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Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

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  • Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

    Tell me your thoughts...

    600$ for a machine that just kneads pizza and bread dough?

    Or mixing it by the old reliable kitchen tools at the end of our arms that we work with everyday?


    To be able to save $600 for something else in my life sure is a tempting consideration, but I dont want to spend hours kneading dough for only one whole pizza, and then have to do it again for a second one either though.

    How long would you say it takes to knead pizza dough by hand?
    Someone at chowhound mentioned that the average person or baker would need to knead the dough over 1000 times just for ONE 10-inch PIE!!.

    Is this true?

    I hope not, as I would also like to make bread as well as pizza and do not have the time to knead 1000+ times for every single individual separate baked good that I would like to make at home.

    What has been your experience with kneading? Has it lead you to believe this is true?
    I simply just cant imagine kneading dough over 1000 times just for one loaf of bread only to do it again another 1000 times just for the next loaf.

    Talk about exhausting

  • #2
    Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

    For a start you should probably not make dough for a single pie for it simply isn't even enough dough to work with. The best place to start is probably the FB recipe or Reinhart's to make 4 to 6 dough balls and freeze what you don't want immediately. They will keep up to 3 months and should give good results.

    There are a variety of techniques for "kneading" dough. The conventional work the dough continuously by hand approach takes time and is IMO inferior to stretch and fold. S&F takes about a half hour but only three to five minutes working with the dough.

    But it is probably best to think of kneading as therapy and if you consider it exhausting you should probably just buy the mixer.

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

      The last 4 batches of Pizza dough that I made were using 1Kg bags of Molino Capito. I only mixed the flour enough to hydrate the flour, 1 minute, and then let the dough rest for 20 minutes, autolyse. At this point I used the stretch and fold maneuver 4 times and put the dough in the fridge to rest for 2 days. The dough turned out great and the Pizzas as well. I used my 25 year old KitchenAid 5SS only to bring the ingredients together and after that it was all hand work. Even the initial mixing wouldn’t have been difficult or physical. I just finished mixing stretching and folding a double batch of Peter Reinhart’s Pain a l’Ancienne, all by hand, no mixer involved. With either of these dough’s, cleaning the mixer is more trouble than it’s worth at least this is my opinion. Jay knows bread and I’d bet he’ll have some very good reasons, and bread recipes, where a mixer is a necessity.



      • #4
        Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

        I've been mixing by hand for a year and just got a mixer recently. My usual hand mix regimen for 80 ounces of dough at 68% hydration is this:

        1. Hand mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon and dough scraper just until all of the levain/flour/water is incorporated.
        2. 5-10 minute rest
        3. Turn out the bowl on the counter and mix for another 15-20 minute.
        4. 1-hour bulk ferment @ 76-degrees F.
        5. Fold
        6. 1-hour bulk ferment
        7. Fold & pre-shape
        8. Divide and shape
        9. 3-hour+ retarded ferment in the fridge.


        • #5
          Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

          I erred on the lazy side - I bought a mixer. Plus, when the dough is spinning in the bowl, there are plenty of other things to get done.
          Check out my pictures here:

          If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


          • #6
            Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

            I use a breadmaker and select the dough function. It does a pretty good job and it holds the dough at the right temp. However it only does one batch of about 500 g at a time. You can of course refrigerate or freeze batches of dough. I usually light the fire then start a batch of dough and go back to the fire with a beer. When the fire is ready so is the dough.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


            • #7
              Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

              My Electrolux is almost 2 years old, and I love it. I normally make 11# of dough, which makes it pretty efficient for me. I usually make a large batch of pizza dough and freeze, or bake 8-10 loaves of bread. The mixer's been amazing for me.


              • #8
                Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                I only knead the dough for 4 folds. Where do they get a 1000?!


                • #9
                  Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                  My guess is the French lady that did baguettes for Julia Child. She used 1000 strokes as I recall but not 1000 folds. It was all done relatively quickly also without a loong autolyze.


                  • #10
                    Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                    This is kind of off topic and may seem like a simple question, but how do you "fold" your dough? I have been cooking in my oven for about 18 mos and I've never folded the dough. I just recently started using Caputo 00 and want to ensure I get the dough as perfect as possible. I have been having trouble forming the crust (dough springs back to a small size) and was wondering if I am not prepping my dough properly (i.e. not folding).
                    My WFO project: http://picasaweb.google.com/stevprin/WFOSmallPhotos#


                    • #11
                      Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                      About halfway down the page at "http://www.thefreshloaf.com/keyword/video" you'll see a video "Making Bread: from scaling to baking". Even if you go no further the stretching that you see is what we're talking about when we refer to stretching and folding the dough. You would pull the dough out from the center of the dough ball and fold it back onto the dough and do this from all 4 points of the compass. After this is done cover and wait 10 minutes and do it again, wait 10 more minutes and again and then 10 more minutes and once more. At this point I cover the dough and put it away in the fridge over night and up to a few days before dividing into balls for use. This method is also what the two sisters in the FB video Section "http://www.sbs.com.au/food/foodart/210/Wood-Fired_Bread:_Italian_Style" Although the dough you see in this is much wetter and these ladies are doing all of this in the mixing "Vat". Cool Video! As for the dough springing back the gluten needs to relax and a bit of time will help here as will higher hydration. If you're using the 500G of flour to 350G of water along with salt and yeast and still having the problem, cooler temps can make things a bit more resistant to stretching so maybe pull the dough out of the cooler a few minutes earlier to come to temp. The difficulty that I was having was that I didn't have a feel for the higher hydration so things got too thin or not thin enough.

                      I'm still discovering.



                      • #12
                        Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                        Thanks for the reply. I have been using the same recipe, "perfect dough", from the beginning. It has worked well to date with regular and bread flours, but I am now trying the Caputo 00 flour. I have a large b-day party in a couple of weeks and this will be the most pizzas I've made. I want to get everything down pat before then.
                        My WFO project: http://picasaweb.google.com/stevprin/WFOSmallPhotos#


                        • #13
                          Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                          Folding is a method of degassing without losing crumb structure...and probably not related to your issue of "spring back" which is too much elasticity and not enough extensibility in the dough. I expect the issue for you is related to either too low a hydration %, or a need for a longer, retarded fermentation....

                          As for folding, I follow the folding techniques in Jeffrey Hamelman's book, "Bread, A Bakers Book of Techniques and Recipes" (page 15, Step Four: Folding)


                          • #14
                            Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                            Thanks ecopark. I have been using 65% hydration but only used 60% on a new batch that I just made. The 65% seemed too wet so I will work back up from 60% until I get better at handling the dough. In looking back at my spring back, I don't think I waited long enough after removing it from the fridge before trying to form the crust. I remember it being cold when I tried to form it. I just folded the dough twice and will do it a couple of more times before placing it into the fridge. I typically form the individual balls before placing them into the fridge but may wait to make them after I take them out. What I had been doing in the past had been working, but I want to be as precise as possible to get the best results.
                            My WFO project: http://picasaweb.google.com/stevprin/WFOSmallPhotos#


                            • #15
                              Re: Electrolux Stand Mixer vs. Kneading by Hand?

                              65% seems fine for a hand mix (I usually shoot for 68% but end up at around 64% fter incorporating bench flour needed to keep the dough from sticking].

                              Forming the balls (known as a shape, or pre-shape) before doing the retarded fermentation in the fridge is definitely the right way to go -- you should take the dough out about 90 minutes before you want to bake.

                              You want the dough to be tender, so you don't need to over work it. 2 folds is plenty IMO.