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Easiest way to make about 5 lbs of whole wheat dough?

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aloomis's picture
aloomis

Easiest way to make about 5 lbs of whole wheat dough?

I've been going around in circles on this topic for a few months. I prefer to bake once a week (it's easiest to schedule), and this requires about 3 8x4 loaves, or 2 9x5 loaves.  I've been making the whole wheat and oatmeal bread out of Laurel's kitchen as our standard sandwich loaf.  I make a batch and a half of dough.  This is about 1300 gm of whole grain flours and 900 gm of water.  It also includes 6 TBSP of oil and 4.5 TBSP of honey.

I have a 12 cup kitchenaid food processor and a 4 qt kitchenaid stand mixer.  The stand mixer says it can handle up to 6 cups of whole grain flour (I think I saw 5 or 5.5 somewhere else in the manual, but can't find it again.  The manual gives recipes calling for up to 6 cups of whole wheat).    I'm less clear about capacity for the food processor, but I think one loaf is about it.  

I use 3 S&F during the rises (45 min apart).  

The question is: how can I most conveniently knead the dough?  I have a 3 year old son, and another son on the way, so taking long stretches of time to knead is difficult.  

I've tried the stand mixer, and am never satisfied with the results.  10-20 min of trying to get it to knead a loaf still doesn't yield a window pane.  Given the capacity, I need to work in at least 2 batches, maybe three.  And, I have to babysit the mixer the whole time because the dough keeps climbing the hook or trying to jump out of the bowl.  I usually stop kneading because the motor is smoking, not because I think the gluten is fully developed.

I've tried the food processor.  The problem is, the dough is prone to falling apart and sliding under the dough blade.  The dough blade will also lift up off the shaft.  Adding more flour helps, but the dough blade ends up with flour inside it, and the last time I couldn't get it off the shaft at all when I was done.  My husband had to use substantial force, and thought the inside of the dough blade looked melted.  The dough blade is a recent replacement, and I'm wondering if it is the wrong blade or defective.  The bottom arm of the dough blade doesn't lay flat against the bottom of the bowl, it's raised up by 1/2 in.  If the dough would stay in a ball like it's supposed to, this would be a really convenient option (about 2 min a batch and I'd need to do 3 batches).

I've tried doing it all by hand with more S&F, autolyses, etc.  I haven't gotten a loaf as fluffy as I'd like this way.  Using the food processor has yielded the best results, although even then the dough never window panes.

So . . .

Ideas?  My husband is threatening to buy me a bosch compact if that would make this easier.  I'd prefer to make do with what I have (He just got me a Brod and Taylor proofer for Christmas, and this hobby is getting expensive!).  

 



linder's picture
linder

I used to make 4 loaves of bread at a time from the Tassajara Bread Book, but it took a long time to knead it all by hand.  I think I would start by trying the method Peter Reinhart uses in his book, Whole Grain Breads (borrowed it from the library- no expense).  You make a biga or wild yeast starter and a soaker, let rest overnight combine the two and knead a short period of time (4 minutes) by hand to make the dough.   His recipe makes one loaf, but I can't see why you couldn't expand it to two or three loaves as you like. You can knead it in a mixer but I find my KitchenAid mixer just makes a nice 'donut hole' in the dough and doesn't really knead it well so I knead using wet hands. 

Hope this helps,

Linda

Or go whole hog -and get this $2000.00 spiral mixer - (swoon) - http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/haussler_mixer_heavy_duty_kitchen_mixer_spiral_dough_mixers.aspx#alpha

aloomis's picture
aloomis

I borrowed PR's book from the library a while back, but found the combining step a royal pain.  Maybe I was overly picky at the time and would like it better if I tried it again.  At the time, I was doing a hearth loaf, and those are so easy to do with S&F that the techinque didn't seem worth it.  Maybe I'll try adapting Laurel's recipe to PR's technique.  It does help solve my complaint that it's easier to develop gluten with an overnight rise or autolyse, but the timing in the morning is unpredicatable unless a large amount of yeast is added in the morning.

linder's picture
linder

Most of the yeast (2 1/4 tsp) in his formulas are added in during the final dough mix.  I either make a slurry of yeast and water (if using active dry yeast) or add the yeast to the soaker (in the morning AFTER the overnight rest) first and then combine everything.  Seems to work for me.

Linda

wally's picture
wally

The amount of dough you're trying to mix is too large for your stand mixer.  (I'm not going to address your food processor because I think it's a poor way to mix dough).  But you can easily divide your mix into two, and do two mixes in your stand mixer and then either reincorporate into one fermentation bin or just leave as two.

First off - 10 to 20 minutes of mixing anything other than brioche or a high-fat content dough like brioche is a big no-no.  You are WAY overmixing.  A much better mix is 3 minutes on the lowest speed possible on your KA and then another 3 - 3 1/2 minutes on the next speed up.  You are NOT trying to achieve windowpane.  You ARE trying to achieve moderate gluten development, which you will further develop with a fold or two over the next 1 1/2 hrs - 2 hrs.

