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Need some pointers on my first simple stand mixer at a reasonable price for bread baking.

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medex's picture
medex

Need some pointers on my first simple stand mixer at a reasonable price for bread baking.

I enjoy making bread for myself and family.   I tried a bread machine from Cuisinart and it left grease streaks in dough which forced me to return it.  Upon looking for another bread machine I noticed that every one of them seemed to suffer from poor quality in some form or another.  So I figured to myself, I just don't like the kneading, so why not get a mixer.  Ive looked around and noticed they are pretty expensive and I really cannot afford an expensive model.  My max is really going to be around $200, no more than that is possible. 

I am a simple user, if I make bread I am only making one loaf at a time(maybe two on the rarest occasion).  There will never be a time when I am making 3 loaves at a time.  I mainly like to make wheat, rye, pumpernickel and white bread. Sometimes sweet breads as well.


After some looking around I came upon the BOSCH Compact Mixer from Pleasant hill grain.  It seems to be a good price at $149, but I am new to this and not sure if this is a good unit.  I sometimes also will mix cake batter or egg whites, but not much more than that.


This seems like a great community, so hopefully some opinions can lead me in the correct direction for my needs.  Thank you.


Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

I am in the exact same situation right now.  I will be monitoring this thread :)

plevee's picture
plevee

I've been using this machine to make 3 large loaves of bread every week for 6 months and have absolutely no criticism. It handles up to 6# of dough without pause, doesn't even get warm and it makes good bread. It is small and light & takes up very little counter space.


I havent used it much for cakes, but I think it does as well as the KA without the winged blade if the fat is at room temperature.


It is much better value, and a better all round performer than the standard KA's.


Several other TFL members also use the baby Bosch.


Patsy


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I have a KitchenAid Artisan and a Bosch Compact.  Bought the latter because the KA just could not handle stiff dough without serious overheating and funky gear sounds.   The Bosch doesn't even get warm while mixing two pounds of 58% hydration dough for 9 to 12  minutes.


I also think the Bosch Compact does a better job mixing bread dough than the KA because of the way the hook rotates.


Not really into cakes, but I have used it to cream ingredients and it does a good job.


My KA still works, but I use the Bosch more because it serves my needs better than the Artisan.  Being able to pick it up with one hand is also a plus.


BTW, before Bosch decided put the Bosch Compact back on the market, they were selling for $300 and up on the Internet  - if you could find one.

medex's picture
medex

Thank you so much, this really does help me because it was between these two units and of course the KA is more expensive.  The Bosch looks great, but as you can see by other comments, people don't seem to take it very seriously.  I wonder why?  This unit is a top contender now.

LindyD's picture
LindyD


people don't seem to take it very seriously.  I wonder why?



Most likely because they've never seen or used a Bosch Compact stand mixer, although I'm unsure how someone can give a valid opinion on a product they've never used and don't own.


Or maybe they are getting the Bosch Compact mixed up with the Bosch Universal, as one responder did.


The little Bosch is a great stand mixer.  A very well made and quality product.  Good things do come in small packages.

medex's picture
medex

Thank you, It sure does look great and is not offensivly priced. 

medex's picture
medex

which way are you leaning?

flournwater's picture
flournwater

It's not going to be easy to find a quality stand mixer at teh $200 level.  I've had a Kitchenaid for several years and it works very well but even that one cost slightly over $200.  Keep in mind that any counter top appliance can lose some of its food grade lubricants it it's overheated. If you find a stand mixer and overheat the power head you can rest assured that you'll find evidence of lubricant on the turret assembly.


Have you looked at this link?


http://www.everythingkitchens.com/kitchenaid-mixer-4-5-quart-stand-mixer-kitchen-aid-stand-mixer-matte-silver-KSM455PSSM.html


I don't know if they're reconditioned or anything else about them but that's a darn good price.


I would pass on the free pink cover.  Pink? Ugh!  Maybe give it to the girl next door.

medex's picture
medex

It certainly looks nice, but as I have been reading, people seem to have problems with their KA models in the lower end of the price spectrum.  So I thought maybe the Bosch was a quality product without similair burn out problems.  Thank you for the link, I will be looking into it.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

My KA, model KSM90WH, is a "low end" model.  Never had a problem of any kind with it.  Some of the trouble reports I've read from disappointed KA users boil down to their having tried to do things with it that it wasn't designed to do.  You can't mix or knead three to five pounds of 60% hydration bread dough in that little KA.  You'll find that a low end Bosch stand mixer will run about 50% more than the KA.

medex's picture
medex

Well if the Bosch can do 50% more than the KA and is cheaper than the KA, why in the world would folks buy the KA?  Maybe there is something I am missing considering I am new to this.  Thank you.

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

Why do people by KA? Pretty colors and marketing, that's why! (and maybe their mother had one :-))


I just got the Bosch compact (found one on ebay that someone got as a gift still in the box!) and am quite impressed with the solid construction. Made some great hoagie rolls with it today.


