Kneading by machine vs. by hand

I'm making some rolls for Thanksgiving, and it calls for ten minutes of kneading by hand. I wondered if it's shorter (and by how much) if I do it in my stand mixer? I've made them for years in the mixer and knead for five minutes or so (figuring that the machine is more efficient). They come out fine, but would they be even better if I kneaded them longer in the machine?

Jocelyn Grayson


Jocelyn G. November 20, 2016
Should have mentioned that the modelis from 1995, so old and well used...
Jocelyn G. November 20, 2016
Thanks for the thorough answer. I'll investigate the mixer in the morning. Back to the lack of roll rising - I did mix the milk in with the yeast both before and after it sat for five minutes. Is that bad? I'm not sure if I've done that in the past.

Thanks again.
Jocelyn G. November 20, 2016
As it turns out, the mixer really struggled with the dough. I don't know why, since I've made it many times with no issue. I had to knead it by hand, but the dough isn't rising. The yeast is fresh, so that's not the issue. I went ahead and formed them, and they are rising again.

I stopped the mixer (KitchenAid with the lever) because it was starting to smell. Now I'm wondering if I was burning out the motor? I'm worried that I might have to make them again and won't have a mixer :(. It is still going, but maybe not with enough torque now? Does anyone know if there's a way to test whether the motor is still up to snuff?

Smaug November 20, 2016
I don't think it can be diagnosed over the internet- not by me anyway- but there are a couple of things to look for. An electric motor that is overloading has a very distinctive (and very noticeable) odor- it has, to me at least- a surprisingly sweet overtone, reminiscent of honey, but not in a good way. It would usually, with a quality motor, take a good deal of this to do any real damage. The other possibility is that the motor brushes are worn- this can cause the motor to misfire, and might be the cause of it weakening. There may be something in the manual on checking this- it's usually doable by the user; if you know someone handy with motors, they could probably do it. I understand that the newer Kitchenaids, at least the lower end ones, sometimes have drive train problems that the older ones didn't. Let the machine cool down completely (which can take quite a while if the motor was really hot) and try it on something familiar- you might have to take it in for servicing.
Nancy November 20, 2016
Just to back up Smaug on 2 or 3 of his points...yes, some of the more recently made KA mixers are apparently to a lower standard than earlier ones. That said, it is unlikely that a single recipe of bread dough would stress the machine enough to overheat and burn. Suspect there were problems before & this recipe made them apparent. Last, check if your machine is still under warranty & what help you may get from the mfgr.
Smaug November 20, 2016
I would question whether a stand mixer kneads more efficiently- or faster- than you can knead by hand, though it depends how much energy you put into it, the size of the dough ball etc. I use the machine sometimes, but I usually at least finish by hand; gives better control of the final product. It being Thanksgiving, you probably don't want to be spending time on science experiments- I'd stick to what's been working for you.
Nancy November 20, 2016
You can have too much of a good thing - even kneading.
No, kneading - especially by machine - beyond the texture requested by your recipe (usually smooth and slightly springy to the touch) is not a benefit.
Have a look at this review of kneading from the kithchn site:
Jocelyn G. November 20, 2016
Thanks so much. That was a really useful article. I will use their suggestions while I use the mixer.
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