The Fresh Loaf

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Kitchenaid kneading--off kilter?

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SaraBClever's picture
SaraBClever

Kitchenaid kneading--off kilter?

Hi all,

 I just got my first kitchenaid pro 600 with bowl lift and immediately tried out one of those wetter dough recipes that is supposed to be hard to make by hand due to the temptation to add too much flour.

 The recipe only uses about 5 -6 cups of AP flour and the Kitchenaid Pro (with bowl lift) supposedly can handle up to 8 cups of bread flour (so I would think even more of AP).  I also followed the instructions (only using speed 2, etc).

 You are supposed to snap the bowl in place before you lift the bowl, which I did.  The bowl basically "unsnapped" in the midst of kneading and stopped wiht the bowl slightly off kilter.  Basically, it seemed like it had gone off balance.  So I am worried that there is a problem with my new machine.  Does this happen from time to time, was it too dry?  (I did add the softened butter after this happened and it seemed OK afterwards, but it seems like the Kitchenaid should be able to handle "tougher" "drier" dough).  (I was making the Bread Alone book's Kugelhof).

 I don't think this was an issue of paddle clearance (which I read about in the manual); because it went fine for a little while (or is this what the paddle clearance issue is?)  I intend to call Kitchenaid as well but as I bought this for making bread in large part I was wondering if I could have the benefit of your collective experience!

 thanks very much. 

JERSK's picture
JERSK

  I have one and the bowl doesn't come unsnapped. If I don't have it in tight enough it does, but that's my fault. I find it can't handle heavy doughs very well, but the motor slows down and gets warm. The bowl stays in place. Running the machine with the bowl not locked in might ruin your bowl and paddles. though they're pretty rugged. I only use my machine with real slack bread doughs, and no more than two or three lbs. of dough.It's basically for cake and cookies.

Linda Hensens's picture
Linda Hensens

I had the same problem about 3 months ago.  My mixer has always handled the tough, heavy doughs with ease, so it was quite upsetting to me that the bowl was coming undone like that when I made artisan breads of any type.

I called KA Customer Service and explained the problem.  The woman that I spoke with told me something quite interesting about this KA 600 mixer.  She said that the average recipe tells the baker to knead in a stand mixer for anywhere between 5 and 11 minutes.  However, it does not tell you that the KA Professional is not designed to knead bread that long, nor is it necessary.

She said that in a 1 minute kneading cycle in this mixer, the yeast bread is being turned, twisted, and thrown against the side of the bowl 86 times.  So, if my recipe called for 11 minutes of hand or machine kneading, I only needed to knead it my KA for no more than 2 minutes, certainly no more than 3 minutes TOPS.  She said that if I did more than that, eventually the little clip that holds the bowl in place during the vigorous kneading cycles will lose it's ability to stay in place, and it could also dent the bowl as well.

I thought the woman had bumped her head!  The next time I made this recipe, I only kneaded it for 3 minutes, and the bread was really great!

She also said that when it starts climbing up the dough hook, whether it is the original hook or the spiral one, it is ready to be stopped at that point.  I did not agree with her on that because this rye bread was very wet and slack.

I thought that was happening because it was a bread machine recipe that makes marvelous rye bread, but I was not sure if I had adapted the recipe right.  I am still not sure of that.  I have to keep adding flour to get it to a kneadable state so that I can remove it from the bowl to shape it and rise it.

Anyway, KA sent me another bowl clip to install if this bowl continues to lose the hold during the kneading cycle.

You may want to call KA since yours is still under warranty and just really pick the CSR's brain and find out all of the little details in regards to this mixer.  It is very powerful, but if the end user does not use it like any of us should, then it doesn't perform to the full capacity either. 

Oh, I should also mention that the KA Manual that came with this mixer does not address this problem. 

Christmas wreath

Drifty Baker's picture
Drifty Baker

I have the same mixer and found that I did not always have the bowl snapped into position.  I found a great way to fix this.  Place the bowl in the two pins on the side of the lift with the back of the bowl a little high.  Then push down on the back of the bowl until it snaps into place.  I haven't had the bowl come loose since.

The other problem I have with my mixer is that the screws holding the motor head loosen up after a while.  I have opened up the top of my mixer once a year in order to tighten the screws that hold the top of the mixer to the base.  I am thinking that I will use a lock washer the next time. 

 

the breadman's picture
the breadman

Are you using the paddle to mix the stiffer doughs? Try the spiral dough hook, I think you should have gotten one with your mixer.

Omar 

DaisyM's picture
DaisyM

I got a new Pro 600 the beginning of october.  The bowl unclipped in the back when I kneaded stiff dough.  I contacted KA customer service and they sent me the side clips for the arms that are included in the pasta plate attachment.  I used them for a couple times and the bowl stayed on.  Now I can knead bread without the clips.  I think my new machine just needed used and worn in a bit.  I bake bread almost daily and I love what the Pro 600 does for me.

 KA has some video clips to show you how to make sure the bowl is clipped in the back and also a dime test for beater to bowl clearance.  You might want to look into those.

NYamateur's picture
NYamateur

The "Flour Power" rating for this mixer is not 8 cups it is 14 cups of flour.  So you are way under the limit at 5 to 6 cups.  I have had my Pro 600 for about 2 years now and that has never happend to me.  I would definitely call KA and pick their brain like someone suggested above.  I generally dont make doughs that are that stiff (with the mixer I stay between 60-65%) but I have on occasion and I've never had a problem.

