I just got a new stand mixer - a nice, heavy 500W mixer with a 5-liter bowl. Until now, I'd been making bread by hand and kneading it on the countertop.

So the first thing I tried was using the mixer with the kneading hook, but I find that the dough tends to get wrapped around the hook and just spins around along with it.

I guess I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not sure if it's my technique or my ingredients. I'm using the same bread recipes as I did before. Any ideas?


Thanks for all the input, guys. Here's some more info:

  • The mixer is a Kenwood KMix KMX-50.
  • I've tried adjusting the height of the dough hook up and down, I'm not sure how far from the bowl's surface it should be. Any suggestions? I don't think
  • I doubt it's a volume/quantity issue - I'm using a kilo of flour, which is around the 1.3kg bread weight limit of the spec.
  • I mix at low speed.

I'll try Sobachatina's suggestion and try to add water. Let's see how it turns out. Thanks for all your suggestions!

  • 1
    Maybe it's too little dough for the bowl, so it's not catching on the sides enough to pull at it? Seems like the answer would then be smaller bowl or more dough. (I don't have a stand mixer.)
    – Cascabel
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 13:41
  • Do you have the C-hook dough hook or the spiral?
    – rfusca
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 15:01
  • Does the dough hit the sides of the bowl at all?
    – rfusca
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 15:07
  • 1
    I have a little rubber bung that goes where the attachment is inserted, this prevents the dough climbing the hook. Don't suppose it came with one of those?
    – Gary
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 23:25
  • 4
    A kilo of flour produces much more than 1.3 kg dough. Standard, easy-to-work-with dough will use 600 ml of water per kg flour. So if you actually make 1.6 kg dough, you are overloading the mixer. If you use 1 kg flour and 300 ml water, your dough is way too hard.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 14:38

15 Answers 15


I mix dough in my kitchenAide all the time, and this happens all the time, so through the process I check the consistency and dryness and I've developed a feel for the "just right formula", but being ADHD I don't go in with precise measurements each time, but that would be a good idea once perfection is found. So anywho, I take a strong spatula from time to time and cut it of the hook, to give it a nice restart with hook on outside of dough ball. but your dough needs to be dry enough that it is cleaning itself off the bowl and it will the hook too. It's designed to find that perfect balance so that it starts wet and sticky and then as the gluten starts to web it becomes self cleaning, and the kneading is drying it a little or maybe the material is absorbing the liquid, either way it goes from dry to wet. Another thing I do if the hook is wrapped in dough instead of working against the sides, I briefly turn up the speed and that will throw the dough to the sides and sometimes clean it.


I think I finally found a solution, which worked for me: I started with @monte-hill's notes about how the dough is too wet, causing it to stick, and added something I learned elsewhere.

My mistake was that I was dumping all the liquids into the mixing bowl right at the start.

The best solution I found that works is to GRADUALLY add the liquids. I put a about half plus a bit extra in the bowl at the start, then start the mixer. Once all the fluid has been absorbed, I add the rest. I've tried this a couple of times already, and it's made a complete difference in the results and the process!

  • 3
    Good point. Reinhart (a known bread author) actually suggests using a paddle for mixing and only changing to a hook after the dough has come together.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 12:33
  • 15
    @Rumtscho- that sounds like advice from someone who doesn't have to wash the dishes when he's done. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 16:15
  • 1
    I have this same mixer (love it) and I do the oposite. I start with all the liquids in the bowl and gradually add the dry ingredients.
    – Croves
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 16:40

There are two main reasons that this will happen. Not enough dough and not enough water.

When making bread dough by hand you want drier dough so that it can be conveniently worked. You also don't want to be elbow deep in dough so it's nicer to make smaller batches. On the other hand, when using a stand mixer the dough needs to be softer and deep enough to make good contact with the side of the bowl.

The dough in your mixer should be dry enough to pull away from the sides of the bowl and leave the sides relatively clean. It should remain wet enough to stay very soft and tacky to the touch. As a plus- the wetter dough will result in a much nicer consistency for your bread as well.

Play with your recipe until you find a consistency and volume that your mixer will handle well. Each time I have acquired a new mixer I have had to adjust my bread recipe for it.

  • I'm not sure it's a quantity issue. The spec for the mixer says 1.3kg of dough is the limit, and I use a kilo of flour, so it should be about right.
    – Jono
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 12:17

Did you mix using high speed?

Using a relative low speed will reduce the likelihood of the dough to wrap around the hook.

  • I only tried at low speeds.
    – Jono
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 12:18

I think this is a problem of the mixer itself. I have never had a stand mixer, but my old no-name hand mixer had exactly the same problem. My new Bosch hand mixer is great for dough.

Before I bought the Bosch, I read not only test magazines, but also customer reviews at Amazon and others, and one thing they mentioned is that it has the "power" to knead the dough, so it doesn't climb up the hooks like with other mixers. From what I understand about mixers, it isn't only the power (although the 500W number probably doesn't mean the same thing across brands - is this input power, output power, is it under load, is it average or maximum power, etc.?) but mostly the torque. Two different motors can output the same power with different torque, and if the torque isn't enough, the hook won't be able to go through the dough.

