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Kitchen Aid and bread dough woes!

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Miri1 Oct 25, 2010 11:02 AM

I gtot my first Kitchen Aid stand mixers last year as a birthday gift from my sister who knew I'd wanted one for years. I love it. It's a blue Artisan mixer and is simply gorgeous. But I'm a little put off by its performance in kneading bread dough.

The top of th emixer jumps up and down as it kneads, even when I use the "lock". And the dough rides up the dough hook and if I don't keep an eye onit, it will ride right up into the mixer. I've sortof solved that issue by spraying the odugh hook, even on top, with Pam, but what about the problem with the 'jumping' top of the mixer? Do I just have a lemon or is this something others have experienced?

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    RichardM Oct 25, 2010 09:16 PM

    If the head of the mixer is moving with the lock on then you have a problem with the mixer. Also, check to see if the dough hook or paddle is hitting the bottom of the bowl. There is a screw to adjust. See Owners Manual.

    Do you follow the directions in the Recipe Book that came with your mixer?

    That is, putting in about 3 1/2 cups (of 4 1/2-5) into the liquid and then slowly adding the remaining flour a little at a time. No more than 1/4 c per addition.

    You have to adjust the final amount of flour to give you a dough which is not wet. When you are done, the inside the bowl will be clean and the dough will be clinging to the hook. You should be able to pull the dough off the hook without it sticking to the hook or your fingers. If it's still sticky (wet) you need to incorporate more flour. In time you will get the nack of it. Also the relative humidity can make a small difference.

    It helps to practice with a simple white flour recipe since getting the dough just right is harder with whole wheat or rye flour. Although the bread is healthier. Also, use a good thermometer to make sure the water for the yeast is 110F and preheat the mixing bowl with some 110F water.

    The good news is that even your mistakes are edible. :-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: RichardM
      m
      Miri1 Oct 26, 2010 11:45 AM

      Thanks! Everything has come out delicious.I may very well have a lemon :( Nothing seems to be amiss as far as the dough hook and paddle are concerned. When I make aoft batters, like cake, the mixer behaves perfectly well. It's only withthe tiff ones, like bread dough, that things start to get hairy.

      I'm also noticing that the head of the mixer gets very, very warm. Is that what it's supposed to do? I've always used a hand mixer, and this is totally new (albeit fun!) territory for me!

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      shallots Oct 26, 2010 11:52 AM

      Miri,
      I've had the kitchenaid I wanted for almost a decade and a half now. I'm still learning how to maximize its performance.
      Recently, I've learned a lot about bread dough by using some of Peter Reihardt's cookbooks about how to bake breads. His books TEACH the how and they incorporate using a mixer like a Kitchenaid. They talk about how the dough is supposed to look and how long to mix with which paddle/hook, how long to wait, and then what to do.

      I can't tell you how surprised and pleased I was to work along with Peter and have things come out right.

      I'd suggest borrowing his more recent books from the library and cook along. I think you'll be pleased.

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        serah Oct 26, 2010 01:29 PM

        I don't mean to teach you to suck eggs or anything, but are you overloading the mixer? They usually have a maximum weight of dry ingredients for a given dough - too much and the mixer will struggle.

        1. junescook Oct 26, 2010 01:54 PM

          I had similar problems with mine for a while until I realized that I did not have the bowl locked into the notch in its rear. When you set the bowl onto the spikes you then have to press down hard on the back of the bowl to lock it in place so everything clears properly.

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            mikie Oct 26, 2010 02:37 PM

            Honestly, I think your mixer is doing what mixers do when faced with some bread dough recipes. Even the heavier duty mixers will jump a bit with bread dough.

            It's my understanding that the "C" shaped dough hooks tend to be prone to pull the dough up on to the mixer, there is a different style hook, but I'm not sure there is one available for the Artisan.

            Electric motors get hot, it's normal, the electrical energy is converted into mechanal energy and heat energy. However, it shouldn't get too hot, that's an indication the motor is straining. Again, this is not unusual with bread dough.

            You might try a smaller batch and have better luck.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mikie
              ZenSojourner Oct 26, 2010 09:27 PM

              I think it's the spiral hook. I have the C hook and it does ride up to the stop at the top of the hook, but the dough still gets kneaded, nevertheless.

              It shouldn't jump around. I'm pretty sure the Artisans are all at least as powerful as mine (325W motor) and mine doesn't bat an eyelash at bread dough. Had some dough that required machine kneading for 30 minutes, it barely got warm. I love my KA mixer. I'm afraid it'll up and die one day from sheer age.

            2. pdxgastro Oct 28, 2010 12:09 AM

              Try tightening all the screws too. Mine started to wobble until I tightened mine.

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                SherBel Oct 28, 2010 12:48 PM

                Even with my Pro, I have occasional issues with bread dough climbing the hook. (My hook has a sort of shelf thingy to prevent it, but it can still happen.)

                I now divide large bread recipes thusly:

                I make the dough to the stage where I'm adding final flour. I add enough flour to get a fairly thick batter.....a bit of gluten development going on....but it's still pourable. I pour out approx 1/2 the dough into a waiting bowl, and finish adding flour to the first half. Plop that out into my rising bowl, return the wet half to the mixer, and repeat. The two finished dough balls will happily rejoin during the rise with no problems.

                This is a solution that's both a bit clunky, (an extra dirty bowl), and a bit elegant in that you can make a whopping batch of bread without starting from square one for each batch. Worth a try, might be easier on your machine. Note: I never measure flour, so it's not an issue for me; I'm used to my regular recipe and I know what I'm looking for in the final dough.

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