If you work the dough this way, the time it takes to mix 2 batches of dough equal to 5 lbs is no more than 15 minutes. Which means that you can either incorporate the two mixes or treat them as having been mixed simultaneously for all intent and purposes.

Good luck,

Larry

aloomis's picture
aloomis

I've been through the manual repeatedly, but I have absolutely no luck with this.  Say I've already combined my ingredients by hand (I dislike measuring everything out twice).  So, I have a bowl of shaggy proto-dough.  I stick it in the mixer with the dough hook attachment on and turn to mix/1.  If the dough comes together into a ball, it promptly tries to escape.  I have to repeatedly stop the mixer to shove it back in the bowl.  It climbs both the bowl and the hook.  I'm never sure how much productive kneading I've done, because I spend at least twice as much time getting the dough back in a position to be kneaded.  

I've heard that greasing the top of the hook would help (and the time I tried it it was an improvement), but what about it trying to go over the side of the bowl?

ETA: your 6 minutes of kneading a batch is for whole wheat? Just confirming, because I can get majority white flour dough to cooperate with virtually any kneading method I like. It's the 100% whole grain stuff that gives me headaches.

wally's picture
wally

Not sure I can help there, except to suggest turning the mixer to a higher setting if that's the case.  I have an old, overworked Hamilton Beach mixer I use at home, and if the dough tries climbing the hook by increasing the speed from 2-3 it usually pushes it down.  Now, since I'm increasing the rpm (and thus the amount of mixing the dough gets), I shorten my mix time to compensate.

Good luck,

Larry

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I totally agree with Larry that the amount is too much for your mixer. I have a KA Artisan 5 qt, and I know that it will struggle to knead more than 1500g of any kind of dough successfully. In fact, I keep it under around 1200g typically. I agree you should break your kneading up into 2 or more batches; I do this when I need to bake four 850g rye loaves during the holidays. 

I disagree with part of Larry's 2nd point. Depending on the texture you are trying to achieve, it's perfectly acceptable to knead for 10 min at medium speed (I regularly knead dough for 7-10 minutes at KA speed #4), assuming that you are going for an intensively kneaded bread and may not be doing stretch-and-folds afterwards. Read txfarmer's posts about achieving strong development for WW sandwich bread. I agree with Larry that if you plan on doing S&F's, then less kneading time is fine, because the S&Fs will compensate. I also agree that you don't want to push your dough to full windowpane, which means it's overmixed. 

aloomis's picture
aloomis

The problem I have with the mixer is that I have to endlessly fiddle with it, and it never seems to get the dough as well developed as the other methods.  Once I'm working in two batches, it may be faster to do brief kneads seperated by autolyses.  I am thinking I'll give the mixer another try next week (just finished this week's baking) and see if I can get as good an end result as I've been getting by the food processor or hand kneading.  

vavo's picture
vavo

You should have a look at the Tartine Whole Wheat. It does not really use any mixing at all, only folds, about one every 30 min for 2 hours. I had really wonderful results with this formula!

aloomis's picture
aloomis

I can make open crumbed whole wheat breads with just S&F, but my husband and preshooler expect daily PB&J's on basic sandwich bread.  Big open holes are undesirable here.  My understanding is that once you increase the hydration enough to avoid kneading at all, you end up with a crumb that is too open.   

 

I did get a good rise today by kneading 10 strokes at a time 5 times with 10 minute rests in between.  I followed that by 5 S&Fs at 30 min intervals.  I haven't cut into the loaves yet to see the crumb, but they rose nicely.  I am a bit concerned that I was getting giant bubbles (inches across) rising to the surface of the dough by the last S&F.  Having to pay attention to the dough every 10 minutes for the better part of an hour is pretty annoying, but it's always good to find another technique that works.  

possum-liz's picture
possum-liz

I do 4-5 kg of dough at a time using a method similar to your kneading at intervals. I usually mix the dough and let it rest 10-20 minutes. Then I knead about 20 times or until the dough starts to resist. Rest the dough 20 minutes or so and repeat the knead. I usually knead 3 or 4 times depending on how it feels. If I've got time ( I often knead up and then go out) I do a stretch and fold at mid fermentation. I bake in tins and don't aim for holes. Make sure you're firm in your shaping so no big bubbles are left in the dough. One thing I do is use a pair of food handling gloves and slip them on each time I handle the dough. I found this particularly useful, a lot easier hand washing.

breadbabe's picture
breadbabe

I have a Bosch and Cuisinart 7-qt.  My recipe has (+/-) 1000 g. water, 1800 g. fresh milled whole wheat, plus some oil, honey, yeast and salt, all equaling about 500g.  Both machines handle this amount with no climbing, no motor burnout. I knead it for 10 minutes - the timer on the cuisinart motor means no babysitting (altho I never leave the room). There is no gluten window at this point. Climbing and motor burnout make me think there might be too much flour in your dough.  You obviously like your recipe, but maybe an adjustment might make your machines last longer. Maureen