Bum shoulder - need help stirring

I completely ripped up my right shoulder in a farm accident, severe rotator cuff, and unrepairable by surgery.

My fav bread, sourdough whole grain, needs a lot of serious stirring and kneading before refrigeration.

I bought a Kitchen Aid mixer with 6 quart bowl and accessories including dough hook. Can this substitute for elbow grease? Any suggestions about using these tools with these recipes?

Many thanks
Paul Kronfield in Texas

Hi Paul,

Sorry to hear about your shoulder.

Good news on the KitchenAid - it totally can do what you want it to. I use ours every week to mix and knead the bread dough for my weekly country loaf (sourdough whole grain).

I put the flour and salt into the mixing bowl. Then I combine the starter with the water for the recipe and stir it in completely so the water becomes a kind of starter-water.

Then with the dough hook on the mixer, I turn the mixer on to 1 (the slowest setting) and slowly pour the starter water into the mixing bowl a bit at a time. After the dough gets to what I’d call “shaggy mass” stage, I increase the mixing speed up to 2 (second slowest) and then go do something else for 10 - 15 minutes.

Then I come back and transfer the kneaded dough into my bulk proofing container and continue on my way. Very easy process for the lazy (me), or injured (you) baker.

Hope this helps,
Paul

This is my whole grain sourdough recipe:

These instructions were from before I started using the mixer, but I’ve now adapted it to the procedure I outlined above and I get the same results with the mixer.

1 Like

Thanks, Paul. I found that the dough gets balled up inside of the dough hook, without any observable kneading. I mix water, starter, and wheat flour first day in the bowl and let it ferment 24 hours. Next day start the mixer and add salt, rye flour, spelt flour, and at the end all the high gluten white flour. By the time all that is added, the dough ends up to be basically a big ball inside of the dough hook.

Extract it all with some difficulty into another oiled stainless steel bowl, and place in fridge for 24 hours.

Third day bring it out, shape the boule by hand, place it in the proofing basket for fermenting about a half day, then transfer to cloche for baking.

Why does the dough ultimately cling to the hook with no visible kneading?

Thanks,
paul

My guess is that the hydration (percentage of water to flour) of the dough you are mixing is lower than the hydration that I am mixing. In other words, your dough is probably too dry.

If I were you, I’d experiment with increasing the proportion of water in the recipe until the dough doesn’t ball up too much.

I use a pretty high hydration (85 - 90 percent), but the recipe I am working with is very different than yours. Mine is all 100% whole grain wheat; no rye and no white bread flour, both of which will have a big effect on the consistency of your dough. So you would have to experiment to find the right hydration for your dough.