The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Spiral Mixers and Whole Grains

DansBread's picture

Spiral Mixers and Whole Grains

I am thinking about upgrading my Bosch universal Plus to a spiral mixer, probably Famag 8 or Sunmix 10.  I grind my own flour and use 100% whole grain - I do not sift (don't even own one).  I bake 2-3 loaves a week so I don't really need a big mixer but I am hoping it will help.  I have so far just used red and white hard wheat, but I am looking forward to getting into other varieties, esp rye and some "ancient" grains -einkorn, spelt, emmer, kamut

I am looking for others experiences specifically with regard to whole grain baking.  Does it help enough with gluten development to make it worth it?  

When I switched from a KA to BUP I noticed a huge improvement in gluten development.  My weekly sandwich loaf is very predictable and light and airy for WW since the change to BUP.   

Lately, I have been making a sour dough with just stretch and fold and while it tastes great, it tends be relatively flat.  I am pretty sure part of the trouble there is too much fermentation time, but I also feel the gluten gets kinda slack.

Anyway, I would appreciate any thoughts on spiral mixers and any thoughts about different whole grains and ideal mixing for the best rise.  I have read for example that einkorn will not appreciate the mixer much.

SeasideJess's picture

From my understanding, the stronger the gluten the more it benefits from kneading/development. So the ancient gains with weaker/softer gluten tend to do better with hand kneading. I knead everything by hand and my hard red winter sandwich loaf is a LOT of hand kneading. Like at least 20 minutes. But my spelt and khorasan loaves only need an autolyse, then bulk, then a few letter folds, and they're done.


DansBread's picture

Thanks for the reply.  I think I am going to sit tight for a while and see if I really need or want an additional appliance.  If stretch and fold will do it, I'm fine with that.  

MTloaf's picture

I have the same mixer and mill my flour at home as well. I used to sift to remove the bran but now I always include the brown bits in the bread. I still sift because it helps to oxidize the flour and makes it a little finer and seems to help the dough absorb more water. The bran is then recombined or soaked first before adding the remaining flour.

Many of the flat loaf people have been asking for help, some  are problems related to gluten development and not alway fermentation. My hand mixed doughs are helped by using the slap and fold technique. It is a good method to develop gluten and structure during the mixing phase. I use a gentler version of it in the punch down step with WW pan loaves.

As far as a spiral mixer goes everything I have read says they are superior for mixing bread dough. I still use my Bosch to get an open crumb by using a shorter mix time and then coil folding.