Everything About Selecting Right Commercial Dough Mixer

Commercial Dough Mixer

When figuring out which commercial dough mixer is right for you, there are lots of options to think about. Whether it be more of a retail- or industrial-focus bakery, there is the ideal dough mixer accessible.

restaurant supply Dallas, we offer many different solutions from little 20-quart stand mixers to large scale commercial dough mixers and bowl lifts. Among these broad classes, there are lots of distinct styles of mixing, and each has an optimal role in the manufacturing space. So that is the best right choice for you?

Planetary Mixer

Arguably the most frequent kind of commercial dough mixer found in bakeries across the world, the mixer is more of this one-size-fits-all dough mixer. These mixers are always supplied with interchangeable tools like a dough hook, spiral, and whisk, along with an interchangeable stainless steel bowl. These mixers are generally known and sized based on their bowl volume rather than capacity because particular weights of doughs extensively vary.

The mixing action occurs through the rotation of this tool against the stationary mixing bowl. This kind of mixing action is usually ideal for doughs and batters with relatively high-fat content which aren’t yeasted. This is mainly due to the higher degrees of heat and friction input generated by the rotating tool using a static bowl. Although this kind of mixer can produce quality yeasted doughs, the margin for error is relatively small because of the high amount of heat input.

Spiral Mixer

Spiral mixers are a favorite of most artisan bread bakers due to their capacity to minimize heat input into yeasted doughs and also to properly create gluten arrangement without overworking the dough.

These commercial dough mixers are made with heavy-duty drive motors and gearboxes that provide high torque to allow them to be used with low-absorption doughs. Spiral mixers can also properly process even very small quantities of dough in connection to the max capacity (as low as 10 percent in some cases). Spiral mixers are most commonly termed by the maximum weight of dough that can be processed in every batch. The drawback of spiral mixers is their flexibility and flexibility in the forms of doughs that may be processed.

With spiral mixers, the mixing action happens through simultaneous rotation of the spiral dough hook and stainless steel mixing bowl. This results in only tiny amounts of dough being mixed at any given time while the rest of the dough in the bowl gets a chance to rest between kneading. This layout also tends to provide a very fast evolution of the dough together with a comparatively large margin for error for over mixing.

Diving Arm/Twin Arm

The diving arm or twin arm mixers are more commonly found in Europe as they’re better suited to greater hydration doughs or doughs with lower protein European flours. They’re gaining popularity in the U.S. as an increasing number of bakers move toward exceptionally high-quality, high-hydration formulas.

This type of commercial dough mixer is the gentlest form of mechanical dough mixing available and heat input is almost nonexistent. These machines develop the dough quite slowly as the movement of these mixing tools carefully mimics the procedure for kneading by hand. The shortage of intense friction also allows bakers to mix longer for maximum gluten development without worrying about overmixing.

The main drawbacks to this style of mixing are as follows:

  • Extremely long mixing times and power consumption. (Sometimes 30 to 45 minutes or more per mixture)
  • They are suited for very high hydration doughs. (or lower hydration doughs with very low protein content)
  • They can’t process small amounts of dough about the max capacity such as other styles of mixer can.

Fork Mixer

Fork mixers, similar to diving arm or twin arm mixers, are more often found in Europe (predominantly in Italy and France). They too are a gentle type of blending which generates minimal friction and heat input into the dough.

Two variations are found in the industry now — either with a motor-driven bowl (Italian type) or with a free-rotating bowl (French type) — which rely on the interaction of the mixing tool and dough against the bowl to twist it. In both versions, the fork mixing tool rotates slowly and essentially folds the dough over itself to create the gluten structure. Again, these very gentle kinds of mixing allow for more mixing times to reach maximum dough development without the chance of over mixing.

Fork mixers have a wider range of acceptable hydration compared to diving arm mixers, although they are more commonly used with higher-hydration doughs. Fork mixers fit somewhere between spiral mixers and diving arm/twin arm mixers in terms of mixing time, so the mixing time and power consumption are higher than average. They tend to require batch sizes that are near maximum capabilities too.

Overall, no style may do everything perfectly, and every kind of commercial dough mixer has a specialization. The most important aspects to consider when choosing a mixer or system of mixers are the product mix to be produced (and absorption/hydration range), the quality level desirable of the final products, available resources/capital, and the available space in the bakery.

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