The Truth About Dough Hook Vs Hand Kneading: Which Is Best?

If you love making bread, but are tired of spending hours kneading the dough simply to get a consistent texture, the solution for you is simple: invest in an electric dough hook or hand crank mixer. While both options can produce similar results, there are some key differences worth considering.

For example, because it allows you to sit back and relax while it works, a home mixer is ideal for you if you’re trying to save time. If, on the other hand, you prefer a workout when mixing dough or simply don’t have the money to spend on a stand-alone mixer, then discover why using a hand crank is an easier way to achieve professional results.

Electric Mixers

The first option when deciding whether to use a dough hook to knead bread dough or go with an electric mixer is deciding how much effort and time you want to put into it.

The less time you spend kneading, the more you’ll save. This is because kneading by hand is more strenuous than using a dough hook. Let’s consider how long it takes to knead each type of dough, depending on the model of mixer used.

The electric mixer requires a few minutes to prepare, meaning you won’t be able to complete your baking by the time your pre-made dough is ready.

But when it comes to electric mixers, they are relatively inexpensive and will provide good results if they are set up correctly.

The main advantage of using an electric mixer is that it’s a lot less effort than hand kneading. It’s also easier to control the texture and is a great alternative for those suffering from joint pain and fatigue.

However, when compared to hand kneading, electric mixers won’t always make your dough as light or airy. Plus, this option may not be as durable as a stand-alone mixer if used on a daily basis.

Hand Crank Mixers

When it comes to making bread dough by hand with a crank mixer, you’ll have less hassle than with an electric mixer.

However, the dough is much more difficult to control and requires a lot more energy to knead. To be clear, this form of kneading isn’t for beginners. You need to practice for some time before learning how to consistently create the same results with it.

Plus, because the batter is heavier than with an electric dough hook and takes longer for the ingredients to come together, it’s important you don’t rush through the process. If you do, then your bread will have a very dense texture that can ruin its appeal. This means another hour or two will be needed to knead it properly by hand.

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In addition, because it can be quite loud, this option is best if you’re determined to avoid any fancy attachments on your mixer. And it’s far from ergonomic and takes a lot of effort, so it’s also not the ideal choice for people suffering from arthritis or fatigue.

Which One?

A stand-alone mixer offers a lot more flexibility, but does take up space. However, an electric dough hook is easier to use, safer and requires less room in the kitchen. This shows that it’s the ideal option if you simply want to cut down on the number of times you prepare bread dough each week.

Hand Kneading:

– Does not require electricity to function; simply requires a bench or table with enough space for your hands and some elbow grease; effort is based on how much time you want to spend kneading instead of how quickly the dough can be mixed.

– Typically only the hook is used for mixing, the dough is rotated and stretched by hand.

– Involves direct hand contact with dough and a greater connection to the dough during kneading.

– Can vary in shape, size and construction material but typically features a hook or similar attachment that rotates and pushes against the dough during mixing.

– Typically results in a coarser texture versus an electric hook.

The Argument For Hand Kneading:

Some people prefer to manually knead bread because they feel like they have more of a connection with the dough while doing it by hand. They also argue that a more textured and rough surface is produced through manual kneading, adding flavor to the bread.

Some people argue that it takes longer and is more of a workout but still prefer hand kneading because there are no settings or attachments that must be changed to accommodate different types of dough.

Most mixers can only be used for cookie doughs because of the size of the hooks and most dough recipes require an electric mixer anyway, so why not just use an electric one?

The Argument For An Electric Dough Hook:

– Does not require effort on your part to knead the dough (unless you choose to manhandle it during mixing, which may result in a less uniform texture).

– The machine handles the kneading, freeing you up to do other things while it mixes.

– Produces a more consistent and uniform texture than hand kneading.

– Can easily be used for any type of dough without needing to swap out bits or attachments; simple to use and works for any recipe.

The Argument For Using An Electric Dough Hook:

Some people argue that using a mixer can produce bread that is too smooth and uniform in texture, making it less tasty because the crust isn’t as crunchy or flavorful as it would be if it was hand mixed.

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Others argue that the dough doesn’t have the same “feel” as if it was hand mixed and that it’s too uniform in texture, making it less flavorful.

– Fact or Fiction?

So, is an electric mixer a better option than hand kneading for a baker? The answer is fact. Hand kneading requires a lot of effort for a lot of people, and most modern kitchenware sets come with an electric mixer anyway so why not just use one to get more done in less time? It’s not like you’ll be throwing out your mixer after you make biscuits or muffins; it will live on to mix cakes and cookies. Spend the money you would have spent for a dough hook on another recipe book to try something new.

Another option is to get both; that way you can still enjoy the feel of kneading by hand while also mixing with an electric dough hook and getting the benefits of both.

While there are pros and cons to each, they each have their own perks; either one can produce a great finished product as long as you know how to use it correctly, so experiment with each and see which one works best for your situation.

Some cooks prefer manual kneading because they feel like they have more of a connection with the dough while doing it by hand.

– Hand kneading is actually good for you because it increases blood flow, builds your muscles and can also help reduce stress.

– You can make a homemade dough hook for about $3!

Is a dough hook the same as kneading?

A dough hook is a tool used in mixing and kneading dough by hand. The difference between kneading and mixing is that kneading involves using your hands to mix the ingredients together, while mixing can be accomplished with or without the use of your hands. A dough hook is an essential piece of equipment for the home cook; it takes all the hard work out of kneading dough by hand. A dough hook is an inexpensive way to ease the burden of cooking at home.  If you want to make your own bread, you will need a good quality mixer, as well as some good recipes, and you will need to learn how to use them properly.

What are the advantages and or disadvantages of using your hands to knead the dough versus an electric mixer?

One of the biggest advantages to using your hands is that, when you use your hands, you’re kneading the dough and stretching it, which means that your dough is going through a lot of changes as you knead it. That’s why some people claim that using the electric mixer makes bread dough taste “flatter.” The thing about that though is that they are mixing the dough with the electric mixer but they are not kneading it themselves.

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Why should I use my own hand to mix and knead bread as opposed to an electric mixer?

In order to get a good feel for how your bread dough will turn out, you need to put in some time hand kneading it. The reason why this works is because you have time to adjust the kneading process so that your dough isn’t too wet or too dry and that you can get a texture that’s just right. Once you have made good adjustments in the kneading process, then you’re ready to mix with an electric mixer. That’s why this method is going to give you a better batch of bread than using the electric mixer.

Does KitchenAid dough hook replace kneading?

To some, the answer is no. The KitchenAid dough hook is literally a tool for kneading, you will still have to knead the bread dough by hand. You cannot replace kneading by hand with one of these machines.

What is a Dough Hook? How does it work? Why should I use one?

The type of mixer used to knead bread dough can be found in American-style kitchen stores under such trade names as: Kenwood, Hobart, Viking, Carlton and others. A mixer has both mixing and kneading functions; this means that it can mix ingredients together as well as knead them together into a dough.

Can you use your hands instead of a dough hook?

Absolutely! You should not use the mixer on a regular basis; it is better to choose your own hands-on method. These machines are not inexpensive, but they are much easier and quicker to use than kneading by hand. If you are planning on making bread for occasions, why not spend that extra money and have this machine?


So whether it’s kneading by hand or using a dough hook, both produce a good batch of bread in less time. In the end, the choice is up to you, but I might have to agree with the statement: “the kitchen aid is worth it”, and yes, it really is! Next time you want to make bread, remember this article and you will be well on your way to getting great tasting bread at home without spending too much money on one of these machines.