The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bosch mixer question

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sourdoughnut's picture
sourdoughnut

Bosch mixer question

Hi all, just blew through my 3rd Kitchen Aid artisan POS mixer in under 2 years, and the good folks at whirlpool have offered my $$$ back. Hobart is out of the budget (even old,used ones in ontario are in the $800 range), so was thinking about a Bosch based on the positive reviews from so many on this site. Here's the question; can it do anything else? I make bread, but my wife is more of a sweets baker. Noticed that a paddle is not part of the set up, so was wondering how it does with cakes, cookies, and other batter based things. Thanks in advance.

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I have a Bosch Universal and a used taiwan 20 quart spiral mixer.  Save up some money and buy a heavy duty used spiral mixer.  The Bosch is ok, but gluten development takes much longer and you can overheat the dough.

runtherace's picture
runtherace

I purchased a universal several months ago replacing a kitchenaid because of my frequent pizza dough making. I usually make 14 cups of flour at a time so I had to do three batches. Anyway, my frustration with the universal is this.....does it ever actually knead the dough  enough to get windowpane? I have made so many batches of dough checking every minute for at least 12 minutes and never achieve this level of kneading. The video I watched before purchasing this mixer showing the process and showing the dough at one point suggesting they had gotten proper gluten development was misleading, the dough actually tore pretty quickly. I should have paid closer attention and not purchased this machine. Since I have had it for a while now and am completely frustrated, what can I do? Has anyone had this same experience? Also, the instructions say it takes 5-6 minutes for white flour, which never happens. The dough ends up being soft and mushy afterwhile. When I just settle and take it out of the bowl, let it rise, shaping the dough..it tears. That never happened with my kitchenaid.  I am so mad I spent that amount of money on a machine that doesn't seem to knead properly...help.

shastaflour's picture
shastaflour

What quantities of bread are you currently baking? Is it a couple of loaves per week or more than that?

Yes, a Bosch Universal can handle pretty much everything -- but if you were happy with the size of the Artisan, and do 2-3 loaves or so per week, you might also want to check out the Bosch Compact. It works beautifully for bread and sweets as well. It's also a lot less expensive than an Artisan (but much better built for bread).

 

sourdoughnut's picture
sourdoughnut

I tend to bake between 3 and 8 loaves per weekend, but if on the high end, it is because I am doing 2 different kinds, so batches are fine. The Bosch compact says it can do up to 6 lbs, is that accurate? I never make loaves larger than 24 oz, and more often around 20. The claims the KA's made caused broken gears and smoke pouring from all orifices. If the compact actually can do 6 lbs I'll pick up one for me and a smaller KA for my wife.

winstonsmith's picture
winstonsmith

While this is from a pizza forum it makes for an informative read.

I should have my Bosch monday. :)

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11962.0.html

eherman's picture
eherman

I went through three Kitchen Aid mixers before finally getting a Bosch Universal a year ago. It is designed for bread. I use it about twice each week and make 2-4 loaves each time. You can do anything else you want in it: make quick breads, whip egg whites, etc. I've been very satisfied. It's a huge improvement over Kitchen Aid.

Ellen

 

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

It is OK for lots of bread dough. It won't break or fail. But ... it s just not as good for light stuff and general dessert baking as a KA. The Bosch, unlike the KA,  is also a real pain to clean after using which means that you really have to want to use it. It does have both paddle and wisk atachments which work well.  

My wife, the expert cookie and dessert baker in our house,  misses having a KA just because it is designed really well for light batters and is easy to set up, use and clean up. She won't even go near the Bosch. She thinks it is a pain in the butt. Me, the bread baker, burned through too many KAs to even go near one with bread dough.

So ... counter space for two, anyone?

shastaflour's picture
shastaflour

Yup, the Universal does have a lot of parts to clean: bowl (sometimes with a scrubbing down the center column), drive shaft, 2 lids, whatever mixing implement you happen to be using, perhaps a dough glide... Most everything can go in the dishwasher (except the metal dough hook and metal driver that the cookie paddles fit into), but I could never spare that much space in the DW. It is nowhere near as simple to clean as a KitchenAid, and I was pretty unimpressed at the amount of dough that ended up stuck to the sides of the bowl while making cookies with the paddles (there is a separate bowl scraper for that problem, but again, another thing to clean.) We found a vintage 4.5 qt KitchenAid via local auction that I do love using for small things like cakes, frosting, a single loaf of bread, etc.  (It's about 30 years old, from the Hobart days). For most bread I confess to using an Assistent. KAs do like to fling flour and powdered sugar around the room, but they are certainly terrific for everything but bread, and especially for creaming butter.

Anyway, your wife's concerns + your breadmaking seemed to equal a Bosch Compact, unless you do a lot of bread. If you do, then perhaps a Universal + a Compact, or a Universal + a KA, or an Assistent (which handles everything very well but is undeniably quite pricey. Also, the batter bowl with its two whisks is just a bit more complicated than the KA to clean.) There is no denying that the Universal is a terrific workhorse for bread, and it can get everything else done, too, but perhaps not with the simplicity you find in the KA.

Ria's picture
Ria

I've had 4 KA mixers, one Bosch Universal, and one Electrolux DLX.

KA: Not what they used to be, but still a fantastic tool in the kitchen. I love mine, but learned the hard way that it cannot handle the workload I put it through. My Artisan 5-qt began to wobble and the pin holding the head of the mixer begin to work itself out during kneading. So, I replaced that with a KA 6qt pro. That one lasted about 5 years, then obviously struggled during bread kneading. I donated it to my parents (who don't make bread). Got a new KA 6qt pro, only to have the gears strip within 6 months. KA replaced the entire machine (no hassles, they were great to deal with), but within a few years the gears had stripped again. 

During the last KA disaster, I got a Bosch Universal. I never liked it, and felt it was cheaply made for the money and took up way too much counter space. Yes, it was more powerful than the KA, but it never seemed to knead as well. It seemed inefficient at best. It was awkward to use for small batches, or cookie doughs, mashed potatoes, etc. I didn't feel the blender was that powerful, either. That said, some people really love these machines, and they don't break with routine bread kneading like the KAs. After several years I sold it.

So, my ultimate solution: I bought my 4th KA (6 qt Pro) and use it for everything except bread doughs AND I got an Electrolux DLX for bread. Wow...that was a steep learning curve for me. It's just not the same mixing style as the KA. However, I finally found a video online that demonstrated how to use the machine, and I now think it's the best mixer available. It's heavy duty, the stainless steel bowl holds lots, and I love the belt-drive system (no gears to strip). That said, it's like the Bosch Universal in that I find it too bulky to use for "small" things like cookie dough or normal sized batches of mashed potatoes, thus my 4th KA purchase. I'm lucky enough to have counter space for both.

I never recommend KA to anyone who wants to make bread dough, but I'm aware that having two mixers is not feasible for many. If I had to pick only one, I'd go with either the Bosch or the DLX. 

And, for what it's worth, I ended up getting a Vitamix to replace the Bosch Universal blender.