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Author Topic: Stand mixers and NY style dough  (Read 719 times)

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Offline matt-the-sliceman

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Stand mixers and NY style dough
« on: October 13, 2023, 10:30:44 PM »
For recipes/methods regarding a New York style pizza dough, it seems that people either knead by hand without comment or very specifically say that it must be done with the use of a stand mixer, but never make a case as to why that is. Putting ease and convenience aside, and dealing only with small, home-scale quantities, for which the argument for using one is fairly straightforward, what is the stand mixer doing to process this kind of dough that cannot be done by hand? I've never actually seen a convincing argument for this; just simply that it must be done or it's better done using that tool.

From my own limited attempts with a dough at around that 62% hydration range, a rest period and around 5-10 mins of gentle kneading produces something smooth and which passes the windowpane test. Is there more to it than that? And if a more intense gluten development is achieved with that 10 minutes of stand mixing typically advised, could this be achieved by hand just putting in more time with hand-kneading? I don't own a mixer and so I can't do a side-by-side comparison, so I don't doubt the results using a stand mixer are potentially better, but I just can't figure out the reason why it would be considered mandatory to a high-quality outcome.


Offline scott r

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2023, 10:42:29 PM »
You are smart to question this.  There is no need for a mixer with at 62% hydration dough.  Hand mixing will absolutely work just as well as a mixer.  You must have technique, and you must know when you are done mixing, and it might take more work than most people expect... but you can do it.  When I got my famag spiral mixer which is at or close to the top of the heap of home mixers, I did a test.  I was able to make the same dough by hand as I did with the mixer.   Was it easy... no.  the mixer is easier.  But you can do it!   

Offline Qapla

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2023, 01:33:04 PM »
If I am only making a small amount of dough, it can be harder to use a stand mixer since it does not produce a large enough dough ball to properly knead in the mixer. However, a food processor will work for a small amount of dough. For ease of use and time, I have often used this food processor rather than extended kneading by hand.

I have achieved good results using all three methods. I don't think one method is better than the other, one is just much slower and requires more work - my hands are not always up to the task.

Offline Robenco15

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2023, 12:29:37 AM »
When I started out I did it all by hand and got great results. Eventually I started using the stand mixer and also got great results and did everything quicker. For me it was an easy decision.

Offline rizzler

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2023, 11:18:12 AM »
funny, this week was the first I ever used a stand mixer for dough, as Im back in Canada (dont have one in France).

I usually only make a single ball, and this time was making 4 for dinner tomorrow. Really made it a heck of a lot easier.

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Offline jkb

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2023, 11:37:45 AM »
Food processor.  I haven't used my stand mixer for dough since 2010.
John

Offline dfuller

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2023, 07:50:48 PM »
At 62% there's no reason you couldn't knead by hand. When you're down around 57-58% using a high gluten flour like AT or KASL, it can get a little difficult just because the dough is so stiff though it's still not impossible. That said, I will choose the mixer every time - because I'm lazy.  ;D

Offline matt-the-sliceman

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2023, 03:13:04 AM »
Many of these replies simply confirm the obvious, that it's more convenient and time-saving to use a stand mixer.  But what I am curious about is what a stand mixer can do that cannot be done by hand (if anything). Like the physics of it which would cause the claim to me made 'must be done in a stand mixer'.

From what I infer from some of the replies here is that with stiff doughs, the hand-kneading process would become very arduous and require so much processing as to be impractical? What's the benchmark for a properly-kneaded stiff dough? If it passes the windowpane test or is there more to it?

Offline foreplease

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2023, 06:07:00 AM »
Many of these replies simply confirm the obvious, that it's more convenient and time-saving to use a stand mixer.  But what I am curious about is what a stand mixer can do that cannot be done by hand (if anything).
I donít think I have ever seen anyone claim a dough for pizza must be made in a stand mixer. One thing a stand mixer or food processor can do that cannot (if you watch your water temp) be done by hand is send your FDT way too high.
-Tony

Offline matt-the-sliceman

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2023, 03:08:53 AM »
I donít think I have ever seen anyone claim a dough for pizza must be made in a stand mixer. One thing a stand mixer or food processor can do that cannot (if you watch your water temp) be done by hand is send your FDT way too high.

Here's one in particular from The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish about bar pizza dough (emphasis mine):

"This dough is also great for a plain cheese or pepperoni pizza. It is thin, crisp, and classic. Youíll need a stand mixer to make this dough, and ideally a nonstick deep-dish pizza pan with a 12-inch diameter."

He actually describes New York pizza dough as 'easier' with a stand mixer than by hand.

It is true, though, that most of the time it's more of a direction in a recipe to mix at a certain speed, without mentioning an option to mix  by hand.

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Offline nanometric

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2023, 08:11:54 AM »
Many of these replies simply confirm the obvious, that it's more convenient and time-saving to use a stand mixer.  But what I am curious about is what a stand mixer can do that cannot be done by hand (if anything)

I sold my stand mixer years ago b/c I found it to be overall less convenient in terms of cleanup, storage, etc. for the amount of dough needed. A mixer doesn't do things that hands cannot, it is simply a labor-saving and/or labor-changing device. Note that a traditional kneading process is entirely unnecessary unless making "quick" dough. My current dough process is basically stir and rest, combined with a few stretch-and-folds spread out over the fermentation period. That's for NYish or pan styles. I skip the S+F for cracker styles.

That said, I might "age out" of hand mixing someday and/or have a need for larger dough batches, at which point I might get a mixer (ideally, spiral).

Hand-mixing on a pro level:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11994.msg123520#msg123520



Offline dfuller

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2023, 10:18:21 AM »

From what I infer from some of the replies here is that with stiff doughs, the hand-kneading process would become very arduous and require so much processing as to be impractical? What's the benchmark for a properly-kneaded stiff dough? If it passes the windowpane test or is there more to it?
I made bagels the other day around the same hydration as my pizza dough, in the high 50s. My KA Pro 600 started complaining - doing it by hand would be quite difficult.

Offline nanometric

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Re: Stand mixers and NY style dough
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2023, 03:23:43 PM »
doing it by hand would be quite difficult.

Doing it by hand the hard way would be quite difficult; doing it by hand the easy way would not!  ;D

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