The Fresh Loaf

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Which mixer is right for me?

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zakeblack's picture
zakeblack

Which mixer is right for me?

Hi,

 

Getting all confused I had been thinking about getting a kitchenaid mixer but have now found users comments saying they are not so great with dough?? or have to be rested between each use..

 

I mainly want to use the mixer for mixing/kneading dough for rolls and pizza's I currently do this by hand but only when i have time.. i like the idea of just putting it the mixer in the morning have breakfast and its done i can then go to work or whatever etc..

It would be used for cakes now and then.. but mostly only for dough.. i do sometimes make more than one batch for example a white batch and a wholemeal batch.

usually a 500g flour although for pizza i sometimes do 800g flour and 200g semolina if were having people over.. i guess this could be done in two batches if mixers cant handle that quantity. but worry about how long you have to break between..?? especially if i then want to mix a small batch of normal bread flower for dough balls to go with it..

Cheers

 

warren's picture
warren

Take a look at the Bosch. I have had one for 4 years now and Have mixed small batches of dough (2 lbs) up to 7 pounds. Haven't experienced a problem with either end.  If you get the paddle option then you can also do cakes etc.  Had a kitchen aid before and you just couldn't go very large with the dough size.  

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Zake, for small batches, I think it is hard to do better than a Bosch Compact.  It handles dough very well ( far better IMHO than the Kitchenaid ) and comes with attachments for cakes, cookies etc.   It can often be found for around $200 .  While it looks like a toy, it is very capable.  BTW,  I have a KA, a Bosch Compact, the Bosch Concept, the Bosch Universal ( not the plus) and the Electrolux Assistent.  

chris319's picture
chris319

Barry, with that panoply of mixers are you saying you like the Bosch Compact better than the Assistent/Electrolux/Ankarsrum/DLX which costs 4 times as much as a Compact?

To the O.P.: I have become disillusioned with my Hobart-era KitchenAid and am looking to replace it. Lots of people like the DLX but when it was $700 it was hard to justify that much for a mixer. Since the price went up $100 (14%) at the beginning of this year, $800 is even harder to justify.

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I have had my DLX for maybe two decades and yet it still looks barely used despite being used frequently.  It was purchased at a tag sale.  But I wouldn't buy one unless you've got the room to store it.  It's got a larger footprint than the KA certainly; I cannot speak to the size of the Bosch as I've only read about them.  I do own an old KA, love it, and don't want it to die.  As it is fairly old, it's a true workhorse, showing no signs of its demise.  I've tried to teach bread baking in the homes of people whose KA's are brand new only to experience the problem of them stopping the kneading of dough when overheated.  It's truly aggravating.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

There is a newish KA, sometimes listed as "Commercial" or "6000" that has an electronically controlled DC Motor and all metal gears that is garnering extremely favorable reviews. Of course it is their most expensive model, usually selling for about $550, though Manufacturor Refurbished units can be had for $400 on eBay. At only 550 watts or there abouts, dunno how they stack up against the $400 Bosch Universal (800 w) or $200 Compact (400 w), but are listed as 1.3 HP. Apparently this KA can churn through pretty challanging loads without bogging down or heating up, so does not demand long rest periods between batches. Perhaps overkill for what the OP here has in mind, if the Compact can handle pizza dough at the volume he would normally process.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

550 Watts does not equal 1.3hp. One horsepower is 746 Watts. Since there's an electronic speed control, I suspect they are referring to instantaneous peak horsepower, which has no relationship to continuous loading.

cheers,

gary

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Chris,  sorry I wasn't clear,  the DLX is clearly the class of the lot.  It will handle anything dough related.  So far this morning, I kneaded baguette ( about 480 gram loaf )  pizza  ( about 2,000 grams ),  and two separate cibatta loaves ( about 450 gram loaves each ) and it worked flawlessly.  I did the baguette, the pizza dough, and the first ciabatta back to back, and the machine showed no signs of slowing down. ( all were 100% wheat)  You do have to move the roller a little to the middle when working with the smaller quantities, and check on it from time to time. Another slight quibble is with small quantities, when you mix on a low speed, sometimes the dough just sticks to the roller and I am not sure how well it is being mixed, but I usually just turn it up a little.   The main feature of the DLX that I just love is that you set the timer and walk away, and it will shut it self off.   The Bosch Compact does a very nice job, and would have handled all those jobs, though I probably would have broken the pizza dough into two portions.  To handle the high hydration ciabatta, I would would have held back some water, and added it when it was fully kneaded, or set the Bosch on speed 4, which can cause it to dance around a little.  My point was that for 1/4 the price of the DLX, the Compact does an extremely good job, and I would have no hesitation doing the same workload in the Compact, again back to back.  The slight draw back is the Compact does not have a timer, and for the very wet doughs at very high speeds, you would want to box it in so it can't jump off a counter..  BTW,  I bought the DLX,  Concept and the Universal used, so I  have not spent all that much on them, and the Concept and KA are in the attic, and at some point will be heading out on ebay.  If you search ebay, you can find a used DLX for $300 to $400 depending on condition and what parts are included. 

