Ultimate Sourdough Spiral Mixer Guide & Bulk Fermentation Tips


In this guide, I’ll show you have to use a spiral mixer for sourdough preparation, focusing on minimizing over-mixing and optimizing bulk fermentation. This guide is packed with practical tips and step-by-step instructions for both home bakers and micro-bakeries, ensuring perfect dough consistency and flavor.

Key Insights

Introduction to the Famag 20 Spiral Mixer

The Famag 20 spiral mixer is a versatile tool ideal for home use and micro-bakeries. Initially, I faced challenges with the mixer, but I’ve since developed an effective system to share.

Importance of Ingredient Temperature

It’s crucial to get all ingredients to room temperature, aiming for a dough temperature of 25°C (77°F). Proper temperature control ensures optimal mixing conditions.

Mixing Process

I provide detailed instructions on the mixing process, including incorporating water and starter into the mixer on speed one. Minimal mixing is preferred to avoid overworking the dough.

Autolyse and Fermentolyse

After the initial mix, the dough rests for 30 minutes in a process known as autolyse or fermentolyse. This rest period allows the dough to hydrate fully and begin gluten development without over-mixing.

Incorporating Salt and Final Mixing

Salt and the remaining water are added, mixing briefly to avoid over-developing the gluten network. Most gluten development will occur during the subsequent stretch and fold process.

Stretch and Fold Technique

During bulk fermentation, regular stretch and folds every 30 minutes over two hours help build the gluten structure necessary for a good dough rise without over-mixing.

Dough Temperature Monitoring

I frequently check the dough temperature, aiming to maintain around 25°C (77°F) to ensure consistent fermentation.

Incorporating Add-ins

For variations like olive bread, additional ingredients like olives and rosemary are incorporated during the stretching and folding phases, ensuring even distribution without deflating the dough.

Final Shaping and Cold Fermentation

After achieving the desired dough rise, the dough is shaped and placed in bannetons for cold fermentation in the fridge for 24 to 38 hours to develop flavor and structure.

Cleaning and Maintenance of the Mixer

Thorough cleaning between stages prevents corrosion and maintains the mixer’s longevity.


This guide provides essential knowledge on using a spiral mixer for sourdough baking. By following these tips, you can achieve consistent, flavorful sourdough bread. Stay tuned for the next video, where I’ll demonstrate baking the fermented dough in the RackMaster 2020 oven.

“In the next YouTube video, I’ll show you how I bake a simple sourdough loaf using this levain. Stay tuned!”

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