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Old 11-02-2004, 01:51 AM   #1
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Question about Dough Hook

I have a KA mixer. I'm not getting how the dough hook works. It appears that what is going on is that the bread dough wraps itself around the dough hook and then nothing much happens. I end up stripping it off the hook and kneading it by hand for awhile, then putting it back in the bowl, where it wraps itself around the hook again, and nothing else happens again.

What's going on? Is the hook manipulating the dough from the inside and I just can't see it? I know this is probably a dumb question, but I'd love to bake bread more, learn how to do it well, and I would if I could trust that the dough hook is doing what it's supposed to do. Can you advise, please?

Many thanks in advance.


Cats

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Old 11-02-2004, 03:03 AM   #2
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Well, I'm not a pro baker, so maybe someone else has better info than me, but my understanding is that the dough hook is just for bringing heavy items together - things you would not use the "whisk" attachment for. Once it is wrapping itself around the hook, it's done it's job. Don't think it takes the place of kneeding, just bringing things together.

Let's see what other people say, maybe we will both learn something!
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Old 11-02-2004, 03:30 AM   #3
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Uh-oh. I've been using the paddle attachment to incorporate the ingredients to the shaggy-mass stage, and then switching to the dough hook to commence the true kneading. From what you say, you're spoze to commence using the dough hook from the very beginning, when you first put the separate ingredients into the bowl.

Well, bless my stars. Talk about missing the boat!

As you say, maybe others will shed more light. Thanks, Wasabi Woman. :)
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Old 11-02-2004, 04:06 AM   #4
 
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Listen to Wasabi! She is correct.

If you have your Kitchenaid Instruction Manual, it will tell you generally how to use your dough hook. If you do not have your manual, go to http://www.kitchenaid.com/usecareguides/index.htmls
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Old 11-02-2004, 07:39 AM   #5
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"From what you say, you're spoze to commence using the dough hook from the very beginning, when you first put the separate ingredients into the bowl. "

All my recipes say that, and I say screw them. The dough hook simply cannot mix dry ingredients properly, I don't care what everyone says. For initial mixing of dry and wet ingredients, I just use a wooden spoon. It's only after the dough has come together in a spongy state that I start kneading with the hook.

Chocolatechef, the link you've given is dead, and I have not been able to find any information about this on the KitchenAid website. The dough hook is most definitely for kneading. Indeed, this is its primary purpose, as almost any recipe book will tell you. If the dough hook is not for kneading yeast breads, then all I can say is that there are a whole heck of alot of people out there, including myself, who have been producing loaf after loaf of quality bread kneading only with a hook that supposedly doesn't work :)

However, I have often wondered if it can really be effective when it is simply spinning the dough around like you described. Since most doughs are sufficiently sticky so as not to just wrap around the hook and spin, this is usually not a problem. However, when it has done this, my strategy has been simply to remove the dough, press it down with a wooden spoon, and try again, hoping it will stick enough to the bottom so the hook will have some effect.
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Old 11-02-2004, 07:48 AM   #6
 
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Sorry about the "dead" link. It is the one that was on the Kitchenaid site for the online instruction manual.


I have a manual in front of me. It states that when you are mixing and kneading yeast dough, you use the dough hook to combine ingredients, and after the dough clings to the hook, knead on speed 2 for 3 to 5 minutes or until dough is mooth and elastic.
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Old 11-02-2004, 07:51 AM   #7
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Jasonr, what I've found out from Googling is that apparently, the way to do it is, as you say, mix the ingredients with other than the dough hook (I agree, its design seems inefficient for plain mixing) until you have an admixture, if that's the right term, then you insert the dough hook and mix on Speed #2 until the dough amasses on the hook. At that point, the dough hook has done all it will, and you finish kneading by hand. Some sites sorta imply that you can use the hook for X number of minutes more to finish it, but that doesn't seem right to me. Besides, I like the idea of finishing by hand. It's enjoyable, for one thing, and you can get the "feel" better.

So apparently I've been making the mistake of inserting the dough hook way later in the process than I should have been doing. DUH.

Many thanks to all of you for your help. I greatly appreciate it.


Cats, the Dough Hook Dork :oops:
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Old 11-02-2004, 08:06 AM   #8
 
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Sorry cats, but the dough hook use is the proper way. I have searched for, and found the proper link for you:


http://service.whirlpoolcorp.com/ese...e?SWECmd=Start
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Old 11-02-2004, 08:53 AM   #9
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I use my KA to make bread every two days. And the dough begins and ends with the dough hook. (I began by using the large paddle to do the initial mixing, then switch to the hook, but I have since learned through lots of practice that the hook will do both just fine.)

