Author Topic: Fork vs. diving arm mixers  (Read 5256 times)

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Offline pacoast

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Fork vs. diving arm mixers
« on: September 09, 2009, 01:04:04 PM »
I'm having some trouble finding out much information about the relative merits of fork & diving arm mixers. I'm more familiar with planetary & spiral mixers. In the bread builders, Alan Scott only tells us that fork mixers are effective & that they can work with a minimum batch size of about 75% of maximum capacity. And for diving arm mixers, not much is said other than they are intended to be gentle on the dough by emulating hand kneading & they they can accommodate batch sizes down to about 30% of maximum capacity.

There doesn't seem to be much discussion about this on PMQ either. Of course every manufacturer has plenty of (largely spurious) reasons why their specific mixer is the best. Does anyone here know more about the strengths & weaknesses of fork vs. diving arm mixers?



Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Fork vs. diving arm mixers
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 01:48:16 PM »
Alan Scott only tells us that fork mixers are effective & that they can work with a minimum batch size of about 75% of maximum capacity

Max. batch size for fork mixer I use is 5kg. I regularly make batches of 1.5kg. I stick a spoon in the bowl every once in while to insure even kneading. It is easy to keep everything kneading smoothly with even smaller batches in my home kitchen. Probably not something I would want to rely on in a busy commercial setting. Difficult to generalize since hydration levels, type of flour, etc. will make a big difference.

Offline s00da

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Re: Fork vs. diving arm mixers
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 04:08:08 PM »
I've done some internet searches a while ago and I haven't found much said about fork mixers except some comparisons that they are close to the efficiency of spiral mixers in terms of delivering energy to the dough and develop it fast. As for diving-arm, they are more gentle on the dough that they don't raise the temperature much and they are more efficient than spiral in kneading high hydration dough.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 04:09:55 PM by s00da »

Offline scott r

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Re: Fork vs. diving arm mixers
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2011, 05:30:19 PM »
I have recently been consulting with a pizzeria that bought a diving arms mixer before I began working with them.    Im sure for ultra high hydration neapolitan doughs and bread this mixer is great, but we have been finding that to do anything but a high hydration dough with this mixer is not very easy.   It can be done, but it must be a low gluten flour or the mixer (a brand new pietroberto) strains, even with 1/2 sized batches.   I know it can make a superb dough, but it does have more limitations that other high end mixers.  I have had better luck with fork mixers, which have no problem going into the higher 50's even with a high gluten flour.   I just wanted to post this in case I can save someone else from buying the wrong mixer for their needs.   

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Fork vs. diving arm mixers
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 07:38:12 PM »
Which do you prefer, a spiral or a fork mixer.  I have read about them on line, but my concern is that in the half dozen or so places I've worked in Connecticut, I YET to see ANY other mixer but the regular old planetary.

Now, I've worked in an artisan bread place that had a fork mixer, and it seemed fine for what they were doing, even with mix ins and whole wheat combos.

But in pizza, I've never worked with any of the alternatives.

Thank you.