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Old 11-02-2004, 02:51 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, 04:03 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, 04:30 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, 05:06 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, 08:39 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, 08:48 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, 08:51 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, 09:06 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, 09:53 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, 09:59 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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