The Fresh Loaf

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Help needed with Ankarsrum (newest model) and Ashley's bread recipe

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Help needed with Ankarsrum (newest model) and Ashley's bread recipe

I have tried Ashley's Favorite Bread Recipe multiple times and my dough is always too wet after the kneading is done on the Ankarsrum. I have tried doubling the recipe and followed both of her you tube videos. I measure carefully, check expiration date on the yeast, have everything at room temperature, use bread flour, etc. I use the same speed and time amount that she does and my dough never looks like her dough. I measure the flour by spooning it into a measuring cup. My dough roller is in the same position as she uses in her videos. 

As soon as the timed kneading stops, my dough immediately flows back to the sides of the bowl like a cake mix. The dough never cleans the bowl and it never goes into a ball unless I add a lot more flour. Sometimes I add 2-3 cups more than she does. She never talks about a windowpane. 

I gave been baking bread for 40 years by hand, but it is too hard on my hands now so I bought the Ankarsrum a few months ago. I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. I have noticed that she scoops flour by the cup instead of spooning it in. That makes a difference, but I just assumed she measured before the video began. 

1. What am I doing wrong?

2. Is the white scraper supposed to touch the side of the bowl all the way to the bottom? Mine does not. It only touches the first 2-3 inches at the top.

3. The scraper keeps climbing up so I have to keep pushing it down. The roller touches the bottom of the pan. Are both of these supposed to happen?

4. I know I can just add more flour, but Ashley says to mix half the flour, then quickly add the rest so there is not a lot of time between the first cup and the last cup...so the gluten doesn't develop to quickly. I wind up adding more flour after my kneading time is up because of how wet the dough is. Should I do that or should I just leave the wet, sticky dough as is?

Thank you for any help with the learning curve of this mixer.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Whether you mix by hand, KA type, or Ank, the 'wetness' of the dough is affected only trivially if at all by mixer choice.  Compare the relative amounts of liquids and flour to those breads you've made in the past.  I'd guess you're using on the order of twice as much liquid with these attempts.

If the formula uses volume measures for the dry ingredients, its accuracy is suspect.  Use the same methods as the author used to keep yourself in the ballpark.

Whatever you're doing wrong, if anything, will be hard to figure out without having the dough's formula.

The scraper should contact the bowl's side for its full length.  Are you putting the scraper in the correct hole?  There are two, an 8mm and a 10mm diameter.  The 10mm is for the dough hook and the 8mm is for the scraper.  If you use the larger hole, the scraper can cant and ride upward.  From what you described, I'd be concerned that the scraper is bent.  How that could happen is beyond my ken.  The stainless steel rod is damned strong.

See above regarding riding up.

If you're going to measure by volume, a reasonable starting approximation for the liquid amount would be 3oz of water per each cup of flour.  Weighing ingredients is always more accurate and easier to scale.

The mythical learning curve for the Ank is no different from any other mixer.  The rules are simple:  Begin with the liquid ingredients and add the dry.  The hard part is believing such a gentle action is so efficient and effective.

gary

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Just posting to agree with Gary.  There is not that much of a learning curve with the Ank.  I did watch Ashley's videos when researching the mixer, but do not follow her approach or recipes.  As Gary says,  use your regular recipe, and just substitute the mixer for your hand mixing ,  and things should work out fine.  Also, buy a scale, electronic with a tare feature is great.   This one is just $13 at Amazon  https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B013WU0CZW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1  .  Two downsides are that it does not appear to register the first few grams - so if you set a small plastic cup on it,  and slowly pour in salt, it will stay at 0 for a while then jump to 3 grams.   Second, it is slower than others that I have used, so if you pour in water, it helps to stop and wait a few seconds to let the scale register, then add to get to the right weight.  The plus sides, other than the great price, is the scale is fairly large so you can place the Ank mixing bowl right on the scale, and tare to 0, then add the ingredients directly to the mixing bowl.  The other pro is the read out is fairly bright, some have the lcd screen with very low contrast, and you have to look at it from just the right angle.  

