mixer question for Tom

planetary or spiral and vertical cutter ?
i read that fast mixing is better for bread is that true ? please your thoughts on planetary vs spiral mixers TY

hello everyone, :smiley: i just want to bring my post back to the top :smiley:

Bumping threads is usually frowned on in most forums. Also, if you have a question for a specific member, it is also better to send them a PM.

Tom can give you a better answer from all his experience…

in the meantime, I think Tom would agree, that any mixer will work and you can make a fine dough with any of them
may have to adjust the mixing time and temperatures to your liking

As for me, I have a planetary and a barrel mixer. I mix a little longer in the barrel mixer because it has only one, slower speed. I go by the looks of the dough as opposed to time anyway.
I understand spiral mixers go a little longer also because of the more gentle agitation.
A vertical cutter mixer really rocks with speed and is easier to over mix because of the much faster agitation. You can use a vertical cutter mixer to do more other stuff, like dicing cheese.
Planetary mixers have the hub where attachments for cutting and shredding can be added.

How are you mixing now ?


I’m not tom but here is some good info that might help you.


I use a VCM and love it. Some will say that a VCM is NOT the way to go for pizza dough, however, it has been GREAT for me for the past 5.5 years. Perfect dough EVERY time. SUPER FAST!

russ cox

[quote=“russ cox”]
I use a VCM and love it. Some will say that a VCM is NOT the way to go for pizza dough, however, it has been GREAT for me for the past 5.5 years. Perfect dough EVERY time. SUPER FAST!

The above is th gist of this forum. Everyone has the option of presenting their opinion.

I do not use the units discussed. I can only report the response I get from many hundreds of clients.

We have no clients, and we have hundreds, who over the years , have selected the vcm type unit for mixing dough.

As I always observe, the chain that introduced the vcm to the pizza market soon acquired a reputation for card board pizza.

I have no ax to grind for any unit that mixes dough. I only report what my clients tell me.

George mills

I hear you, George, and value your opinion. I just cannot help thinking that there are LOTS of other factors in the dough process that can affect the texture and flavor, like using a sheeter/press set to thin and poor dough formulation for the mixer. I am not touting any machine yet since I’m not using one . . . I just remember that nothing in this business has been simple yet :shock:

We just started using a VCM in August. At the moment I have mixed feelings on it. I love it for cheese & sauce. The labor savings there are worth the investment alone. While I admit I have not put enough time into working out the dough production process, the outer shell of the crust is a bit tougher – more noticeably the longer it sits. I countered this by adding more water and keeping the mixing time to longer than 45 seconds. While I still need to address the final dough texture there have been pluses. The labor savings are one but that would not sway me in light of an inferior product. What has been a real quality bonus is the consistency of product. Since there are no waiting times essentially, I can have a crew of guys turn out several batches non-stop. No time to get distracted doing other things where the dough can sit at various stages.

If any VCM users out there can offer some advice or suggestions on how to combat the toughness I would love to hear it.

Actually, the spiral is probably the best of the mixer designs where heavy duty mixing is concerned, the only problem is that they don’t normally have provision for an attachment hub or use of a flat beater (paddle) for mixing sauce, so they are more of a dedicated, dough only mixer. The planetary mixers are sturdy, have attachment hubs and also come with flat beaters, douigh hooks, and wire whips, just to name a few of the many attachments available for these mixers, plus, you can also get them with different size bowls, pretty versatile. The VCM (vertical cutter mixer) is a very high speed mixer (about 1750 r.p.m.) and will mix a dough in about 90-seconds. The trick to using them is in controlling the finished dough temperature. You also need to suspend the compressed yeast, or if using instant dry yeast, pre-hydrate it like active dry yeast only use 95F water with the IDY. and 100 to 105F with ADY. The VCM will also shread your cheese, and mix your sauce. Be aware that there are two different mixing blades for this mixer, a flat, blunt blade for use in mixing dough, and a curved, sharp blade for cutting cheese and other things needing cutting.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Tom, I have two questions on your latest post here on the VCM.

When I have gone to 90 seconds in mixing time the dough has come out very tough. Can the 45 seconds that we do be enough or is there something to try that needs to be done to achieve a 90 second mixing time?

We bought our VCM as a demo with the sharp blades. I was under the impression that the sharp blades did not make a difference with the dough but did with the cheese. Do the blunt blades affect the dough differently?


If your dough is too tough put a little more water in, or mix it a little longer. Don’t mix it too long though, or it will get WAY too hot. No cardboard crust pizzas here. We were voted best pizza in town for the past 5 years. This year we were voted best in the tri-county area. I love my VCM!

Had to come back and edit this one. How big of a batch are you making? And how big is your mixer? Keep your batches small and make more of them. Remember it only takes 90 seconds.

russ cox

I used to work for the cardboard-crust chain and they mixed for 120 seconds… just food for thought on why they might have been known for their cardboard.

We’ve been using 29 lb bags of flour. When we went to mixing times up to 90 seconds the dough got really tough. We currently mix for 45 seconds with more water added. We add ice to the water to compensate for the added heat the mixer generates – plus our tap water is not very cold most of the time anyway. It seems from the comments here the thing to try next would be trying 90 seconds with even more water. This is contrary to our experience with longer mixing times but perhaps the greater water adjustment is the difference.

I have a barrel mixer that I will not be using from April til November. I would be glad to loan it out during that time.
I do 16 pound flour batches with with it, yields 26 pound dough ball.

…it’s the 88 pound capacity on the link http://www.food-equipment.com/Fleetwood … mixers.htm

I think it mixes pizza dough well, 1 speed.

For that matter, I have a fully equipted pizza trailer that I will not be using from April til November. Anybody got any ideas ?
It is all here in Quartzsite, AZ.


Near a nice lake in WA state!..

Have you ever thought about doing a concession tour with your trailer maybe county fairs or something like that.

have considered that, but the longer I have had the trailer, the less I want to move it.
it is rather large to set up and break down frequently,


I would try cutting your batch in half. 29 pounds of flour in a VCM is quite a bit. I’m sure if you do you will be pleased with your dough.

I think cutting the batch size in half is going beyond the realm of practicality. Going from five or six batches to 10 or 12 batches a day would be crazy – especially given we are not a high volume store yet. I suppose I should try it, however, to see the effect. Maybe then going to a 20 or 25 lb bag would work.