Natural fermentation bread with the mixer. A lot of people think it's not possible, others twist their nose. But the truth is, it's completely possible. You just need to be careful. Keep reading the article and see how to use a planetary mixer to make your rustic bread. Ah, also see at the end of the text how to choose your mixer.
Why use a stand mixer to make sourdough bread?
There are advantages and disadvantages to making sourdough bread with an electric mixer.
We start with the advantages:
- It's easier to make large quantities
- Requires less dough handling time
- Easier for very hydrated pasta
- Enables people with physical limitations to bake bread
- Makes kneading enriched pasta like brioche and panettone easier
And what are the downsides?
- Risk of overdoing it or beating too much
- Risk of overheating the dough
- Risk of dough oxidation and loss of flavor
- It makes the process less relaxing because of the noise and minimal contact with the dough (assuming bread makers like the contact with the dough 🙂)
Can we combine the best of both worlds?
The answer is yes. I often use a hybrid method. I mix the ingredients with the mixer, but I finish developing the gluten by making folds.
How to use the mixer to make natural fermentation bread?
The process of making sourdough bread doesn't change much. Neither do the steps. Now mixing the ingredients is faster. Check it out below:
You can mix the flour with the water and make a short autolysis of 20 minutes. I like to use the shovel for this phase. If you don't have much time available, you can add the levain right away.
Mixing the other ingredients
To add the rest of the ingredients, use the hook and beat for about 4 to 6 minutes. If the dough does not reach the veil point, take a break of 15 to 30 minutes and then beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Important: to avoid overheating the dough, control the temperature, keeping it below 26C. Take breaks every 2 to 3 minutes.
It's good to remember that mixers are different from each other and yours may take a little longer. You may need to use a slightly higher speed. The tip is to proceed carefully and control the texture of the dough and the temperature. Oh, and use the water at a cooler temperature; especially if your environment is very hot.
After reaching the veil point, transfer the dough to a transparent container to follow the growth, when the primary fermentation is finished. do the modeling
Do the pre-shaping, take a 20-30 minute break and do the final shaping.
Transfer the dough to the fridge and chill for 8 to 36 hours
Bake the bread, cool and enjoy!
Which mixer to use to make sourdough bread
Bread dough is a heavy dough. Therefore, the planetary mixer is the most suitable. Now, there are other points to think about when choosing yours.
When buying a bread maker, it is important to first think about your purpose in making bread: is it for amateur production, a hobby or for professional use? With this in mind, you will consider bowl capacity, power and speed levels, weight and size.
For home use, you can choose from 3 to 7.5L. It all depends on how much and how often you are going to make bread. For your reference, a mixer of about 7L has the capacity to beat 4kg of dough.
Power and Speed
To make bread at home, give preference to mixers with power between 600 and 750W. And choose one with multiple levels of speed. For naturally leavened bread, results are better at lower speeds. For enriched doughs, eventually, you can use higher speeds.
Weight and Size
Metal body mixers (5 to 10 kg) are best suited for making bread. That's not to say you can't make bread with a stand mixer with a plastic body (3 to 5 kg). However, they can move around on the bench during mixing and last less time.
Metal mixers are more expensive, but they are more durable and generally give better results.
Also think about the space you have on the countertop or, if you want to store it in the closet. For larger and heavier mixers, it is more practical to leave on the bench.
Accessories and Bowl
Planetary mixers usually come with bowls that can be glass, plastic or stainless steel. The type of bowl won't make a difference for small amounts. But if you think about making bread frequently and in larger quantities, think of a stainless steel bowl.
The most commonly used accessories for making bread are the hook (essential!) and, in some cases, the shovel or racket. But, rest assured that the globe is also included. It will be useful for many other recipes like puddings, egg whites and many others.
Voltage and Power Consumption
The more powerful, the more energy the mixer will consume. Carefully read specifications and keep an eye on the energy bill. Also make sure the voltage is compatible with your home.
Have you ever made natural fermentation bread at home with the mixer? Share your experience.