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Spiral Mixer High Hydration Dough (Double Hydro,Bassinage)

Evrenbingol's picture

Spiral Mixer High Hydration Dough (Double Hydro,Bassinage)

Hi there.
I have been playing around with initial mix hydrations before adding the bassinage on a 120kg dough mixer

What ratio hydration do you mix to incorporate and develop mid consistency dough only consisting of an 100% AP flour with 10.5 and 0.55 ash.  I only mix 1st speed. 

When I mix above 70% -71% the dough starts to turn into a puddle and it takes a long time to develop the dough

So I have to start with 70% ish but when my total hydro is around 78% it takes a long time to add the bassinage of 8% to reach 78%.

1) What is your take on this? I know this changes from formula to formula,flour to flour and also from mixer to mixer. 
2) How do you add the bassinage? , All at once (since it is 1st speed it does not splash), or slowly incorporate the water ? Does it really matter ?


I mix 5 minutes -  short auto and another 5 minutes on 1st , add the bassinage and salt until incorporates
I am going for somewhere around 600 revolutions of hook to develop the dough before adding bassinage and salt. 


Yippee's picture


If the AP flour were an employee and you were its boss, I'd think you were a slave driver. 😄😄😄


Joking aside, here's what I'd do:

  1. Add flour to the mixer
  2. Start the mixer
  3. Gradually add water until a dough is formed
  4. Make a note of how much water has been added so far for future reference
  5. (At this point, you may autolyze the dough) 
  6. Gradually add more water until the mixer can easily knead the dough.
  7. Stop adding water
  8. Continue mixing the dough to develop gluten until the dough feels strong
  9. Add salt and yeast, and sugar, if using, and continue to mix to incorporate
  10. Add fat, if using, and continue mixing until incorporated
  11. Gradually mix in more water until the dough is about to "collapse"

Let the dough tell you when to add water and when to stop. Please don't abuse it!

I've applied similar techniques to mix whole-grain and enriched dough in a bread machine (and spiral mixer). 



mariana's picture

Hi Evren, 

your question about the initial hydration has no answer because we don't know your flour moisture content or gluten strength (or gluten amount). Strong and dry type 55 flour with 10.5% protein will easily absorb 65% water in the first step and up to 110% water total hydration during bassinage with gluten intact. Weak and moist flours would need about 40-50% hydration in the first step. 

I would never start with 70% hydration even if my flour was 12% protein bread flour. The first step is to help gluten form and then develop it by kneading. Only later on the remaining water is added in between the sheets of already developed gluten (bassinage). 

To help gluten form, use ice cold water to mix a rather stiff dough (DDT16-18C), medium stiff consistency is best, and let the dough rest for an hour after mixing the first mix. Then knead to develop gluten, incorporate dissolved salt, then oil and only then start your bassinage to any desired hydration level. Drizzle addtitional ice cold water in little by little. 

How to do it properly, how the dough looks, is shown here

Watch until the end and read their advice for such kind of dough. Their steps:

Place flour and yeast in mixer (strongly recommended two-speed spiral mixer) and mix;

Pour in 80% of the water and mix at speed 1 until flour and yeast are well mixed; switch to speed 2 for about eight minutes (their speed 2 is 200rpm);

Put salt at dough temperature between 16°-19° and mix until fully incorporated;

Put in oil and run mixer until fully incorporated;

Pour in the remaining water very slowly until completely absorbed;

Total kneading time 20 min;

Final dough temperature: 20°-23°C

If your flour gluten is not strong enough, they recommend to give it strength by 'ventilating' it after mixing, as it rises, i.e. doing punch downs (or stretch and folds) by mixing it a bit more, 1,2 or 3 s&fs in the mixer. It means letting it rest for 10, 15, or 30 min, then knead it for full 3 turns of the dough bowl, then rest again, etc. the benefits of that method of additional aeration for double hydration dough is explained here:

How to do sets of stretch and folds in the mixer as the dough ferments to strengthen its gluten:


The number of revolutions doesn't matter, i.e. 400-600-800 all mean either mixing to homogeneity or initial stages of gluten development depending on flour and on how full is your mixer's bowl. What matters is your flour, how much can it take and how it looks at the end of mixing. Weaker flours won't be able to handle so many, for stronger flours it is not enough. 

best wishes,


Evrenbingol's picture

Thanks for the lengthy message. and the vidoes . Never seen them before. 

Your example is exactly how we do ciabatta like bread. But for our country loafs we only mix on first speed. We also go for a short mix. That is at max 600 -800 revs. Minimun oxidisation. Wanna keep the dough light yellow rather than white. Basically we want a very low gluten dev out of the mixer and maybe have 1 S&F. We go for 15% to 17& levain for a long bulk to build strength. That is what I am really curious to see on how people in corporate water on short mix doughs.

I think the crumb and the flavor you get from the method you showed (double hydro) is a bit different than short mixes.

Thanks again for the message. A lot of Intersting points


mariana's picture

Then instead of "short auto" give your dough longer rest for its gluten to form and flour particles to hydrate passively.

The initial stages of mixing, the first 5+5min of your mixing on first are essentially to rub flour particles with water to hydrate them. You can achieve the same passively by giving your dough longer rest and thus save on the number of turns during gluten development and use them during bassinage.

Ming's picture

I have a spiral mixer, and in the winter when my kitchen is around 70-degree F with a relatively low humility I would make my 50% WW baguettes at 75% hydration (probably end up with a higher hydration after I develop the dough with wet hands post mixing) without issues, I do occasionally have a dough fall apart during mixing for unknow reasons. Now in the heart of summer where my kitchen is around 80-degree F with a high humility, mixing my 75% hydration baguettes would never work so I had to drop the hydration by 8-10% to make it work so it wouldn't fall apart during spiral mixing. Now, I usually aim at mixing a dough at around 75-degree F but if I use ice cold water then it would mix better but it would screw up my dough temp. Nonetheless, every kitchen, four, and technique is different so you will have to experiment to find what work for you.