Artisan bread bakers know how important the process of kneading dough is in producing the highest quality artisanal breads. Some artisan bakers prefer hand-kneading as it provides them with a gentle mix and a sense of satisfaction. A great product starts with a great mix and there are pros and cons to both hand mixing and machine mixing. Bread bakers can figure out the main differences between mixing by hand and using a mixer, but few know the deeper differences that make one process significantly better than the other. To set the record straight, Empire has put together all of the facts, ultimately naming the best way to mix your dough!

Hand kneading for most in an immensely satisfying process and creates a good texture for bread. The kneading creates air bubbles within the dough and allows for the gluten to properly develop. Although satisfying for some, hand-kneading dough can be extremely hard on your arms and wrists and could take longer to get the gluten development to where you need it. Another issue with hand kneading is the types of dough you can hand knead it limited. Trying to knead high-hydration dough with your hands could prove to be an extremely messy and near-impossible task. Hand-kneading dough is a tried and true method that has worked for hundreds of thousands of years, but there is a better way.

So what are the benefits to machine mixing? The answer is EVERYTHING you get with hand kneading and more! Stationary bowl spiral mixers like our IRIS Mixer will provide the perfect texture by adding those necessary bubbles in your dough and allow for perfect gluten development. The best part is, it will achieve all of that in a fraction of the time! There’s only so much dough you can mix by hand but with a machine mixer you can ramp up your production and produce more dough with ease. Machine mixing also eliminates human error. There is only so much we have control over when hand-kneading dough, but using a dough mixer will allow for optimal ingredient blending that is virtually impossible to accomplish by hand.

The versatility of our dough mixers are unmatched. Capable of optimally blending bagel dough, pizza dough, artisan bread dough and more, our spiral mixer offers precision mixing control, high output, fast mixing times and maximum consistency. Smaller bakery’s often believed there is no space for a floor mixer in their space, but the compact design of our spiral dough mixer features a compact design with front-mounted controls for easy access in the tightest of spaces. Just because you are a smaller bakery, it does not mean you can’t give those tired hands the much-needed rest they deserve.

In conclusion, there’s no real wrong way to mix your dough, but there is clearly a better way. With a machine mixer, you are accomplishing everything hand kneading provides, but more efficiently and in less time. With the right mixer, you will be able to increase your output and produce handmade quality products in a fraction of the time with each and every mix!