One of the things you learn through practice (and failure!) is the texture of dough as you're making the stuff, and you learn when it is too wet and when it is too dry. I can't describe the difference between the two in print, but I can see it. (Gee, lot of help there!) Practice.... But if the dough is exceptionally sticky and won't come together, add some flour. Conversely, if it is hermetically sealed to the hook and travels, with hard thuds, around the bowl, you need a wee bit of moisture in there.

I find kneading with the hook will soon produce an elastic dough that the hook folds in the center of the elongated blob and flops around until it does it again. I find the hook as efficient at kneading as doing it by hand...and a lot easier!
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Old 11-02-2004, 08:59 AM   #10
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If anyone's interested, there's a scan of the page from an old KA manual with their kneading instructions in kitchenaid-breadmaking-instructions-circa1985 and it says to keep the mixer running after the dough has balled up on the hook
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:07 AM   #11
 
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Thanks subfuscpersona!

It is easier to show somebody than tell them, and since I am using cliches, a picture is worth a thousand words!

I wish I had a scanner!
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:27 AM   #12
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Interesting. I prefer to follow the instructions of the specific recipe I am using. Why follow a generic KitchenAid instruction when you can follow instructions tailored by professionals for each recipe? I have recipes that call for up to 15 minutes of machine kneading, and as little as 5. I do exactly what they say, and I get excellent results. My only deviation is that I almost always finish off with hand kneading. I agree with the prevailing view that hand kneading right at the end is the easiest and best way to perfectly control and regulate the quality and consistency of the dough.

By the way, I was wondering if anyone had tried this:

http://pastrychef.com/htmlpages/prod...videotape.html

I have been tempted to purchase this tape, but was wondering if anyone had any feedback on it.
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:57 AM   #13
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hey choclatechef

I'll trade a spare scanner for any leftovers from that incredible "care package" of kitchen equipment you gave to a friend (and told us all about in another thread). :D :D :D

I was green with envy
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:08 AM   #14
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There are two different kinds of mixers that have dough hooks:

One group (bowl locks into a fixed position, has only one "C" shaped dough hook, and has a planitary-motion head such as Hobart, KitchenAid, and 3-4 others) does indeed mix and knead the dough.

The other group is basically a hand mixer on a stand (the bowl is not locked into position and can/does turn during mixing, and generally has two straight dough hooks that look something like cork-screws) only mixes the dough - they do not knead it.

There are two different methods of making dough. One is the "sponge" method (a 2-step process) where the liquids and only a small portion of the flour are mixed and allowed to ferment to make a sponge (you could use the flat beater for this portion of the mixing) - then when you add the remainder of the flour to complete the mixing and kneading you would use the fough hook. The other method (1-step) is the "straight" dough method where everything is combined, mixed, and kneaded in one step with the dough hook.

If you look in the front part of your KitchenAid manual it explains what to use each of the attachments for: Flat beater is for normal to heavy mixtures that are not kneaded, Whip for incorporating air into light mixtures, Dough Hook for mixing and kneading yeast doughs (and other heavy kneaded doughs such as pasta dough).

How the dough hook works (kneads) is kind of neat when you stop to think about it. This is how a pastry chef friend of mine explained it to me. As the dough hook turns (after the dough is mixed and forms a ball on the hook) and begins to move toward the bowl - it presses the dough against the side of the bowl in an arc motion, the dough is held in place by friction and pressure (just the same as the dough would held in place between your hands and the board if you were kneading by hand), as it moves on it stretches and presses the dough against the side of the bowl which slightly deforms it, so as the hook continues to rotate the bulge on the "fat" side of the dough is pressed against the side of the bowl actually causes the dough to rotate slightly on the hook - and the process repeats itself over and over.
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:08 AM   #15
 
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subfuscpersona, I will keep you in mind for the next care package I assemble!

I sometimes run across some awesome stuff out in the thrift shops, and places like that!
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:59 AM   #16
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Thanks everybody for the good info, as I thought, I had a lot to learn!
Especially appreciate the detailed info from Michael in FtW; thanks for taking the time to do such thorough investigation!

and thanks to Catseye for asking the question otherwise I would still be sitting here in blissful ignorance!
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Old 11-03-2004, 04:24 PM   #17
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Shucks, weren't nothing wasibi :oops:

Actually, I asked Hans about that around 12-14 years ago out of curiosity about how his big floor model Hobart kneaded the dough.
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