The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Mixing Times on Spiral Mixer

MaxTheBreadBaker's picture

Mixing Times on Spiral Mixer



I've been a professional artisan sourdough baker for over a decade. I've worked for an extended time at 8 bakeries and I've staged at other bakeries as well. 


Most bakeries seem to have mix times around 3-5 minutes on low speed, and then 4-8 minutes on high speed.  My current bakery mixes their staple sourdough for at least 15 minutes on low and at least 18 minutes on high. This feels very wrong to me, yet when I try to reduce their mix times, my bread no longer ferments on the same schedule. 

I'm trying to get to the bottom of this. They pretty much bulk all of their doughs for 3 hours before shaping, then we proof at room temp for an hour then in a retarder for about 4 hours before baking. 

I know their bread must be coming off the mixer hotter than mine. Honestly, I'm amazed their bread doesn't rip to shreds on the shaping table. 


Some of my staff is telling me our bread is flavorless, they argue it's because they are oxidizing the dough from the incredibly long mix times. 


I've only seen one other bakery use this extremely long mixing technique. Both bakeries that follow this technique are "European style" and I'm located in the states. 


Anyone else see mix times like this? Any thoughts about the whole process? I'm hypothesizing that my lower mix time dough will need 3-4 hours longer to bulk ferment to achieve the same gluten development as the 20 minute mix time dough. In this time, we might develop more flavor. This job has a high production volume and we don't have too much time to experiment, so I'm trying to improve my knowledge base before moving forward. 


Thanks y'all! Happy baking. 



barryvabeach's picture

I don't work in a commercial setting, but everything you said makes sense.  Their dough comes out warmer ,  which changes the fermentation schedule  Yours comes out cooler which will give a different flavor profile


When you say stafff say "our bread " is flavorless, I assume you are talking about the long mixing time version, correct? 


pmccool's picture

And can you have someone at one of your former employers temp theirs?

That should give a pretty strong indication.


G. Marie's picture
G. Marie

Bread Bakers Guild of America is a great group of folks. From their front page "Founded in 1993, The Bread Bakers Guild of America is a non-profit alliance of professional bakers, farmers, millers, suppliers, educators, students, home bakers, technical experts, and bakery owners and managers."

There is a membership fee but it is minimal compared to the information you have access too. They also have a forum where you can ask questions to members and it is active.

I joined as a home baker but your company could join and be added to their list of bakeries. I'd strongly suggest you/the company join. 

Rob De's picture
Rob De

Same story Max I baffled I own a bakery and been baking for 30 years. My mix times are extremely long, and I don't know why. If I use a shorter mix my dough will not trap gas. Would love some further advise, if you could help, ty rob de.