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Need knead speed lead

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Need knead speed lead

The manual that came with my Kitchen Aid mixer (Accolade 400) clearly states, " Do not exceed Speed 2 when preparing yeast doughs as this may cause damage to the motor." But Daniel Leader in "Local Breads" calls for faster speeds, sometimes for rather extended times, in several formulas. For example, in the formula for Genzano Country Bread (pg.199), he says to mix at Speed "5 or 6 on a  KitchenAid mixer" for 10 minutes, then at Speed 10 for 8 to 10 minutes.

If this is okay, and I assume he has tried it without burning out his mixer's motor, I assume you can get away with the higher speed with high-hydration doughs because there is less drag on the motor.

 Any thoughts or, better yet, experience with Leader's formula for Pane casareccio di Genzano would be appreciated.

 

David

cordel's picture
cordel

Hmm, which Kitchenaid do you have?  The speed you are allowed may depend on the size of your motor.  I don't have  KA, but an ancient (33 years old) Kenwood.  It's a noisy brute, but can take almost anything. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My initial post did say I have the Accolade 400 model. 

FWIW, the Kitchen Aid web site forum helpers seem adamant that one must not exceed Speed 2 when using the dough hook. I've posted my question over there too, so we'll see if they allow for any wiggle room within their rule. I'm guessing they won't.

David

cordel's picture
cordel

Sorry David, I didn't see that. That does seem really slow, but you might try really building up the gluten by long, fast beating with your initial cup or two of flour. That is what I do when making a big batch, that my Kenwood can't hold. If I beat the liquid and initial two cups of flour until I can see the strings of gluten, it is much easier for me to incorporate the last couple of cups of flour by hand, and the bread kneads better by hand.

I hope someone who owns the Accolade will come in and give you some advice based on knowledge of the machine.

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

David: I have made Leader's Pane di Genzano, but I use a DLX to mix bread dough, so cannot speak to whether you can crank up your Kitchen Aid without it rebelling. I know Kitchen Aid manuals are adamant about not mixing bread dough above speed 2.

I can tell you a bit about this bread, however. It's a pagnotta style bread with a very wet dough and since it is made with a high gluten flour (I used King Arthur's Sir Lancelot), it does take a lot of mixing to get proper dough development. As I recall, I gave it all the minutes with my DLX recommended by Leader and think even added some more. The bread has a surprisingly light and open crumb considering its made with such a high gluten flour. I took some to work and people really liked it. And, it really does have incredible keeping qualities.

Zolablue and Bwraith have also made this bread so, hopefully, they will chime in on whether they mixed it in a KA. [I believe they both use a DLX now but am not sure if these were breads were made with a KA or the DLX.] You can read about their experiences at: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4491/pane-casareccio-e-lariano-di-genzano, and http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4417/genzano-country-bread-local-breads

I hope the KA Forum will get back to you on whether you can really crank up the speed. I believe there are some KA employees who also respond there as well. There is also a Mixers-Owners group on Yahoo.

Good luck!

Liz

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi Liz, 

Thanks for the reply and for the links. 

Zolablue used a KA mixer and followed Leader's instructions for fast speeds and long kneading times. She didn't say she damaged her KA mixer, but she did run right out and get a DLX mixer, apparently based on her experience with this bread. 

Hmmmm ..... My crystal ball is in the shop, but I wonder ... My wife has pretty much said I can't have any more kitchen counter space for my toys. The La Valentina espresso machine sure isn't going anywhere. <sigh>

David

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I have been so sporadic on the site lately I really must catch up.  So sorry I did not see this earlier.  I have quite a lot to say about the KA mixer.  Not for bread dough for me.  Well, not anymore.  And I loved my KA but honestly for the serious bread baker if you can find a way to upgrade the power I would sure recommend it.

 

I did mix my Genzano at the high speed Leader asked for on the KA.  Poor little thing did an ok job but for months I had to hold the bolt in because it was vibrating and working so hard it would work itself out. In fact, the entire head of the mixer started to feel as though it was loose probably due to just plain hard wear.  Dough ALWAYS crawled up the dough hook.  And the speed thing.  Well, I did crank that sucker up after I got Leader's book but that caused me other problems besides just with the mixer.  (That's for another post.)

 

I got so tired of not being able to mix enough dough in my KA.  It has a poor design, IMO, how you have to stop the mixer and raise the head.  Certain flours, such as first clear and high extraction, just were too much for the KA.  After a long time thinking and reading about DLX I did purchase one and it has been a huge relief.  I love the mixer and I've never looked back.

