The Fresh Loaf

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Experience with Bosch Universal Plus and small batches

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colauhu's picture
colauhu

Experience with Bosch Universal Plus and small batches

I am ready to take the plunge and purchase a new mixer to replace my KA. I have done so much research that I am more confused now. The Bosch Universal Plus is the one I think I want. I would like to hear from people that use this mixer for "small" batches. I usually bake 2 1lb loaves once a week. I am pretty new to baking bread, so I don't really know a lot about hydration levels yet, but I usually make sourdough From Hamlin's book "Bread." Can anybody that owns this particular mixer provide some insight into how well this machine works on smaller batches? I like the specs, I like the reviews I've read, I like the attachments it offers, but regarding small batches ive read some drastically differing reviews.

Thanks for the help.

Colauhu

Kent's picture
Kent

This web site addresses that http://cookingwithjim.simanco.net/ Kent

colauhu's picture
colauhu

 Is that the universal or the universal plus? i am looking at the universal plus specifically. Sorry if you mentioned that somewhere and i didnt catch it.

 regards

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi Kent, can you handle  high hydratation doughs (such as 75-80%) with the Bosch Universal?

I have a Braun that works exactly like that, but so far all my attempts at high hydratation failed completely.

  Nico

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

Have you considered the compact?

I am very happy with it. No problem with that size batch. Also has lots of attachments available. Cheaper too!

wayne

Marty's picture
Marty

I own a Bosch Universal and do not use it unless 500 g or more of flour is called for. Let's say about a pound of flour. Less than that does not do well for me.  Since I hardly ever do larger amounts these days I've decided to sell the Universal and get a Compact. I am usually around the 400g of flour, so my Universal just doesn't do a good job with that amount. Other than that the Universal is a workhorse.

Marty

colauhu's picture
colauhu

thanks everybody for the valuable input. I will have to look into the compact. It has a couple of the accesaories that I would like to eventually get, so maybe for my needs that will be the way to go! 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Another suggestion to go with the compact.  You might like to look into the Bosch MUM 5.  Someone just posted about them and stated that they are a step up from the compact if you want more capacity.  Not sure they are available in the US.  

I had a Universal but didn't like it for small batches or wet doughs...just didn't knead right.  Replaced it with a compact but also got a DLX for larger doughs but found out the DLX handles just about anything I toss into it.

Good Luck

Janet 

colauhu's picture
colauhu

The DLX is out of my price range, unfortunately. I'm just a beginner breadie, so maybe i'd be better off just to start small and work my up. Since I only bake about two loaves a week, I am thinking that the compact will be a nice starter. I can also buy the accessories that I want to go with it, and still be at around the same cost as the universal plus alone! I will take a look at the MUM 5 and see what's that all about thought!

BKeith's picture
BKeith

I purchased the Universal Plus almost two years ago.  Worked great if I was wanting to make four of five loaves but not worth a darn to not at all for one or two loaves.  I was told to add the little plastic blade thing and spacers they sell to go under the dough hook, a waste of time and money.  I thought OK, I've got this much invested, (I ordered the model with the SS mixer bowl and ordered the plastic bowl for a second bowl) I ordered the shredder/slicer with the dough hook and attachments for that because "they" said the smaller bowl was what I needed.  Well, what it boils down to, I've got close to $900 spent on a Bosch mixer (I also went ahead and bought the blender) that sits in it's little covey hole about 95% of the time while I'm still using the KA Artisan I bought the Bosch to replace because I make my own pasta dough and some other heavy does that's pretty hard on the KA.  I simply don't bake more than a couple of loaves so the Bosch has been just about useless. 

BKeith's picture
BKeith

No to it handling high hydration also.  I make a lot of Panettone's, Pandoro's and some other wet doughs that require a lot of kneeding and the Bosch simply will not do those either.  Again, my KA is almost smoking by the time I get done with those, but that's too much kneeding to do by hand. 

MostlySD's picture
MostlySD

FWIW I used the Bosch Compact over the weekend to make a Panettone & it worked beautifully. I followed a mix of instructions from these two sites:

http://www.compagnons-boulangers-patissiers.com/crebesc/panettone/

http://www.dumieletdusel.com/archives/2011/12/09/22922244.html

Perhaps my success with the mixing of the dough is due to the order and manner in which the ingredients went into the bowl. I paid particular attention to the cautionary note from the French bakers regarding the late addition of butter (melted) and eggs in the second « pétrissée ». Butter & egg yolks had to be added alternately, they wrote, and gradually so as not to break up the dough.

BKeith's picture
BKeith

But I am very familiar with getting the gluten developed and slowly adding the butter and egg yolks alternately.  However, I don't use melted butter, I whip my butter until it's almost like whipped cream and then add it in several alterations between the egg and butter, late in the process, after the dough has kneaded for a while for the gluten to develop. 

I actually make a very good, authentic Panettone and Pandoro's using a sweet starter like the Italians use.  I lived in Italy for five years and spent a lot of time with a friend every Christmas showing me just how to make them.  I actually brought some of his starter back with me and keep it frozen until a week or so before I get ready to use it.  Then I go through the agonizing task of feeding and kneading it every four hours, and wrapping it in heavy cloth so it rises under pressure.  All that stuff they do to make an extremely active, sweet starter.

MostlySD's picture
MostlySD

Wow! Lucky you to have been in Italy and having had the opportunity of learning so much about the panettone. For me, this year was my first attempt at preparing & baking one. I particularly loved the part where you tie the levain in the cloth and allow it to rise until the next morning. It was almost a magical moment when I untied it & opened the crust to harvest the levain within.

I think your tip of whipping the butter is great. I shall try that next time instead of melting the butter. It kinda make more sense to me.

That said, I am at a loss to understand how your Bosch did not function properly. May be next time you'll have better luck.

I am planning on making a Pandoro next time. I am not sure I like the Panettone that much. I found there is too much fruit for my taste. Or perhaps I shall simply reduce the amount of fruit & see what comes out of that.

Cheers!

BKeith's picture
BKeith

Since you understand the process, this is a great Panettone, it just leaves some explaination's a little lacking.  http://aureliobarattini.blogspot.com/2009/12/panettone-milanese-first-day.html

This is an excellent Pandoro.  I don't put fruits in my Pandoro.  I made several of these this year using my sweet starter and they were great.  Very light, moist and sweet  http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2009/12/15/pandoro/