Bread is a cornerstone in any budding baker’s recipe book. In fact, we humans love bread so much that strong evidence suggests that early civilizations have been baking bread for over 10,000 years! That’s a lot of loaves.
While it’s still certainly possible to make bread the good old-fashioned way, with a bit of arm-aching work and patience, thankfully there are plenty of modern tools available to help bake a hassle-free loaf of bread.
While a bread machine is certainly the most obvious, and my appliance of choice for making bread, your KitchenAid stand mixer is certainly more than capable of lending a helping hand. Getting your mixer to do the leg work will certainly reduce the amount of manual work in the bread-making process.
The KitchenAid Attachment For Bread: My Top 2 Picks
The dough hook is probably the first attachment that springs to mind when making dough, and certainly the most important. Although you could try making dough with a flat beater, the chances are won’t get very far, as the dough hook is specifically designed to simulate the manual action of kneading dough.
This attachment can be used for almost every type of dough, from normal bread dough to donuts, brioche, focaccia, and all your favorite bread-based foods.
The dough hook is up there with one of my most used attachments. When I feel like making some homemade bread but don’t want to be elbow-deep in bread dough kneading for 30 minutes, I reach out for my KitchenAid mixer bread attachment.
The dough hook is a standard KitchenAid attachment that is included with every model, along with the flat beater (paddle attachment) and wire whip (balloon whisk).
What is great about kneading the dough with a KitchenAid mixer is that it kneads to perfection in less than half the time that it would have taken if you kneaded by hand. All you need to do is lock in your dough hook, turn your mixer on and let it knead. I find that the KitchenAid mixer takes just under 10 minutes to knead the dough with the hook attachment.
A great trick that I use to tell if my dough is ready is by using the windowpane test. Tear a small section of dough and start stretching it. If it stretches without ripping and you can see through it it’s ready.
C-shape Hook or Spiral Hook?
KitchenAid has two types of dough hooks, the C-shape hook and the PowerKnead hook (spiral).
The C-shape dough hook is the traditional one that you will find comes with most stand mixers, regardless of the brand. This kind of dough hook attachment works by scraping the dough from the side of the bowl.
The spiral dough hook works by pushing the dough to the bottom of the bowl in a downwards spiral motion. Most veteran bakers will tell you that they prefer the spiral hook as it is more effective at kneading dough.
The C-shape hook tends to crawl up and get caught in the pin where the hook attaches. This can be a pain to deal with as you’ll need to stop your mixer and pull the dough back down each time it gets caught.
Even though the C-shaped attachment is not the most effective, it comes as a standard attachment with all tilt-head and some bowl lift KitchenAid stand mixers. The more powerful mixers like the Professional 600 or Commercial come with the PowerKnead spiral attachment. This is because the spiral hook is better at kneading at larger volumes.
If you only make bread occasionally, then the C-shaped dough hook kneads well enough and the smaller KitchenAid’s have a strong enough motor to knead small batches of bread.
If you are a bread lover like me who makes batch after batch of delicious homemade bread in large quantities, then it’s time to not only upgrade your dough hook but also your stand mixer to a more powerful KitchenAid that can withstand doughs in larger quantities.
The type of dough hook you can get depends on the size of your stand mixer, so take a look below to see which dough hook you can get for your KitchenAid stand mixer.
How to use KitchenAid dough hook
The dough hook is one of the handiest attachments for making bread with a KitchenAid mixer, but how do you make dough in a KitchenAid mixer?
Get all your ingredients in your mixing bowl and attach the dough hook. Turn your mixer on and set it at a low speed. Low speed is important here. The dough is tough and thick and if you try to knead your dough at a high speed it will put too much pressure on the motor. Low and slow is the way to go.
Knead on a low speed for around 10 minutes. What you want to start to see is the dough coming away clean from the side of the bowl. If this doesn’t happen, it means your dough is too wet and needs more flour. After 10 minutes, check if your dough is ready. As I mentioned earlier, the best test is the windowpane test. If you can see light through the piece of dough you’ve stretched then it’s good to go. If it tears, knead the dough for another 5 minutes. Keep doing this until you get a stretchy dough.
Overall it should take 10 minutes, but depending on the flour used and how wet the dough is, this might take a little longer. Be patient and keep using the windowpane until you are happy with your dough.
If you want an in-depth guide on how to use a KitchenAid stand mixer to knead dough, take a look at this video.
KitchenAid Grain Mill
If you really want to take bread making to the next level, you could go as far as making your own flour and the grain mill will help you achieve this. This attachment suits all of us dedicated bread lovers that want to make every part of the bread from scratch.
Milling your own flour is an extra step but so worth it to make delicious and nutritious bread. The KitchenAid grain mill is a handy tool that lets you choose the consistency of your flour, from extra fine to rough grain.
The mill grinder attachment is not a necessity, but if you want to try making your own flour then the grain mill is a great addition.
Ready to get started?
I think we can all agree that nothing beats the smell of fresh, homemade bread, whether the dough is made in a bread machine, by hand or in a stand mixer. The end result is the same; delicious bread. There is no need to keep buying bread when it can be made so easily at home. It is fresher, healthier and tastes incredible.
If you haven’t used your KitchenAid mixer bread attachment yet, now it’s time to bring it out. If you are just starting off your bread-baking adventures, a smaller KitchenAid stand mixer with a C-shaped dough hook will work just fine. That said, if you are a dedicated bread maker, then why not upgrade to one of the best KitchenAid stand mixers for bread dough?