You might find it helpful to look at some videos of different mixers in operation (kneading bread, of course). A quick search on youtube or google > videos with something like "bosch compact" or whatever will do it.


wayne

pointygirl's picture
pointygirl

Amazon has the Kitchen Aid 4.5 quart tilt head mixer for 199.99.  It was the Cook's Illustrated pick for inexpensive stand mixers.


My personal opinion is that if you want this mainly for bread you should wait until you can save up another $100 to $150 to get a more powerful bowl lift model.


This is an appliance you should only have to buy once  and you will be very sad if you buy a cheap one and then burn out the motor.


In the mean time you can entertain yourself with the plethora of no knead recipes out there right now if you really hate kneading.

medex's picture
medex

Well it's not a matter of having more money, it's a question of not wanting to pay more money when I don't need to, to do a pretty simple job.   I mean are the lower prices ones that bad?  I want it, but am not that into it to pay a lot for it.

pointygirl's picture
pointygirl

It is a simple job but it is the mixing job that takes the most power.  It is up to you to decide whether you want to risk buying a disposable appliance that you will have to replace in a few years or a multifunctional machine that you will have for 30.

medex's picture
medex

You're right, I certainly don't want it to die on me.

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

I found a KA 575Watt Bowl lift model used for a great price.  Is this considered a "low end" model?  I believe it was the one that costco had on sale earlier this year for 300 bucks.


 


  Any thoughts?

pointygirl's picture
pointygirl

The lowest end one is only 250 watts.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Gosh, we were hoping for a sticky about the myth that higher wattage means more power. 


Talked about it in this thread:   http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20436/mixer#comment-141587


That 250, 400, 600 watt rating is just a marketing gimmick.  It represents the input of the machine, not the power it generates.

mimifix's picture
mimifix

Is this true? I worked for an appliance company testing equipment and standard was for higher wattage = stronger motor. I sent this thread to one of the engineers who replied, "that explanation is the myth, and certainly not borne out in lab testing."


All I know is that my low wattage hand mixers burn out fast but my higher wattage stand mixer has lasted 20 years.


Mimi

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

I just realized that I Hijacked this thread.  Sorry about that.


 


   -D

medex's picture
medex

No worries.

medex's picture
medex

this was a double post.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I have a Hamilton Beach Eclectric mixer that I won in a silent auction at a benefit dinner. I've had it for about six months now. I rarely use it to mix more than 1000g or about two pounds. It gets used about twice a week and so far, so good. It comes with a three year warranty. By NO means is it built for heavy use but it suits me just fine. The retail is around $179-199 but just before Christmas I saw it in a Sears ad for $99. If you find it at that price, you'd wouldn't have that much to lose by buying one.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

You can generally find a 1970s vintage Hobart KitchenAid on eBay in the $100-$200 range, although you have to keep an eye on the shipping charges too.  Those machines are generally believed to be superior to the current ones (KitchenAid having long since been sold by Hobart, and then resold at least once).  I bought one that way 3 years ago and have been quite pleased with it; the only problem is that when it does need service it will have to be done by a Hobart dealer which is quite expensive.


sPh

Mukoseev's picture
Mukoseev

Why not try some of the no knead recipes.  I  use Jim Lahey's recipe and the results are astounding.  The crust is thin and crisp and the crumb is light, soft and very flavorful.  I bake two of three times a week with very little fuss and zero kneading.  I have a KA stand mixer but rarely use it.  When using a recipe that requires kneading I do it by hand.  It's enjoyable when it's only once in a while.

medex's picture
medex

I could try them I guess, but I have seen the NYT no kneed recipe video and there is no way he got dough like that with 3 twirls around the bowl.  I don't belive it.


I mainly like dark wheats like pumpernickel and darker rye. 

sparklebritches's picture
sparklebritches

Perhaps not a popular opinion but I was also very budget limited.  I posted an "in search of" ad very recently and ended up with a $125 pretty red Artisan mixer that had only been used twice.


It is working very well for my needs!  Right now I am baking largely from PR Artisan Breads Every Day which involves a brief low speed mixing, resting, mixing followed by a series of stretch and folds.  I enjoy this method very much but if I had a recipe that involved a high kneading time, I'd likely do it by hand.


Because I am able to bake when I want, I have no particular reason to make huge batches of dough.  I think something like this could work if one is aware of the machine's limitations.

medex's picture
medex

Where did you post the ad, here, craigslist, local newspaper?

sparklebritches's picture
sparklebritches

I posted an ad on Craig's List and had a response very quickly.  I was originally looking for a KA Pro but someone offered the Artisan at the low price.  It was $100 less expensive than other Artisan's listed on the site.


 


Our local paper classifieds are pretty non-existant now. :)

medex's picture
medex

OK, Il have to look into that.

medex's picture
medex

How are you leaning in terms of mixer choice?