Today’s loaf is a Rye Bloomer…

Marking what I hope is my return to breadmaking is today’s mostly organic loaf, a rye bloomer. Flour, as always, is from Shipton Mill, and I always use a stand mixer, in my case a 1200W Kenwood Premier Silver Chef (current version has been downgraded to 1000W for some reason). Without it I couldn’t bake at all – it does all the grunt work for me. You can, of course, make it by hand if you’re able.

My normal loaf is 50-50 white and some form of wholemeal. With rye, which doesn’t rise particularly well, I use more white than usual.

These are my scales, sitting on the cooling rack while my loaf bakes. Very accurate, £49.19 including a mains adapter. Runs on 3 AA batteries or the adapter. I’m still on the original batteries after 2 years or more. Go figure. If you bake a lot, it’s probably worth getting the adapter, it’s only a fiver.

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Stainless-steel dough hook? Forget it…

On Boxing Day – do I know how to live, or what? – I wrote about getting a stainless steel dough hook for my Kenwood mixer. Big mistake. Not the writing, you understand, but the dough hook. It was dire.

The standard non-stick dough hook has a matte surface, which actually engages with the dough, mixing it properly. The stainless version, however, is so highly polished that it just slips through the dough, barely making contact. The result, 6 weeks of substandard bread, with me trying various ploys to remedy the situation before it Continue reading

Kenwood Chef Stainless Steel Dough Hook…

I noticed some time ago that wholemeal bread flour was abrading the non-stick (ha!), surface of the dough hook, so when I recently upgraded to a Chef Silver Premier, I decided to also upgrade to a stainless steel dough hook.

Now, on the original version, there’s a plastic flange which prevents the dough, as it climbs the dough hook – a worrying phenomenon the first time you see it – embedding itself in the planetary head.

However, the s-s version has a s-s flange, and this has a Continue reading

Making bread using a stand mixer…

As there’s not a lot of advice on using stand mixers for mixing bread dough, I though I’d share my experiences with you. I’ve covered the basics in this post – this is the detail.

Because of worsening health, even before my recent crisis, and spreading arthritis, some months ago I started using a stand mixer, a Kenwood Chef Classic (avoid the Kenwood Prospero, it’s cheap and nasty, and the dough hook is a piece of junk).

Kitchen Aid mixers, which in some ways I would have preferred, are gorgeous, particularly the special edition Candy Apple Red version, but they’re overpriced and underpowered – see footnote.

My first attempt at using the mixer was disappointing and very Continue reading