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Yes, that seems to be the problem with doing small batches in large capacity mixers, the dough can "get lost." 

Odd but I've been searching eBay for months and have never run across the DLX in any of its former incarnations, only the new Ankarsrum seems to be listed, D'oh!  

chris319's picture
chris319

This video impressed me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC-xmw9Jqj8

It is the Bosch Universal with the stainless-steel dough bowl. If the bread machine route doesn't work out, the Bosch Universal is tempting but is about triple the price of the Bosch Compact. Decisions, decisions.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Chris, one of those Universal mixers with the SS bowl is on eBay Buy It Now for $271.99 after shipping.

Hope this link works, am on my iPad right now so kinda iffy but here goes:

BOSCH UNIVERSAL FOOD MIXER UM3

 

 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

I own both mixers and the Bosch gets used for bread and pizza dough far, far more than the DLX.  I use the DLX so seldom, I am considering selling it.

I find the DLX big, heavy steel bowl cumbersome and hard to handle with arthritis in my hands.  The Bosch bowl is so light weight and easy to clean, I love it.  terry r.

MatteKat's picture
MatteKat

I have a very large kitchenaid, 5qt. I bought it for very large batches of cupcakes and cookies and whatnot, which it works great for, but it doesn't handle bread dough nearly as well. It can overheat with bread dough if left too long, so I often find myself finishing the kneading by hand anyways.

MatteKat's picture
MatteKat

I have a very large kitchenaid, 5qt. I bought it for very large batches of cupcakes and cookies and whatnot, which it works great for, but it doesn't handle bread dough nearly as well. It can overheat with bread dough if left too long, so I often find myself finishing the kneading by hand anyways.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Yes, the five quart KA is notorious that way.  But apparently the newer 7-8 quart model is much more powerful and can handle bread doughs non-stop. (Never owned or operated any KA myself, but have poured over hundreds of mixer reviews recently.)

Antilope's picture
Antilope

I would go for a mixer model that uses a spiral dough hook. It kneads much better and with less strain and motor heating on the mixer than the "J" shaped dough hook.
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The spiral dough hook presses the dough into the bottom of the bowl and kneads back and forth through it.
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The "J" hook beats the dough against the side of the bowl and the dough climbs up the hook.
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These YouTube videos show how each dough hook handles the dough during kneading.
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Kitchenaid with Spiral Dough Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSi2F4KUVF8
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-oDTmgKF80
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdpvpxnIuEs
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Kitchenaid with "J" Dough Hook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9AZmJ0y1s4
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRPDXe02G9w
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9ngieRWWFs
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEA4Pq0B5Pg
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I have a Kitchenaid 5-qt bowl lifter model that came with a "J" hook and I found a KA Spiral hook that fits it. My mixer runs cooler and with much less motor strain while using the spiral dough hook. The spiral hook seems to develop the dough faster and with less heating of the dough than the "J" dough hook.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

barryvabeach wrote:
You do have to move the roller a little to the middle when working with the smaller quantities, and check on it from time to time. Another slight quibble is with small quantities, when you mix on a low speed, sometimes the dough just sticks to the roller and I am not sure how well it is being mixed, but I usually just turn it up a little.

Instead of moving the  roller inward for small batches, move it outward. Per the manual, which took me a while to learn to understand and trust, for up to about 500g of flour, the roller should be about one-half inch from the rim. For 500g to 900g, lock the roller an inch from the rim. You can, of course, move the roller, by hand, in to pick up flour from the center during the mixing phase.

During the kneading phase, with the speed increased to about the third indicator, I pretty much don't worry about the dough sticking to the roller as it is still kneading by squeezing the dough. It will generally release by itself as it gathers strength and naturally becomes unbalanced. You can pause the machine and use the dough scraper to break the dough away, or speed it up for a moment.

swtgran wrote:
I find the DLX big, heavy steel bowl cumbersome and hard to handle with arthritis in my hands.

I agree to a point. I broke my right wrist as a youth, and had a bad break of the left when far removed from youthdom. Both still cause pain and weakness. I have learned that one need not 'handle' the big stainless bowl. For stiff doughs, sprinkle flour on and around the dough and hands, and use the dough scraper to release the dough and then lift it out of the bowl. For wet doughs, use water or oil to lube the bowl and hands. For cookies and batters, use the plastic bowl and whisks. It is light weight and the handle and pour spout make it a pleasure with which to work.

cheers,

gary

//edits note: This is the fourth or fifth attempt to correct my typos, etc. They breed like rabbits. If there are still examples of fat-fingeredness, I will hope you can figure out what I meant to say where what I did  say makes no sense. ~gt

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

I replaced our old Kitchen Aid 5qt in 1997 with a Hobart N50.  At the time I could not find a DLX or maybe I just did not know about them.

The N50 came with a "Spiral" dough hook and after the first use I fell in love with it.  Even used the spiral hook with the old KA and, WOW, what a difference!  The KA didn't seem to "lug-down" as much.

