If the thought of hand kneading dough has put you of making bread, have you considered kneading dough in a mixer.
A stand mixer does all the hard work for you and is not as messy as kneading by hand. However, there are a few things that you should consider when kneading dough in a mixer:
6 Tips for Kneading Dough In a Stand Mixer
1. Can Your Machine Handle Bread Dough?
Check the mixers instruction manual to be certain that dough can be mixed in the machine, as not every machine can do this. Also, ensure that the motor on the machine has enough power to handle the dough. If it can’t you run the risk of burning out your machine.
I have two stand mixers my first one is 375 watts and I find that is struggles with heavy dough’s as the motor is just not powerful enough for these types of dough’s.
Our second machine has a much bigger a motor of 1200 watts and can handle bread dough with up to 1 kg of flour with ease.
2. Use the Dough Hook
This single bent, spiral or curved attachment is supplied with most stand mixers. The dough hook has been designed specifically for dough, and works the dough something like hand kneading.
3. Don’t Walk Away from Your Machine
If you are using your stand mixer for the first time to make bread dough, I recommend keeping an eye on it as it kneads. Some machines especially if they are light in weight or don’t have suction cap feet can “walk” when kneading.
If this happens, you can do one of two things, hold onto the machine while it works or move the machine to the back of the bench every time it gets closer to the front.
This may not happen to every batch of dough you make, as some doughs can be soft and won’t cause the machine to travel as much. Then there are doughs that are a thicker and heavier making the machine work harder and cause it to move along the kitchen bench.
4. Kneading Dough In A Mixer Is Quicker Than You Think
How long does it take to knead dough in mixer?
As a general rule, the dough can be kneaded for up to 10 minutes, or may require a little longer or less time depending on capabilities of the machine and the speed setting you are using. Ultimately, you should be checking the progress of the dough structure during kneading, it will “tell you” when to stop.
5. When to Stop Kneading
How do you know when to stop kneading dough?
At the start of the kneading the dough will look lumpy and wet and will stick to the sides of the bowl. As the kneading progresses the dough will pull together and become smoother in texture, and will not stick as much to the sides of the bowl, at this stage you can do a simple test that will show you if the dough is ready, it’s called the windowpane test, to do this:
Break of a golf ball size piece of dough, and gently pull and stretch the dough until it becomes very thin, if it breaks or tears when stretching it needs more kneading.
If the dough has been sufficiently kneaded, it’s soft and pliable and can be stretched out to a very thin transparent membrane that will not tear or break and will allow light to pass through.
If you have done the window pane test and the dough does require more kneading, try kneading for up to 1 minute more, then do the window pane test, keep repeating this until you get the desired results. Once the dough has passed the windowpane test stop kneading. If you don’t stop and continue to knead you could end up over kneading the dough.
6. Avoid Over Kneading
What happens if you knead the dough too long?
When using a stand mixer, dough can quite easily over worked. Over kneaded dough is hard to push and flatten and won’t meld to its self when folded, the end result will be a bread with a hard crust and a crumbly interior.
To avoid this always check the progress of the dough and follow the steps above for the windowpane test and you should have the perfect dough every time.
Bread Recipes That Can Be Kneaded In A Mixer
This post for 6 Tips for Kneading Dough in a Mixer first published December 26, 2018. Updated with new images April 9, 2020