The main function of the spiral mixer is to gently mix bread dough, allowing it to develop the proper gluten structure, while not overworking the dough. This is achieved because the bowl of the mixer rotates as the spiral hook is spinning and kneading the dough. The benefit to this action is that the spiral hook is kneading only a portion of the whole dough mass at a given time. This keeps friction heat low, providing a more homogeneous mix.
Similar to their planetary counterparts, spiral mixers can also come with variable speeds, which facilitates dough development. When mixing dough in a spiral, low speed helps bring the mix together into a homogeneous mass; whereas high speed is meant to develop the gluten structure of the dough. The size of these mixers is also measured by the volume of the bowl.
For example 30, 40, 60, 120, 180 liter or larger capacities. Spiral mixers are also built for larger mixes (measured in liters versus quarts for planetary mixers). Available features for spiral mixers include a removable bowl and a trolley. This enables easy transportation of large dough batches and allows for bakeries to keep multiple mixing bowls ready for production.
Uses: Typically, this type of mixer does not have interchangeable attachments. Most commonly used for mixing bread dough, spiral mixers are capable of handling a variety of different dough types. This includes very stiff dough with low hydration levels; and high hydration dough types such as ciabatta. Some bakeries also expand their machine’s production purpose beyond the scope of bread. Some examples include blending together pie dough as well as mixing scones and biscuits