The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help needed from anyone with an Electrolux DLX mixer

Ria's picture

Help needed from anyone with an Electrolux DLX mixer

I need some help, please! A year ago I got an Electrolux DLX (after killing 3 KAs...those things are not meant to make bread on a regular basis). My problem: I can't get my dough to achieve that satiny, stretchy windowpane dough that I could with the KA. I have this problem with both sourdough and whole-wheat breads. The dough looks bumpy - you can see tearing of the dough when I try to form it into a ball. The dough is hydrated enough. I think I must be overkneading, but isn't that difficult to do with white breads? I am thinking that perhaps I just need to use the mixer to mix the dough into a ball, and then do stretch/folds. Advice?

Anyone with a DLX....if you could tell me your basic steps for making bread. Do you use the dough hook or the whirly paddle thing? About how long do you allow the machine to run?

I am beyond frustrated and want to figure this out. My last horrific attempt at sourdough is fermenting, but there is no gluten's a lost cause. I'm just going to use these wretched balls of dough as a firm starter for my next attempt. I want to get this right. I love the mixer, but I am a failure using it. :(

Doc.Dough's picture

For 75% hydration dough using 20% of the flour in the preferment and high gluten flour, it takes 9 to 11 min to mix (depending on how much gluten development you want) using roller and scraper at speed 6 (the largest open symbol on the dial).

For a 63% hydration dough using a slightly lower protein flour, it takes about 8 min with roller and scraper at the same speed.

If you mix at a lower speed it will take correspondingly longer.  My first experiments at somewhere around speed 3 were taking ~35 min of mix time with the roller and scraper to develop the 75% hydration dough.

I generally do 1 to 4 stretch and folds during a 3-4 hr bulk fermentation at room temp (or 1 S&F after an overnight fermentation at 57°F) to make sure the dough feels right.

Ria's picture

I have used Reinhart's Sourdough recipe (Bread Baker's Apprentice) mostly, and that's the one I struggle most with. What I noticed right away from your post is that you are using the scraper and roller. I have been using the dough hook, and using much slower speeds. Did you find it hard to use the roller/scraper? I have tried it in the past, but gave up when the dough stuck to the roller and just spun round and round. 

Doc.Dough's picture

I don't use the dough hook unless the batch size is larger than 1.5 Kg.

For an example of how stiff dough behaves with the roller and scraper look here:

The fact that the dough appears to be simply spinning around on the roller is misleading.  There is a lot of shear being applied to the dough which is what kneading is all about.  This video illustrates the limit cycle that develops for stiff dough; it is dramatically different than the way a high hydration dough mixes with the same setup.

I don't have BBA so you will have to tell me what the hydration level is.  I suspect that you are not mixing long enough if you are using the hook at low speed.

You asked for process and I didn't answer that part of your request - so for a standard batch of 75% hydration ciabatta:

Pre-measure 17g of salt.

Put the mixing bowl on the scale and add 472g of ripe starter (100% hydration)

Add 378g water, the 17g of salt, and 582g of high gluten flour.

Stir by hand to wet the flour (just so it doesn't  fly all over when it starts mixing) - you can autolyse for as long as you want at this point.

Put the bowl on the mixer and mount the scraper and the roller.

Turn on the mixer to the lowest speed,  grab the end of the roller shaft and swing the roller to the center of the bowl; turn up the speed to 6 over about 15 seconds as you ease the roller back down to the side of the bowl.  Let it mix for 9+ min.  Stop when it is cleaning the bowl and the dough is smooth or still just a little grainy (under developed).  It can take as long as 13 min (rarely).

Turn out into a 6 liter rectangular Cambro tub and bulk ferment with a few S&F to check the consistency and add a little gluten development.

mgbeilner's picture

In my experience every mixer is different.

Depending on the dough and the mixer it may take as long as 15 or 20 minutes to get the development you want. 

you won't see a bumpy dough if it is over mixed, it will actually get too stretchy, sticky, and soft because of the over development of the gluten.  Good luck.

Ria's picture

Thank you both very much. I watched the video and read your comments, and suddenly I understood what I'd been doing wrong. I was using the dough hook, a very slow speed, and short time. So yesterday I used the roller/scraper, turned the machine up to a higher speed, and kneaded until the dough looked right. And voila...two stunning sourdough loaves with plenty of oven spring! I am thrilled. Thank you so much!!