I do not regret buying the Hobart.... even at it's 1997 price.  Sure it was expensive, but there is no way to over load it.  I use it for all my doughs including full batches of bagel dough and my wife is always using it for her "stuff"....... 

Oh, you can find the spiral hooks for the KA 5qt. on Amazon.....

We are happy with it, but if I bought the DLX and gave my wife the KA I would be a little richer......

 

chris319's picture
chris319

Here is why I would not go near a new KitchenAid:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/36926/my-ka-kp26m1xnp-stand-mixer-possessed-devil

Note my comment about machined vs. cast gears.

suave's picture
suave

that guy killed his mixer by mixing 3 times more bagel dough than that particular mixer can handle. 

chris319's picture
chris319

He responded:

33 oz of flour and 18.2 oz. of water plus the salt, yeast & 3T olive oil. 99% of the bread recipes I make use that much flour & liquid for two loaves. The machine should do that little till the cows come home.

suave's picture
suave

that's bagel dough, 3 times more than that particular mixer can handle. 

chris319's picture
chris319

You're saying it can only handle 11 ounces of flour without stripping a gear? I can see the motor laboring but stripping a metal gear? One has to wonder why a metal gear stripped before the failsafe gear failed.

11 ounces are 312 grams, less than 2 1/2 cups of flour. The manufacturer's spec says it can handle 8 1/4 loaves of bread. That's not 11 ounces of flour. See for yourself:

http://www.kitchenaid.com/shop/-%5BKP26M1XNP%5D-404905/KP26M1XNP/

suave's picture
suave

That's exactly what I am saying.  It does not have to be a stripped gear, can't be some other weak spot, like gear housing, motor, or temper.  Anyway, why listen to me, see what a professional baker had to say.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/80514#comment-80514

 

zakeblack's picture
zakeblack

Hi all, 

Thanks for the advice have done some further reading here also and ordered last night the Bosch Universal Plus from Germany (Its not available here in the UK) I understand this is big load, but from what i have read the smallest load it will handle is 600g im working 500g so could just increase that 600g or just run a double recipe and split the batch and freeze one..

To be honest i have already been thinking I'll just quad load and freeze 3 and just use as i need them.. as far as bread go's i think that would do us for the week so one mix on a sunday afternoon only.. :)

Thanks all :)

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Great choice!

I take it the model you ordered is 1000 watts and will be coming with the stainless steel bowl?

 

isand66's picture
isand66

I've had the Bosch Universal for a couple of years now and I love it.  I only have the plastic bowls and I bought a spare to use with it as well.  If you let the leftover dough dry in the bowl it cleans out very easily.  I had 2 kitchen aids which the gears got stripped out and I had to replace them twice.  Have not had any issues at all with the Bosch. If you do small batches it doesn't always work so well, but I usually do 800 or more grams of dough at a time.

zakeblack's picture
zakeblack

This is the model number bosch MUM6N21

I think the mum6n11 is the one with the plastic bowl and the 21 is the stainless steel.

http://www.bosch-home.com/de/produkte/kneten-r%C3%BChren-mixen/k%C3%BCchenmaschinen/mum6-k%C3%BCchenmaschinen/MUM6N21.html

I'll have to look at getting another bowl as that seems like a far easier option if i'm making white and wholemeal at the same time :)

Thanks for the all the advice people, we very nearly went kitchen aid assuming they are the best... i'll be sure to report back on how we get on.. suspect will be at least a week though given that its coming from overseas.. almost tempted to see if we can collect lol and go for some schnitzel :)

 

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Wow it even comes with the blender! 

From what I've read on Amazon.uk, your Bosch could be arriving in a just couple of days.  :)

Sorry, no schnitzel for you. ;-)

chris319's picture
chris319

I had 2 kitchen aids which the gears got stripped out and I had to replace them twice.

Were these post-Hobart-era KA's?

isand66's picture
isand66

I believe so.  Both gears were plastic so it was probably after Hobart sold the company.

chris319's picture
chris319

I believe so.  Both gears were plastic so it was probably after Hobart sold the company.

KitchenAid mixers have by design had exactly one plastic gear going back to the Hobart era. That gear is designed to break away in case of excessive load so the motor won't burn out.

What is remarkable in the case I cited is that a metal gear stripped before the plastic failsafe gear could.

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

Pre-1997 I had the gear failure twice!!!  I downloaded a KA manual online and replaced the plastic gears..... Let me tell you that it is one large messy, yucky, job......So whatever the charge to fix was you paid it was worth it....

When the gear failed the second time I bought the Hobart N50 and never looked back.....  Heck, I can mix 4 quarts of "cement" in the N50 and it never even hick-ups.......

Oh, I did fix the KA after the third failure and gave it back to my wife.....

And chris319 you are spot on..... the plastic gear is, what a KA rep told me is the "Fuse" in the gear box.... I think that a thermocouple in the motor's wiring that would shut the motor down when it got hod would be a much better way of doing things......

 

zakeblack's picture
zakeblack

Just had email its on route already!! :)

So celebrating with home made pizza on the weber :) Just think the next time i do this i wont have to hand knead lol