Making Bread with a Dough Hook


Over a month ago, I received this vintage K5-A KitchenAid mixer as a gift. I was very excited. I’ve never had one before.

I’ve never had any kind of stand mixer before, so I really didn’t know how I would like it, though I was pretty certain I would as one hears the wonders of KitchenAid all the time. I love that this is a vintage mixer, built by Hobart. It came with a whisk and flat beater. I have to admit, it feels a little strange still. When I’m using it, I feel like I’m watching the maid cook. It’s very freeing. You can mix stuff and do something else. How bizarre!

Then I got a hankering to try the dough hook.

And I read a bunch of stuff online all over the place about how the spiral hook is better, but found out there isn’t a spiral hook for the K5-A. So, back to the C dough hook. People complain that the dough climbs the hook. I could just look at the hook and kinda figure the dough was going to climb it.

Still, wasn’t that the maid’s problem?

I’ve never been one for a bread machine. I’ve had bread machines. And gotten rid of bread machines. I don’t like bread machines. I actually like to knead dough. But I also liked the idea of being able to do other things while the maid kneads the dough sometimes. And this isn’t a bread machine. You’re just letting it knead the dough. It’s still handled and baked traditionally. (By the way, if you’re someone who has trouble kneading dough because of a physical issue, I can definitely see a dough hook helping there–and yet still avoiding the use of a bread machine. Bread in a bread machine….. I’m just opposed.)

I decided to start with a basic loaf of Grandmother Bread. I suppose you could use the flat beater, or even just go ahead and use the dough hook, to mix the ingredients initially, but I didn’t see much point in that. I went ahead and used a spoon. When I’d incorporated all the flour I could without kneading, I put the bowl in the stand and put the maid to work.

The dough climbed the hook, as expected.

I scraped it down and added more flour.

I read somewhere on one of the numerous websites I browsed around to that it was better to add the full amount of flour in the recipe as quickly as possible to help keep the dough from climbing the hook so much. It did climb the hook again, but I’m not sure that is so terrible. I decided to let the maid worry about it and I left the machine running for about 2 minutes unattended while I read some emails.

That was awesome.

When I went back, the dough looked done. All the flour was incorporated. I pushed it down off the hook, removed the bowl, and transferred it to a greased bowl to rise.

As with everything pertaining to bread-making, I’m sure practice will make more perfect. I’ll have to get used to the dough hook and get a better feel for it. If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!

In the meantime, I think the maid made a pretty good loaf of bread.

She’s hired!


  1. ladyneeva says:

    On the bread machine thing, a lot of bread machine owners I know basically just use the machine as a mixer/kneader and a temperature controlled draft free place for the dough to complete it’s first rise.

    Then we take it out, shape it, and let it rise as usual before baking it in the oven.

    Basically we don’t have bread machines, we have bread maids lol.

  2. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    You are too funny.I have a maid too and love her.However mine is a bit fiesty..She fell out of my overhead kitchen cabinet and hit me on the head. We both landed on the island. Knees buckled/concussion she still works. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. glenda says:

    I love mine, same model.

    Here is how I make bread (3 loaves at a time) in mine.
    First I bought the plastic shield that fits the top of the bowl so I can add ingredients more easily while the beater is running.

    I mix all liquid ingredients and 2-3 cups of flour into bowl; beat hard with flat beater for a couple of minutes to get the gluten going.

    I do not add all the flour in at one time!

    Change to dough hook.

    Add flour in increments to batter, stirring all the time (I rarely have the dough climb the hook), I just add flour until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl or I have the consistency I want.

    Then knead with the hook about 4-6 minutes.

    Or if you like to knead, this is the time to remove the dough to the floured board and have at it.

    I think the amount of flour for three loaves is too much for this size motor and I now just have a few speeds left…..two loaves would be safer imo.

    I hope you got the wire whisk with yours. It whips cream or egg whites very quickly.

  4. northcountrygirl says:

    Suzanne, Be careful when you walk away and leave your mixer mixing the dough. I was mixing bread one day and my son called me to look at something on the internet. When I came back, the KitchenAid was sitting there grinding away and not moving. UH OH! Yeah, big time. Here I didn’t have enough flour in the dough and it got stuck with the elastic dough holding the dough hook in one place. What happened was it sat grinding away in one spot and ground the gear teeth off one spot. The hook would go around and stop, go areound and stop. I got online and found a site that sold parts. I ordered a new gear and a screw gear (main shaft) and had a friend replace the gears for me. It works great, BUT, I never again let it mix without me keeping an eye on it. Since you have a vintage mixer, you may have trouble getting parts. Just wanted to let you know that. They seem so strong and can mix anything, but I found out the hard way they have their limits.

