The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

fork mixer vs spiral mixer

h20flour's picture
h20flour

fork mixer vs spiral mixer

hey guys, 

So im hearing alot of talk lately on fork mixers. why is this? are they that great? what is wrong with a spiral mixer? 

I've been making sourdough my whole life using a spiral mixer, why would I be now getting told that I should look at replacing my faithful spiral for a fork? will it make a difference to my doughs, or my bread for that matter? 

I just want to hear what peoples thoughts are on this topic as I know nothing about fork mixers.

Thanks

proth5's picture
proth5

But I was curious about "fork" mixers so I did some searching.

There's an interesting little discussion here: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f18/different-types-mixers-2111.html

Another discussion is here: http://baking-management.com/production_solutions/mysteries-mixing-0310/ although they call the mixer by the name with which I was familiar - "oblique"

When I was touring bakeries in Paris, most did have a similar mixer. 

Perhaps a place to start.  Good luck.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I had never heard of a fork mixer and learned they are quite popular in Europe.  

It's claimed this type mixer turns the dough over on itself and will not heat up the dough during the mix.  http://forkmixer.com/?p=12

On the other hand, if you know your own mixer's friction factor and regularly compute what the water temperature should be for the DDT (desired dough temperature), you're not going to have an overheating problem in the first place.

Also learned they are expensive.  Used one for $2,700 on eBay; new ones for $5,680 to $10,750.   

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi h20flour, Pat, Lindy,

Long and slow mixing using either the Artofex type mixer, or the oblique mixer as discussed here produces a more gentle mixing action.

This is important in countries such as France or Italy as the flour used for bread is not so strong as the flour used in North America.   Low friction allows for extended mixing without over-working the dough.

For a single, or 2 bag spiral mixer frictional heat rise is probably upto 8*C mixing 5 minutes slow and 2 minutes fast.   An Artofex machine mixes for about 25 minutes, but the friction factor is more like 1 or 2*C.   The oblique mixer is probably a little more intense than the Artofex, but is much gentler than the spiral mixer.

Best wishes

Andy

Best wishes

Andy

proth5's picture
proth5

I have seen only spiral mixers in the US  - to date.  I wonder if the interest is picking up because more folks are using the "weaker" flours for things like pizza dough.  I also wonder with a growing interest in local wheats (which are not always as strong as our good Mid-Western wheat) if we will see an increase in the use of the oblique mixers.  Certainly long, gentle mixing has been advocated for those...

I'll keep my eyes open for that trend - I just know that the BBGA will publish something about these mixers in the next "Breadlines"  :>)

Thanks.

Pat