Hooked on Dough

I do not mean the money kind. I am referring to the bread kind.

I was starting to make another 2 loaves of whole wheat bread. I picked up the 3 mixing options to pick out the bread dough hook. That got me wondering about who invented the three options. The whisk is simple. The cake batter blade seems to be straightforward. I’m not even sure a patent could be obtained. But the bread dough hook. Now that’s a blade worth patenting.

In case you are unfamiliar with it, I took the picture of my dough hook.

The patent that comes close to looking like mine was granted in 1998 (US Number 5,758,963); by inventor Mark Mingjun Xie. As a BTW, he also applied for a ‘Dynamic load detection for a clothes dryer.’ Who knew!

The patent hook application includes 6 detailed images that would make an architect swoon.

I’ll briefly quote the closing paragraph of the summary from the 12-page document.

Therefore, the dough hook of the present invention is a helical shape and is angled such that the clearance between the reach of the hook as it is rotated and the inner periphery of the bowl, is optimized. The clearance is such that minimizes the load on the machine.

I don’t know about you, but this brings tears to my eyes. I’m just not sure why!

I can confirm this shape works well – every time. There is little chance of operator error – we once used to call a mistake.

How does all this curiosity relate to me beyond my 2 loaves? I’m glad you asked.

It taught me that new things usually start with finding a solution to a problem. Also, many curious rabbit hole adventures are hiding in plain sight. Lastly, machine kneading does just as well as I do by hand, though it is far less satisfying.

Please give this a bit of a think. This week it is a multiple think. What is a problem that you would like to solve in your life? As for me, I have 2 new cats. One insists on whacking at anything colourful, hanging, or that otherwise comes to her attention – the vertical blind cords, for example. I am concerned I’ll wake up one morning to find her hanging by a paw or her neck. A dollar chip bag clip allowed me to shorten the cords so she couldn’t reach them.

From where you are right now, sitting or standing but not driving, look at an object with a functional meaning. How did it come to be?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think below.

Photo by Glenn Walmsley

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2 thoughts on “Hooked on Dough

  1. Patti+Dolman says:

    I’m looking at a set of mini paper lanterns I purchased from Ikea. They were to add some ambiance to a family birthday’ party table. Brilliant idea to have lights that can be placed virtually anywhere because they are battery operated.
    Getting the battery case to open was an ordeal in itself – 15 minutes online with a robot. Did I mention that I had to assemble the paper lanterns? You need the dexterity of Stuart Little. I think the instructions were written in 12 languages except English because Ikea was trying to make us more self reliant.

    • glenn says:

      I find many items are of poor design. The turning indicators on cars are a big beef. As I age, I am losing the high notes, so I also don’t hear the clicker. Having at least one of the notes in the lower frequency would make the joke about senior drivers disappear. It would also make the roads safer.

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