Dough and mixers

Hello All,

I am going to be using a spiral mixer. I have found one that I think will be a good performing unit and its priced right. It holds a 50lb. bag of flour. My question is ( I am sure Tom knows the answer here)…Will your dough recipe vary slightly with a spiral mixer. Anyone using one or anyone who has used both is there any thing you can share. Thank you.

Your dough recipe/formula really doesn’t care what kind of mixer you use, but do keep in mind that your dough mixing time may be affected to some extent by the type of mixer you use. Spiral mixers, when operated at full, or near full capacity, seem to have about the same total mixing time as a planetary type mixer, but when you get down to about 50% capacity (25# of flour in your case) the total mixing time tends to be a little longer than that of a planetary mixer. When you watch the dough being mixed in the bowl and you see how the dough is exposed to only limited agitation by the spiral, when small size doughs are mixed, it will be easy to understand. It doesn’t pose a problem, just mix the dough a couple minutes longer when the need calls for it.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Easygoer13 is this mixer going to satisfy your needs or are you sacrificing needs to get something that is “priced right”?..Is the used mixer in good working order?..Are replacement parts available?..Is there anyone around that can fix it?..Will something that is “priced right” turn out to be more costly when it breaks down and leaves you in a tough spot in the middle of a rush?..Good luck…

Actually it is brand new mixer. The shop I used to work in many… long…long…years ago, we would mix our batches with 50 lb flour so I thought I would be fine.


Do you like a spiral mixer ?..Or do you have no preference .I know they do not seem to be as common. My understanding of them is that they are limited to only doing dough, but that for dough alone they get more oxygen into the mix and that you may get an extra 24 hours of usability from your dough because of this. This is not my reason for going this route it just happens that I like the product and it is a spiral.

Yes, I do like the spiral mixers, they’re able to mix large quantities of dough (available in sizes to mix up to 300-pounds of flour), they are very durable, they can mix doughs based on as little as 25% of their rated bowl capacity in flour weight. The only down side to them is their lack of an attachment hub and dedication to mixing only dough. But if dough mixing is all that you want it to do (remember, it can’t do anything else), it will do it’s job quite well, and quite possibly longer than other types of mixers without major servicing.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

One of our stores used to use a spiral mixer that barely could mix a 50LB flour weight batch of dough. The dough came out fine, same as a planetary mixer, but there were a few drawbacks. First of all, the mixer struggled, and even stopped a few times each batch and the dough would need to be moved away from the hook. Secondly, the bowl was not removable making it much more difficult to pull the dough out of the bowl onto the table. If the machine you are looking at doesn’t have a removable bowl, I would recommend looking at a larger model that has this feature and will handle 50LB batches better.

Hummm, from what you have described, it sounds like the mixer was/is wired incorrectly so the spiral is turning in the wrong direction. When the spiral is turning in the correct direction, there is no way the dough can climb onto the spiral. You can have this very same problem with a planetary mixer too.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I had a spiral mixer for many, many yrs (Impasti brand) and it worked flawlessly, until a newby started/stopped/started it & broke the chain…

Went to Home Depot, got another & never had another problem…mixed many a 50# bag/day

Sadly, we sold it, as the new store had a 60 qt Hobart…would still use it, but it is a minor hassle to clean…

Now that we shred our cheese, it would be tough to bring back the spiral alone, unless a cheese solution was in place…

I fought for many years trying to convince manufacturers to put a plastic (UHMW) drain plug in the bowls of their mixers. Some did it, but others never did. The bowls can be retrofitted with a plug by welding on a 4X4 piece of 3/8-inch stainless steel on the outside bottom of the bowl (typically, near the outer edge, just before it goes vertical). A 1-inch or larger, hole is drilled and tapped, then a plastic plug is made for the hole. The plug is threaded, has a square head, and is rediused to the contour of the inside of the bowl. If you go this route, be sure to get several extra plugs made as Home Depot doesn’t carry anything like it. With a drain plug, you can easily clean the mixing bowl by putting in a gallon or two of hot, steaming water, brushing down the inside of the bowl with a sanitary plastic pot brush, then covering the bowl with a piece of plastic so it can steam for a few minutes, then come back and finish cleaning. Put a plastic bucket under the plug, remove the plug and force the water to the drain hole. Finish with a sanitizer rinse and wipe out with paper towels, put the plug back in and you will be good to go the next day.
I saw where there was some concern about getting the dough out of the mixer, just pour a cap full of oil along the inside edge of the bowl when the dough is finished mixing, then cut it out in chunks. This is not any more difficult than cutting it out of a planetary mixer bowl, or pulling a bowl and and lifting both the bowl and the dough up onto a bench top for cutting.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

From What I have gathered the spiral will supposedly mix a great dough but that’s it, as you mentioned no attachments and it is harder to clean. Paul mentioned this, the bowl for some reason unknown to me does not come off, perhaps Tom knows why. Bottom line in my case I think the unit I am looking at represents a great mixer at a very good price. Paul they make them in different sizes could you have simply to small of a unit.


Your right about the plugs some do have them and some do not. The unit I am looking does not… :frowning: …It is an Italian made unit…( parts) I know…Tom do you agree with those who say that you can get 48-72 hours of usable dough with the spiral mixed because of the way it oxygenates the mix…or is that a myth…

I’m not aware of any of the small size spiral mixers that have a removeable bowl. It would certainly add to the cost. These mixers are not constructed anything like a planetary mixer. The bowl, when removeable, is affixed to a set of wheels, allowing the bowl to be pulled from the mixer, plus, to pull the bowl out, the mixer head, with the mixing attachment would need to tilt upwards to clear the bowl. Attachment (spiral) does not remove from the head of the mixer. So you can see where there would be additional cost to have a removeable bowl. Larger size mixers do have the removeable bowl feature almost as standard equipment.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor