Kneading dough looks authentic and very hands-on, which can be a gratifying process, but the downside is that it can be tiresome. The constant kneading of tough ingredients can work up a sweat! Fortunately, you can enjoy your cooking and baking adventures without sweating over them with labour-saving devices. The hand mixer and the handy attachment of the dough hooks will save you time and energy. You can also use a stand mixer, as long as it has the option for dough hooks.
To begin with, let’s start with an explanation of what a hand mixer is in this article. Then, we’ll cover the attachments and how to use dough hooks on a hand mixer. Your baking adventures are just on the horizon. After reading this article, you’ll be making delicious bread!
What Is a Hand Mixer?
A hand mixer is a device you use in the kitchen, usually to mix ingredients up. Instead of using a spoon and mixing, whipping, beating, stirring by hand, the hand mixer is an electronic device that does everything for you. You need to plug the device and hold it in the bowl! Then, select the speed level from the speed settings and let the device do the whisking for you.
What’s great about hand mixers is they can also be used for kneading dough that people use when making bread or pizza. All you have to do is change the attachments before you start mixing. This takes the trouble out of hand-kneading, making the hand mixer a wonderful, handy help in the kitchen.
Interestingly, you might have heard of the term ‘stand mixer’. This is essentially a hand mixer set into a large device on your work-top. The stand mixer works by itself once you have switched it on. Technically, you don’t need to hold a stand mixer, as the bowl is secured to the bottom and the whisks to the self-standing mechanism. Most stand mixers allow the attachment to be changed, so you can also put your dough hooks in the stand mixer.
Most hand mixers usually come with a specific beater, but you can take out the beaters and replace them with any of the following other attachments. They all have different uses, and professional bakers must have the set! If you are starting, here is an explanation of what they all do.
The beaters: Hand mixers usually come with ‘beaters’ which help you mix ingredients quickly. These are useful for creating a seamless consistency. Otherwise, you would have to use a wooden spoon and put some elbow grease in. Why put in the strenuous effort when a hand mixer can take on the load?
The whisk: This attachment looks like a teardrop. It is used for achieving smooth consistencies, such as that delicious, soft meringue look.
The blending rod: This is what it sounds like: simply a rod with a circular end. The end is usually sharpened so that small ingredients such as fruits can be sliced up. You would find a blending rod useful for making juices, soups, and smoothies.
The dough hook attachment: And finally, two dough hook attachments! We’ll explain what these are below.
What Are Dough Hooks?
Dough hooks have their purpose in the name: they are used to knead the dough. These hooks have an unusual shape and look like twirled pieces of metal. This unique shape helps to knead dough mixtures into the perfect consistency evenly.
There are different dough hook shapes. The ‘C’ or ‘J’ shape works when the dough hooks spin. It causes the dough to move from the outside of the bowl to the inner and continues to mix up. This ensures that all the dough mixture is evenly kneaded.
Another type of dough hook is the spiral dough hook. It looks just like a pigtail and is often nicknamed as such. This hook kneads the dough vertically when operating: the dough will continuously shift from the top of the bowl to the bottom.
Dough hooks are especially useful if you enjoy or do lots of baking. You might find a dough hook in the festive seasons to be a life-saver. For heavy doughs, the dough hooks will take upon the exertion. Home cooks will know the effort into kneading flour, butter, sugar and eggs, and other dry ingredients for your chosen recipes. Making bread and other delicious baked delights should not be so hard: and this is where the dough hook can help.
Extra Benefits of the Dough Hook Attachments
Purchasing some dough hooks is a great investment. They are much cheaper than buying an expensive bread machine or stand mixer. These are pricey, and they take up lots of room in your kitchen as they have to be placed on the work-top.
Adaptable and Tidy
With dough hooks, you can fit them into almost any hand mixer. Hand mixers and dough hooks can be disassembled and neatly put into your kitchen drawers and cupboards.
Easy and Fun to Use
Since dough hooks can easily be attached to your hand mixer, you do not need to learn new skills. It can also be quite fun to watch the dough hooks at work, kneading the bread doughs into smooth dough around the bowl.
Why Is Kneading Important?
Kneading is very important for the dough because it stretches and develops the gluten strands within the dough. This creates a silky but strong structure, which you can use in different baking recipes. If you do not knead the dough, then it will be weak. It will not rise, and then it will fall flat.
How to Use Dough Hooks to Make Dough
Whether you want to make bread dough or pizza dough, the instructions below will give you a basic and easy recipe to follow for beginners. It’s a great introduction to how to use dough hooks on a hand mixer.
What will you need:
- Dough hooks
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Large mixing bowl
- Caster or granulated sugar
- Baking soda
- Your choice of other ingredients. For example, dried fruits.
Step 1: Prepare Your Appliance
Get your dough hooks and attach them to the hand mixer. When they are securely fitted, you should hear a ‘click’ or ‘snap’ sound. Plug the hand mixer into a power socket, and have it ready in reach. Here you could use a stand mixer instead. Make sure that it can attach dough hooks.
Step 2: Add Dry Ingredients
Get your mixing bowl, and put what we call the dry ingredients into it. This begins with the butter. Then, sieve in the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and yeast. Flour is the main base for bread, as it provides the structure.
Step 3: Mix
Mix these dry ingredients using the dough hooks at a low speed in the mixing bowl.
Step 4: Add Liquids
Add the milk gradually to the mixture. If the dough becomes too sticky, add extra flour. Turn the dough hooks up to high speed at this point, so ensure that the ingredients are mixed properly and the dough is well kneaded.
Knead the dough until it becomes stiff — firm but easily malleable. This should take a few minutes, but stop kneading straight away if the dough becomes tough. Moreover, the bread dough should turn into a ball and fall away from the sides of the mixing bowl once it is ready.
Step 5: Prod the Dough
Now you need to check the dough. Prod the dough, and if it springs back, it is ready. If it is not, keep on kneading the dough. Turn off the mixer once the dough is ready.
Step 6: Experiment With Recipes
You can now use doughs to create a range of foods. Different recipes require different levels of rising time, so better check them to be sure.
- Pizza: Roll out the dough into your desired shape. It could be a classic circle or a square if you want something different. Then add your toppings and whip them in the oven.
- Cinnamon Rolls: roll the dough out, cut it into strips and then roll up each strip to create the delicious swirl of a cinnamon roll.
- Biscuits: Roll out the dough evenly, and then use biscuit cutters or a knife to cut the shapes out. Bake and then put your toppings on.
- Bread: If you want to make bread, you can let it sit and wait for it to rise in a bread loaf tin. If you want to make fruity bread, add some dried fruits at this point. Homemade bread is delicious, and there are many different types to make. You can use bread dough to create sourdough, white bread, and brown bread. Other doughs prove to have endless possibilities.
- Scones: Mix in dried ingredients such as raisins and then separate the dough into small balls.
Hand Kneading Is Out! Hand Mixer Is In!
Hand kneading can take a long time – and you might be exhausted after. But with a hand mixer with dough hooks, you can drastically reduce the kneading time and feel full of energy! So make sure you buy a hand mixer with dough hooks for kneading bread for fast and efficient bread making. You can buy removable whisks and other attachments for other baking activities too!
Now that you have read this article on using dough hooks on a hand mixer, you can start making your wonderful creations. This might be bread, pizza, biscuits, rolls, etc. You can use dough hooks to knead any of these delicious foods.
Good luck and happy baking!
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Tom is a former chef turned full-time food blogger. He has always been passionate about food, and loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen and sharing his recipes with others. Tom’s blog is one of the most popular food blogs on the internet, and he has won numerous awards for his cooking. When he’s not blogging or cooking, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.