A lot of thought and precision needs to go into dough mixing.

You just throw ingredients in mixer, step back, and out comes perfect dough? Piece of cake.

Uhh, yeah right. 

As I’m sure you know from experience, a lot of thought and precision needs to go into dough mixing. The concept is simple enough:

Flour + Water + Air + Energy → Dough

Yet controlling and adjusting those factors to get a very specific outcome can be difficult. To know how to adjust, you need to know what’s taking place. The goals are to:

  1. Incorporate air
  2. Hydrate dry ingredients
  3. Homogenize the dough by evenly distributing all the ingredients
  4. Knead the dough, encouraging the interchange of disulfide bonds and the formation of  hydrogen, hydrophobic bonds, salt linkages and Van Der Waals forces
  5. Develop the gluten by aligning the network and transforming the dough into a cohesive mass

How you adjust for these dough mixing goals will depend on your system.

Sponge and Dough Systems: The sponge is mixed first and then ferments. The second mix is dough mixing, where the objective is to develop the gluten.

Straight Dough and No Time Systems: Dough mixing happens only once.

Continuous Mixing Dough Systems: The first mixing is a blending step, which is not intensive in nature. After a set time in a fermentation and holding tank, a second mixing step occurs.