Do I need a dough kneading machine to knead Kürtőskalács dough?
Believe it or not, we do have customers who ask us if they could do without the mechanical dough machine as they would like to knead the dough by hand.
Kneading the dough by hand would be a good excise and could improve your fitness levels and increase your muscle tone, BUT it would be very time consuming and quite honestly, I don’t believe you would be able to get the results that you would achieve by using an automated kneading machine.
Can I use my domestic multipurpose mixer to make Kürtőskalács dough?
Yes, you can, but the quantities you can produce will be small as the mixer you use at home probably won’t be big enough to make the quantities you require for commercial purposes. The dough used to make Chimney cake is very strong. It takes quite a bit of force (power) to knead it sufficiently. Chances are, you will soon burn out the motor your domestic kneading machine if its continuously used to make this type of dough.
What type of dough mixer should I look to purchase to use to mix the ingredients to make Chimney cake dough?
The advice which I give, is purely based on my experience and through using different kneading machines when visiting customers at their locations.
When I look for a kneading machine, I require the following specification:
- A kneading machine with a detachable bowl
The main reason for this feature, is that I can then remove the bowl from the kneading machine and place the bowl onto my weighing scales which enables me to weigh the ingredients directly into the bowl. So, no double weighing.
Another advantage of having a detachable bowl, is that it’s so much easier to clean.
I have worked with fixed bowl kneading machines, which when you need to clean, you have to pour water into the fixed bowl, scrub (usually have to bend down to do this) and then remove the dirty water from the machine, bit by bit which is time consuming. A detachable kneading bowl can simply be placed under the tap (water source) scrubbed, rinsed, dried, and placed back onto the actual machine.
Generally, dough spiral mixers have fixed bowls whereas planetary mixers have detachable bowls.
- A dough mixer with adjustable speed / more than one speed
I learnt from a veteran baker, that dough is best kneaded at a regular speed for most of the kneading time, but then to finish off on a higher / quicker speed which warms the dough for a quick rise, and it stretches those gluten strands which will eventually create a springy, smooth, and elastic dough.
What size kneading machine should I purchase?
The size of the dough mixer is usually given in litres or quarts. 1 metric litre is equal to 1.05668821 US quarts and so there isn’t much difference between the two measurements.
You don’t want to buy a machine which kneads such small amounts, that all you seem to do all day is knead dough, however, you don’t want the machine to be too big as it will take up space, cost you more and might not mix effectively small amounts of ingredients / dough.
So, lets do a rough calculation.
Let us say you want to make a batch of dough to produce 50 pieces per hour (170g per pieces for a standard size Kürtőskalács) for three hours (so dough for 150 pieces). The total weight of this dough, will be around 26kg
A 20-litre mixer should be able to handle 9kg of dough, so you would make 3 x batches to achieve the amount you require for the three-hour period. If you had a 30-litre machine, you might only have to make up two batches in the three-hour period.
However, please check the actual machines specification before you buy as I have seen that different brands / machines have different recommendations when it comes to maximum quantities and dough kneading capabilities.
Is there a specific brand name of kneading machine to look for?
Most catering equipment companies, and bakery sites recommend a spiral mixer for bread dough production because they keep the dough at a lower temperature given how the mixer bowl rotates as the spiral hook spins to knead the dough. This ensures the dough does not overheat or ferment too quickly, which affects how the yeast activates. HOWEVER, we do want our dough to rise quickly, so the dough kneading machine which seems to tick all my boxes is called the PLANETARY mixer. This is not the brand name, but a type of machine. The bowl is detachable and there are at least two if not three speeds to work with.
Apparently Italian machines are the best dough kneaders on the market. My current machine was purchased from Italy, however, after I bought it, I found out that it was made in China. But the machine has served me well so far and I have no complaints.
A Planetary mixer usually comes with three different tools:
- Balloon whisk
- Spatula whisk
- Dough hook
For kneading dough, you will use the dough hook, however the balloon whisk might also come in handy for mixing spreads such as sweet cheese frosting which you might serve with your baked Chimney cakes.
Where can I buy a kneading machine from?
The answer I always give customers to this question is, buy one as close as possible to where it will be delivered / used because these dough mixers are HEAVY which means high shipping costs if it is going to travel some distance.
Check out local catering and baking suppliers. Commercial kitchen suppliers. Amazon is always a good place to look as previous customers tend to leave feedback about their purchases, such as how the machine performs.
There is also a good supply of dough mixers on the second-hand market, so check on places such as:
- Craigs list
- Local selling sites
Any other tips?
If you are a mobile vendor, you will probably have your kneading machine inside your food truck or food trailer so that you can make up batches of dough according to your product demand.
As I previously wrote, these machines are heavy and seem to be quite stable. However, I suggest that you put a chain around the machine to secure it, so that when you are ‘on the road’ the machine does not move or fall over as due to its weight and size, it could cause considerable damage.