX roller and breaker to be more efficient than the hook. I did find that my hook was miss-adjusted when I got it. The manual mentions the proper spacing between the hook and the bottom of the bowl, and mine had too little. The kneading action improved by an order of magnitude once the spacing was set properly.

cheers,

gary

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Thanks, Gary, for all the information.  I really appreciate all the details here and will take them into consideration.  I have never used a commercial spiral mixer, so I don't know about a breaker bar, but I can guess it has something to do with catching the dough.  I have a spiral hook for my 10+ year old KA Pro 6, and it makes a big difference.  Once again, your reply is so much appreciated.

Joy