This can be a little bit confusing whenever you first read about it but don’t worry. Using a dough hook is perfectly ok when you first start baking, as well as when you get more advanced and want to achieve the best results in your bread making.
Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of when you should use a dough hook and when not to. Paddles are useful for mixing soft and sticky batter quickly, whereas a dough hook works best for kneading heavy batters or bread doughs that are very stiff or resistant to kneading.
The latter cases will require longer periods of time that might feel frustrating at times if using a paddle instead of a dough hook.
What’s a Dough Hook?
A dough hook is a tool that allows you to knead bread doughs more quickly with less effort since it has several hooks on the end. It is also called a bread hook, dough whisk, and a bread improver.
The main difference between a dough hook and a bread paddle is that the latter is only intended for mixing batter and is not designed for kneading doughs. When to use a Dough Hook If you’re making breads that are very heavy or stiff, like baguettes, French bread, and Italian bread.
If you want your bread to have a more “eggy” aroma when baked. If you’re using breads with a high sourdough content like sourdough bread or rye bread. Why Use a Paddle Instead of a Dough Hook? Paddles are much lighter and cheaper than dough hooks.
This makes them more suited for mixing batters and doughs that are less dense and heavier, like muffins and pancakes. They are also great for people who are new to baking and baking with yeast and heavy batters. Which One Should You Use?
You’ll need to experiment and find out what works best for you depending on the type of bread you’re making and the recipe you’re using. Bread types like baguettes, sourdough bread and rye bread usually need a more forceful motion during the kneading process.
These breads will be very dense and heavy as well as strong smelling due to the sourdough content. Muffins and pancakes are usually made from lighter, fluffier batters. The dough hook is more suited for doing this since it’s used for more gentle kneading.
Similarly, for yeasted breads, such as whole wheat bread and rye bread, the dough hook is better since it’s designed for less strenuous kneading. When Not to Use a Dough Hook If you’re making breads with a lower sourdough content or breads that have less yeast content, like sandwich breads, soft breads, and lighter buns. If you’re using a bread machine, you can use the paddle that comes with your bread machine.
There are multiple ways to knead bread and they all have their pros and cons. While using a paddle is perfectly fine when you’re just starting out, you’ll get much better results when using a dough hook.
You can also experiment and find out what works best for you depending on what you’re making, as well as the kind of bread you’re making. Keep in mind that the more experience you get, the less you’ll need to use a dough hook. If you’re still on the fence and have questions, don’t hesitate to ask a baking mentor or read more articles related to the topic.