A Dough Whisk?

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.

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White Bread, Green Dye, and the Dough Hook

In previous posts I have dyed bread purple and made a loaf with red streaks. I have been looking into mixers for bread dough and would like to try a spiral hook as they are apparently more efficient than the typical C shaped hook on my old Kitchen Aid stand mixer. The red streaked loaf was an attempt to add color to mixed dough by kneading it. I wanted pink and got red streaks. For the purple loaf I mixed the dye into the liquid ingredients, which worked quite well.

This is my dough hook, a typical “C” (also known as a “J”) type hook. The disk at the top is to stop the dough from climbing up the hook and getting into the moving parts of the mixer. It works the dough against the sides of the bowl. The volume and consistency of the dough have a serious effect on efficiency of the hook. I would like to try a spiral hook, but have yet to find one compatible with my mixer. The spiral hook pushes the dough down rather than to the side and is said to do a better job developing gluten.

How well does the Dough Hook mix dough?

It was obvious to me that the red dye did not mix all that readily with a few minutes of hand kneading. What will happen when a concentrated dye is added after the initial mixing of the wet and dry ingredients? Would it mix the dye in, or would it just bang the dough around the bowl and leave streaks of dyed and undyed bread in the final loaf?

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OatMeal Bread in 3 New Pans

Now that I have three identical pans I can make three loaves that match in one batch. These are oatmeal from the same formula that I have used in earlier oatmeal posts.

The ingredients were enough to almost overflow the mixer, although the bowl is not close to full. The disk on the top of the dough hook got a workout and kept the dough from climbing out of the pan. The left photo shows how the bowl seemed full, and the right photo shows how there is a lot of room left in the pan even though the dough is threatening to overflow.

The ingredients add up to a bit over 2 Kg. (4.4 lbs.) which is the same as for two loaves in the larger 9 by 5 pans: Continue reading