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TBird 20 QT Mixer in action...

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  • TBird 20 QT Mixer in action...

    Well I cranked up this baby for the first yesterday morning and I was very impressed at the way that it prepared the dough. Effortless, efficient and thorough probably best sums up it's overall performance.

    There was about 1.6 Kg of flour in the bowl and I think that it would probably have liked a bit more.

    In my excitement I forgot to autolyse for 20 mins - but the results even without this were among my best ever.

    Highly recommend getting a "serious" dough mixer (second hand is fine if in good condition). This level of efficiency really highlights the shortcomings of the KA when using it for making medium to large batches of pizza dough. I look forward to also making just a single batch of dough even when catering for up to 25 people! So much hassle and time consuming doing endless small batches. The spiral dough hook also has a much more effective kneading action when compared to the C hook provided with the KA.

    I will however keep the KA in case I want to make meringues or light pastries in the future.

    A couple of clips showing start and mixed stages of the dough in the TBird:

    ** Warning - Boring Alert ***

    Part 1 - starting: YouTube - Thunderbird 20 QT Mixer in Action (part 1)

    Part 2 - mixed: YouTube - Thunderbird 20 QT Mixer in Action (part 2)

    End result pic cooked in the electric oven...

    / Rossco

  • #2
    Re: TBird 20 QT Mixer in action...

    viewed the videos and the dough hook looks like it is not as well suited to the bowl as it could be. The first video showed almost a 10mm wall of dry flour that didn't seem to want to mix readily which indicates to me that the hook needs to be close to the sides of the bowl and almost touching the bottom. I'm not sure if you can make adjustments to the machine but check the clearance of the bowl/beater/hook, it should almost touch or within say 5mm. If so, it will mix much quicker and uniformly.
    I also noticed that in your video clip #2 that your hydration was a little too wet. You dough looked more like batter than dough.

    In my excitement I forgot to autolyse for 20 mins - but the results even without this were among my best ever.
    I never autolyse when I mix my dough, just simply measure out my water, add the dry yeast, microwave it to warm the water to body temps, wait for the yeast to become active (usually 5-10 minutes) and then add to the flour and mix.
    I then add either water or flour until the mix is like a soft plasticine or putty consistency, lay it out on a flour dusted slab, knead it for a couple of minutes, roll it up and proof in a 4l ice cream container with a loosely fitting lid. Always wonderful dough, quick easy and reliable.
    Sorry fellow members if this contradicts your idea of dough mixing and preparation, bit it works for me and my strongest critic, the other half!

    Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

    The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

    Neillís Pompeiii #1
    Neillís kitchen underway


    • #3
      Re: TBird 20 QT Mixer in action...

      Hi Neill ...

      Tks for the note...

      I have been following the 20 min autolyse approach for some time now and it has given good results. It has been an interesting exercise however "inadvertently" leaving out that step as I will be able to measure those results against a batch that I autolyse next time around.

      I was a bit concerned about using such a small amount of flour for such a big machine, but the hook seemed to be going through it OK. Next time however I would use the paddle to combine the flour and water first before switching to the hook. I will check the bottom clearance though, but it seemed to be barely clearing the bowl so I felt it was OK to use like that. It will definitely be happier if I used another kg of flour though I have no doubt.

      The side clearance though was something I never thought of. Should the hook be swishing past the side with only a few mm to spare? I will just pop out to the garage and see what the clearance looks like. I was given 2 bowls with the mixer so perhaps the other one is the correct one to use. Will report back on this point shortly...

      On the batteryness of the mix - that was done on purpose, as the methodology I am following requires me to do a "wet knead" for 5 mins before adding the last 25% of flour and bringing the consistency up to the correct level. Hydration is 67% so it is still wet nonetheless. I should have explained this in my last post perhaps but I was keen to post pics of the machine in action, so didn't worry to elaborate.

      / Rossco


      • #4
        Re: TBird 20 QT Mixer in action...

        OK ... round number 2 - same recipe and size but with following differences:

        1. water was chilled slightly (it is very hot here today);
        2. used paddle to blend 75% of the flour, water, salt and yeast;
        3. autolysed 20 mins

        Then did the following:

        1. wet kneaded with spiral hook for 5 mins;
        2. added remaining 25% flour during additional 4 minutes of kneading;
        3. adjusted flour/water to correct dough consistency;
        4. light bench kneaded then into contained for bulk fermentation.

        Plan to use it this evening so will remove a few hours before use and ball it and let it rest for 1.5 hrs before baking.


        1. incredible gluten development;
        2. autolyse seemed to make an impact on the quality of the dough as it accepted more flour quicker;
        3. bulk of the kneading done "wet" which produced a nice firm dough.

        Will be baking in a few hours time so will post the final results then.

        / Rossco