Many years ago when I worked for a decent sized midwest chain (Happy Joes), that’s exactly how we mixed the dough. Dry mix for two minutes (Flour, yeast, shortening, and other dry ingredients), add 1/3 of the water mix for another two minutes, add another 1/3 of the water mix for another two minutes, add the final 1/3 of the water and mix for 4 minutes. I am not sure why they did it this way as now that I own my own store, I follow Tom’s dough mixing procedure.
This sounds INCREDIBLY odd. 2 minutes to mix flour, yeast and dry ingredients? That’s an awful long time to mix dry stuff. Tom has said repeatedly that you don’t want to add the fat until the end due to not hydrating the flour properly. In addition, I’ve found that adding water to a dough after it’s been mixed can be very difficult to fully incorporate. I believe it would also put more stress on the mixer (mixing 40% hydration dough vs 50-60% hydration).
I remember Tom talking about procedures that the large, 1000 pound + batches, bakeries do to get more bulk through hydration in their batches. For us, the difference may be insignificant.
Most people may not want maximum hydration in their dough.
I maxed out on the hydration this morning, and it tosses pretty impressively, one spin and it opens all the way up.
Tricky, and a show.