In a KitchenAid mixer, using the dough hook attachment, bread dough generally needs to be kneaded on a medium speed setting (2 or 4) for about 4-6 minutes.
However, the actual time can vary depending on the specific type of bread and recipe. Always check the dough’s consistency; it should be smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky but not overly sticky.
Please note that kneading time may vary based on gluten content and type of flour.
Different Types of Flour and Kneading Time
It is the most common type of flour used in bread baking. Its moderate protein content makes it versatile for many types of bread. The typical kneading time for dough made with all-purpose flour in a stand mixer is about 4-6 minutes. This allows for adequate gluten development for a good rise and structure.
Bread flour has more proteins than all-purpose flour, resulting in more gluten formation when kneaded. This makes it ideal for breads that need a strong structure, like bagels or rustic loaves. Kneading bread flour in a stand mixer might be slightly longer, around 6-8 minutes, due to its higher protein content.
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour includes the bran and germ of the wheat, increasing the fiber and nutritional content but making gluten development more difficult. Kneading dough made with whole wheat flour can take longer than all-purpose flour, generally around 7-10 minutes in a stand mixer. The dough may feel slightly more tacky and less smooth than dough made with white flour.
Rye flour has less gluten compared to wheat flour, making it tricky for beginners to work with. The dough might not become as smooth or elastic as wheat dough. When kneading rye dough in a stand mixer, it might take 10-12 minutes to develop the gluten as much as possible. Some recipes might combine rye with other flours to make kneading easier.
Spelt flour is an ancient grain with moderate protein content. Its gluten is somewhat fragile, so it’s important not to over-knead to avoid breaking down the gluten structure. In a stand mixer, kneading spelled dough usually takes about 4-5 minutes. It’s best to check the dough frequently to prevent over-kneading.
How to Mix and Knead Dough in a Stand Mixer?
Gather Ingredients and Tools
You’ll need your stand mixer, a dough hook attachment, and your recipe’s ingredients.
Combine Dry Ingredients
Place the dry ingredients, such as flour, salt, sugar, and yeast (if your recipe calls for it to be mixed with the dry ingredients), in the bowl of your stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to mix these together at a low speed.
Add Liquid Ingredients
If your recipe calls for it, add warmed liquid ingredients (like milk or water) and fats (like butter or oil) to the dry mixture. Start the mixer on low to combine.
Switch to Dough Hook
Once all the ingredients are combined, and a rough dough has formed, switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook for kneading.
Knead the Dough
Turn the mixer to medium speed (around 2 to 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and let the dough hook work the dough. It may take up to 10 minutes, depending on the type of flour and recipe. The dough should become smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky but not overly sticky.
Perform the Windowpane Test
You can perform the windowpane test to check if your dough is adequately kneaded. Take a small piece of dough and stretch it out – it should stretch thin enough to let light through without tearing. If it tears, the dough needs more kneading.
Once the dough is adequately kneaded, place it in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean towel or plastic wrap, and allow it to rise until it doubles. This usually takes 1-2 hours but can vary based on your recipe.
Shape and Second Rise
After the first rise, you can shape the dough according to your recipe’s instructions. Then, it will usually need to go through a second rise before baking.
Tips to Get Properly Kneaded Flour
- The kneading time can vary depending on the type of flour and the recipe. Always follow the instructions provided in your specific recipe to ensure proper kneading.
- Using a stand mixer, keep the speed setting to a medium level, generally 2 or 4 on a KitchenAid mixer. Too high a speed can overwork the dough, while too low may not develop the gluten properly.
- This is a test to see if the dough has been kneaded enough. Take a small piece of dough and stretch it out – it should stretch thin enough to let light through without tearing.
- Over-kneading can lead to tough, dense bread. It’s better to err on the side of under-kneading, as you can always knead a bit more if needed, but you can’t undo over-kneading.
- The dough should be smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky but not overly sticky. If it’s too sticky, add more flour; if it’s too dry, add more liquid.
- If the dough is too elastic and springs back immediately when trying to shape it, let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, making the dough easier to work with.
- Don’t rush the process – give the dough time to develop the gluten structure, resulting in a great loaf of bread.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best KitchenAid mixer speed for kneading dough?
The best speed for kneading dough on a KitchenAid mixer is typically medium, around 2 or 4. This allows the gluten in the dough to develop properly without overworking it.
What happens when you over-knead dough? How to correct it?
The over-kneaded dough can result in a loaf of bread that’s tough and dense because the gluten network becomes overly tight. Unfortunately, there’s no way to directly correct over-kneaded dough, but you can try to let the dough rest for longer to relax the gluten strands.
How much dough can a KitchenAid mixer handle?
The amount of dough a KitchenAid mixer can handle depends on its size and model. Most KitchenAid stand mixers can handle up to 2 pounds of bread dough at a time. Refer to your model’s manual to ensure you don’t overload it.
What are the benefits of making homemade bread?
Making homemade bread allows you to control the ingredients, eliminating preservatives and additives often found in store-bought bread. It can be a healthier option with fresh and whole ingredients. Also, baking bread can be a relaxing and rewarding activity, providing a sense of accomplishment when you enjoy the bread you made yourself.