Pizza Making Forum

Reference, Questions and Help => Dough Clinic => Topic started by: nerddigestive on June 08, 2022, 04:51:44 PM

Title: Is it me or my mixer?
Post by: nerddigestive on June 08, 2022, 04:51:44 PM
Hello there - new poster here.

I've been making an assortment of pizza doughs for a while but have been having trouble when kneading using a mixer (Kenwood) rather than by hand.

With some batches of dough, I've found that the dough hook just doesn't pick them up and just drags the centre of the dough around in the bowl. Sometimes it just takes a long time to get going, but sometimes (like today) even after nearly half an hour of fairly aggressive working, it still isn't elastic and smooth.

I am using pretty high gluten (15% protein) flour, at 62% hydration - a combination that works really well for a nice hand-knead Neapolitan style dough.

Can anyone provide any tips at all as to what I am doing wrong (let's be honest, it is most likely my fault)? (link to video of dough failing at being kneaded in slow motion -

Thanks in advance for all your help,

Ed :chef:
Title: Re: Is it me or my mixer?
Post by: 02ebz06 on June 08, 2022, 06:32:03 PM
Ed, it would be best to post your exact recipe and process from start to finish.
That can help people determine what is going wrong.
Title: Re: Is it me or my mixer?
Post by: QwertyJuan on June 08, 2022, 10:10:01 PM
That looks exceptionally wet for only 62% hydration... especially with a 15% protein flour?  ???
Title: Re: Is it me or my mixer?
Post by: nhnybo on June 09, 2022, 12:22:39 PM
I have also the Kenwood mixer with the same hook. When I mix pizza dough, I use the setting that goes as fast as what your slow motion video is showing. I would never mix so fast.

Initially I have to push the flour with a spatula towards the center so that everything gets picked up. I try to avoid mixing past the point were the dough starts to get a little bit gooey at the bottom, like your dough looks, which is about five minutes in for me. Just my preferences. Pizza dough doesn't need to be super finely mixed IMO.

Title: Re: Is it me or my mixer?
Post by: Heikjo on June 09, 2022, 12:39:10 PM
That looks pretty normal for a planetary mixer and 62%. You can either mix it by hand first and them dump it in there for kneading, or lift the dough up once in a while to avoid it getting stuck like that.

Your speed also seems quite high. I would try less speed. As for how long to knead, it's difficult to say, so you'll have to do some testing. Somewhere between 4-10 minutes maybe, but it greatly depends on the speed.

Half an hour of aggressive spinning in that machine? Are you trying to kill the dough?

Planetary mixers are unfortunately not that well equipped for kneading a dough, as you now have first hand experience with. The issue is typically that it gets stuck to the hook and is just riding around, but I can get it to knead somewhat okay on mine, I just have to help it mix properly first.
Title: Re: Is it me or my mixer?
Post by: Silynch on June 29, 2022, 10:53:53 AM
I have had the same frustration for years with my Kenwood Major mixer - I always presumed it was the dough hook, or some other fault. However, more recently for higher hydration dough recipes, I have been taking the approach of adding the water quite gradually into the mixer, over a period of around 10 - 15 minutes. Almost drop by drop for the final 50ml - waiting until the dough has absorbed the water and has cleared the bottom of the bowl. This has massively improved the quality and gluten structure of my final dough. Maybe worth a try? Good luck!
Title: Re: Is it me or my mixer?
Post by: PizzaPassion on July 03, 2022, 08:00:02 PM
I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and dough hook and I've given up trying to knead the dough in the mixer. I'm using 300 grams of flour and there's just not enough dough for the mixer to actually work the dough. Seems to me like the dough just spends five minutes riding around on the dough hook and doesn't get kneaded at all. I now just knead it by hand where I can feel what is going on.