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What's the best mixer for me?

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Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul's picture
Paul Paul Paul ...

What's the best mixer for me?

When I make bread, I usually make 3 loaves at a time at the most. I'm looking for the best mixer I can find for my money. My priorities are that it will last indefinitely or at least for a long time if I take care of it, that it cost no more than 250 dollars, that it hold at least 3 loaves (I don't know how many quarts that would be?), and that it can obviously mix the dough efficiently! I also like the idea of being able to just use one bowl for the whole process, so if it could be big enough to mix the dough and rise in it that would be good, but is definitely not a priority. This may be naive but I am hoping I can snag one for 200 dollars or as low as 150 dollars, but that might not be realistic. So basically, cheap and efficient are the traits my mixer must fulfill. Also, what are some tips to not burn out my motor or make it die prematurely?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24859/new-mixer-advice

Not to worry about burning up the Bosch motor.  

 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

This voice from a different point of view may be helpful to you: If you're making artisan-style loaves, and mainly use the Stretch&Fold technique, you may not need any mixer at all. That's a good way to save a few hundred dollars.

True, with lower hydration doughs and things like bagels, there are plenty of stories about sore muscles, aching backs, bulging biceps, and even carpal tunnel. But for nothing but higher hydration loaves, you may not really need any mixer at all. A big bowl and a good stirring implement (maybe a beefy wooden spoon, maybe a "Danish" dough whisk, anything that's tough enough to not bend and has a thick enough handle to not cramp your fingers) might be all you need.

(You want a bowl with a smoothly curved bottom [no sharp corners for bits of dough to stick in] and sides that slope outward all the way up [so no matter what the dough can always be removed easily]. Long ago I always just used big pottery bowls because they were cheap, thick enough to hold heat well, and always had the right shape because pottery wouldn't hang together any other way. But these days such things aren't cheap -or even in many cases available at all- any more. Now they're valuable "antiques". Go figure:-)

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I use a 6qt KA (an oldie but a goodie) and an Electrolux DLX Assistent.  The KA was purchased now ages ago and at that time was within your price range.  The Electrolux was nearly new when purchased within your price range on Ebay.  I regularly make three large loaves of challah.  For this purpose, the Electrolux win hands down for bowl volume and design.  The bowl has more volume than the KA's and it's more easily accessible for adding ingredients during mixing.  The design of the Electrolux has the bowl spinning, not the paddle or dough hook.  The KA has a slightly smaller footprint but is taller by a few inches.

If you have the space, over those two, find a used Electrolux.

Finally, when I got the KA I thought I was in heaven.  It never occurred to me that I'd ever would want a larger bowl.  Then I changed.  You might, too.  Buying an Electrolux now gives you room to expand when and if that happens.

 

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The fingers on the end of your arms are the only mixer you need. For amounts as small as you are talking about, you can easily do with out. I know a fellow who used to make 200 loaves every day all with out a mixer. Some day if money is no object, ask again.

Eric