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Barry, thanks for your help. I use a scale for most recipes but Ashley's recipes use volume. My scale has a pull-out part so that I can still read the weight if I have a large plate or bowl on it which would normally cover the numbers. https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Stainless-Pull-Out-PEARSONS-Included/dp/B07G7D5LNT/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1541255521&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=s...

My other scale is for measuring yeast for pizza dough. My pizza dough recipes use a tiny amount of yeast so I need to be able to measure hundredths. My larger scale weighs tenths. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS9WL1R/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Thanks, Gary. I used Ashley's exact measurements and followed her video as to the time amounts. She does not pause the video while kneading. I honestly think she scoops her flour in a measuring cup instead of spooning it into a cup. I will try one of my old recipes next.

I am using the smaller hole for the scraper. It looks like the bottom part of the scraper lets a lot of dough pass between it and the bowl. Maybe that is normal. The scraper does not keep the sides of the bowl scraped. According to Ashley, the sides of the bowl should be clean. I guess that is my main issue with the learning curve...it just doesn't do what Ashley says it does...with her recipes. 

I weigh everything, but she does not so I was just trying to follow her recipe so I could figure out how long to knead. I always add the liquids first. I can tell that the roller is kneading even though some people think it is not. My issue is trying to figure out how long to knead with my old recipes which is why I thought I would use her recipes to start. I have never used a mixer to mix bread or to knead it. 

I will try to use the 3 oz water per each cup of flour ratio. 

Ashley's recipe:

1 3/4 cup warm water

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon wheat gluten

4 – 4 1/2 cups high protein flour

2 tablespoons instant yeast

 

 

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Thanks, Gary. I used Ashley's exact measurements and followed her video as to the time amounts. She does not pause the video while kneading. I honestly think she scoops her flour in a measuring cup instead of spooning it into a cup. I will try one of my old recipes next.

I am using the smaller hole for the scraper. It looks like the bottom part of the scraper lets a lot of dough pass between it and the bowl. Maybe that is normal. The scraper does not keep the sides of the bowl scraped. According to Ashley, the sides of the bowl should be clean. I guess that is my main issue with the learning curve...it just doesn't do what Ashley says it does...with her recipes. 

I weigh everything, but she does not so I was just trying to follow her recipe so I could figure out how long to knead. I always add the liquids first. I can tell that the roller is kneading even though some people think it is not. My issue is trying to figure out how long to knead with my old recipes which is why I thought I would use her recipes to start. I have never used a mixer to mix bread or to knead it. 

I will try to use the 3 oz water per each cup of flour ratio. 

Ashley's recipe:

1 3/4 cup warm water

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon wheat gluten

4 – 4 1/2 cups high protein flour

2 tablespoons instant yeast

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Patti, my experience wasn’t like Gary and Barry’s. I struggled to adjust to my Ankarsrum. I think my problem originated because I was very accustomed to using a KitchenAid. I expected the dough to come together like the KA.

The problem I experienced was the initial hydration of the flour. I know Ashley McCord, and she is a doll! She has helped me in every way she could, but her videos basically confused me more. Ashley explains how the Ank uses less flour than an ordinary mixer. But, hydration is hydration. I suggest to use a recipe that you’ve used in the past. Make sure you use the required water and flour for your initial test. I ultimately learned to use the Ank, and I am so glad I persevered! Your mixer is an outstanding  appliance. It will knead dough extremely well, and at the same time be gentle. It is amazing how cool the dough remains even after mixing for an extended time.

