Author Topic: Detailed mixing procedure after 4 years of working with the Electrolux DLX  (Read 7104 times)

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Offline scott r

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For years I have been under the impression that to make a really great dough in the DLX you need to finish the mix by hand.  I know this sounds strange, but getting my Santos fork mixer and working with it for a while allowed me to go back to my DLX and perfect my mixing methods on that machine.  I have learned that it is very easy to under mix in the DLX.  It is such a gentle mixer, especially when compared to the Santos which is even more aggressive than commercial mixers.  After more than three years of experimenting I finally have what has become a foolproof method for making pizzeria quality dough in the DLX, so I would like to share it with the forum.  My typical batch size is based on 1L or 1000g of water.  It is important to realize that smaller batches could take slightly less mixing time, and larger batches could take slightly more mixing time to achieve the same desired end result.  Still, my guidelines below should cover anywhere from a 750g (water) batch up to a 1250g (water) batch.  This methodology is meant to be used with the roller and scraper, not the dough hook attachment.

1) Add 75% of the recipe flour, and everything else in your recipe except for yeast.  Stir with a spoon to incorporate, or do a 1-2 minute mix in the DLX stopping when the flour has been mostly absorbed. Let this slurry sit for 25 min or even a few hours if you wish.  I have even made some doughs lately skipping this step and have achieved excellent results.

2) After this autolyse stage start the machine again on low and add your yeast.  Next, sprinkle flour in the mixer adding larger amounts at first, then moving to a slower dusting as the dough starts to thicken.  You want to add right up to the point just before a dough ball is about to form around the roller. You want to make sure as much flour is added as possible while still achieving a nice fluid mix flowing in the DLX.  This can take anywhere between 3-6 minutes.  Don't worry about gluten development yet because a DLX doesn't develop gluten very fast when set to low speed with a dough this wet.

3) When you are close to seeing a ball form around the roller (end of stage 2) set the timer on the DLX for anywhere between 10-14 minutes (its maximum setting). I tend to go longer with lower protein flours and shorter for high gluten flours.  The machine is still on slow speed.  I like to come back about 1/2 way through this phase of the mix and slowly add some more flour from time to time.  After a few minutes of mixing the dough has more fully absorbed the flour and is ready for a little more.   You have to learn how to gauge when it is about to get too dry in there and this only comes with some trial and error.  The key is to keep it on the edge of being as dry as possible without adding so much flour that the mixing action slows.

4) After the 10-14 minute mix I like to stop the machine and feel the dough.  It is very difficult to teach someone how to identify this dough point without being in the same room.  There is a certain elastic quality I am looking for, but not too elastic.  There is a certain way the dough resists taring.  Anyhow, I more often than not still have an under mixed dough even after 20 minutes with the machine running during stages 2 and 3.  If that is the case I turn the speed up all the way and give the dough another minute or two in the mixer.  This really smoothes it out and can bring it to a nice elasticity level. 

5) At this point I almost always have some recipe flour left to incorporate.   Sometimes it's not much, and sometimes its a decent amount (depending on what recipe I am making and what type of flour I am using).  I have found that the best way to incorporate the remaining flour is to pull the scraper into the center of the mixer for a second with the machine running on slow, and literally use it to cut the dough in two (or more) pieces. This exposes the inside of the dough mass to the flour that normally just spins around the outside of the ball.  If the dough is still on the wet side it sort of fans out more than cutting into pieces.   I pour a decent amount of flour in at this point.  There is no need to sprinkle in tiny amounts like earlier in stage 3 when you need to avoid letting a dough ball form around the roller.  Sometimes I reach in with a spoon or a finger and push the dough ball back down the roller as it tends to climb up.   The idea at this stage is to get the remaining flour in there as fast as possible without over working the dough (which is on the edge of being perfectly mixed).  It is during this stage where I am incorporating the last bits of flour that I often do a few rests.  If you have reached stage 5 and have very little flour left from the recipe there may be no need to do rest periods, but if you are going for a dryer dough and have a lot of flour left you may need to do this in a few stages.  I like to add a good amount, cut it into the dough, then rest 5 min before adding more. 

I have made it to the point where I no longer measure flour amounts, and go by feel instead.  There are definitely days when I need more or less flour to achieve the same desired end result.  If you have experience knowing what a fully mixed dough at your desired hydration should feel like, feel free to try my mixing method without measuring any flour at all.

This is a very time consuming and labor intensive mixing process, but the final product I have been able to achieve is of the same quality that I can achieve with my Santos fork mixer which costs more than double the price of the DLX.  It is also just as good as what I have achieved with commercial spiral and planetary mixers in professional pizzerias. 

I have found that both the DLX and the santos are only really good for making a dough above about 60% hydration.  If I have a dough recipe for less than 60% hydration I use my Cuisinart.  It is amazing for low hydration doughs.  Good luck!

« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 01:01:06 AM by scott r »


Offline mary_wi7

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Scott,
I have read several of your posts on this, and maybe other sites, and I really want to thank you for sharing so much of your experience! This posting about using your experience with the Santos mixer to help your learning the best use of the Electrolux is SO helpful, as I am in the last stages of choosing between the two to purchase. Its such a help to have these instructions - THANK YOU!
Its very good to hear of your results and I would like to ask you a few questions.
I am really only interested in bread dough, usually whole wheat, or rye with white flour mixed in, sometimes other types, and I'm wondering whether you would expect results similar to that possible with the Santos mixer if you used your method for bread dough? Would you modify anything when mixing bread dough instead of pizza dough? I don't know how much experience or interest you have with bread dough so if you don't have any ideas offhand that's fine.
I would love to hear any comments you might have as to the advantages of the results possible with the Santos mixer vs. the Electrolux, especially if one is able to use the method you have shared. I'm not anxious to spend more dough than I knead  :D but on the other hand I don't want to have regrets and end up buying both eventually if I buy the Electrolux now.  (Money is a factor but not the only one, I really appreciate having the best tools possible.) Having  used both, I would greatly appreciate any thoughts you may have about the decision (focusing mainly on the quality of the dough and bread).
I have to say I am amazed at the sharing that goes on at this site, both in terms of the pervading generous spirit in wanting to share with others, and in the dedication and passion in pursuit of excellence. I have been surprised to see what a high science is involved in the art of making pizza, and even though I don't myself have such a passion for pizza making, it is a joy to read posts just to appreciate the lengths you all reach for, in order to doing something as well as it can be done. Very admirable and a pleasure to watch!
It may awaken more of a serious interest in me vis a vis bread as I have not gotten into the science of breadmaking, I have just enjoyed my natural inclination and appreciation for the baking of real bread. I don't think I've ever had pizza except in chain restaurants, so maybe I'll try a good pizza parlor, though I am in Milwaukee and don't think we're known for pizza. We do visit our son in Chicago so maybe we'll try to find something there. I do have one question out of curiosity - it seems that site members take so much care in getting the texture of the crust right, and all the physical characteristics of holes, charring, bending or not bending etc. of the crust - do all these things affect the flavor? Sorry if this is a crude comment, maybe not having ever tasted a pizza not from a chain I show a lack of being able to appreciate good pizza. I hope the question will not sound crass.
Thank you for any advice you may be able to share. I REALLY appreciate reading your posts as I have learned so much while trying to find out about the Electrolux, and the Santos, and the art of baking in general!

Mary
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 12:32:10 AM by mary_wi7 »

Offline scott r

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Mary, thank you so much for your kind words.  I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your post, but I wanted to make sure I was really giving you the best advice I could.  I spent the last week working with the DLX so that I could really pick a favorite mixer for you.  I know that this is a pizza forum, but I wanted you to know that I am also an avid bread baker.  I have found that the electrolux does just as good of a job as the santos at making both pizza dough and bread dough.  The big difference between the two is the speed at which they achieve the same results.  It typically takes me about 30 minutes to properly mix a batch of dough in the DLX,  where the santos can do the same job in about 5.  Maybe I am crazy, but I also feel like I can achieve the same results in about 30 minutes of hand mixing/resting.  I have been trying to pick a favorite for the finished dough texture, but I can not.  Honestly, if I could do it all over again I would probably not buy the DLX or the Santos.  I would just mix by hand and save my money.  Good luck mary, and please feel free to come back here and ask any more specific questions.

Offline mary_wi7

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Scott,
I had a hearty chuckle inside over your response - that after so much experience with both mixers and now last week working more to compare results with the two you find that good old hand kneading can accomplish the same results! That is very nice to hear, a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Thank you so much for spending time this week working on this question with the electrolux - it is very kind of you to put in the time to come up with the best answer for the question of how the results compare between the two mixers. Especially when you have been, as you said by e-mail, crazy at work lately.
There are 2 questions I'd like to ask. When you make bread dough in the electrolux, in order to get results comparable to what the Santos provides, do you use the same method you outlined in your email above for pizza dough? When you knead all by hand, could you either describe the steps in detail such as you do in your original post (length and timing of resting period(s) and timing and technique of adding more flour), or if these things are matters of general breadmaking knowledge is there a good book you know of that covers the same technique you use? I normally knead for about 10 minutes but I'm wondering too if you knead alot longer since you said with the electrolux you run the machine about 20 minutes.                                                                                              Thanks so much for your careful consideration of my question of which mixer to purchase - I am VERY fortunate to have the benefit of your own long experience and experimentation using both, and very much appreciate your willingness to share that.
THANK YOU!
Mary
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 04:59:42 AM by mary_wi7 »

Offline scott r

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good questions!   My method for the santos is similar but moves along a lot faster (obviously).   Basically the trick with the Santos is to help it to not over knead.  It really wants to, and I find that they type of flour I am using makes a huge difference in how fast I have to move.  Lower gluten flours like all purpose or a Caputo pizzeria flour seem to work best with this mixer, and can handle the extra strong force that it exerts. For me it is a bit of a race to get the flour in there fast enough while still continuously adding flour, rather than just dumping a lot of the the recipes flour in there at once.  Bill SFNM has some great santos mixing footage that you should be able to find on youtube or here on the forum, and his methods are basically the same as what I do.  I credit a fellow forum member Marco for bringing this style of mixing to our attention here at the forum.  It is what is done in Naples Italy at some of the best pizzerias.  You start with water first, then add 75% of the flour very quickly.  At this point I do an autolyse (but apparently the Italians do not) which is a 20 minute + rest period, then you gradually add the flour until the dough is done and it's time to stop the mixer.   After a 20 minute rest you do one more quick round of the mixer.

I should note that right now I have someone modifying my santos with a new motor that will let it mix at much slower speeds than it can in it's stock form.   I don't know if this would be of interest to you, as it adds another few hundred to the cost of the unit and it ends up looking like the elephant man.  I will report back when I have been able to put it through it's paces.  In the mean time you should practice up on your hand mixing.  There are 2 methods that I use and they are very different. 

For method 1 I basically do an initial mix that is simply getting all of the recipe flour into the dough ball. Once I have it at this point I do a series of folds similar to an envelope every 45 minutes for the next 6 hours or so.  The amount of folds is again directly related to the gluten strength of my flour.  Higher gluten flours require less folds and lower gluten flours require more folds.   At some point the dough starts to feel more elastic, gets whiter and softer  and I stop. 

My other hand kneading method is very laborious and is clearly outlined here:
http://www.woodstone-corp.com/cooking_naples_style.htm

Mary, my gut feeling is that your 10 minutes of hand kneading may not be long enough, especially if you are using an all purpose flour.  All I can say is try a 15-20-30 minute knead with a few 5 minute rests and see if you like the results better.  It is too hard for me to judge if 10 minutes are enough for you without seeing/feeling your finished dough.  Good luck, and feel free to keep asking questions.

Offline mary_wi7

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Scott, Thank you for your reply - lots of interesting information packed in it; and I was intrigued to read the intricacies of making pizza Naples style! Thanks for all the info about your methods of hand kneading, and suggesting that I try kneading longer.
I think maybe my first question wasn't stated very clearly and you may have not understood what I was trying to ask, but I'm glad that happened because it was very helpful to hear your comments about using the Santos mixer.
I admire your dedication to ever improving by even finding a way to modify your mixer! I am very interested to hear what you think of the results when it runs at a slower speed. I'm still debating  whether to buy a mixer at all or just knead by hand, and if I decide on a mixer, whether to get an Electrolux or Santos. I heard there might be an upcoming price increase on Santos as they often do that early in the year so I hope to decide within about 6 weeks. I'll go back and look at the videos on this website as well as reading more old posts to learn more about the art of baking from the wealth of information shared here.
If I could reword my question hopefully it'll be clearer: I'm very interested in how you may modify your mixing/kneading methods when you are making bread rather than pizza. Whether by hand or either mixer, are you trying to achieve something different with the bread dough and so modify your method accordingly? I am very interested in breadmaking and any tips along those lines would be appreciated! I have the feeling I am a neophyte asking questions of someone with a wealth of experience that maybe I should first learn more basics by books instead of bothering you with these simple types of questions. If that's the case could you direct me to any good books or resources to learn fundamentals?
Thank you!
Mary

Offline scott r

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Mary, these questions are not too simple.  I have read 10 or so popular bread making books, and honestly I have found more useful information on line than I have in the books.  I would save your money and do a bunch of google searching using key words such as "gluten development"  (make sure it's in parenthesis like I did it here), "kneading time", windowpane gluten test, etc.  As far as how I mix differently for bread, it really depends on the type of bread being made.  In GENERAL I tend to mix longer when I am making bread, and use a wetter dough, but it really all depends on what oven I am using, what temp it is set at, and what type of bread I am making.

Since you are considering the Electrolux, you may find some very useful information on this user group.  It is a bunch of bread bakers who have the DLX or Bosch mixers who discuss everything from their favorite recipes to the best place to buy a mixer.  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mixer-Owners/summary



Offline mary_wi7

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Scott,
Thank you for your comments about bread dough and specific advice concerning googling on the internet - its interesting & helpful to hear that you've found that more helpful than books.  I did read some of the old posts on the website you mentioned - in fact that is where I learned of this group as someone there highly recommended this website! I have found it to be a very valuable forum and am still working through the long archives of postings there, as well as here too.
I wanted to ask if you like rye bread. A few months ago I had rye bread from a bakery that finally was rye bread with real rye flavor which I haven't found in any store-bought or local bakeries' rye breads. The owner of the bakery was very kind and shared the recipe he uses, and because it requires a small amount of a mix that he buys in 50# bags, he graciously offered to sell 10# of it to me. I would like to send you some to try, if you like rye, along with the recipe he uses. I think what he gave me is a dry sour, and you use 1/3 cup of it per loaf of bread. Let me know if you'd like to try it.
Thank you so much for all your help!  Your thoughtful postings along with other's have been such a big help to me.
Mary 

Offline scott r

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Mary, you are so incredibly gracious and kind!  Thank you so much for your offer to send me some of the dried sourdough mix.  You have just brought up something that perfectly illustrates my point about the internet being a better source of information than bread books.....Rye bread. 

http://samartha.net/SD/index.html

The above is the most comprehensive "recipe" for rye bread and sourdough preparation that I have been able to find.   It goes way beyond any typical bread recipe, and is very scientific.   I think that if you really want truly amazing rye bread you should read this.  It will certainly have a very different flavor than a powered sourdough culture will give you, and you may not like it as much, but it is definitely the more authentic path to great rye bread.   

Notice the mixer this guy is using

Offline scott r

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I found a good list of books for you to look into.

https://www.aibonline.org/resources/booklistings/libraryhearthbread.html
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 12:46:10 AM by scott r »


Offline scott r

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I hope you guys don't mind my double posting, but Mary, I have some more relevant info here that I just put in another thread as well.

Its tough to say exactly which is better.  One thing is for sure, if you are doing really wet doughs like pizza in teglia or really wet focaccias the DLX is better.  As far as typical pizza dough goes the Santos is MUCH faster, and may have the slight edge for gluten development.  I end up mixing with the Santos for about 5 min for higher gluten/bread flours and 7 minutes with caputo/lower protein flours.  In the DLX I end up mixing 12-17 minutes, sometimes more.  You can go faster in the DLX if you want to, but in my opinion the product suffers a bit.  I really think mixing in the 15 minute range or longer allows for the best absorption scenario.  When using the Santos this can be (sort of) made up for with rest periods, but I am not sure that is the best way to do things.  In the end they both make pretty similar and amazing end products.  Unfortunately they both force you to make a fairly wet dough, which is in most cases a good thing anyhow. About 60% is the the comfortable minimum for both mixers.  Some flours are hard to get below 63% with either mixer.  Maybe I am crazy, but as I said in the other thread, I now can make a dough that seems to be pretty much the same by hand as well.  It does end up being a serious workout, and quite time comsuming for anything but a really small batch, though.  The advantage of the hand mixing is that it is FREE and it allows me to go as low as I want on hydration.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 12:01:47 PM by scott r »

Offline mary_wi7

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Scott,
Thanks for the interesting links for rye bread making and the list of recommended books! I'll look for some of these books. The rye methods are very different than anything I associated with rye bread but its very interesting, and I also enjoy reading the history of things. (It was neat to read that he uses the Electrolux!) I'm kind of hesitant to try it myself because a few years ago I tried something kind of similar - making my own starter over a period of days, for whole wheat bread though. I think that bread was called Desem, and that I maybe followed steps from a chapter in the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book tho I may have used another source. It didn't turn out very well, I didn't like the flavor of the bread at least. But I enjoy alot reading people's alternate ways of doing things and will keep the rye link in mind for possible future use. I kind of remember reading that the Desem bread was famously made in a bakery somewhere in the Boston area, and I think I read in one of the old posts that you live in Boston. The bakery is no longer there as I learned when I tried looking it up when I made the bread, but I'm wondering if you ever came across such a bread in Boston and if so what you thought of it. I don't know how long ago the bakery was producing it, or what part of Boston it was in.
This next question is way off the pizza topic but kind of related to historical methods of breadmaking. Many years ago there was a street vendor who sold hot thick pretzels in a stick shape (in my German hometown of Cincinnati) that had a wonderful flavor, very unlike the pretzels sold in malls and the couple I tasted when in Philadelphia, which I think is famous for pretzels. I had read in a book some of the history of pretzel making I think in Germany, but have never found any recipe or description of their methods. Maybe it is a well guarded secret, but I was wondering whether in your past reading or web searching you ever came across any guide for making pretzels "the old world way", though I really don't know if the pretzels I had as a child were made by such methods. I think I read that they used to dip them in boiling lye or ammonia or some other such caustic agent before baking and now all the recipes just dip them in boiling water with I think a little baking soda in it. I don't think that would account for the great flavor but I'm not sure what effect that would have. I'm not sure what effect lye might have on one's health tho! I've tried a few soft pretzel recipes but they were more like what you find in the malls.
I look forward to reading later on about your experience using your Santos mixer after the new, slower motor is rigged up. Keep us posted! Thanks so much for all your help.
Mary


Offline David

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I think I read that they used to dip them in boiling lye or ammonia or some other such caustic agent before baking and now all the recipes just dip them in boiling water with I think a little baking soda in it. I don't think that would account for the great flavor but I'm not sure what effect that would have. I'm not sure what effect lye might have on one's health tho! I've tried a few soft pretzel recipes but they were more like what you find in the malls.



I've read that for bagel making the Baking soda supposedly intensifies the water temp. and adding some malt to the water you boil the bagels in helps  gives the bagels  the shine ?

If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline scott r

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Mary, Yes, I live in boston, and have read in a few different bread books that have talked about the famous New England Desem bread.  Sadly, I have not had a chance to try it.  I know that there is a great sounding recipe in the Bread Builders book that I have been meaning to try.  Unfortunately I have a HUGE list of baking that I want to get to right now, so it is going to be a while.

As far as the pretzels go, I feel your pain.  I actually grew up in Pittsburgh, about 4 hours by car from Cincinnati.  I too miss many of the Germanic specialties I remember from my youth including real soft pretzels. I have good news for you.  The pretzels I grew up with, and what you are probably craving, are SOURDOUGH pretzels.  I am sure that the ones I had were made with a real sourdough culture and not just some flavoring mix or vinegar like what is so popular in typical grocery store "sourdough" bread/pretzels today.  The sourdough culture would certainly impart a very different texture and flavor than anything found in a typical mall pretzel.  I want to point out that how you feed and maintain your culture can effect the amount of sourness, and like pizza, I think my favorite pretzels were on the mild side.  Realize that up until roughly a hundred years ago German pretzel makers wouldn't have even had the option of using commercial yeast to raise their product.  If what you had was an old family recipe passed down through generations, you were most definitely eating pretzels made with a culture and not with commercial yeast like everybody uses today.  It is very easy to grow your own, or you can buy some nice starter cultures from sourdough.com.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 05:32:46 AM by scott r »

Offline mary_wi7

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Scott,
What a wonderful surprise to hear your idea that the "old world" soft pretzels were probably made with a sourdough culture! When I started reading your post I first thought, "no, because they didn't have a sour taste", but then reading on I learned something new to me - that there is a range of the degree of sourness and that includes a mild amount of sourness. This got me wondering what really good pizza dough might taste like, if it is sometimes akin to those great pretzels! Thanks for sharing your insight! Its interesting to read that you also were raised in a place with good German bakers. My Donauschwaben (German) grandmother grew up in Europe with her family running a bakery then they came over here and had a bakery here. My favorite food was her pumpkin strudel with dough stretched paper thin by hand on a table, that I'm told brought even my saintly grandmother to verbal fits. I will definitely do some reading to learn about how these pretzels might be made. I am waiting for some of the books on the list you suggested to come by interlibrary loan, and I expect they will have some information about this too. Thanks also for the website where starter cultures are available, and that site might also have some good reading. You are certainly a treasurehouse of great information! Danke!
Mary

Offline Matthew

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For years I have been under the impression that to make a really great dough in the DLX you need to finish the mix by hand.  I know this sounds strange, but getting my Santos fork mixer and working with it for a while allowed me to go back to my DLX and perfect my mixing methods on that machine.  I have learned that it is very easy to under mix in the DLX.  It is such a gentle mixer, especially when compared to the Santos which is even more aggressive than commercial mixers.  After more than three years of experimenting I finally have what has become a foolproof method for making pizzeria quality dough in the DLX, so I would like to share it with the forum.  My typical batch size is based on 1L or 1000g of water.  It is important to realize that smaller batches could take slightly less mixing time, and larger batches could take slightly more mixing time to achieve the same desired end result.  Still, my guidelines below should cover anywhere from a 750g (water) batch up to a 1250g (water) batch.  This methodology is meant to be used with the roller and scraper, not the dough hook attachment.

1) Add 75% of the recipe flour, and everything else in your recipe except for yeast.  Stir with a spoon to incorporate, or do a 1-2 minute mix in the DLX stopping when the flour has been mostly absorbed. Let this slurry sit for 25 min or even a few hours if you wish.  I have even made some doughs lately skipping this step and have achieved excellent results.

