The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mixing times and observations

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Mixing times and observations

I prefer and like to mix my doughs to full-development and think most here don't mix anywhere near to that level of development.

Yesterday I made an 80% hydration dough. Initially as part "fermentolyse" at 55% hydration (5 mins mixing) before adding the rest of the water and salt (another 5 minutes of mixing). At this stage the dough ingredients were combined but the dough consistency while appearing smooth-ish, it easily shredded as it fell from the hook. I knew the gluten wasn't developed very much...

After this, I set my Kenwood Chef mixer to a speed between min and 1 and set the timer.. It took 25 minutes + to reach full development at this relatively slow and gentle speed!

The good news... I think mixing gently does little to oxidise the dough as my formula included 25% khorasan wheat flour and the yellow hue was quite apparent in the finished loaf.

EDIT: So that's 35 minutes of mixing!

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Interesting,  I sometimes wondered whether mixing - kneading at the lowest speed would give you the same dough development at a higher speed, just over a long period of time, or whether the interaction of the dough and the hook and bowl at a higher speed gave a different type of development.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Barry.

I think if the mechanical action is at least effective in working the dough then slow mixing still works. And I think the upside is reduced oxidation.

Patience and bread has always been a good combination!


Michael

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I would be curious how that affects the dough temperature. Have you taken the temperature before and after that long?

Essentially the low speed is like the short mix method, but the added time might be enough revolutions to make some serious changes to the final dough temp. I like to leave some room for development during a longer fermentation for a lean dough rather than get a fully developed dough from the onset. But there are many ways to make bread.

ETA: Forgot to thank you for giving the information on how long it took you to get to full development. Even if I don't go that far, sometimes I want to closer to full development and  it is good to have a time frame as reference.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Maverick, I thought it might be useful info and my goal was emphasise just how long full gluten development can take even in a mixer.

That's a good point about the dough temperature. Unfortunately I didn't measure it but I was mindful of that factor as I've long associated overheated dough with over oxidation and over-mixing (knackered gluten). After the mix I felt the sides if the mixing bowl and was pleased that I couldn't notice any significant heat and upon handling the dough it was still relatively cool to the touch. But I admit taking the temperature would have been much better - will do next time!

I think overheated dough is the most pertinent issue and it goes hand-in-hand with oxidation and eventual gluten destruction. And I think slow mixing for longer gives the best result where full development is desired.

Cheers,
Michael

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Not too warm to the touch gives a general idea that it didn't seem to raise the temp too much. I also wonder about the timing if it was lower hydration. I know you did use the bassinage technique which I am sure helped (as well as the autolyse). I guess if you go slow enough then it is basically like hand kneading where you cannot over knead to the point of gluten destruction. But I am curious how tight the crumb ended up being with all that kneading.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I like to mix to full development as it results in a preferable texture and it allows for greater volume and lower density bread. The final loaf volume is approx. 4 times that of the mixed dough.

Benito's picture
Benito

That is a perfect crumb in my mind.  

Benny

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thank you Benny.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Very nice. Don't get me wrong, my bread  is at full development (or at least where I want it) by the time bulk fermentation is done. But I do like the idea of mixing and then walking away until it is ready. Did you do any stretch  and folds? Is that sourdough or instant yeast?

I have yet to work with Khorasan whet/kamut. How does its thirst compare to regular whole wheat or rye? Care to share your formula?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Ah Yes. You have raised a subject which I see very differently from most. That is to say, I don't subscribe to this idea that gluten develops during BF. In reality it just changes... I see the work done (input) to develop gluten as completely separate to the concept of developing dough structure. Dough that is bulked and full of gas is subject to different rheological properties.

I didn't apply any stretch and folds as in all practicality they are redundant. 

My formula:

480g flour (150g Kamut)
120g SD starter (white, 45% hydration)
414g water
11.2g salt

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Super nice crumb! I agree with Benny.

35 minutes of mixing (slow speed) and no oxidation! That is incredible. Since the dough was fully developed during the mixing stage, did you do any stretching and/or folding afterward, or just BF in peace? At 80% hydration, how would you describe the dough at shaping?

Your mixing method and the resulting crumb have me wondering if a slow and long machine mixing might be worth some experimentation.

I am working to develop a crumb with an evenly distributed cell structure with avoeli the size of the circumference of a pencil. I would like the cells to be lacy and thin walled. Basically a lacy honeycomb crumb

I have had the best success when using certain add-ins, like soaked flax seeds. I think the gelatinous liquid helps with this type of crumb.

Michael, would this method of slow and long mixing, is it possible to get the pencil size holes?

I would appreciate any ideas that might help develop that type of desired crumb.

Danny

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hi Danny.

Thanks, this was a sourdough leavened loaf that I Bulk Fermented undisturbed for about 2.5 hours. This has long been my standard approach to SD and consider the methodology of Stretch and Folds to be impractical and not significant in bringing about the results I seek. I believe a decent amount mixing and BF before shaping do enough to achieve the same thing.

On the subject of oxidation it would be inaccurate to say "no oxidation". Unless you make dough in vacuum oxygen is an ingredient in bread making and controlling oxidation and what components of the flour interact with it, is the key. Oxidation of the components that make up gluten bonds are stronger when oxidised but negatively the oxidation of flour carotenoid pigments can result in the destruction of some native wheaty flavours and visual appeal.

It is notable to understand that what can be oxidised can also be reduced back again. However reactions happen as a chain of numerous events which could prove difficult to reverse.

I welcome you to try my methods.

Cheers,
Michael

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

That is a beautiful, tasty crumb Michael...

I don't have a mixer (yet) and totally agree that especially people mixing by hand only tend to underdevelop their dough and from my experience getting more development with slap and folds rather than just folds was a game changer. It is also interesting when people changing to a mixer say that they get suddenly better oven rise...so again an indicator of not enough development.

I am intrigued by what you are saying but also curious how this fits with Jeffrey's video on mixing..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnxiawZoL4A   He mixes to not quite full gluten development to then create more strength and structure with folds...did you use any folds in addition to the mixing and how long? This also then allows more flavour or not?

I am also intrigued by Ian's talk during GRainz 2019 and his thoughts on what happens during mixing amongst other baking science  (as far as I can comprehend and still absorbing)... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kj-QXfCRTU  approx. 2:31into video... 

Kat

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Kat, 

Indeed I would say there is no equal substitute for active gluten development.

Thanks for the links. The one with Ian was excellent and I didn't break concentration for a moment. He certainly has a lot of intricate technical and scientific knowledge. Thankfully I know enough to grasp much of the concepts he details and I'm sure we have read many of the same papers and text-books. Much to think about and digest... 

But it is interesting how he emphasises that its all about energy.

Clearly using energy to develop gluten is significant.

Cheers,
Michael

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and I still listen to it again and again and currently digesting what he says about how to achieve 'soft' dough in different ways and how I could apply this in practice and experiment a bit more.

I also really like his Schrotbrot demonstration on day 3 and sooner or later I will have to get a Mockmill.....after the mixer possibly... : D Kat

bronc's picture
bronc

Thanks for the thoughtful post Michael. Just a question - for these wet doughs you use the hook or the K-mixer/beater on your Kenwood? I have the same machine and feel like for 75%+ hydration doughs the hook doesn't do much after a point. 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I often use both. I used the K-beater to mix the dough until all the ingredients were incorporated and the dough was elastic. Then I switched to the J-hook for the long and slow mix.

The J-hook does work despite it's inefficient design.