Got a new spiral mixer and I'm lost.

Started by AntonioT, September 15, 2023, 03:28:26 PM

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So I have been using a spiral mixer for a couple of years to make Neapolitan dough. 67% hydration. Poolish starter (15% of total flour/water with 1% idy for the starter)
poolish would sit room temp for 1 hour, then overnight in the fridge, 12-18hrs. Then I would mix the following day. Cold water that's been in the fridge overnight, mix in the poolish, all the flour, turn on machine mix for 6 minutes adding the salt with about 3 mins left. Let it rest for 15min. Then run the machine again for 3 bowl rotations. Another rest for 15 mins. Then onto the counter and do 3 stretch and folds 3 times with 15 minutes between each set. Portion, ball, fridge for 48 hours. perfect dough.
Now I got a larger machine, it has 2 speeds, slow and fast. Old machine was 185rpm on the hook and 15rpm on the bowl.
New machine is 70/7 rpm speed 1 and 140-14 rpm speed 2. So I calculated the total revolutions of the old machine came out to 1200. so new machine I'm doing 4 mins speed 1 to incorporate everything and 6 minutes speed 2 to mix. I found I was having a few lumps so I went to 6mins speed 1 and 8 mins speed 2 and my dough after 48 hours is acting like a dough of 3-4 days old, very soft and weak. Any thoughts? Am I overmixing the dough now? Should I just do 8 minutes on speed 2 and forget the slow start? Im too close to see the issue.

scott r

There are a lot of variables here so I will try to say this the most simple way possible...

If your dough is tough and hard to fold/stretch out compared to how it was with your old mixer then you are probably mixing more than it was before.

If your dough is easily folded onto itself and easily stretched when compared with your old mixer then you need to mix it more.   It will be more sticky if under mixed.


The dough feels fine when Im portioning it. It has great stretch, not too sticky considering the hydration level. Has good strength while im balling. Its after the 48 hour cold ferment in the walk-in, the doughs seem too soft overproofed when its time to stretch them into pizza. I cross stack for 20 minutes in the cooler before sealing them down. But its as if they've been taken out of the fridge for a few hours and then put back in the fridge. I don't think the dough is getting too hot before its being put in the fridge. My temps are the same. The only difference is the machine.

scott r

Quote from: AntonioT on September 15, 2023, 05:56:47 PM
I don't think the dough is getting too hot before its being put in the fridge. My temps are the same. The only difference is the machine.

When you say I don't "think" the dough is getting too hot before you put it in the fridge, this is the answer.  Every mixer has a different friction factor, and since you are using entirely different speeds its very possible (and probable) that your dough is at a different temperature after your mix.  This would absolutely cause what you are talking about.

Your finished dough temperature is probably the single most important thing to keep track of and adjust if you want a consistent crust each day.   Do you still have your old mixer?   If so try a mix in it and measure your finished dough temp, then do the same in the new one.  In most pizzerias some ice is used and the amount changes throughout the year to keep the finished dough temp the same year round.  Even my tap water temp changes quite a bit from winter to summer. 


I do put my water in the walk-in over night. And also put about 500g of water in the freezer while I dissolve the poolish and and get everything into the bowl which I add at a very slow stream once the the dough comes together and absorbs the initial water. I no longer have the previous machine to do a side by side temp comparison. So I was trying to match the total revolutions of the hook and bowl of the new machine to the older one. Older one was faster spinning hook and bowl. So I imagined I'd need a few minutes longer.


scott r

In this situation, not knowing the old finished dough temp, I would approach it like this... Once you get your dough feeling like it did coming out of your old mixer I would then adjust your yeast amount so that your dough is perfectly fermented at the time of use.  It sounds like your new mixer might have a higher friction factor, which is fine, you just need to drop the yeast a bit.  Sorry I know this is probably all obvious! 

Then, I would start keeping a log of your finished dough temp for a few months and see if its changing. Its always best to pull that dough off the hook at the same exact temp year round once you have your yeast amount dialed in and it may be more variable than you think based on changing room temp, flour storage temp etc. even if your water temp is always the same. 

Personally, for me, I have to change the amount of mix time based on changes in the flour that I cant control.  This means that with certain batches of flour my finished dough temp is different at first.  Once I dial in a new batch of flour I can adjust my finished dough temp to that sweet spot for the amount of yeast I use.

I know of more than one excellent pizzeria that simply stops the mixer when its at a certain temp, so this is another approach.   They are actually making mixers now that do this for you, which is pretty cool.  The idea here is that if the dough is mixed a little more or less it is less impactful in the final crust than if the final dough temp is a bit off from day to day causing differences in fermentation amount.


I really appreciate the detailed response. Would a slower hook and bowl rpm create higher friction? I assumed the opposite. My faster machine would create higher friction.

I haven't yet tried skipping the initial slow speed and just hit the batch with speed 2 from start to finish. It would shave off 6-8 minutes off the total mix which maybe be affecting my final temp. Truth be told I never measured my doughs temp over the years. It's just always come out perfect. So I know I need to figure out the nuances between the the mixers to get where I want to be.

scott r

The friction factor is caused by nuances in the actual shape of the hook itself, the proximity of the hook to the breaker bar, the design of the breaker bar, and other factors that are unique from brand to brand rather than differences caused by speed alone.

I personally like to give the flour time to hydrate so I like a slow initial hook speed, but as hydrations get higher that becomes less important.  If your dough hydration is in the low to mid 60's I would start with the slow speed and then move to fast, if its in the 70's or 80's its ok to start fast if you want. 


So I took some temps today.
Two 50kg batches.

Flour sits at 23c in the kitchen.
21c in the storage room.
Water 2c. Water from the freezer 0c but not frozen.
Poolish 2c
When dough is done kneading it's 16.4 for 1 batch and 16.9c for the second batch.

By the time it's done it's bench bulk and been balled it's 19.1-19.5c.

I think the bag of flour I used for the suspect batch of dough that proofed early was one that was delivered by my supplier that same day. So perhaps it hadn't acclimated to my room temps.

And to be safe I upped my cross stack time from 15 minutes to 20. At 15 the balls were sitting at 12-14c. At 20 minutes they are 8-10c.

So I guess I'll find out tomorrow how they look. They're to be used Tuesday. Fingers crossed. But it seems the flour I used was warmer than usual and the dough boxes were also closed down too soon.

scott r

Sounds like you have a solid handle on this.  Good luck.