The first time I saw a picture of a dough whisk I thought they had to be kidding. Who would want one, and then what would you ever do with it if you were foolish enough to spend money on one?
Then I started using a big spoon to mix the flour and liquid ingredients together before kneading them with the bread hook. It didn’t take me long to realize that a big spoon was not the way to mix the wet and dry bread ingredients enough so they could be kneaded. The spoon collected a big glob of dough on it, with dry flour in the middle, and it was hard work. I began to wonder if a dough whisk might not be such a crazy idea.
So I bought one. It was under $10 on Amazon.com, the one I bought is no longer available, but this one is virtually the same thing. Mixing bread dough to get it ready to knead is still hard work with a bread whisk, but it’s a lot easier than with a spoon.
This picture shows my brand new never used bread whisk in front of the beginnings of 2700 grams of white bread dough to make three 900 gram loaves. My old stand mixer can handle about 1800 grams of dough, so this batch will be kneaded by hand.
This post is on White bread Variation 3 from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice again, scaled up some from the earlier post White Bread Variation 3. This time using skim milk rather than whole milk yogurt.
White Bread Recipe
- Bread Flour 855 grams
- Instant Yeast 17 grams
- Skim Milk 912 grams
- All of the Sponge
- Bread Flour 570 grams
- Salt 28 grams
- Sugar 114 grams
- Egg Yolk, slightly beaten 50 grams
- Olive Oil 152 grams
This recipe makes enough dough for three 9 by 5 bread pans, each a bit under 2 pounds. The skim milk was heated to 94 F in the microwave before mixing the sponge and the egg yolk for the dough was at room temperature.
The first picture shows the dough whisk and the ingredients for the sponge, these two show the sponge. On the left is the sponge as mixed, using the dough hook. After mixing this sponge I was sold on the dough hook. It mixed the yeast into the flour more readily than a spoon and when I added the liquid there was no comparison. The dough whisk is miles better than a spoon. It’s still work, but it goes so much better than a spoon.
The right picture shows the sponge after about 90 minutes. Not quite doubled, but the 4 quart bowl was a lot fuller than it had been.
After the sponge had fermented the dough whisk came into play again mixing the dough. I used the whisk and mixed the flour, salt, and sugar into the sponge. The dough whisk made the job a lot easier than if I had tried to do it with a big wooden spoon. I kneaded it some, to get it really mixed, then added the oil and egg yolk into the dough. That was a mistake, it took a long time to knead in all the liquid, but I can use the exercise so it could have been worse. Next time I plan on using the dough whisk to add the liquids to the sponge, then use it to get the dry ingredients hydrated enough to begin kneading. Live and learn.
The left photo above is the dough at the start of the bulk ferment. The right photo shows it 50 minutes later doubled in volume. It also shows why I looked into larger mixing bowls and ended up buying two 8 quart stainless bowls.
The dough was smooth and soft after the bulk ferment and I was able to divide up into 884, 885, and 886 gram pieces to form into loafs to proof. They are shown above in their pans.
The left picture shows the proofed loaves, ready to go into the oven. On the right are the baked loaves after 35 minutes in the preheated 350 F oven. Some oven spring, but not that much.
The baked loaves looked good and sliced nicely. They also were good eating.
The loaves weighed 830, 821, and 827 grams after cooling. Total weight prior to baking was 2655 grams. After baking and cooling the total weight was 2478 grams. This is a loss of 177 grams, or about 6.7%.
The post started out with the question: A Dough Whisk? It’s time for the answer: