Last Updated on May 7, 2021
A dough hook can be an excellent alternative to kneading and preparing dough by hand. However, it’s essential to make sure that you know how to use these products correctly. There are various different sizes and styles of the dough hook. Some are specially designed for a stand mixer, while some are small enough to work with standard hand mixers.
Today, we’re going to explore some of the things you need to know about how to use dough hooks on a hand mixer so you can create everything from bread to pizza dough.
Preparing to Make Dough
First, you’ll need to ensure you have all the right equipment. The first and the most important product is your hand mixer. There are plenty of different kinds of hand mixers on the market today, but not all of them will take dough hook attachments. Before you purchase a hand mixer specifically for this purpose, check product posts to ensure that you can either get kneading attachments to go with it or whether the right mixing utensils come with your purchase.
If your dough hooks aren’t included with the other attachments you get with standard hand mixers, you can usually purchase them separately. You will need to ensure the attachments fix the mixer you choose, however. Looking for accessories from the same company site that made the mixer is usually a good idea.
Again, you can consider a stand mixer if you’re worried about exhausting your arm with the kneading process. However, you should find that a hand mixer can make pizza and bread dough pretty quickly.
Aside from your mixer and hooks, you’ll also need a mixing bowl that’s strong enough to withstand your mixer moving at a decent speed. A strong bowl is essential, as is a good spatula with a rubber plastic bit at the tip. This will help you to check the elasticity of the dough to decide when it’s ready to cook.
Finally, collect all of the ingredients for the doughs you want to make. Usually, obvious requirements include flour, butter, and yeast. You might need salt and spices depending on the kind of batter or dough you want to make, eggs, and anything else you want to add to your mix. Yeast is a must-have if you’re making bread.
Using Your Hand Mixer
Once you’ve collected all of the ingredients for your chosen recipes and you’re ready to start mixing, attach the dough hooks to your mixer. Crucially, you can follow the advice in the user manual included with your mixer if you’re not sure how to attach the hooks. Usually, you simply slide them into the open holes on the mixer and press until they click in place.
Once your hooks are safely and securely sitting in place, place your mixer beside your mixing bowl, and plug the device into the outlet. Don’t turn the motor on until you’re ready to start preparing your recipe. Typically, most recipes will advise adding the butter and wet materials into your mixing bowl first. After that, you can add any baking powder, salt, spices, and flower, often using a sieve.
Once you’ve added all dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, turn the mixer on at a slow speed. Place the mixer hooks gently into the bowl, allowing them to start kneading the bread, pizza, or other doughs you’re making.
You can add things like milk and water to the mixture if you need to make the dough more malleable. Try to stick to the instructions on the recipe as you make your dough and avoid adding too many ingredients. As you begin to combine the ingredients of your dough together, you can turn the speed of the hooks up slightly. Remember, if you’re making something like bread, you’ll need to keep the dough firm and springy.
Bread doughs shouldn’t be too wet, as this can make it harder for the yeast to rise properly. When everything is mixed together, and you can’t see any butter or flour separate from the dough, test the springiness of the bread dough with your spatula. If the dough bounces back after you touch it, it’s ready.
Baking Your Dough
Once you’ve finished mixing with your dough hook and hand mixer, turn the mixer off and unplug it from the wall. Most hand mixer products come with a button you can press to release the dough hook when you’re done with it. This makes it easier to clean the mixer. Remove your dough hooks and place them in a bowl of hot water with dish soap to clean them. If you’re using a stand mixer, you should be able to do the same.
Once your mixer components are soaking, you can focus on your bread or the dough recipe you’re making. If you’re making something simple, like biscuits, you can cut the shapes out and place them in the oven. If you’re baking bread dough, you’ll need to prove the bread and wait for the dough to rise before cooking it. Check your bread recipe to see how long you need to leave the mixture before baking it. You can then add some flour to the bread dough and knead it again before placing it in the bread loaf tin if you like.
If you’re making another kind of food, like pizza dough, check the online post or recipe you’re following for tips on how to roll the dough smooth. You can also check the same post for tips on how to add your toppings. Make sure the dough isn’t too warm before you place it in the oven.
Is Using a Dough Hook the Same As Kneading?
If you’re the kind of person who regularly experiments with kneading dough for bread, pizza, and other food at home, a dough hook can save you a lot of time. Dough hooks on a hand or stand mixer deliver the same results as hand kneading for the most part. However, you might find that choosing to knead certain kinds of bread and doughs by hand delivers better results.
It’s hard to control the way you knead with a hand mixer. If you’re careful about your cooking, it’s easy to end up adding too much flour as you try to get the dough smooth. You can search online for tips on how to improve your dough next time you cook, but it often takes practice to get the process just right. Choosing to knead with a mixer can save you time and give your hands a rest. Some people prefer to mix some of their ingredients with dough hooks, then do the rest by hand to ensure they get the best smooth dough. Again, you can search online for tips on how to do this properly.
The more free time you spend working on the right mix of hand and machine mixing, the better your batch will become. Make sure that you search for free guidance online on how to prepare your dough before cooking it. You should be confident that you know when your recipe is fully mixed and the point when it’s ready to go in the oven.
Making Your Own Dough
Whether you’re making your own dough one sprinkle of salt and flour at a time, or you’re experimenting with new recipes every week, a quality hand mixer is a great investment. And learning how to use dough hooks on a hand mixer can be invaluable. You can experiment with half hand kneading and half machine mixing to get a different texture or change the texture by giving your dough access to more hydration.
Do you have other tips you’d like to add here? What dough do you usually make by using dough hooks? How was your experience? Let us know what you think in the comments below!