The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mix sourdough in a dough mixer

Alan Parsons's picture
Alan Parsons

Mix sourdough in a dough mixer

Hey experts in bread dough: I am a relatively new baker and was wondering if commercial bakeries use the dough mixer to make their sourdough loaves?

My question is, how to get that beautiful open and gummy crumb without the gentle S&F in a underdeveloped dough, and applying instead, the mechanical labor of a dough mixer, which according to what i've read here, lessens the chance of having those big open crumbs. Sorry if I sound too beginner, but I've been trying to achieve that for quite sometime and I usually refrain from folding too much and giving too much strength to the dough. Today I use a 75% hydration dough with pure white flour and a liquid levain. I make and 69% autolise, work a little bit in the mixer, about 2 minutes on low speed, then add the liquid levain, work a little bit more, and then add the final water to bring it up to 75%. I S&F 3  x 1 hour, and then divide and pre-shape with a bench rest of 30 minutes. Dough seems too be too strong to me, or maybe I should just let it ferment a little more in the bench rest time. What are your tips? thank u so much.

suave's picture

If the operate on the scale - of course they do.   Open crumb is not in water, or autolyse, or not kneading, it is in timing and hands.

albacore's picture

Have a look on Instagram - there are plenty of pro bakers who develop gluten in a mixer with minimal S&F post mix. Check out Baltic Bakehouse, for example. And that's how I do it, too.

Of course it depends what type of mixer you have; most domestic mixers are surprisingly poor at gluten development.


BaniJP's picture

There are also machines that emulate hand kneading. The S&F method is just one of the most established ones, but more important are temperature, fermentation time, hydration and flour/protein quality. You are also able to get open crumb with e.g. a Kitchen Aid.


Alan Parsons's picture
Alan Parsons

Good point..that´s what i was trying to figure out..Im mostly going for trials and errors..This site gives some tips about that..Bread FAQ Part 1: How to get an open crumb — Jorgen Carlsen. That ou BaniJP