The New Bakers Dozen
Food processor doughs

The The Bakers Dozen: Food processor doughs
By mimi on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 07:26 am: Edit

Any suggestions on how to go about making bread dough in a food processor?

By Yankee on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 12:33 pm: Edit

Just a thought, but won't a bread dough burn out the motor in food processor? I'd stick to a Kitchen Aid.

Do they make food processors with dough hooks these days?

By d. on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 05:50 pm: Edit

Wouldn't the blade cut gluten strands in the dough?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 07:31 pm: Edit

They make a flexing plastic blade that is shorter for making dough (bread and pasta) in the food processor.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 08:31 pm: Edit

If I had to I'd (dare I say this?) go get a bread maker from a thrift store. I have seen them for just a couple of dollars. Use it to mix the dough, you don't have to bake it in there. If the motor burns up, it is still cheaper than fixing a good food processor. Me? I'd rather do it by hand.

By W.DeBord on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 07:39 am: Edit

Hey guys I make bread sticks (and several other items)in my cusinart all the time. It comes with a smaller plastic blade but the steel one doesn't hurt the dough at all.

Abby Mandell (the queen of the cusinart) has developed tons of recipes to be made in the processor. Cusinart (back around 15/20 years ago) hired her to develop recipes to promote their new product and they published a very up-scale magazine (with no advertisments). It really was fabulous, they got recipes from several great chefs, too!

I have a recipe for danish dough I make in the cusinart that's terrific, written and adapted by Beatrice O. (I can't spell her name right this minute) but she the goddess of Scandinavan baking.

By W.DeBord on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 07:51 am: Edit

I have the pro model but I've made bread in the smaller one before too. Just don't over fill it or you will risk burning your engine. But it goes so quickly that several small batchs aren't a problem.

Tips: You can go about making bread exactly the same way as regular recipes. You process until the dough holds together, then rest it as you would any other bread and continue shaping etc...

If you have any serious ideas of exploring this you should do some homework. There are recipes where you don't even proof your yeast, just use it dry with everything all in the bowl together. Look at the hand book that came with your machine then go to the library and book store.

I also make a tri-colored bread with this process. White, spinach and tomato, looks and tastes great and works great in a processor!

The cusinart is really a great machine that most professionals avoid. Not me, it's a good tool used properly!

By mimi on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 08:09 am: Edit

Since posting my question I've made several kinds of breads already in my food processor. If I mix a firm dough, I don't have any problems with the dough coming together. My problem is when I try to make a more moist dough. The dough just sticks to the blades, refuses to come together in a ball, and what a pain it is to clean the blades! Especially today with my rye bread... it's probably a bad idea to make rye bread in a food processor, no?

By Yankee on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 12:14 pm: Edit

When I do brioche on our Hobart, I always put butter or vegaline on the dough hook. It keeps the dough from climbing up as it mixes. You might try it with your processor bowl and hook.

By W.DeBord on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 08:02 pm: Edit

That's a'll have to tell me if Yankees idea works?!

O.K. I'm not a GREAT bread maker experience is, that no bread should be quite that sticky. I tend to think your over processing.

Oh,(light bulb went on) also it can make a big difference in how you put your ingred. into the bowl. For instance add you proofed yeast and other liquids last! Put your dry ingred. in first then pour your wet in with the motor running, then quickly switch to pulsing, don't let it run continuously or it will be over mixed and stick to the bowl.

You have to think about your order differently. You don't have to follow sequences like you would in a mixer. Trust your yeast, like I said earilier there are many cusinart recipes where you don't even proof your yeast.

By mimi on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 08:44 pm: Edit

I never worried about over kneading yeast dough before, but yesterday when using the food processor I suspect I may have this time over kneaded the dough. What exactly happens when the gluten has been over developed? What effect would this have on the final product?

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 08:24 am: Edit

The bread would be harder to roll with stronger gluten. When you let it rest/proof before shaping the gluten will relax. What happened?

By mimi on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 09:00 am: Edit

The suspect dough is still in the fridge, will bake it tomorrow morning. Will post what happens. In the meantime, what I noticed about the dough is it keeps tearing. It's very smooth but the skin keeps tearing up, like when I round it (and I was extremely gentle when handling it). I've read somewhere before that the gluten "breaks down" in an over kneaded dough, so I guess that's what break down means. From my experience of the previous days it's okay to use the processor for firm or moderately firm doughs, but not for moist doughs like ciabatta etc. I'd rather use my hands for that, too much trouble cleaning the equipment! In a clean-up haste I've already made two cuts on my fingers.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 06:33 am: Edit

Sounds like too much flour to me....???????? Anyone else know?

By mimi on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 08:43 pm: Edit

I don't think it's too much flour, because the dough WAS soft, not too firm like one with too much flour would be. If you don't touch it, it looks like a well-developed dough, but once you begin to handle it, you know it's not behaving like a well-developed dough.

I've baked it already, and the result wasn't satisfactory. I was aiming for a really bubbly focaccia, one with huge air holes and long gluten strands. This one didn't have that. I made the recipe (the focaccia recipe in Baking with Julia) already before and got satisfactory result, so my only suspicion would be the difference in the dough kneading. What do you think?

By W.DeBord on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 07:44 am: Edit

I'm not enough of a bread maker to get very techinical helping someone else. My knowledge is limited here.
There's a couple guys here that are bread bakers...they haven't been around since Vbean's up to someone else to help you Mimi.

By mimi on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 08:50 pm: Edit

W -
How long do you process your dough? Does it look smooth when you take it out of the workbowl?

By mimi on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 08:51 pm: Edit

And is there a technique for easy clean-up? :)

By Yankee on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 01:46 am: Edit

Easy clean up?

Yeah, use a bowl and a dough hook. I'd like to see you try and cut yourself on a dough hook...

Try Carol Field's "The Italian Baker." I enjoy her foccacia. If you like it chewy, try her recipe and make the recipe straight through. If you leave the biga overnight, you end up with more developed product, which I prefer.

You may also have bad flour, try switching brands (bread flour, right?). Try bottled water as well, maybe you have a funky ph. Also, a quick (hotter) proof may give you larger air pockets. A stone in the oven? There are really so many variables.

Sorry if I sound old fashioned, but I never use a processor for doughs. The one we have at work smells like garlic and it's too small. Spend the money and buy a quality mixer.

By W.DeBord on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 07:49 am: Edit

Making bread in the cusinart certainly isn't for most professionals, it's only for tiny batches. A mixer is almost always a better route, obviously!

I process it just until it comes together in a ball. I haven't made tons of different breads in it, but all the ones I have, worked fine. I've never had a sticking mess problem....I think it's either the type of dough, the recipe isn't right for a processor or your not adding your liquids last.

When my processor was new I used to cut my-self all the'd get cut just looking at the damn thing. Mine is a couple years old now and I can't remember the last time I got cut.

I kind of think your doing this backward, I would first learn from some recipes developed just for the cusinart. Then you'll know how to work other recipes.

By mimi on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 10:43 am: Edit

Thank you very much for your responses. I'm addicted to making bread and have always made them by hand, but when I got the processor I wanted to try to make all sorts of different things in it. Since I live in the Philippines, where it is summer now and really hot in the kitchen, I thought the processor could help out a bit. But after all's been said and done, a good manual kneading is still the best. Thanks so much for your inputs!

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 02:00 pm: Edit

After all this I just remembered in Bernard Clayton's "New Complete Book Of Breads" he gives the the details of using a processor in every recipe.
Here is the URL for it on

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