The Fresh Loaf

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Mixer for small quantities of bread

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itai's picture
itai

Mixer for small quantities of bread

Hi everyone,

I'm completely new here so I'm not sure how often this topic has been discussed, but I couldn't find any relevant threads...

I'm looking to buy a stand mixer mainly for making relatively small quantities of bread. I can't imagine ever needing to use more than 1.5 kg (about 3.3 lbs) of flour, but I would like to be able to use whole wheat as well as white flour in these amounts. This would probably be once-twice a week at most, not at all daily.

Other than that, I plan on occasionally making meringues - also not large quantities, 4 egg whites tops, and cookies. I haven't really done much cookie baking other than basic chocolate chip, but I wouldn't want my choice of mixer to influence the future possibilities. Again, I'm talking small quantities.

Where I live, the basic kitchenaid and kenwood k-mix models are all the rage, but it didn't take long to figure out that they probably won't cut it for the breads. Both makes have higher-end products here - the kitchenaid has the k5ss and kenwood the kmm770, but i haven't seen anything beyond those. Also the DLX is available, but it seems to me like quite an overkill for my needs (never will i need the ability to knead 4.5kg's of flour in 1 go). It is possible that there are other options but I've found it difficult to locate products without knowing their specific make/model numbers, and I don't know any others...

So basically I find myself teetering between the k5ss and the kmm770 (leaning more towards the kenwood), but I haven't been able to find decent reviews that address the quantities I intend to use. Does anyone know whether the kmm770 / kitchenaid k5ss can handle these quantities well? Or maybe they are too much and I should get something smaller?

I'm not sold on these models, so if anyone has any particular recommendations/warnings about them or other ones I should consider (like I said there may be other options that I haven't found), I would be very happy to hear any advice, as I'm quite the beginner and am determined that my cash be well spent...

Thanks :)

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

is a durable mixer,small footprint and priced @ $200. Also the universal plus..little bigger in both price and footprint but overall a great mixer.

adri's picture
adri

I like the Bosch Mum4 series. (marketed sometimes with the word "Compact" ).
 It costs 57€ (about 78$) with the standard 2 year warranty. With 3 years of added warranty it costs about 10€ more. As in the US prices usually are lower (less taxes), I guess you can get it for even less.

 

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Nope, as fotomat1 mentioned the Bosch Compact is $200 in the States, about three times the price as it sells for in Europe. Not only that, but the US model is inferior —lower wattage, and does not include certain accessories that come standard overseas. The Bosch Universal sold in Europe is also much better than the one offered in the USA; it comes with the stainless steel bowl and is 1000 Watts, rather than 800.  Dunno why there is such disparity, but it is similar to the way Apple charges so much more in foreign countries, not even including VAT. Thing is at least Apple sells the same quality merchandise, even if they inflate the price. When I saw how cheap the  Bosch Compact was going for on Amazon Germany I nearly split a gasket. Otherwise I probably would have bought the American version at $200, it is a good little machine, just that ridiculous price discrepancy!

Anyway, I was in a similar fix as the OP; ended up just getting another Presto hand-cranked dough mixer for cheap on eBay, and use an old beater with a wisk attachment for meringues and such. Just prepared about three pounds of bagel dough in the Presto this morning. Am baking some Madeleines right now; instead of using the hand-held beater, whipped up the egg and lemon juice part in a SS blender jar using the milkshake blade, which worked a treat.

itai's picture
itai

Thanks for the quick answers.

The bosch mum4405 sells for ~$100 here, so if it will handle the amounts I need it definetely looks like a bargain.

However I'm normally a firm believer in "you get what you pay for" so the price is a bit worrying to me. Also my family owns a larger more expensive bosch mixer (mum54230) and kneading 1 kg of flour makes it look like it's going to snap at any minute, the connection between the rising arm and the base dances around like crazy. Is it possible that the smaller cheaper model works better?

chris319's picture
chris319

amazon.com wants $350US for the Bosch Compact/mum4405. Pleasanthillgrain.com is asking $199.99US. I don't get it.

The motor is listed at 400 watts.

Yesterday I was trying to knead some dough with my trusty KitchenAid. I had changed the hydration of my recipe and after a while I got tired of scraping the climbing dough off the hook. Maybe a Bosch Compact is the answer, maybe not. It's clever how the dough hook goes in at an angle on the Compact. It introduces a vertical component to the kneading process.

mmack66's picture
mmack66

The Bosch Compact is normally only $199.99US at Amazon.com, but it looks like it is currently unavailable.  $350US is closer to the price of the Bosch Universal Plus.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

You mention 1.5kg flour. That's about 2.5kg of dough, give or take. That is not a small load for a home mixer. The DLX will handle that without breaking a sweat, including whole grain and low hydration doughs. At the same time, it is quite capable of truly small mixes. For example, I often use my DLX to mix and knead a single 500g loaf, single batches of all sorts of cookies and cakes, and once, out of curiosity, a single egg white meringue.

The Bosch mixers and the Assistent/AnskaRunDMC/DLX are the mixers with generally high grades from their owners, and there are a potload of threads discussing the pros and cons of each, not to mention comparisons of the two.

cheers,

gary

itai's picture
itai

Hi gary,

I have indeed run in to overwhelmingly positive reviews for the bosch universal and the DLX.

The DLX is just expensive - it goes for twice the cost of the kenwood kmm770. And even if it is twice the mixer (or more), I just don't think I need that much mixer so the price jump is daunting. According to kenwood's website the kmm770 is advertised as capable of handling 2.4kg of flour, which is more than enough for me. However, I don't feel confident purchasing one according to the advertised capacity, and am hoping to run into somebody with some hands-on experience with it (which has proven surprisingly hard).

The bosch is more reasonably priced here - pretty much the same as the kenwood. However many people have talked about problems with small quantities. We bake at least once  weekly with 0.5 kg flour, and also cream/whip/beat (not sure what the right word in english is...) 100 grams of butter with 3/4 cups sugar for a cookie recipe we make often. If anyone can calm my nerves on these fronts, I think I'm sold on the bosch.

chris319's picture
chris319

What kind of vibe do you pick up regarding the Bosch Compact vs. the Universal?

The DLX is expensive (the price went up $100 early this year).

Like you, I'm not making bagels for a family of 12.