I’d like to share with you a simple technique that I use to do the initial stages of mixing / kneading of my bread. I use this method to save my hands and wrists as lets face it, kneading dough can sometimes be hard work.
If you are a one off bread maker you might enjoy the whole kneading process, it is fun and rewarding. If you are an expert bread maker you might be a die hard, do everything by hand person too. Sometimes I make the entire loaf by hand too, but just as I use an electric oven I also have no qualms in using an electric tool to mix my bread dough.
I do own a large stand mixer. I have previously used it for bread dough, but I worry about eventually burning out the motor of my expensive mixer. Besides it has a specific bowl which knobbly bits on the base of it and I don’t like to throw it in the dishwasher, so it needs to be washed by hand.
So what do I use?
I buy the almost cheapest hand mixer with dough hooks that I can find. I only use it for the donkey work of mixing my dough and I don’t care if the motor burns out. They last a year or two usually, at a cost of around £8 I am very happy to buy a new one every couple of years. I don’t feel guilty about the hard slog it does, I just stick the dough hooks in and go. If I have a particularly tough mix to do I don’t even fuss if the mixer doesn’t get to rest and cool down. When it starts to get ‘old’ I replace it, job done. The £4-£8 a year approximate cost is worth it to save my hands from getting sore and I get to keep my big mixer for all the ‘nice’ jobs in the kitchen like whipping cream or making cakes.
I cannot remember the last time I bought or even ate store bought bread. Nothing against manufactured bread at all, its just something I have never needed to buy. Using simple tools to make my baking easier is what I do to enable me to have bread on hand every day;after all I am a lazy baker. I love short cuts, I love one bowl wonder recipes and I love good tasty food.