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Apr 4, 2007 12:22 PM

Dough hook vs. hand kneading

I just received a KitchenAid mixer and am interested in using the dough hook for kneading bread. Anything I should know? Can I use it to knead it completely or will i have to hand knead, as well?


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  1. I can only speak from my own experience. I've never been able to get the same results from my KA with a dough hook as I can with my hands. The dough never seems to smooth out like when I knead it by hand. Maybe I'm doing something wrong...

    Now my dad makes bread every week and uses the dough hook without any problems. Turns out great loaves of bread, one right after the other. I believe he may hand knead for only a minute or two when done with the mixer, just to make sure the feel of the dough is right.

    5 Replies
    1. re: QueenB

      It may be that you are not kneading long enough. Also, just a hint. Shove that mixer way back on the counter. They sometimes "walk" with a heavy dough and suddenly you have mixer and dough all over the floor.

      1. re: Candy

        I kneaded for almost a half hour with that darn thing. Still never got a smooth ball. The dough kept sticking to the sides of the bowl, no matter how much flour I added.

        1. re: QueenB

          It may just take some practice. I prefer a looser wetter dough than one that is too dry. I think you get a better grain and lift. Sometimes it sticks to my fingers a bit and I flour them, my hnads, while shaping on a floured board. Less is better when it comes to flour.

          1. re: QueenB

            That's one of the benefits to using a dough hook. You have to add too much flour to knead comfortably by hand. In a mixer it can stay sticky, which is good. Then you can just use a dough scraper to scrape it out of the bowl. I do usually scrape it onto a lightly dusted silpat, and just make a smooth ball with it. It just takes a minute and doesn't introduce much flour.

            1. re: Becca Porter

              Hm, and I thought I was doing something wrong, because the recipe I had said the dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Well, now I know. Thanks!

      2. You should be able to use the KA for the whole process, I find I do need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time. The problem a lot of people have is that they do not mix long enough to develop the gluten in the flour. This is what will give your bread good texture and enable it to hold the CO2 developed during fermentation. Mix the dough fairly slowly until it becomes elastic and you can see stretch marks in it. If you take a small piece and stretch it out, it should have a tendancy to spring back. Keep in mind stronger bread flours will take longer to develop.

        1. I've been using my KA dough hook for 5 months now, and I haven't hand-kneaded anything since I got it. Focaccia, white sandwich bread, wholewheat, etc. There was a bit of a learning curve in the beginning...I learned to mix to the point of "blended" with the paddle, then switch to the dough hook for kneading. Rose Beranbaum's Bread Bible cookbook has good, detailed instructions for using a mixer to knead, but once you get the hang of it, you can use any old recipe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            I don't even use the paddle at all any more, just the dough hook. I run the mixer for around 8 minutes, leaving the dough fairly soft, then scrape it out into a bowl to rise. After it has risen and I turn it out on the board, I knead a little by hand, adding a bit more flour (not more than a few tablespoons) if needed before I shape the loaves.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              I did that, too. Used the mixer blade first for about a minute, then after letting it rest for 20 minutes per the recipe, I'll put it under the hook on low for 3-6 minutes. We'll see!

            2. dough hooks rule, & you do need to get the hang of them, but i like to knead at the end anyway. food tastes better when it is touched by hand. if you do more than one loaf from a batch you can knead when you seperate the dough.

              1. I REALLY love the dough hook when kneading sticky rye dough. I use the paddle for maybe 10 seconds at the beginning to get things started, it takes a long time to get things together with the hook. I knead that, and pizza dough, for 18 minutes to develop the gluten.