How To Use A Dough Hook To Knead Bread

Experiencing the sweet aroma that fills the air as you bake comes second only to actually enjoying a warm piece of homemade bread that's fresh out of the oven. Soft and deliciously chewy, homemade dough for bread, pasta or pizza is easy to accomplish with some simple ingredients and your KitchenAid® stand mixer and dough hook. Learn the basics of how to use a dough hook to knead dough with the steps below.

A red KitchenAid® stand mixer. A red KitchenAid® stand mixer.

How to use a Dough Hook

For great bread that can be made right at home, your dough hook can be your best friend by streamlining the dough-making process no matter the recipe. The compatible dough hook for your stand mixer may be a C-shaped hook that comes with all KitchenAid® tilt-head stand mixers and select bowl-lift models, or a spiral-shaped dough hook that comes with large-capacity bowl-lift stand mixers.

The C-shaped hook kneads by pushing the ball of dough against the sides of the mixing bowl while a spiral-shaped hook kneads by pushing dough off the bottom of the bowl. The instructions below can help you use a stand mixer dough hook accessory, so you can take your dough-making skills to a new level.


The ingredients needed for making dough will depend on the type of dough you're making. However, a basic recipe will include some variation of the following:

  • Yeast

  • Warm water

  • Salt

  • Flour

  • Vegetable oil or butter

  • Sugar


  • KitchenAid® stand mixer 

  • Compatible dough hook (tilt-head and bowl-lift stand mixer dough hooks are not interchangeable)

  • Mixing bowl

  • Spatula or spoon

A silver KitchenAid® stand mixer.

Step 1: Mix ingredients

Place all your ingredients within the mixing bowl and mix, starting on low, using the flat beater accessory until the wet and dry ingredients are well incorporated. This usually takes 1-3 minutes. You can mix only the dry ingredients for about 30 seconds before adding wet ingredients to help ensure even ingredient distribution.

A person attaching a dough hook accessory to a stand mixer.

Step 2: Install dough hook

If you have a bowl-lift stand mixer, slip the dough hook on the beater shaft and turn to the right, securing the hook over the pin and on the shaft. For a tilt-head stand mixer, tilt the motor head back and slip the dough hook on the shaft and press upward as far as it'll go. Turn the hook to the right to attach the hook over the pin on the shaft.

Dough being mixed in a stand mixer bowl.

Step 3: Knead dough

Knead on speed 2, and let the dough hook further incorporate the ingredients together. If unincorporated ingredients are sticking to the sides of the bowl, turn off the machine and scrape down using a spatula. Continue kneading until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl and is smooth and elastic. 


When kneading dough, instead of relying on a set time, focus on the dough's texture and feel. Properly kneaded dough should be smooth, slightly tacky (but not sticky), and elastic. When you press it with your finger, it should spring back. This can take anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes of kneading at speed 2, depending on the dough. 


Avoid over-kneading, which can make the dough tough. Over-kneaded dough feels tight and difficult to work with.


Shop KitchenAid®Dough Hooks

Expand your culinary repertoire to all kinds of hearty breads and fresh pastries with KitchenAid® stand mixers and dough hooks that will help you achieve delicious results every time.

A pink KitchenAid® stand mixer with baking ingredients. A pink KitchenAid® stand mixer with baking ingredients.

What’s the difference between using a dough hook vs hand kneading?

The biggest difference between using a dough hook to knead instead of kneading by hand is the amount of physical effort and time it takes. While manually kneading dough can take upwards of 20 minutes, you can get your dough smooth and elastic in around half the time when using a stand mixer, depending on your recipe. You may also reduce strain on your arms and hands, as well as streamline the process by mixing and kneading within the same stand mixer bowl.

Exact kneading time, whether by hand or with a dough hook, will vary by recipe. It’s always best to rely on the look and feel of your dough, rather than a set time. Make sure your dough is smooth, elastic and can be stretched without breaking to ensure sufficient gluten development.

What speed should you use for a dough hook?

For best results, you should only use speed 2. Using a lower speed won't provide enough momentum to knead the dough properly, and a higher speed may quickly overwork the dough.

How long do you knead dough with a dough hook?

Total kneading time can vary from around 5-15 minutes depending on your recipe. Look for a dough that is smooth, elastic and cleans the sides of the bowl to know when you’re finished kneading. When pinched or pulled, the dough should pull back into place rather than easily tearing off.  As a general rule, stiff doughs need less kneading time and soft doughs need more time.

Additional dough hook tips

  • Keep an eye while mixing so you don't over-knead your dough. You'll know that your dough is ready when it forms a smooth ball that no longer sticks to the side of the mixing bowl. 

  • You'll need exact measurements, so use a scale to make sure you have the right amount of flour and ingredients. The KitchenAid® Sifter+Scale Attachment* accurately measures, thoroughly sifts and automatically adds ingredients directly to your mixer bowl in just one step. 

  • If making bread, you can mix, knead, proof and bake within the KitchenAid® Bread Bowl with Baking Lid that lets you seamlessly work within the same bowl.

  • Do not overfill your bowl for best results and thorough mixing of all your ingredients.

*sold Separately


An orange stand mixer and a person slicing homemade bread. An orange stand mixer and a person slicing homemade bread.

Dough recipe ideas

If you're ready to flex your baking skills with some delicious bread recipes like this rye bread or Cinnamon roll bread recipe, use the list below to spark your creativity.

Slices of sandwich bread

1. Basic Bread

Prep and cook time: 3 hours

A must-have bread for your breakfast jams or a quick sandwich at lunch, this basic bread recipe will keep you coming back for more. Sweetened with a touch of honey, this classic recipe is easy enough to whip up on a regular basis and will quickly become a staple for your culinary endeavors.

View this recipe

Slices of challah bread

2. Challah Bread

Prep and cook time: 105 minutes

Delicately sweet and pillowy soft, you'll turn to this challah bread recipe time and again. If you don’t have the Kitchenaid® Precise Heat Mixing Bowl attachment, you can proof your dough in a bowl placed in a warm spot in your kitchen, or a proofing/warming drawer.

View this recipe

A loaf of chocolate cherry rye bread

3. Chocolate Cherry Rye Bread

Prep and cook time: 3 hours

This chocolatey bread has a bright cherry flavor and a tender bite that you'll be sure to enjoy. Mix, knead and bake your bread using the KitchenAid® Bread Bowl with Baking Lid for seamless execution of the recipe from start to finish.

View this recipe

Soft pretzel chocolate chip pull apart bread

4. Soft Pretzel Chocolate Chip Pull Apart Bread

Prep and cook time: 80 minutes

This decadent chocolate chip pretzel pull apart bread will satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth.

View this recipe

Two loaves of epi bread

5. Epi Bread

Prep and cook time: 12 hours

A uniquely shaped loaf easily identified by its interconnected, pull-apart “wheat stalk” baguettes, epi is a delicious bread, well worth the time and effort it takes to make it. Serve this bread as a centerpiece when feeding a large crowd, as diners can easily tear off delicious chunks as needed.

View this recipe

A loaf of sourdough bread

6. Sourdough Bread Loaf

Prep and cook time: 8 hours

Sourdough is a classic favorite for many bread enthusiasts and is great for sandwiches or as a side dish to almost any meal you can imagine. Your guests will love the signature tangy flavor of this savory sourdough loaf.

View this recipe

Homemade pasta noodles

7. Pasta Dough

Prep and cook time: 60 minutes

Use this recipe as a foundation for all of your favorite pasta dishes. 

View this recipe

Homemade pepperoni pizza.

8. Pizza

Prep and cook time: 60 minutes

Make your own homemade pizza and customize with any sauce and topping combination of your choice. Learn how to bake pizza using a pizza stone at home.

View this recipe

Explore KitchenAid® Stand Mixers, Attachments and Accessories

Keep reinventing your dishes with KitchenAid® stand mixers, attachments and accessories. From fresh homemade breads and pastas to making your own ice cream, you can explore new recipes with KitchenAid.

Get more cooking tips with KitchenAid BRAND