The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

DLX Question

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

DLX Question

Hey all you DLX users, I just took delivery of a new DLX Assistant mixer which looks like it will be fun. I have read where the first thing to know is that the water goes in first and the flour as it becomes incorporated. I'm wondering about the roller position is a little confusing. The manual says fix the roller 1 inch away for a 2 loaf batch and 1.5 inches for 3 loaves and so on. Others seem to say leave it loose and let it ride the edge.

I searched the forum for nuggets and ran a test batch to experiment with 1100 grams of dough at 65% hydration. It was dry enough to put up a fight as the roller followed the dough. Just wondering what the best advice is for the roller position.
Thanks in advance.

Eric

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

Eric:

I'm not sure I can give you the definitive answer on the positioning of the roller arm on the DLX. From my experience, I almost always keep the roller loose and let it do its thing. When first incorporating the flour with the water, I do sometimes tighten the roller a bit in from the edge as it seems to hasten the mix. But, once incorporated, I leave the roller loose.

Adding the flour slowly into the water does really help.

Good luck with the DLX. It's a real joy to use.

Liz

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The DLX is so different from anything else I have used it is a strange contraption. I can see how it works the dough and stretches the strands. Pure magic!

BTW could you please post the recipe for the Multi-grain Levain. I don't have that book yet and you and David have us drooling.

Thanks,
Eric

ElbaLiz's picture
ElbaLiz

Eric,

I've had my DLX for about 3 months, so still experimenting.  But I would almost echo fleur-de-liz.  I think we all do things a little differently, certainly helps to mix some flour with the liquid first and then gradually add the flour.  After burning out two (2) Kitchenaide mixers, I love my DLX, motor does not struggle, drag...

Happy baking,

ElbaLiz

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Eric, I just dump everything together and don't worry about adding water first and then slowly adding flour. It is so easy to mix it all up no matter what the order, at least that has been my experience.

 

But I would say I agree with leaving the arm loose most of the time. In fact, I like to keep it loose enough that I can move it with my hand to get the dough to mix the way I want it. Sometimes the roller is against the side of the bowl, for wetter dough, and other times I will actually move it back and forth from center of bowl to the side to during the mix. It is very dependent on the hydration of the recipe I'm making.

 

Other times, I'll position the roller a couple inches from the side of the bowl and just let it mix but it depends on the hydration and the amount of dough I'm mixing. Even then I generally start by pressing the arm and thus the roller against the side of the bowl at the beginning to get everything mixed quickly and then let it move but in a controlled way. You will quickly learn what I mean by seeing where it needs to be to get the donut or dough positioned so that it is kneading the way you wish.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Fleur-De-Liz, ElbaLiz and Zolablue, you all seem to have similar methods for arriving at the same point. Zola you mentioned the doughnut. I noticed this last batch today of rye mix that at one point it did form into a doughnut. At that point I fixed the roller about an inch off the edge. It was an odd shaped ring, heavier on one side and seemed determined to stay that way. It almost felt like slower was better. I let it run for 4 or 5 minutes and rest for 10 minutes, followed by another minute of running at slow speed. At that point the dough seemed elastic and well developed for a rye mix.

So the question now is, is it the forming of a ring the indication that there is enough flour or the gluten has developed? Similar to the point in a KA where the dough starts to come clean from the bowl? There seem to be some clues to the way the knife cleans the side also.???

Eric

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

Eric:

Typically, the dough starts to clean the side of the bowl and then the donut will form. I keep the roller loose at that point because the fingers of the roller arm gently do the kneading when the dough forms a donut. Like Zolablue, I also will manually assist the roller by pushing the dough against the bowl. The donut forms usually right before the end of the knead and is a definite indication that the gluten has been sufficiently developed.

Try doing the windowpane test at various points after the donut has formed to determine the degree of gluten development.

The DLX has been a trial and error experience for me, and I still am learning from others on how to maximize its capabilities. I look forward to hearing from other DLX users on how they knead.

I posted the recipe for Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain under a separate forum topic.

Liz

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Liz,
The roller looks so innocent. You wouldn't think it would do the job but it sure does.

Thanks for posting the multi grain levain. Sounds delicious.

Eric

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I'm so happy you answered Eric on this. I really was not sure what the donut actually means. I've only had my DLX since October so many of you have lots more time with yours. I think it is always a learning process as we continue to make different bread recipes and larger volumes of dough and we discover little things that work so well for us. I also appreciate hearing from more people that use this mixer. I don't know what I would do without it now.

 

I have some notes I need to get together and post on this thread that I think may be very helpful about bread but also making other things using the DLX. They are things I found doing my research before I bought the DLX and they were so very helpful to me right out of the gate. So stay tuned, Eric, I'll try and get those together today or tomorrow.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Zolablue FDL and all,

One of the reasons I felt confident in purchasing this mixer knowing that the manual is not very helpful is because of you all. That's the power of the Fresh Loaf. Everyone is willing to help those in need. There is so much diversified talent here that questions get addressed quickly. I try to be mindful of the ratio of needing and giving of my own time and experience here. Some are way out there in front of me in the helping category and I want to do my share. That said:

I'll be watching ZB for your treats!

Eric

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Eric - I've been checking through the extensive notes I copied and I realize that while they offer some excellent info and tips about the DLX I'm not sure you would need them at this point. They're mostly about comparing mixers, especially between the DLX and Bosch - written by a woman who is a very experienced bread baker, used to give classes, in fact, and has owned both mixers. I'm not sure how much those things would help here although they would be very helpful on another thread, I suppose, if someone were considering buying the mixer and had not yet decided.

 

The main thing I wanted to mention is that if you use the DLX for making cookies or muffins you will need to cream the butter. It is really easy to do by using the roller and your room temperature butter, and make sure the roller is against the far side of the bowl so it is rolling against it. It works like a dream.

 

I'm sure you have been using the mixer and will have no problem adjusting to it. It is really a matter of using it to get the know the feel and how you want to adjust the roller position. Isn't it great to be able to dump stuff in over the top right into the bowl? I love it.

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

ZB,
It is nice to be able to dump things in the top without having to time the toss and have some get tossed back at you. I'll have to remember what you said about the butter. I don't do cookies so that will fall on my wife and daughter who are eyeballing the new toy with scepticism at the moment.

Eric

kdovin's picture
kdovin

Hi folks!

This was some excellent information as I just purchased a DLX about one month ago after - you guessed it - my KA smoked its last batch of bread dough.

 I just want to clarify something... the donut?  Am I seeing a well-developed dough when it starts to form a loose ring that stretches between the roller and the scraper?  If so, that's pretty cool!  Since I am used to the KA, I've been trying to see it "crawl up" the roller.  Perhaps that is why I've had some mixed results?  (Don't worry, I don't blame the mixer as I am still learning a ton and love this site for that.)

I also appreciate the comments on keeping the roller loose.  This seemed like a good idea, but, even though I tested that, I was a little worried since the manual says keep it 1/2-2in away from the side.

Thanks for your help!

Kim

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Kim,
I am still at the point that I'm amazed at my new DLX. I would say my best advice is to start slow and let the roller stay loose. Then as the dough starts to come together into a mass, stop the motor and lock the roller 1 inch from the wall. For me that has been working to create the donut. Once it starts to form I turn the speed up to the second range and try to hold the arm quiet.

Good luck, hope this helps.

Eric

ElbaLiz's picture
ElbaLiz

this site is so cool.  i have 2 kittens sitting on my lap as i catch-up with the fresh loaf, the info. is invaluable, thanks to all who take the time to teach the rest of us!  spring may be coming to WI, along with continued bread baking!

thanks to all