The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What Speed To Knead At?? (VIDEO)

SweetMK's picture

What Speed To Knead At?? (VIDEO)

We were making bread tonight, and the question came up as to what speed the dough should be kneaded at.

I had been using speed 2 with the dough hook to combine ingredients.

The GoPro was setting there, so I whipped up a short video, showing both speeds of kneading.

The dough is four pounds (I weighed it) of home ground whole wheat. (there is a little white bread flour in the mix)

My wife thinks speed 2 is too fast, but,,,hmmmmmm,,,

So, what is your opinion, speed 1,,,,, or speed 2 ??

PetraR's picture

To combine e.g mix the ingredients together , speed 2 is fine, that would be done in 10 seconds, after that it is kneading and that should be down on low speed not higher than 1.

If you knead on speed 2, that is to fast and you can easely overdo it with the kneading which results in less Gluten development.

ghazi's picture

white bread flour can withstand a higher speed, though always start off slow and maybe last few minutes go up faster you want to hear the dough slapping the sides of the bowl then you know your on to something. The more wholegrain the slower and longer mixing. I like to think of it as fragile. Stopping the machine and letting the dough rest for a couple of minutes in between always a good idea

As Petra said  mixing by machine can over handle the dough so always keep an eye and realty cant go much wrong with low and slow


mwilson's picture

Speed 1 is for mixing. Speed 2 is for kneading.

Although in a professional environment there is only "mixing", kneading is a domestic term that you'll likely not hear flying around the bakery.

Speed 1 is used to start the mix and to combine ingredients which can also occur at the end of the mix if you're incorporating things like nuts, seeds or fruit.

After the initial mix at low speed and once the mix starts to pull you can crank it up to Speed 2 to work the gluten. Mechanical development requires energy, that is what speed 2 is for. Without sufficient speed your effective work will be zero. To work gluten the dough needs to tear a little, over time it will tear less. This shows you your progress.

The key difference between domestic baking and that of a bakery is the dough mass and how this effects the dough temperature. Smaller dough masses heat up more quickly with less work.

Gluten deterioration tends to go hand in hand with the dough getting too warm. So don't be afraid of over-kneading per se, but be wary of overheating!

sandydog's picture

Spot on Mr W, you got that exactly right - For the kind of mixer in the video you will probably need between 2-3 minutes, on speed 1, to hydrate the flour sufficiently, and then a further 4-5 minutes, at speed 2, to develop the gluten. I have a similar mixer which tends to heat the dough up by about 6degrees C during mixing, so I try to achieve an initial mix temp of 22 ish C, which ends up at 28 ish C (Ideal for bulk fermentation) after mixing.

If I did not have a mixer with 2 speeds then perfectly acceptable dough can be produced at lower speed with a slightly longer mix time - it just wont be as good as the twin speed method. I know this cos there is a mixer in the bakery which breaks down if run at 2nd speed, but too expensive to replace.

Happy baking,


PeterS's picture

An N-50 can handle dough on a speed 2 setting. The average home KitchenAid mixer (including so-called professional models) should only be used on speed 1 for bread dough except, maybe, if it is a very slack dough. This forum is littered with posts from people who have stripped their gears mixing at 2 or higher.

PetraR's picture

Yes, that is how I was told to use my Kennwood premier stand mixer with dough hook for bread.

Initital mix at 2 for 10 seconds, than finish kneading at speed 1 once the Water is added.

Maybe it is just my Maschine but I have not good results with a medium to high speed, only 1 does it for me and I do knead about 8-9 Minutes on 1.

cranbo's picture

I agree with mwilson and sandydog, Speed #2 is what you should use for kneading. 

I disagree with PeterS, I weekly run my KA Artisan series 5QT at KA speed #4 for 10min with 1000-1200g of 67% hydrated dough with no problems. The mixer barely even gets warm. Sure if I did a double batch  (2kg or more) I'd probably split the mix.  Looking at the video from the OP, speed #4 on the KA Artisan appears to be the closest to Speed #2 on the Hobart. 

At KA speed #2, the same kneading would take around 20 minutes.