The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

using a spiral mixer for the first time

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

using a spiral mixer for the first time

hi there.

ive decided to scale up my bread and sell at saturday markets. i have access to city council bakery (for start ups) and they have a 30 litre Gam Spiral Mixer. Ive made alot of bread by hand but now want to mix 10 litres of dough at a  time. What im wondering is what speeds and length of time should i be using with the mixer. Do you start at a low speed for about 5 minutes to mix dough and then increase speed for another 3 - 5 minutes to develop gluten and then rest for 30 minutes or so?

By hand i usually do a premix 12 hours beforehand (late at night) with all flour, water and salt and make my levain. When levain is ready the following morning i add to dough and mix. It makes for a great dough however i wont be able to do it in this case as I am renting a kitchen. So, Im looking for advice. My plan was to make enough levain for 10 litres of dough at home and bring it to the kitchen with me. Then mix the dough, do 30 minute autolyse and add salt and levain, mix and leave for another 30 minutes. Then do bulk, shape, proof and bake. However i dont know much about spiral mixers  - I did do a few weeks in a professional bakery and i think im right in thinking we did 5 minutes slow mix followed by 3 minutes of medium speed....am i wrong? anyone any idea? 

My plan was to do initial mix on slow speed for 5 minutes. Leave for autolyse. After 30 minutes add levain and salt and mix for 3 minutes at medium speed. Does that sound right. I really do want to autolyse my flour and water. If i could do my pre-mix i would be very happy but at the moment i cant see how that will work as i only have the bakery for one night a week and it costs me by the hour. If people like my bread then i can do more nights and then i can make mixes the night before, etc....so any pointers advice would be really helpful...

albacore's picture
albacore

I have a small spiral mixer (Grilletta IM 5) for home use. I start on slow, put the water in and add the flour. Run for a few minutes until you have a cohesive dough.

Now autolyse for 20-30 mins. Then run mixer on slow and add the levain until mixed in - it will only be a min or two. Repeat with the salt. Turn the speed to high and mix as required - usually I do 4-6 mins, depending on flour strength and the number of S&Fs you want to do after dough turnout.

If you have anything to add like seeds, soaked or sprouted grains, turn the speed to low now and mix them in.

Now turn the dough out into bulk proving containers and process as normal.

Now the only downside of a spiral - clean it!

Watch your water temperature. I aim for a dough out temp of 28C. With a big mixer you might even need to use chilled water in the summer to get that temp.

Lance

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Thanks so much for that Lance - how many litres does your mixer hold? I think cleaning will be the least of my problems :)

After reading your post, looking through the net and through JH's BREAD book ill start with 3 minutes on 1st speed leave for 30 minutes and then do about 5 minutes on 2nd speed.... check dough and go from there....apparently im aiming for 1000rpm for perfect dough...so ill go from there either way...

poltergayst's picture
poltergayst

Sorry to disturb,

 

If by the chance you bought your Spiral Mixer in USA? I am looking forward to buy Grilletta IM5, as it seems the best one price/quality. But can't find any distributor in the States. Maybe you can give me a tip where to search?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Alex

 

albacore's picture
albacore

Sorry Alex, I am in the UK. Still hard to find small spiral mixers in the UK at sensible prices, but I was able to import direct from AgriEuro, Italy.

The IM5 is a great little mixer, very well built, but weighs 23kg, so you would need space on your counter!

There don't seem to be many options currently for this size of spiral mixer in the US - I think some supplier is missing a trick - not many can afford a Haussler!

Bear in mind that most European models will be 220/240v, not 110v, so you might need a transformer to run it.

If you search TFL for spiral mixer, you may find some old posts where I think one or two people imported Chinese versions direct from China - try PMing them, they might have a source for a Chinese one which might be OK - It's basic engineering after all, as long as the bearings and motor are good.