2) After this autolyse stage start the machine again on low and add your yeast.  Next, sprinkle flour in the mixer adding larger amounts at first, then moving to a slower dusting as the dough starts to thicken.  You want to add right up to the point just before a dough ball is about to form around the roller. You want to make sure as much flour is added as possible while still achieving a nice fluid mix flowing in the DLX.  This can take anywhere between 3-6 minutes.  Don't worry about gluten development yet because a DLX doesn't develop gluten very fast when set to low speed with a dough this wet.

3) When you are close to seeing a ball form around the roller (end of stage 2) set the timer on the DLX for anywhere between 10-14 minutes (its maximum setting). I tend to go longer with lower protein flours and shorter for high gluten flours.  The machine is still on slow speed.  I like to come back about 1/2 way through this phase of the mix and slowly add some more flour from time to time.  After a few minutes of mixing the dough has more fully absorbed the flour and is ready for a little more.   You have to learn how to gauge when it is about to get too dry in there and this only comes with some trial and error.  The key is to keep it on the edge of being as dry as possible without adding so much flour that the mixing action slows.

4) After the 10-14 minute mix I like to stop the machine and feel the dough.  It is very difficult to teach someone how to identify this dough point without being in the same room.  There is a certain elastic quality I am looking for, but not too elastic.  There is a certain way the dough resists taring.  Anyhow, I more often than not still have an under mixed dough even after 20 minutes with the machine running during stages 2 and 3.  If that is the case I turn the speed up all the way and give the dough another minute or two in the mixer.  This really smoothes it out and can bring it to a nice elasticity level. 

5) At this point I almost always have some recipe flour left to incorporate.   Sometimes it's not much, and sometimes its a decent amount (depending on what recipe I am making and what type of flour I am using).  I have found that the best way to incorporate the remaining flour is to pull the scraper into the center of the mixer for a second with the machine running on slow, and literally use it to cut the dough in two (or more) pieces. This exposes the inside of the dough mass to the flour that normally just spins around the outside of the ball.  If the dough is still on the wet side it sort of fans out more than cutting into pieces.   I pour a decent amount of flour in at this point.  There is no need to sprinkle in tiny amounts like earlier in stage 3 when you need to avoid letting a dough ball form around the roller.  Sometimes I reach in with a spoon or a finger and push the dough ball back down the roller as it tends to climb up.   The idea at this stage is to get the remaining flour in there as fast as possible without over working the dough (which is on the edge of being perfectly mixed).  It is during this stage where I am incorporating the last bits of flour that I often do a few rests.  If you have reached stage 5 and have very little flour left from the recipe there may be no need to do rest periods, but if you are going for a dryer dough and have a lot of flour left you may need to do this in a few stages.  I like to add a good amount, cut it into the dough, then rest 5 min before adding more. 

I have made it to the point where I no longer measure flour amounts, and go by feel instead.  There are definitely days when I need more or less flour to achieve the same desired end result.  If you have experience knowing what a fully mixed dough at your desired hydration should feel like, feel free to try my mixing method without measuring any flour at all.

This is a very time consuming and labor intensive mixing process, but the final product I have been able to achieve is of the same quality that I can achieve with my Santos fork mixer which costs more than double the price of the DLX.  It is also just as good as what I have achieved with commercial spiral and planetary mixers in professional pizzerias. 

I have found that both the DLX and the santos are only really good for making a dough above about 60% hydration.  If I have a dough recipe for less than 60% hydration I use my Cuisinart.  It is amazing for low hydration doughs.  Good luck!



Hi Scott,
Thanks for this post, it's really useful.  Just getting acquainted with my DLX & was looking at your process.  During stages 2 & 3 do you keep it turned down all the way on the lowest setting?

Thanks,
Matt
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 07:26:37 AM by Matthew »

Offline scott r

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yes, matt.   Lately I have experimented with using the faster speeds in stage 3 and using slightly shorter mixing times.  It has been working very well, so you may want to try it. 

Offline Matthew

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yes, matt.   Lately I have experimented with using the faster speeds in stage 3 and using slightly shorter mixing times.  It has been working very well, so you may want to try it. 

Thanks Scott will do.

Matt


 

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