Mixing action

13 April 2022
Mixing action | Bakery Academy

As with the order of raw materials, the order of mixing has a huge influence. It is therefore that different stages of mixing are being considered, depending on product and desired outcome.

o             All-in/1 Stage/Single Stage

This implies that all ingredients are directly put together and mixed: in some case this requires additional ingredients to facilitate(!).

o             Creaming

Fats are made soft/pliable, very frequently with sugar and/or syrups on low to medium speeds. In cakes, cookies and biscuits a certain amount of air incorporation is desired.

o             Autolyse

This is the process in which flour and liquids are being brought together (for fermented products) with little to no mixing time and allowed to hydrate, stimulate natural hydration and starting the process of (present) enzymes.

o             Hydration

Dissolving hard/ slow dissolving ingredients first, before adding other ingredients in 2 or 3 steps/ stages.

o             Foaming

Is a method where eggs and sugar are being aerated into a light fluffy mass, after which flour or starch can be added. As for merengues, sponge/ layer cakes.

o             Flour-Batter

In two mixing bowls is mixed. In the first one flour (and other dry components) with fats are creamed into a fluffy mass and in the second, eggs with sugar and other sugar products are whipped to a semi-firm foam. The sugar-egg mixture is then added to the fluffy mass and thoroughly mixed until the right batter density. This is particularly used in Batters.

o             Sugar-Liquids

in the first phase all the sugar and sugar products are mixed with half the liquids (water, eggs, milk, etc.) then the fats and flour (and other dry components) are added and mixed on medium to high speeds. As a last step the remaining liquids are added on a low speed. This is particularly used in semi-liquid doughs and batters.

o             Emulsion

Sugar and sugar products are creamed with fat, then the remaining other liquids (except eggs) are added in several small steps (the product looks like buttercream) then adding flour and in the last step adding the eggs and the batter is mixed until the batter density has been reached.

o             Sponge-dough

This is a method in between Hydration/Autolyse and consists of creating a fluffy/spongy mass, semi liquid, which is allowed to ferment. After this its final development with remaining dry matter(e.g. 

Flour and/ or salt) is being added to knead the dough to the desired level of development (of gluten/ proteins).

o             Artisan (cake) method

Beat the eggs, sugar and other sugar products (like glucose syrups, glycerol, lemon-paste) and heat until 37°C. Simultaneously melt the fats till boiling point. After the egg-mixture is aerated add the flour (and other dry components) on slow speeds and after that the fats are added on slow speed and mixed until a smooth batter is present.

o             2 Stage

This implies that the mixing process is divided in 2 parts.

o             3 Stage

This implies that the mixing process is divided in 3 parts

As noticed above there is variation on particular details, but generally speaking we notice that mixing is done between 1-4 different steps. The mixing time varies from probably less than 2 minutes for a Soda cracker sponge, up to 30 minutes or more for hard-sweet biscuit dough mixed in a spindle mixer. The longer the dough mixes the warmer it will be. In a larger mixer this friction becomes less intensive and less heat is developed. Variations in the dough temperature can cause differences in the quality of the final product. 


The more liquid a formulation or recipe is, we have different kinds of tools to choose from, when looking at a planetary mixer:

-                 Dough hook (or spiral)

This is used for more solid type of doughs: breads, crackers, cookies and biscuits

-                  Whisk
Intended for light masses (e.g. whip cream, cream Chantilly, egg whites, etc). A lot of air is being put in, but slightly irregular.

-                   Spindle
This is for soft masses, could be for certain type of cookies (such as a shortbread) or cakes, with a medium density of the batter or dough. Air intake is more regular and controlled, takes however longer time than with a whisk; this could propose a risk of overdevelopment of proteins.

Need to know more? Feel free to contact us!

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