Love this dialogue about the Ank. Want to provide some assurance that four loaves is terrific in and of itself! The Classic formula is a little larger than the Modern. The maximum, I’ve been able to mix is 5. For the Modern formula I can actually mix 6 but it is as others have described, a gentle and slow “feeding of the oatmeal” into the mix. Otherwise oatmeal everywhere.
Just because we can mix 5-6 loaves doesn’t mean it is a good idea, and if you want to “bulk” in the ank you really should stick with 3-4 because there isn’t enough room to grow 1.5 – 2x. And as you are discovering, while mixing in the ANK is a dream, getting the dough out of the bowl is somewhat less dreamy. I end up hugging the bowl with my left arm tipping it down and reaching up and around with my right scraping into an open bin. It takes some strength and I wish I had another couple of inches of height to contribute to the equation.
Think about this – if you aspire to 6 loaves. You could just mix your loaves in two waves of 3 and then incorporate that dough in the same container for the bulk. The mix will be separated by 30 minutes but that is fine. If you can bake six loaves at a time, I would consider this. It will stretch your process a little longer but it will be far easier on machine and body to eject three loaves from the ANK. Just a thought.