The KitchenAid 600 works pretty well
We've been putting our 6 quart KitchenAid through a lot recently. It seems to up to the task -- the only complaint I have is that can be pretty loud (as though it is complaining). Still, watching Peter make it work the other day with the Caputo flour was a lot of fun. I keep reading stand mixer reviews, and it sounds like there is a Viking model with a little more capacity and a larger engine, if you want the biggest mixer you can put in a home kitchen. Of course it costs more.
I am going to be posting a summary of everything I learned the other day about dough and proofing, which was a lot. For now, I am happy with my KitchenAid and very happy with the Caputo flour.
i keep meaning to post my dough recipe/ preparation on here, because it has worked wonderfully for me. i also use the kichenaid 600 professional, and if you make a large dough, it certainly "groans" at you. the old ones would groan and then the plastic gears would just strip out.
i have made dough commercially for years, so i have a bit of a leg up, but i just followed the official pizza nepolitana dough recipe laid out here:
...by the italian ministry of agriculture. explaining proper mixing and handling is hard if you've never done it before, and honestly at this point i don't even follow the recipe strictly, but rather add water proportionate to about how many dough balls i know it makes (1/2 L H2O) makes 5-6 doughballs), and then eyeball the flour. however, the explanation in that document is pretty decent.
mix the dough adding the flour slowly for the first 10 minutes or so, for a total of 20 minutes or so, or until it is elastic and sticky, but only barely sticking to the bottom of the mixer. the looser (stickier) you make the dough, the easier it is to stretch out into a good pettola, but is also harder to get your peel under if you make it italian-style, where the pie is made on the counter and then the peel is used just to transfer it to the oven. i pretty much aim for it to be barely sticky, and barely sticking to the bottom of the mixing bowl just at the bottom of the dough ball.
then i leave the entire dough oiled and covered with plastic or a damp cloth for 2-4 hours. then i cut them into 125-200g pieces and ball them up (this part takes some practice...maybe i'll give an explanation later if anyone's interested). oil and cover, and proof until they are workable, which is usually 2 hours or so, depending on how loose the dough was made. you kinda have to work one to see if they're ready, but a good rule of thumb (pun intended) is that a finger pressed into the doughball should leave an indentation. if it springs back up, it's not ready.
(M) Hey Paul,
The link you referenced for pizza dough, at
gets me to:
"The Pompeii Oven: Plans to Build an Italian Brick Oven"
(M) Also, when you wrote:
(P) "but a good rule of thumb (pun intended) is that a finger pressed into the doughball should leave an indentation. if it springs back up, it's not ready."
(M) ....seems counter intuitive. An unrisen dough ball will also leave an indentation, or won't it? ______
(M) Please reassure me as I'm counting on your commercial experience.
don't know why it did that, but i fixed it.
when you form the doughball, you are compacting the dough that has already proofed (fermented and expanded) once, into a tight doughball. at this point, it will be far too tight to leave an indentation in. this effect is the same reason why you don't want to use a rolling pin when preparing the pettola: when you knead or press the dough, you are crushing the little airbubbles in the dough that have caused it to rise, toughening it up (making a tough crust instead of a nice delicate chewy one). when you hand-stretch the dough, you pressing lightly and stretching, resulting in less trauma.
as it rises again and airbubbles form in the dough, it becomes softer, and this softness and accompanying elasticisty is what allows us to stretch it out. once there are enough airbubbles trapped inside the glutenous doughball, your thumb will crush them when you press on it, and the indentation will stay.
Has anyone here any experience with the Bosch Kitchen Machine? It looks interesting and they claim it will handle up to 12 lbs of dough.
LA Times article
Here is the LA Times article. It has comments on the larger mixers.
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