  5. Iowasue says:

    We love ours – we mix all but one cup of flour and the liquid with the flat beater, swap it out for the hook and the last cup of flour, knead with the hook 6 minutes. Great bread everytime. I kinda stick around in the kitchen, although I’ve never had any problems.

  6. PJ says:

    Suzanne, it’s so nice to hear someone else say that they like to do bread the traditional way–without the bread machine. I just like the process of doing it myself and it’s a skill I think people should have. What if you didn’t have electricity? I know, you’re thinking then I wouldn’t be baking bread, but there are other ways to bake bread. I like the process and preparation of all the food I make, not just bread, it somehow makes it taste better and it’s like a gift to my family. I really find kneading dough relaxing and I’ll probably always do it that way. But, I also got a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook so now you have inspired me to at least try it. This time of year is a great time to bake homemade bread.

  7. Sheila says:

    The bread looks delicious! I can almost smell it.

  8. Susanne says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    I put some oil on a piece of paper towel and give the C hook a little oiling. It really helps.

    I’ve had a couple of times where the Kitchen Aid moved as it worked away. Was glad I was there to hold it in place.


  9. LauraP says:

    I’ll second the recommendation to oil the hook, particularly the top. The best tip I have for avoiding the dough wrapping problem is to size the batch properly. Too much dough in the bowl is a guarantee for wrapping. Unfortunately, the definition of ‘too much dough’ is imprecise – depends on whether you have the 5 quart or 6 quart bowl, how stiff or sticky the dough is, etc. With trial and error, I found my happy point with each of my mixers.

    Also, get the plastic shield for the bowl. It’s worth every penny in long-term time saved in cleanup around the mixer. Just don’t leave the mixer unattended while mixing dough with the shield in place. Bad things can happen if the dough wraps up around the hook.

  10. Zusiqu says:

    I have a mixer like that and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I also have a bread machine that I use often. My daughter and I have celiac disease, so all bread eaten in this household is homemade in order to be wheat free. Wheatless bread dough is VERY sticky and requires only one rise, so using a machine makes sense for gluten free bread.

  11. Patrice says:

    I feel the same way you do about bread machines.I have friends that love them. I’ve given every one I’ve ended up with away.
    The Kitchenaid is absolutely awesome! I taught a bread baking class and let the students bring their own Kitchenaids so I could show them how to use them. Generally, with wheat breads or white breads, putting almost the total amount of flour in and letting the hook knead it works well. While doing that, have the remainder of flour close at hand and add gradually so that the bread gets the right texture. I stop adding when the dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl. Once it cleans the side, you stop adding flour. You can continue to knead a bit and the bowl will actually be quite clean. Too much will make it dry.
    The dough climbs up the hook when it doesn’t have enough flour in yet.
    All the above does not apply to gluten free breads. They do not have the stretchy gluten to give them strength. Too much rough handling will cause the binders to fail.

  12. marymac says:

    I couldn’t make a decent loaf of bread till I got my kitchenAid. I guess it knows how to knead better than I do, lol

  13. Miss Becky says:

    I have been drooling over Kitchen Aids for years and years, and still don’t own one. Some day. Your bread looks delicious Suzanne. I love that your Maid is vintage. I want one.

  14. Audrey says:

    I agree completely! I used my hook to make kolache dough. Worked great! Love my kitchen aid! :woof:

  15. Amy says:

    I used my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook the second time I tried to make Grandmother bread, and have done it that way ever since. I do find I have to hang around to keep the mixer from walking off the counter, but overall it take me 15 minutes to make the double batch of Grandmother bread, with little to no effort on my part. Long live the dough hook! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. marybeth7362 says:

    Reading your posts and recipes for grandmother bread is what made me start making bread. I am unable to knead the bread myself, so I started using my old KitchenAid mixer. I made enough loafs that I started to burn up my old mixer. So, I gave it away and bought a newer, bigger model! It’s RED and I love it! Takes anything I can through at it, and makes beautiful bread. Thanks for getting me back to the satisfaction of making bread.

  17. julie says:

    I use my KitchenAid mixer (with the dough hook)all of the time. This is how I as taught to make bread in culinary school. I just wish I had a bigger mixer (I have the 4.5 quart) so I could make larger portions of dough.

  18. mamawolf says:

    I have had my KA for about 17 years and it is one of the favorite appliances. DH purchased it for me when RA made it difficult to knead the dough. For chocolate chip cookies I use the paddle until time to add the chips and nuts then switch to the dough hook and works very well (dough is too stiff for me to stir in the nuts and cc’s). To solve the “walking around the counter try using the rubberized shelf liners beneath it; it still needs watching but doesn’t move quite as much.

  19. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    We may have different opinions on goat horns but I completely agree with your opposition to bread machines. I won one at a Christmas party, used it once and gave it to my mom because she thought she wanted one. She used it once and sold it in a yard sale!

    I like baking bread the old-fashioned way but that maid of yours looks really handy. I have a stand mixer but it doesn’t have a bread hook. Looks like I need to order one.

  20. Sue Nugent says:

    :snuggle: Suzanne, I decided to make my comment on your post on bread making, into my post for today. Thanks for the idea!

  21. Merlin says:

    As a mother of 4 boys, it’s just easier for me timewise to just mix everything in my bread machine, let it do it’s rising thing and kneading, and then transfer to a regular pan loaf and finish baking in the oven.

    I have a kitchen aid mixer too! :shimmy:

  22. Jessica says:

    I’ve always wanted a mixer, but they are so expensive. I better start saving my pennies for one! My mom had one and she loved to bake apple pies, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and cheesecake. Hubby got me a bread machine for my bday last March. At first I was excited, but ya know how a new car has that “new car smell,” well so do bread machines, and I can taste the “new bread machine” smell in the bread so I don’t use it any more for baking, just mixing and kneading like the first commenter talked about.

  23. Kim of SakuraSundries says:

    I got a Kitchenaid for my birthday this year (my family and boyfriend are awesome!) and I use it to make bread all the time. I do it a little differently though.

    I learned to make bread in bakery with a large mixer, but we still kneaded and shaped the dough by hand… and then baked it in a large oven. Exact process we use at home but on a larger scale. Not super commercialized.

    At home I use the dough hook from the start… I put my water, yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl and let it set. I then start adding my flour and turn the hook on low to start. As the dough gets tacky I turn it up just a tad and add more flour. When it look ready I add enough flour to let it coat the ball of dough and turn it off. Then I pull it out and let it rise. Then of course I work it by hand to shape and put it in the pan. I find that the second working is enough kneading to satisfy me.

    I don’t bother pre-mixing anything with a spoon because that’s now how I was taught in the bakery, I find it isn’t necessary and saves dirtying up another spoon.

    I’m glad you like the mixer though, and how thoughtful of 52 to get one for you… I’m pretty sure its a good sign he’s a keeper.

  24. Tina says:

    Viva la KitchenAid Maid!! I love mine and use it for whipping up oodles of eggs for frittatas, or for really stiff cookie dough. Never tried the dough hook for kneading bread, though. Like others who posted, I prefer the zen of working dough myself. It’s a lovely, therapeutic opportunity to get to know your dough personally; I think it makes the bread more wholesome and delicious! Just my own little bit of kitchen alchemy!

  25. Kat says:

    I make all our bread, and it’s all made in my KitchenAid. I walked away from it once, and the whole thing toppled off the counter an onto the floor. The mixer still works great, but my marmoleum floor ended up with a dent and a crack. Not a big deal,though, since the linoleum installers messed it all up in the first place.

  26. Luann says:

    Love my dough hook on the same kitchenaid for the past 30 years!(Best Christmas present my Momma ever gave me) The dough rising up on the hook is just like the dough forming a ball as you knead the dough. The pictures are great with using the knife to push it down, this is what I do. Also, if you use a little cooking spray on the flat top of the hook, if you are not paying attention for a moment then the dough will not stick there and go above to the machine. (previous experience, it is hard to get the dough out of the spring where you attach the hook, thus cooking spray prevention).

  27. Michelle (MG) Braden says:

    I use my Kitchen Aid, with the dough hook, right from the start. I’ve been making your Grandmother bread in it for a couple of years now. After I add the water, yeast, salt/sugar I give it a quick “stir” with the dough hook and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then I add 2 cups at a time with the hook on low. It does climb once in a while, but I scrape it down. I don’t really worry about it. I turn it up right at the end to give it a more vigorous knead (with my arm across the machine so it doesn’t walk across the counter) and then let it rise right in the same bowl.

