It would be very convenient if you could use the hand mixer to knead the dough for delicious loaves of bread and hearty pizzas. So, can you knead the dough with a hand mixer?
Yes, you can knead the dough with a hand mixer that has dough hook attachments and a powerful motor. However, kneading the dough with a hand mixer is difficult as you have to hold the mixer and bowl. Hand mixers are best at preparing watery and loose doughs instead of those with less liquid content.
Let’s take a deeper look at this now.
Is A Hand Mixer Suitable For Kneading Dough?
Hand mixers are trusty, multi-purpose kitchen appliances that simplify various tasks in the kitchen.
You can use them to whisk eggs, churn cream, mix the batter, or mix many ingredients in minutes.
They also have a tiny footprint. So these trusty, multi-purpose tools barely occupy any space and are easy to clean and store.
Hand mixers have an internal motor and come with a set of beaters.
Some hand mixers will also have hooks and other attachments.
The main motor unit has a handle and buttons for switching the appliance on and off.
When you turn on the motor, the beaters or hooks start rotating.
As you drag them through the ingredients, they combine the ingredients together.
Thus, this device automates repetitive and time-consuming tasks like whisking, mixing, churning, and beating.
The beaters or hooks on a hand mixer are usually removable for easy cleaning.
Hand mixers will also have different speed settings.
Now, the attachments may vary across brands and models.
However, all hand mixers will come with a pair of rotating beaters.
This attachment will allow you to mix liquid batters, churn cream, beat eggs, and whip cream.
Some hand mixers also come with dough hook attachments for kneading dough.
Not all hand mixers can knead the dough.
Kneading dough is harder than mixing or whisking because it uses less liquid.
So, the machine should be strong enough to work the dough.
Unless a hand mixer has a powerful motor, kneading dough can burn the motor.
So you should always check if a hand mixer is powerful enough before using it to prepare a dough.
Even so, it’s not easy to knead the dough with a hand mixer.
You will have to control the movement of the hand mixer while holding the bowl.
It’s usually easier to mix bread dough by hand or use a stand mixer for this purpose.
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How To Knead Dough With A Hand Mixer?
A hand mixer can knead dough only if it has a dough hook.
Whisk and beater attachments are not designed for the task and may break if you use them for kneading.
Dough hooks are either C-shaped or S-shaped. C-shaped hooks usually come with stand mixers.
The ones you get with a hand mixer will be S-shaped.
To knead the dough, you must add water in small amounts to the flour.
Mixing flour with water develops the gluten in it. This gluten makes the dough elastic.
The unique shape of a dough hook allows it to work the elastic dough.
A spiral hook works by pushing the dough from the bottom of the bowl, thus reducing the effort needed for kneading it.
When kneading the dough with a stand mixer, the device stands upright. So your hands will be free to rotate the bowl.
Additionally, the C-shaped hook of a stand mixer moves flour from the sides of the bowl, reducing the need to rotate the bowl.
However, a hand mixer can’t stand on its own. You must hold it through the process.
You will also have to hold the bowl and rotate it to get through all the flour.
So both your hands will be busy, and it can take time to get used to the technique.
Nevertheless, the results are usually better with doughs where the recipe uses more liquid.
Here are the different steps to knead the dough with a hand mixer:
- The first step is to prepare the hand mixer for kneading by attaching the dough hooks.
- If the recipe uses butter, oil, or other liquid ingredients, you may want to beat them first with the beater attachment before adding the dry ingredients.
- Next, combine the flour and other dry ingredients with the liquid. Choose a low-speed setting for this stage.
- Add more liquid in stages. Allow the dough to come together till it reaches the desired consistency.
- Next, switch to a faster speed setting and continue mixing. The entire process should take at least eight minutes, but the exact time will depend on the quantity of flour and the amount of liquid used.
- You can stop when the dough is smooth, soft, and elastic. At this stage, you can use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball.
You can identify if the dough is done by checking whether it’s smooth and stretchy.
If the dough breaks when you pull it, the gluten is not fully activated.
It needs more kneading until you can stretch it apart without breaking.
Related Further Reading:
- Is a Turntable Necessary for Microwave Ovens?
- What is the Optimal Cooking Time for Rice in a Rice Cooker?
- Hand Mixers and Frothing Milk: Can it be Done?
Important Points To Remember When Using A Hand Mixer For Kneading Dough
Hand mixers can save the time and effort needed to mix ingredients.
However, kneading dough is one of the tougher tasks that a hand mixer performs.
So you should be careful when using this device for kneading.
Follow the below precautions to make the process smooth and easy.
- Start at a low speed: When kneading dough, always start at a low-speed setting and continue till the flour absorbs all the liquid. Once the dough begins to come together, you can slowly increase the speed.
- Don’t allow the device to heat up: The motor of your hand mixer has to work hard to knead the dough. So, it will become hot. Take sufficient breaks every few minutes to give the motor time to cool down. Prevent the motor from burning out by allowing the device to cool before it gets too hot.
- Use a heavy mixing bowl: While kneading the dough, you will also have to hold the bowl in place. A heavy bowl will stay put during the process. It will make it easier for you to control since the bowl will not move much.
Can You Mix Cookie Dough With A Hand Mixer?
Cookie dough is usually lightweight and soft. So you can mix it with a hand mixer.
Since cookie dough is not too dense, you don’t need strong dough hooks to prepare it.
However, this dough will still be heavy for a whisk. You will need the beater attachment of a hand mixer to prepare it properly.
Most cookie recipes will ask you to combine the wet ingredients before adding the dry ingredients.
You can use a hand mixer for the entire process.
Mix the wet ingredients with the whisk or beater attachment and then combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Avoiding Uneven Heating in Microwave Ovens
- Alternatives to the Paddle Attachment of a Hand Mixer
- Why is the Price Tag on Rice Cookers So High?
Can You Mix Pizza Dough With A Hand Mixer?
Pizza dough is elastic and tough. It doesn’t contain much liquid.
You should mix pizza dough thoroughly for it to be strong and stretchy.
If the dough is not mixed properly, it may tear or not hold its shape.
Many hand mixers are not strong enough for kneading pizza dough.
You will need a hand mixer with a powerful motor to mix pizza dough. It should also come with dough hooks.
It’s better to use hand mixers for pizza dough recipes that use more liquid.
However, the texture of the pizza base will end up being soft when you use a watery dough for the purpose.