This is what worked for me. Your biggest problem is probably your familiarity with your previous mixer. Your visual experience will be different with the Ank. Give this a try. Mix by faith and not by sight :-D.  For your first batch I recommend making a dough that is at least 800 grams in total weight. The mixer will do smaller batches, but larger will make things a little more simple. Put your flour (maybe mix in salt and yeast) in the mixing bowl. Then add the required water. Start with a dough that is not too dry. If using a levain you can mix it into the water is a separate bowl before adding to the dry ingredients. With the mixer stopped pour all of the water into the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on with it set to the slowest speed and let it mix until the flour and water are incorporated, just to the point where the flour is no longer dry. Stop the mixer, remove the roller and scraper, and put the white plastic cover on top the bowl to prevent evaporation. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then continue mixing. You can manually move the roller and/or the scraper back and forth to get a better mix if you wish.

I find that the Ank takes longer to mix than a KA, but because it is so gentle it doesn’t matter.

Let us know how things go. Once to learn, mixing is as easy as any other mixer. You will not regret buying the Ank!

Barry’s suggestion concerning a digital scale is right on. Accurate measurements are extremely important for baking.

Dan

Click this link to view various post concerning the Ank. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/search/node/Ankarsrum

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I was mixing a dough today and decided to do a real time video showing the mixing process used to mix and knead the dough. It is not scripted or well thought out, but I thought it might help to get new users started. See the links below to view the videos. There are many ways to use an Ankarsrum. Below are a few of the methods that work for me. 

Click the 4 links below to see actual kneading videos

Mixing the Levain and water.        https://youtu.be/I0t_bXJ1m_U

Mixing the the dough to a “shaggy mass”.       https://youtu.be/cMfHSnHTVZU

Mixing the dough using the Roller & Scraper.       https://youtu.be/QTXUhfQSdgA

Using the Dough Hook & Scraper.       https://youtu.be/zI7N1-ACTM0

HTH,

Dan

 

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

I forgot to mention that I have been reading your posts from when you first got your Ankarsrum. I will check out your videos.

 

Questions:

1. Does the scraper really clean the sides of the bowl?

2. How do I know when the dough has been kneaded enough with the roller? I am trying to figure out the amount of time.

Right now, I am trying to make dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. If anyone has a recipe with weight measurements, I would appreciate having the recipe. I think I have always added too much flour in my old recipes so the dough wouldn't be too sticky. Thanks to all!

Snowbot's picture
Snowbot

Dan, I really appreciated the videos, especially seeing the way you manipulated the roller arm and scraper during the kneading process. 

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Dan, that's what I thought...hydration shouldn't be different. I have never used a mixer to make bread though so I thought I might be wrong. I tried Ashley's single recipe and her double recipe and they just didn't pull away from the bowl. The dough didn't look anything like her dough, and it was not smooth and elastic. 

So, you add dry ingredients before the liquid? I haven't tried that yet, so I will try that. I do let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes, but I haven't tried letting it rest for 30 minutes. I will try that also.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Patti, you may not have noticed, but I made 4 YouTube videos for you. Ckeck out the links in this post. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/57722/help-needed-ankarsrum-newest-model-and-ashleys-bread-recipe#comment-419870

Dan

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Patti,  sorry, don't have a recipe for dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls,  but on the mixer, the scraper picks the dough off the side of the bowl and then the roller flattens it, the repeat.   The mixing video Dan posted shows it quite clearly

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Thanks for the videos. My dough is sticking to the sides, and I have to scrape it off to get it to mix. It took me about 25 minutes of kneading with the roller to get my cinnamon roll dough anywhere close to where I want it. I finally finished it by hand which defeats the purpose of having the mixer. 

I have found a different recipe for cinnamon rolls so I am going to experiment with in regards to kneading time the next time I make them. I will post that recipe on a new post to see if people think I need to use the roller or the dough hook. I have never used the dough hook, and I am still learning about hydration levels. 

By the time I make another pan of cinnamon rolls, I will forget what I learned that doesn't work. I can't make them every day in order to fidure it out.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Patti, make a short video next time to mix. It really is easy, once you get the hang of it.

Dan

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

I can do that, but then putting it on you tube or here goes way over my head.