As I said last time, the bowl supplied with my Kenwood Silver Chef Premier is rubbish, so I was reverting to the much better bowl from my Chef Classic.
Did that today, all the problems I’d had with the bowl went away.
I also changed my technique slightly. Normally I pour the water/vinegar/yeast starter mixture into the bowl with the machine running, then add the oil. This time, I made a well on one side of the flour in the bowl, and added the lot all at once. Let it run on Minimum until mostly mixed (added the oil after about 30 seconds), stopped, scraped it down and ran it on 1 for the kneading phase for a few minutes (you might think there’s no skill in using a mixer – you’d be very wrong – all the mixer does is take the work out of the process, you still need to know how long to mix for, and how long to knead).
The result – perfection. None of the stickiness that normally plagues my machine-made dough with the old method, it needed minimal attention from me, and the finished dough came away from the bowl cleanly, in text-book fashion. The reason, I think, is that just sloshing it all in at once improves hydration somehow. Quite clearly, from the lack of stickiness, the liquid was better absorbed, as it is when mixed by hand, when it all gets added at once and the result is smooth instead of sticky.
The first proving, too, is proceeding with great enthusiasm.
I’m impressed. And nothing else was changed – quantities, yeast, hydration, and type of flour – all were as normal.