Switched to a spiral dough hook.

Our dough hook needed to be replaced due to wear from the drive pin so I purchased a reverse spiral dough hook because we occasionally have a problem with the dough ball climbing the hook. Since we made the change our dough feels different when you work it. When rolling dough balls it feels grainy as if it was not mixed all the way. Our finished dough temp is still the same. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now. We use a premix, and normally mix for ten minutes on slow speed with a Hobart H600, I started adding 1.5 min of mixing and it makes it better, but it is still not as smooth as we are used to. Is this normal? My wife wants me to buy a new J hook so the dough returns to it’s former texture. Any thoughts?

Also, a worn out dough hook, when polished up nice makes an excellent door stop.


we mix ours 2 minutes on speed one and 8 minutes on speed 2. Our dough always felt that way before the change

With the old “J” hook design the dough continually grabs onto the hook and goes for a free ride around the inside of the mixing bowl allowing for essentially no gluten development what so ever. Plus, as you’ve mentioned there is always the fun of stopping the mixer to cut the dough off of the hook…any guesses of how much actual development time your dough received? That’s impossible to answer with the old “J” hook. With the reverse spiral design the dough is constantly being pushed back down into the bottom of the bowl and the design of the spiral makes it all but impossible for the dough to climb up on the spiral hook. When changing from a “J” hook to a reverse spiral dough arm the dough always gets more mixing action so mixing times are usually a little shorter. As an added plus, when using the reverse spiral dough arm your mixer can better handle smaller size doughs which when the “J” hook is used just grab onto the hook and never get any mixing action unless you continually cut the dough off of the hook.
Some questions for you:
Do you add the water to the mixing bowl before adding the flour? If not you might try it as it allows for faster and more complete flour hydration and gluten development.
Make sure the dough are is turning in the correct direction, if it’s turning in the wrong direction the dough doesn’t get pushed down into the bottom of the bowl and most advantages of the reverse spiral dough are are lost.
If you could post a video of your dough being mixed it could be a big help in determining what’s happening.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

One other thing to consider, since you have a new agitator be sure to check the clearance between the agitator and the inside of the bowl. This is important to check since it has a significant impact upon the mixing action provided by your new agitator. With the agitator installed and the bowl locked in place raise the bowl and check the clearance between the agitator and the bowl. It should be about 1/4-inch. If it needs to be adjusted this is easy to do by removing the cover over the bowl lift mechanism and adjusting the amount of lift using a couple of wrenches, carefully jog the mixer to make sure you have clearance and keep closing the gap until you hear the agitator just tapping the bowl (tink, tink, tink) is the sound you’ll hear, increase the gap until the sound disappears for minimum clearance then add about 1/4-inch to the clearance and you’re good to go.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Right now we have better than a half inch clearance between the hook and the bowl, I can slide my fingers through the gap. Going to adjust it and see how it goes tonight.
Thanks Tom.

All our clients use the spiral hook.
George Mills

Thank you Tom.

We ran 4 batches of dough last night and everyone was happy with the texture when we were rolling it. When I started adjusting the clearance I recalled having to do this years ago when I bought the last hook, it was hitting the bowl so I increased the clearance. It actually surprised me how much of a difference it made tightening up the clearance, I would estimate I had between .5 and .75 clearance where the curve is at he bottom of the bowl, I took it to less than .25 and now all is good.

I’m glad to hear that it worked well for you. It is a common oversight to not adjust the clearance when the agitator is replaced.
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor

Wow, we just adjusted ours. Can’t wait to make a batch of dough in it - moved it up about 1"!