I really like the whole wheat bread recipe I've been using in my bread machine, but the machine dying on me. How can I use my stand mixer instead? Do I need to add liquids with the yeast and let it proof for some time, or can I add all the ingredients into the stand mixer, add the dough hook and let it start mixing until dough forms?
You can, but you want to make sure the water or major liquid ingredient is about 120-130 F (50-55 C) to activate the yeast. For best success, you want to put the liquid ingredients into the mixer first.
Start it slowly. No one enjoys having the bread ingredients flung around the kitchen to clean up, which can happen easuk if you start on high.
If the hydration of your loaf is fairly high, you may be able to beat the dough for a minute or two with the paddle. For lower hydration loaves, you will want to start with the paddle, then switch to the dough hook when the dough comes together.
You will have to learn to tell when the kneading is sufficient. For moderate hydration loaves, this is when:
- The dough ball feels smooth and soft to the touch, and does not stick to your finger when you touch it
- An impression made to the dough ball with your finger springs back in a few seconds
- It passes the windowpane test: you can stretch it thinly between your fingers into a sheet thin enough to be translucent. See the link for pictures and more detail.
High hydration breads are trickier, but typically about 2 minutes of beating with the paddle should give them sufficient development.