Also as far as kneading times and capabilities are concerned I will say that I always need for about 6-8 minutes on speed 2 and yes the machine gets a little warm but it never strains and Ive never had any problems.  I think 2 minutes is just not enough for any dough.

 

 

SaraBClever's picture
SaraBClever

Thanks everyone for your help!  I called Kitchenaid and described the issue and they said it sounded like a problem with the bowl clip, so they sent me a new one.  When I replaced it, it seemed harder to snap the bowl into place than previously which I took as a good sign.  I was able to knead a bread recipe fully last night with no issues (I decided to keep it simple and make one of the kitchenaid recipes).  The bowl did slightly wiggle, which I figure is normal--that's why the bowl clip needs to be so strong and so hard to snap into place.

I haven't tried the paddle attachment again yet and actually have only used it once with the new bowl clip--so hopefully I'm not jumping the gun--but I'm pleased that it worked as the other time it snapped out of place almost immediately.  Now I have to figure out how to knead on a kitchenaid without overkneading, which just will require lots of bread-making experimentation!  (I love kneading by hand, but it's nice to be able to do it both ways in particular with certain types of bread).

MapMaker's picture
MapMaker

I just received a KA 600 from my children, for my 60th Birthday.  Tried using it for the first time last night to make bagels.  It turned out to be a disaster (my fault) as I seriously over mixed it.

Starting with the preferment:  I was using the spiral hook, and it was having problems getting all the dry ingredients incorporated into the mix.  Can I assume that I should have been using the paddle at this stage?  Does overmixing at this stage overdevelop the gluten and does that carry over into the final dough?

Then as I added the rest of the ingredients for the final dough it wasn't too long before the mixer shut down (thermal breaker I assume) from over working.  I saw the earlier post that talked about much shorter mix times than I would have guessed.  So I'll try to ease off next time.

I'm glad to hear that people are happy with their mixers.  I too like hand kneading, but I feel like this is another aspect of bread baking that's important to learn about.

I guess I kind of buried my questions earlier in the post - I hope I'll still get some feed back. 

MapMaker

Ramona's picture
Ramona

You should never let the machine over heat, especially not to the point of the mixer shutting down on it's own.  Have you tried it to see if it will work again?  When I mill my grains with the mill attachment, I am always checking the motor to see how warm it feels.  The guidelines say to only put through 10 cups of grains and then turn the mixer off and let it rest about 45 minutes, until it is cool again.  I put 5 cups of grains through twice and then I rest the mixer.  I am able to do this with rye and wheat, but with spelt, I have to do less at one time, because it takes longer and the motor heats up.  As for using the mixer for kneading, I have tried using it with doughs a couple of times and found the rye that I make has too much hydration and the dough doesn't get kneaded, because the hook won't bring it together, the dough just sits against the bowl.  I really haven't used mine for kneading much, because I found other ways that work for me.  I use my mixer mainly for the milling of my grain.   

LindyD's picture
LindyD

A belated happy birthday, Mapmaker. I have a KA Artisan, which I regularly use for premixing and kneading. I use the paddle for dry ingredients, then switch to the bread hook for kneading. Works well. I've not kneaded for longer than five or six minutes at a time and have not had any overheating problems.

Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice offers excellent advice on how long to knead/mix when using a stand mixer. The kneading time using a stand mixer is much shorter than when doing it by hand.

MapMaker's picture
MapMaker

LindyD,

Thanks for pointing me to Peter R - I have the book but didn't rememeber, or think to look for, his comments on mixers.  But more thanks for your comments about your experience.  As always, the best part of these forums is the word of fellow amateur bakers.  I can proceed forward now with more confidence.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Am sure you'll be turning out delicious treats in a short time, MapMaker. That certainly was a lovely gift to receive!

My only other suggestion is to avoid a mistake I recently made: when experimenting with recipes (as you surely will be soon), keep good notes. Last weekend I had played around with a french sourdough recipe, modifying the formula and using a different starter. The result was so delicious I ate just about the entire loaf within a day. But I didn't keep good notes on precisely what I did. Back to square one...

chris319's picture
chris319

Here is my fix for the bowl wiggling around on a KitchenAid BOWL-LIFT mixer. A bowl-lift mixer has a u-shaped holder for the bowl which slides up and down by means of a lever-operated mechanism.

Sometimes when a KA bowl-lift mixer is put to the test kneading stiff dough, the bowl may wiggle around on the posts that hold it in place. The bowl may even become disengaged from one of the posts, which is annoying as heck. Don't be discouraged; there is a simple fix.

Go to the hardware store and get ya a pair of spring clamps as shown in the photo below:

With the bowl in place -- the holes in the "ears" of the bowl engaged with the two posts and the nub on the back of the bowl engaged with the clip on the lift mechanism, take your spring clamps and clamp the "ears" of the bowl to the u-shaped lift. That's it! The bowl is now much more firmly attached to the lift.

Another tip will keep the screws that attach the rear bowl clip to the lift from working loose (they WILL work loose eventually). You could use clear nail polish for this or something like LocTite. Remove the screws one at a time and apply some clear nail polish or LocTite to the threads and screw it back in. Do this for both screws and you're all set.

Spring Clamp