The best way to recognize if that is what is happening is to listen at what happens with the dough. When you whip something easy, like cream, you hear an even humming from the motor. With dough, if the mixer can't handle it, the hooks rotate slower, and the humming is different. With a hand mixer, you can even hear the change in tone and feel the slowing if you press the hooks into the dough. I don't know how you can imitate it with the stand mixer, maybe use a non-fixed big bowl and try to move the bowl so the dough gets pressed against the hooks. If they slow and the motor growls, it is just not strong enough.


I add all the water but only about 3/4 of the flour and let the hook do most of the kneading that way. Then when I add the rest of the flour a little at a time the dough starts to climb.

But I'm okay with it then because stopping to pull it off the hook occasionally gives me a chance to feel the dough. When the dough nearly falls off the hook by itself-- it's ready.

It seems like less strain on the motor too for the first part of the kneading action.


You are not doing anything wrong. I had the dough climbing problem with my 25 year old Kitchen Aid. King Arthur sells KA mixers (and uses it) and they suggested kneading that particular batch by hand. I tried everything. I switched to Kitchen Aid approved bread recipes. I invested in the newer KA dough hook and I had the bowl balanced and I still had dough climbing the hook. Finally, after much research, I bought an Ankarsrum mixer.

With the Ankarsrum I have had zero problems with dough climbing the dough hook. The paddle works fine on highest hydration dough (and with lower hydration dough too) under 8 cups of flour. The hook takes over on the big batches. It is a pleasure to watch the dough stream off the end of the hook safely back into the bowl. The KA is better for creaming cold hard butter and making cookie dough. The Ankarsrum is better at kneading bread dough and the machines are matched doing everything else. You need another machine or to kneed by hand.

Bosch Universal has a strong fan base with bakers too but I have heard some complaints about dough climbing with that machine too.


Start with the liquid ingredients first including yeast and sugars but leave out the salt. Mix the salt with the flour. Start the machine on low and add just enough flour/salt to create a thick batter. Mix until smooth at least 3 minutes then add the remaining flour a little at a time until the dough climbs the hook. Your dough is done.


I have heard of people spraying the hook down with non-stick spray before using it. That might help.

  • 1
    This only works if you have an initial very wet dough that will start to hydrate as it mixes. I've tried it many a time and it never seems to help much past the first 30 seconds or so.
    – rfusca
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 15:02

I too have found that adding liquid gradually eases problem, but does not eliminate it.

The dough does not get tossed around in bottom of bowl by the hook as it should, but clings to hook and only minimal kneading is happening.

The issue is the bowl not being wider, and so the hook also needs to be slim elongated and screw like, not wide and to side of bowl like professional mixers. I used Hobart mixers in school. Expensive and big, but never this problem regardless of dough consistency and amount.

This is a design issue, not a cost issue, I believe. Pro mixers cost a lot for build quality and longeivity of life. They do not cost a lot for having right bowl and hook design.



If the mixer you have is a Kitchen Aid, I suspect that the issue is poor alighnment of the dough hook with the bowl. According to a Kitchen Aid sales rep I spoke to about this, if you get the exact right bowl height (by adjusting the screws) then this problem gets much better. However, I have tried this and not been successful; I suspect that the angle may need adjusting as well, and the KA doesn't give you any way to adjust that.


Nothing will stop dough sticking to the hook.You will have to stop the process regularly and "cut" off the dough witha wooden/plastic spatula. Let the mixer do the hard work but finish off by hand fora couple if minutes. I have done the experiments . I usually work to 1kg flour to 600ccs water. The yeast/oil/sugar/salt seems to matter very little to the stickiness.....what DOES matter is how fast the yeast works in the mixer and so I now leave out the yeast, I am using fresh, and crumble it in just before my 2 minutes hand kneading. If it works too quickly in the mixer the dough will always get too sticky. Fresh yeast needs a good long rise, even overnight, BUT ( purists will scream) I let it rise in its final baking repository and never knock it back. Basically, single dough hooks on a single drive do not work. You just have to accept it! Best, tectak

  • There are other answers to the question that give tricks to avoid that stickiness. Can you explain why you sat nothing will stop sticking?
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 12:31
  • Yeasts will work faster depending on the quantity you add. Putting less yeast will make dough rise less quickly. 1 part of fresh yeast has the same effect as 1/3 of dry one.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 12:33

I have this problem too and I did 2 things which solved this problem entirely. First I adjusted the bowl height. You can find about how to do it in the instruction booklet that comes with the machine or find some youtube video. It's very easy and you only need a screwdriver. Secondly, I used a higher speed when I knead, like a speed 3. Hope this will help~


Swap the two hooks over. you have them the wrong way around. No joke, I can't believe nobody here has mentioned this. 😂

  • Most stand mixers use a single hook. Still, it's a good thing to try if it's a handheld mixer. It won't help in all, or even most, cases, but sometimes it is indeed the reason.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 16:23
  • Yeah, I've never met a stand mixer that had two hooks, and this question is pretty clearly about a stand mixer.
    – Marti
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 23:55
  • And note that not all mixers handle thtis switch well - you might damage your machine.
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 5:16

Your mixer is not good enough for bread. A good bread mixer has a sprial with a braker bar in the middle, but this is not cheap.

  • I've seen professional bread mixer and they actually have a breaker bar. Also, the bowl's bottom is less rounded, which helps keeping the dough away from the hook.
    – algiogia
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 16:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.