Lance

poltergayst's picture
poltergayst

thank you so much! Really helpful information!

will try to bring it in the luggage. To deal with the electricity converter is a bit easier task jajaja. 

albacore's picture
albacore

Mine's just 3kg flour/5kg dough, so it's much smaller than the one you will be using. It's definitely 2 speed is it?

You are looking for 1,000 revs, not rpm - that would be a seriously fast mixer!

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Sorry yeah I meant 1000 rpm for a good dough. the machine I have does 90rpm on 1st speed and 180rpm on 2nd speed so 3 minutes on 1st speed = 270 and on 2nd 5 minutes = 720 so in total = 990rpm so sounds like a good amount of time to start 

Trevor J Wilson's picture
Trevor J Wilson

Watch the dough, not the clock. Or revs. Lance pretty much nails it here, so the only thing to add is to be constantly aware of dough development during the mix. It's good to start with a basic idea like, say, 5 minutes at 1st speed then auto for 30, then add salt/lev and (after incorporation on 1st) mix on 2nd for another 3-5 min. But, be sure to occasionally stop the mixer and feel the dough. Feel is everything. The dough is ready when it feels ready, not when the timer goes off. It may take longer or shorter than your initial guess (because it is a guess). So be prepared to cut the mix short or extend it if necessary.

Never second-guess your hands.

Cheers!

Trevor

albacore's picture
albacore

Very true - I found my dough pieces were spreading a bit too much after turning out of the bannettons, so I increased the mix time only by a minute and the problem was solved.

As always, so many variables with breadmaking! I'm always amazed how four ingredients can produce such wildly diiferent end results.

Lance

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Thanks for all that - I'm big believer in the dough talking and keeping a diary so will keep that in mind and write down all variables such as temperature etc. I'm doing a test bake over the coming weeks so I'm just trying to gather as many tips, advice, etc as I can as testing is expensive... I presume im simply looking for a good incorporated mix after first speed and then good gluten development after 2nd speed - is doing a window pane test after 3-5 minutes on 2nd speed a good idea? I presume with sourdough I mix less on 2nd speed because I'll have long bulk and stretch and folds to develop gluten but with quicker breads will have to mix dough longer on 2nd speed to develop gluten as rise and proof are shorter? Basically I'll be making 2 sourdoughs, 1 commercial yeast with walnuts, 1 mix of both (levain levure?) with carrot and sesame and a soda bread - all requiring different times....I.e soda bread just needs a good mix while the others need varying degrees of gluten development as well as additions such as nuts, seeds, carrot and butter

albacore's picture
albacore

Yes, I don't pay any attention to timing on 1st speed - you are just getting all the ingredients incorporated, but it won't be long.

I find pulling up a strand of dough and checking for elasticity is as good a test as any on 2nd speed, though you can do the window pane too. You will also see a nice rosette forming round the breaker bar and a few dough "popping" noises as the gluten develops.

As regards different mix times for SD/yeasted, someone with more expertise than me needs to answer...

Lance

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Thanks lance your replies have made me feel a lot more comfortable about using mixer and I haven't even started yet :) I'm going to stick with rough times on different speeds and feel of dough and do 5 different mixes - and record all data - on my try out in the pro kitchen before I tackle their ovens....hopefully it'll all work out - I have a pretty good idea of elasticity from making dough at home so should be ok....I think

softy's picture
softy

I can't seem to get quality kneading on my spiral dough mixer. I have always used a dough hook mixer until I got the spiral mixer. Here in Nigeria we are used to dough that is extensively kneaded, the problem seems to be that the longer I mix the higher the dough temperature and negatively affects the bread.please anyone with ideas on how to optimize kneading and still keep the temperature down

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Use colder water.  I have seen recipes for kneading bread in a food processor that call for putting ice in the water to get it very cold , then strain out the ice when adding it to the flour.    Here is a reference on how to calculate the desired temp of the water https://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/dough-temperatures.html  

albacore's picture
albacore

I guess that in the extreme you could put the flour in the fridge (or even freezer!) as well, but hopefully that wouldn't be necessary.

How long are you kneading for and at what speed?