    Love my Kitchen Aid, love Grandmother bread and love your site!!

  28. Bev says:

    I use my Kitchen Aid for mixing the dough until it has reached the proper consistency, then I turn it out on the counter, and knead to my hearts contend. I love love love the feel of the dough, plus your arms and shoulders get a good work out! :sheep:

  29. skippymom says:

    I love love love my mixer and my dough hook. I know exactly how you feel about it doing it’s thing while I do something else. And with my joint issues [ick] it is awesome when I just don’t feeeeeel like it.

    We have a Hamilton Beech [it was all we could afford and it was SUCH a deal] and it is yellow. The dang thing makes me so happy.

    We are making bread again this weekend. Can’t wait.

  30. Marlena says:

    I have a dough hook for mine and I love it. I use it for all kinds of things and I still get to put my hands in the bread to shape it for hot pockets, rolls, whatever. I also don’t like a bread machine because I want to do SOMETHING and I like making bread so the hook is wonderful. One recipe I have for a pizza braid calls for 10 minutes of kneading…that would be difficult without the dough hook ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. LisaAJB says:

    I don’t have a Kitchen Aid (yet. I have dreams though) but I do have an amazingly strong hand mixer that came with 2 dough hooks. The swirly kind. Sometimes I don’t feel like getting the mixer out of the cabinet and I kneed by hand. But when I’m too tired to do that I whip out the helicopter (it’s so powerful sometimes it feels like it’s achieving lift off) and let it work on the dough for a while. Not quite a maid, but still saves me work.

  32. Jennifer Robin says:

    I almost traded my 30 year old Hobart-made Kitchenaid in for a new one because I was so infatuated with the new spiral dough hook. I didn’t though, and boy am I glad. They don’t make them like they used to, and those old Hobarts are keepers. They can easily be repaired if the motor or gears wear out, and those shiny new ones cannot. 52 is a wise man, gifting you with such a nice, trusty old workhorse!

  33. Melissa Riley says:

    Oh I detest bread machines as well! I plan to start baking my own bread this fall and people keep trying to give me bread machines – NO THANKS!! I just ordered a set of Pampered Chef mixing bowls that a woman I met at a show just raved about for dough rising. And I have my trusty Kitchen Aid maid as well – don’t know how vintage she is, but she was a wedding gift in 1985, so I guess that makes her 25 years old!

  34. lavenderblue says:

    I inherited my Kitchen Aid from my mother via my sister. Her husband bought her a brand new stainless steel one so she didn’t need the one she had bought for my mom. She generously offered it to me after mom passed. I haven’t used it much but don’t recall that the dough crept up the c-hook as much as it did with my Oster spiral dough hooks. I still have the Oster though, because I missed the small glass bowl. Recently bought one at a thrift store so guess it is time to pass the Oster on.

    Oh, and just had to say that I made Suzanne’s hamburger buns the other day. My family raved about them. Didn’t use the KA but they were really light and fluffy. I was really, really careful to only use the amount of flour that the recipe called for because I have a tendency to add too much. Didn’t take to long for them to rise either which is a good thing but I may have added a pinch more yeast (like half a teaspoon).

  35. JOJO says:


  36. PatriciaLynn says:

    I love the idea of this – and I think I am going to ask for a stand mixer for Christmas this year. That and a sewing machine…

    I’ve been reading over your blog for the past couple days and am loving what I am seeing. I can’t wait to start gardening myself now that we live in a house with a yard. Then I have to teach myself how to can what I grow.

    Speaking of which, how do I enter into your BBB giveaway?

  37. Pete says:

    After reading through all the comments again, I’ve come up with a theory!! See if it makes sense to anyone else…

    My experience with the dough hook is pretty simple – I put it on the machine and do everything in the mixer bowl until the dough is ready to be shaped and do it’s final rise. The dough crawling up over the dough hook (or wanting to!) is an indication that it has been kneaded enough, at least the way I mix the dough. When it does that, I stop the machine, scrape it down off the hook, and in the process of doing that am checking the dough to see if it really is finished. Usually it is, and I give it a couple more whirls around, just to gather the dough again, then set it aside to rise – splashing it with a bit of oil, of course.