 

So, yes, you can mix some of these doughs in your KA but know it will be a struggle and you will eventually compromise the machine possibly to the point of it konking out. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi Cordel, 

No problem.  The issue with the mixer model, as I understand it, has to do with the power of the motor. The Kitchen Aid Artisan model has a 325 Watt motor, while my Accolade has a 400 Watt motor. Kitchen Aide makes mixers with yet more powerful motors, but their rule about limiting kneading speed to Speed 2 appears to apply to all models. 

Adding flour while mixing is a bit messy, even with the flour chute. I generally mix the dry ingredients then add the liquid while the mixer is running. I do make fine adjustments by adding liquid or flour during the first minutes of machine kneading. 

I always finish kneading by hand, but I prefer not to add much flour at that point. I'm working more with slack doughs these days, and machine mixing is sure easier. My question is really whether the "rules" for mixing speed should change if the dough, being less stiff, puts less strain on the mixer motor. 

Other bread cookbook authors and many on this site prefer folding to kneading, especially for slack doughs, but Leader advises longer and faster machine kneading. I'm looking for some one who has followed Leader's lead, and the results compared to alternative techniques. 

David

cordel's picture
cordel

I usually put in the dry ingredients, but include only two cups of flour, add all the liquid and beat. Then I add 1/2 cup at a time with the motor stopped, and then started. But I leave the last couple of cups to incorporate by hand. My instructions are long gone and the Kenwood has certainly paid for its keep. If it dies from my mistreatment, I shall just start mixing more by hand.

I don't think there is any doubt that your machine could handle the slack doughs you talk of at higher speed. The rule, I am sure, is to cover their butts.

My husband has been eyeing the KAs with the bigger motors, but if they only work at low speed, then they cannot do anything my old Kenwood can't.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

I used the DLX for the Genzano loaves. In fact, wanting to try out Leader's suggested technique for mixing/kneading the Genzano loaves is what pushed me over the top to buy a more heavy duty mixer designed for mixing and kneading dough, like the DLX. Zolablue had recently gotten one and liked it, which is what pushed me in the DLX direction. I've been very happy with the DLX. I also have a KA, and I would be very doubtful about subjecting it to the abuse suggested for the Genzano recipe in Leader's book.

Bill

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm off to looks for more info. about DLX ...

David

bwraith's picture
bwraith

David,

You could go for broke on the Genzano loaves with the KA, and then buy your wife a new DLX to replace it when/if it burns out. She might even be OK with the strategy if she checks out all the DLX features and attachments. It's a pretty neat mixer for more than just bread dough.

The other thing is that the DLX is surprisingly light. You could possibly store it in a cabinet and only pull it out for the big dough or other special jobs where the DLX would be more helpful than the KA.

Bill

cordel's picture
cordel

Ooh, I have been looking at the DLX. I don't know if I will ever feel extravagant enough to buy one, but it sure looks fantastic. If I ever replace my Kenwood, that is what I will be looking at.

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I also recently switched from a 450W KA to a DLX. I had used the KA at first, second, and sometimes third speed (not labelled 1, 2 and 3), but for larger heaver doughs had to interrupt kneading and let it cool down a few times. I guess we'll never know if I truly had to, since the machine did not break, so who knows. I was never able, slack or not, to deal with much more than about 3-3.5 pounds of dough in this mixer. Besides overheating, I understand that gear wheels inside all KA models of more recent vintage, are made of nylon/plastic and may simply break under too much stress.

The other day I made 5.5 pounds of dough in the DLX and it didn't even break a sweat! Its approach with a rotating bowl on a direct drive axle removes the needs for a large amount of gears, making it more efficient (need less wattage for the same job), and less prone to overheating. Yes, it costs more than a high-end KA, but if you are serious about baking, do not insist on hand-kneading, you should consider this. Otherwise the risk is buying a KA, and ultimately breaking it, or reaching the conclusion that you want a DLX anyway, and you will have spent even more.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

If you can afford it, you won't regret the purchase of a DLX, particularly if you are baking bread regularly.

I also have a Kitchen Aid, but when I started to bake bread breads on a weekly basis, I invested in a DLX and am glad I did. It can handle any type of dough (and quantity) that the home baker throws at it. It's a spiral mixer, with a gentler acton, and is the same type of mixer that is used by professionals. It takes a bit getting used to, particularly if you are used to a planetary style mixer like the Kitchen Aid, but once you do, you'll wonder how you got by with your Kitchen Aid. I got mine from Pleasant hill Grains (http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/), and I thought their service was excellent, but there are other distributors. The other bonus is that they are aren't as heavy as the KA, so they are relatively easy to transport. Perhaps you wouldn't have to leave it out on the counter!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Liz, Bill and Dolf, 

Since I do almost all of the cooking chez nous, and even more of the bread baking, the mixer is definitely my toy. My wife bakes a mean chocolate chip cookie, and I married her for her sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake. (A joke, but that was her birthday present to me when we were first dating, and it was outstanding.) She actually prefers the Cuisinart for cookies. She thinks the texture of the product is better. 

You answered my question about how the DLX, with an only slightly more powerful motor, could handle so much more dough than the KitchenAid - Spriral vs. planetary action and direct drive. Interesting. 

Dolf - You are correct about KitchenAid going to plastic gears. However, the model I have was the last with all-metal moving parts. 

If I spring for the DLX, I sure know where to go for help learning how to use it to best advantage. Thanks for the helpful information!

David

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

One note as to motors.  The wattage they use isn't a reflection of how powerful they are.  I know the horsepower they generate is a good measurement.  Maybe there are others out there.

A couple of people lately have mentioned the smaller Bosch unit.  I don't remember the name, but I've read that it can  handle 3 or 4 loaves of bread in one batch.  At $169, it's not a bad price.  I've never used a Bosch, just know that a lot of people like them.  I love my Kenwood! 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Both horsepower and Watt are units of power (energy consumption), although different ones. Therefore, one does not say more than the other at all. So, in that regard, you are wrong. Having said that, nearly all these devices specify the power available at the motor's drive shaft (as is also common in automobiles where, historically, the use of HP is still prevalent, although Europe now uses Watts). The power available at the driveshaft, however, is not a good reflection of the power available to do effective work.

The specified power is the amount of energy either consumed at peak load, or produced at peak load. These are not necessarily the same, as the mechanical design may have a certain amount of heat generated through friction, which is lost to the cause of "work". Additionally, gears tend incur a net energy loss so power at the drive shaft may not reflect what is ultimately available at the business end (the paddle, dough hook, etc.). 

As in the automotive industry, manufacturers thinks that consumers think "bigger is better", and therefore like their numbers to be as big as possible, regardless of their effectiveness in communicating a device's usefulness. Thus they advertise power at the drive shaft, not at the business end. Interestingly enough, in the DLX, the drive shaft IS the business end. Not so in KitchenAid, Bosch etc. Nowhere, have I found objective measurements of true power available.  Last, but not least. Power is not all that you think it is. In order to move a dough hook through dough you need power at a relatively low RPM. Again, as with cars, the relevant issues are power, and torque and their availability at different RPMs. Nobody publishes this information.  Either way, it is all mostly irrelevant in that:

  • If you already have something, you may like it
  • If you don't like it, and you don't have the budget, you'll have to like it anyway
  • Manufacturers "numbers" are less relevant that actual owner experiences. Read forums and web sites before deciding. Bread makers come to different conclusions than do cake bakers. 
  • If you don't have one yet, and/or if you do have a budget, buy the best (for the intended tasks) you can afford. From my research when I considered the DLX, I have concluded that all modern KAs are the least desirable. There seems to be some disagreement between owners about whether DLX or Bosch Universal is the absolute best (outside of industrial equipment), and I think the Bosch Compact may be a great alternative for restricted budgets.
 

--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures
noelvn's picture
noelvn

How do you tell whether your KA mixer model has plastic or metal gears? What year/model # did they switch?

I can't quite remember when I got mine -- either the late '80's or early '90's...

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I belive I got my KitchenAid the winter of 2005-2006. The switch to plastic gears on some models had just happened.  

Noelvn, your mixer would not have been involved in that particular change.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi  Zolablue,

Thanks for your comments.

I have used my KitchenAid for about 2 years. I have probably made bread with it 3 out of every 4 weekends plus cookies, muffins and other goodies. I have not had any mechanical problems to date.

However, I wish I could make larger batches of dough, and I am contemplating making breads that place more demands on the motor. In addition, following the recommended kneading times in various recipes, I've come to feel that the gluten never really develops as completely as it's supposed to. (The window pane test is a joke experienced bakers play on us amateurs, right? Like a snipe hunt.)

Anyway, I expect a more powerful and larger capacity mixer is in my future.

David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I just got a Kitchen Aid this fall, before that I used an Oster. It's taken me a little while to adjust, but I've got the timing down now. I can just look at it and know when it will window pane with my sourdough. I've gotten whole wheat to windowpane, but because I don't bake it very often I'm not as sure of timing. As with everything, practice makes perfect.  Consistancy in formula and technique will teach you the timing you need for gluten development in that particular instance. Using a different formula or flour, totally new ballgame. Really..window pane..no joke!  :  )

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi Paddyscake,

My window pane comment was meant to be funny. I guess I need more practice. ;-)

Your comment about getting to really know a formula is well taken. I feel like I have been on a really steep learning curve for the past few months, and I have been trying new breads almost every week. This has benefits but also interferes with my learning particular breads as completely as I might like. I feel that it's been worth it.

Now, I'm going to complicate my life further. (See my new thread.)

David