Mixing, is a vital part of any bakery preparation. Here you will find a comprehensive list of the major mixing methods.
STRAIGHT DOUGH METHOD
In its simplest form, the straight dough method consists of only one step: Combine all ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix. Many bakers make good quality products by using this procedure. However, there is the possibility that the yeast may not be evenly distributed in the dough. It is therefore safer to mix the yeast separately with a little of the water.
1. Soften the yeast in a little of the water. For fresh yeast, mix about twice its weight in water, or more. Ideal water temperature is 100F. For activated dry yeast, mix with about four times its weight in water. Ideal water temperature is 110F.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients, including the rest of the water, in the mixing bowl. Add the dissolved yeast, taking care not to let it come in contact with the salt.
3. Mix to a smooth, developed dough.
MODIFIED STRAIGHT DOUGH METHOD:
For rich sweet dough, the straight dough method is modified to ensure even distribution of fat and sugar.
1. Soften the yeast in part of the liquid, using a separate container.
2. Combine the fat, sugar, salt, milk solids and flavourings, mix until well combined, but do not whip until light.
3. Add the eggs gradually, as fast as they are absorbed.
4. Add the liquid and mix briefly.
5. Add the flour and yeast. Mix to a smooth dough.
Sponge dough are prepared in two stages. This procedure gives the yeast action a head start.
1. Combine the liquid, the yeast, and part of the flour (and sometimes part of the sugar). Mix into a thick batter or soft dough. Let ferment until double in bulk.
2. Punch down and add the rest of the flour and the remaining ingredients. Mix to a uniform, smooth dough.
CAKE MIXING TWO STEP METHOD:
The first step in making high-ratio cakes is blending the flour and other dry ingredients with shortening. When this mixture is smooth, the liquids (including eggs) are added in stages. Throughout this procedure, it is important to follow two rules:
1. Mix at low speed and observe correct mixing times. This is important to develop proper texture.
2. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently during the mixing. This is important to develop a smooth, well mixed batter.
Procedure: Two step method:
1. Scale ingredients accurately. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt into the mixing bowl and add the shortening. With the paddle attachment, mix at low speed for 2 minutes. Stop the machine, scrap down the bowl and beater and mix again for 2 minutes. If melted chocolate is used, blend it in during this step. If cocoa is used, sift it with flour in this step or with the sugar in step 3.
3. Sift the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl and add part of the water or milk. Blend at low speed for 3 to 5 minutes. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and the beater several times to ensure even mixing.
4. Combine the remaining liquids and lightly beaten eggs. With the mixture running, add this mixture to the batter in three parts. After each part, turn off the machine and scrap down the bowl.
5. Continue mixing for a total of 5 minutes in this stage. The finished batter will normally be quite liquid.
SUGAR BATTER METHODS:
To achieve the best possible results, a temperature of approximately70oF (21oC) should be aimed at and the materials used should be brought to this temperature prior to mixing.
1. The fat, margarine or butter is first beaten to a light foam with the sugar. With fat and margarine, this can be effected in about 4 minutes but butter is difficult to cream and will require at least three times as long. Color and essences should be added at this stage.
2. The egg is now added and beaten in. if a machine is employed, the egg can be added in a steady stream over a period of about 2 minutes. If mixing is done by hand, add the egg in about four portions, beating each well in.
3. Add the flour and carefully mix it into the batter. The aim should be to get a clear smooth batter without lumps and yet not toughened.
4. Lastly, add any liquid, for example milk, fruit, nuts etc., and blend into the batter carefully to ensure even distribution.
FLOUR BATTER METHOD:
1. Mix the sugar with the egg and whisk to a half sponge. Add any color or essence at this stage.
2. Cream the fat (margarine or butter) with an equal proportion of flour.
3. Add (1) to (2) in about four portions, blending each portion of the half sponge well into the fat/flour cream.
4. Blend into the batter the remainder of the flour, so that a smooth mixing free of lumps will result.
5. Lastly, add any other materials such as milk, fruit, nuts, etc., and blend in carefully to ensure even distribution.
Note: Dry ingredients like cocoa, baking powder, and ground almonds, are always added with the flour.
THE BISCUIT METHOD
1. Scale all ingredients accurately.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
3. Cut in the shortening, using the paddle attachment or the pastry knife attachment. Or, if you prefer, cut in the fat by hand, using a pastry blender or your fingers. Continue until the mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal.
4. Combine the liquid ingredients.
5. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients. Mix just until the ingredients are combined and a soft dough is formed. Do not over mix.
6. Bring the dough to the bench and knead it lightly by pressing it out and folding it in half. Rotate the dough 90 degrees between folds.
7. Repeat this procedure about 10 to 20 times, or for about 30 seconds. The dough should be soft and slightly elastic, but not sticky. Over kneading toughens the biscuits.
THE MUFFIN METHOD
- Sift together the dry ingredients.
- Combine all liquid ingredients, including melted fat or oil.
- Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix just until all flour is moistened. The batter will look lumpy. Do not over mix.
- Pan and bake immediately. The dry and liquid mixtures may be prepared in advance. But once the mixtures are combined, the batter should be baked without delay, or loss of volume may result.
THE CREAMING METHOD
- Combine the fat, sugar, salt, spices and milk powder (if used) in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Blend to a smooth paste.
- Add the eggs and blend in thoroughly.
- Add the water or milk (liquid) and mix in.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to the bowl and mix to a smooth dough.
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