    BUT, I always do the entire process on speeds 1 and 2 only. Never anything higher, and I have no walking of the machine, and no crawling up the hook until the very end of the process. Could the mixer speed be an issue here??

  38. Mia says:

    I do not like bread machines either. My mom has always made bread the old fashioned way. She makes it look easy and she never complains about the work. She like to make most everything from scratch. She reminds me alot about you. Now you have said good things about this hook method. I think that I will share this with her because she is getting older and I think that she needs a little easier work of it. I hope that she agrees because I would love to get one for her.

  39. debrablittle says:

    I am so proud of myself!! I made grandmother bread for the first time yesterday and it turned out great! I will never buy loaves of bread from the store again. I did find out that my oven must not be as hot as most. I had to bake the bread a little longer to get it to brown nicely on top. It is so gratifying to learn to do something new and know that you don’t have to go to the store for that anymore. I am new to all this but learning!!

  40. Angela P says:

    :yes: Oh Suzanne! Ive got to send a photo of when I tried Gma bread with my Kitchen aid, it went all rogue! What a mess, but a funny mess!

  41. SuzzyQ says:

    What I love the most is that HE gave you the “maid”. What a nice guy! I make bread using the #2 speed. My book says that is what we are suppose to use so you were correct. The dough does have a tendency to climb up the hook, but who cares? The bread is amazing and nobody ever asks me, “Did the dough climb up the hook? If it did, we can’t eat it.” !!!!!

  42. Don Criss says:

    I use a KitchenAid mixer and dough hook using the Grandmother bread, or more often, your french bread recipe. It’s always good, but I can never the bread to rise quite like your picture. The loaf is somewhat heavy, and would like to know how to get a nice, light loaf. Do you have any suggestion?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Don, are you using whole grain? IF you use whole grain, be sure to use dough enhancer. You can also use dough enhancer with white bread (though I usually don’t). Be sure to knead properly and to also give it plenty of rise time! (And don’t put too much flour in–that will cause a heavy loaf, too.)

  43. claude says:

    The dough hook can knead bread as well. put in nearly all of the flour. Add more until the dough ball looks dry. take it off of the hook. Add a little flour to the wet area. Run the hook at slow speed until the ball does not stick and it slides around the walls of the bowel. Increase speed one step and keep an eye on it. In one or two minutes you will bakery quality dough. proceed to make what you wish.

  44. chrisrobgabby says:

    Suzanne, I have used the Bread machine, just for the kneading and the 1st rise and it was alright. You just have to know when to take dough out before it goes to bake it.
    I love love love the kitchen-aide for making bread. I have found that when all is added and and kneads for awhile that the bottom of the bowl will appear clean and that’s how I tell when the mixing is done. It seems to work well for me and I have be using this rule of thumb for years. Love your site and always look to see what going on in your part of the woods and maybe someday soon I hope to take the cheese class there. Chris in :snuggle: East Tennessee

  45. chrisrobgabby says:

    Suzanne, I have used the Bread machine, just for the kneading and the 1st rise and it was alright. You just have to know when to take dough out before it goes to bake it.
    I love love love the kitchen-aide for making bread. I have found that when all is added and kneads for awhile that the bottom of the bowl will appear clean and that’s how I tell when the mixing is done. It seems to work well for me and I have be using this rule of thumb for years. Love your site and always look to see what going on in your part of the woods and maybe someday soon I hope to take the cheese class there. Chris in :snuggle: East Tennessee

  46. Doc Harold says:

    I know this is an old blog, but I had to comment.

    What a great story!! Never though of my mixer as a maid, but now I will!

    I have a KitchenAid K5-A made in the 70s just like yours, made by Hobart. (Whirlpool bought KitchenAid in 1987.) Notice that your bowl has a flanged rim, later models have a rolled rim. The are interchangeable. As for the spiral dough hook the WP9708265 works fine in my K5A, and the dough doesn’t climb the hook, although for some doughs the C hook actually works better.

    Just be careful with very stiff doughs that the mixer isn’t overtaxed, or overheats. Overloading the mixer can damage it, but this is more likely with the newer mixers made by Whirlpool. I just bought a vintage Hobart N50, which is pretty much bullet proof, and will be retiring my K5A. It has been a workhorse, but the N50 is a Clydesdale on steroids!

    I bought your book Chickens in the Road several months ago and absolutely loved it. I gave it to a friend, who loved it and passed it along to another friend. Then I bought another copy to give to my sister.

    Wishing you all the best!


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