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:
- Incorporate air
- Hydrate dry ingredients
- Homogenize the dough by evenly distributing all the ingredients
- Knead the dough, encouraging the interchange of disulfide bonds and the formation of hydrogen, hydrophobic bonds, salt linkages and Van Der Waals forces
- 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.