Home Bread-Bakers v096.n036.12

Re: Kitchen Aid questions...one answer

"Gary Phillips x5397" <phillips@dns.colum.edu>
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 10:50:22 -0500 (CDT)
I've been using the large Kitchen Aid for breadmaking for several years.
It works beautifully. To answer a couple of questions in this week's digest:

The dough will not necessarily fall completely free of the bowl when it is
ready to remove. In fact, if it does, it is probably too dry and has too much
flour in it. I use a flexible plastic "dough scraper" to loosen the dough
ball where it clings to the bowl. The dough SHOULD be firm and only slightly
tacky to the touch, and should spring back if you slap or poke it gently.
You may be using a flour that doesn't develop gluten fast enough or that
fluffs up a lot so your volume measurements are off. I find that a good
kitchen scale is very useful. Measure flour by weight, 4 or 4.5 ounces equals
a cup. And if you can, use the best unbleached bread flours. After much
testing and sampling, I prefer King Arthur, even though it takes a special
trip to a different store and costs a little more. If you really want the
dough ball to just plop out of the bowl, then try trickling a little oil
into the bowl right at the end of the kneading. This will oil the outside
of the dough and release it from the bowl if you shut down the motor before
the oil is absorbed. Note, too, that you may not be kneading long enough,
especially if you are following the recipes Kitchen Aid packed with the
mixer. Dough that is very sticky looking can firm and smooth up quite a
bit after four or five minutes of steady working. This is the advantage of
the Kitchen Aid: it can do that job, where by hand you'd have to keep
adding more flour just to keep the dough from sticking to your surface
and would risk ending up with a dry, tough loaf of bread.

I would NOT recommend trying to knead bread to completion in an older
Kitchen Aid without a dough hook. The paddle beater will give too much
resistance once the dough starts to form its gluten strands, and either
you will damage the motor or break the beater. Or, possibly, break the
gluten strands so the bread will "fall". You CAN do the first part of
the preparation, up to perhaps half the flour in the recipe, with the
paddle beater. But finish up the job by hand.

How long to knead? Two minutes isn't enough. Some Kitchen Aid recipes
suggest that, but they are wrong. For most breads, between 5 and 8 minutes
seems to be optimal, depending on the recipe and the kind of flour. The
Kitchen Aid's kneading action is more regular and continuous than what
you do by hand, so it does not require the full length of time you'd take
by hand. Also, I do most or all of the dough hook kneading on the lowest
speed setting rather than on speed "2" as KA recommends. Perhaps "2" is
needed for the smaller motors, but in the heavy duty machines it really
goes too fast. As you develop experience, you will know by the look and
feel of the dough whether it has been kneaded enough, and will not rely
on the clock to tell you.

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