The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Putting the question to the hive mind...

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proth5's picture
proth5

Putting the question to the hive mind...

Let me start with one of my usual disclaimers.  I know that to a certain extent I am pining for those big, floorstanding mixers and it may be that the faithful Kitchen Aid is not really just inadequate, but...


I'm tired of it walking all over the counter, making ominous noises when mixing a stiff cookie dough, and not really stepping up for things like brioche.  I still like the thing for cakes, candies, and lighter duty work, but...


I want a new mixer. My grain mill purchasing pattern shows that I can be convinced to part with my hard earned money (after years of thought...), but I want something that I love (have I mentioned lately that I still love my Diamant?).  At my house, I am Santa, but I'm not completely sure if I'vemade the "nice" list.


There are 3.5in the running: Bosch, the DLX (or Electrolux Assistent - or whatever name it goes by), and a hand cranked version of the Bosch.  The .5 is the mini spiral sold by TMB Baking.  The mini spiral has gone to .5 because my beloved Diamant has taken up the last "permanent resident" spot in my kitchen and the space required for the mini spiral would mean that I would need to move it around.  I'm pretty strong for who I am, but who I am is a little old lady.


Every day, though, I think about buying that spiral mixer.  Every day.  For a couple of years now.


Thinking about it: Anyone have strong opinions DLX vs Bosch?  If I buy a DLX or Bosch will I continue to pine for the mini spiral or will the step up in size and power to the Bosch/DLX tide me over for 5-7 years?  Any advice about how I might become happy with the old Kitchen Aid?  Anyone use the Bosch or DLX for cakes/candy and how do they peform?  I've done a search for reviews on these pages and they were helpful, just asking one more time.


All thought are welcome.  Thanks in advance.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

could give you some suggestions about smaller, but still commercial grade, mixers, including spiral varieties.  Just a thought.  Who knows, he might be able to point you to some suppliers, too.


Happy hunting.


Paul - mixer-less in South Africa

proth5's picture
proth5

for the thought.  I will follow up.


Hope you are enjoying your adventure...


Pat

janij's picture
janij

I bought a DLX a year ago.  It took the place of a 6 qt KitchenAide.  Proth5 I admire all the experiments you have done on home milling.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge.  I have a COuntry Living Mill and I love it.  So thanks for everything you have posted about home milling.


With that said, I bought the DLX because I was worried about blowing the KA up with the more whole grain breads I have been making since I got my mill and all these wheat berries.  So a year later....  Yes I use my DLX and I really like it.  I didn't think the learning curve was bad.  There are a few things you must follow and it works really well.  I have not tried cakes, cookies, etc in it.  So I can not comment on that.  But I think that I do not regret buying the DLX.  But I maybe don't need it ( DON"T TELL MY HUSBAND!!)  I have found that I am making 1 loaf at a time instead of 4.  I don't have the freezer space and if I only make one loaf I can make more often.  I would not get rid of the DLX.  But I would rethink buying one if I knew now that I don't as big of batches.  I am also doing more hand kneeding.  And I bought the DLX over the Bosch because of what I read here and also my sister in law has a Bosch, she likes it, but thought that the DLX would be better for me.  Her sister has a DLX.


So I am sure this is more than you wanted to know.  But I think that anyone you buy you can be happy with.  It just depends on what you want out of the mixer.  What do you need it to do and how often. :)

proth5's picture
proth5

for sharing your experience.  If all I made were lean doughs, I probably wouldn't need a mixer either, but I've become fascinated with vienoisserie and decorative doughs.  I feel that I need more oomph for the vienoisserie and more volume to make dough for decorative pieces.


Thanks again and Happy Milling!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Pat.


I have the Bosch Universal Plus. I use it for large dough batches and stiff doughs. I'm very happy with it. My wife uses it to whip egg whites. (Don't blink. They'll be too stiff!) I imagine it would be wonderful for cakes and enriched doughs but haven't used it for either.


I think those who have the DLX product are also very happy with it. I don't know if you can use it for batters at all. I'm pretty sure you can't use the kind of spiral mixer you are considering for batters, but you should ask some one who knows.


I still use my KitchenAid when it can handle the dough I'm making.


Good luck with a tough decision!


David

proth5's picture
proth5

I don't think I would ditch the Kitchen Aid.


I got to thinking about decorative dough and found the micro spiral to be actually smaller than the DLX.  Something to think about.


We'll see if I can actually find that crowbar to open my wallet...  Sometimes I ponder these things for years.


Thanks again!

gardenchef's picture
gardenchef

gosh I love this site, I am new to the passion of bread aking, have done it as a homemaker in the past but never with a mixer. I'm awaiting my new Viking 5Qt. I decided against KA b/c of the complaints I read on boards, it seems the newer versions of KA are not made as strong as the older 'workhorses'. I ordered from Pleasnt Hill Gain, people were wonderful. The last woman I spoke with, admires the Viking and said I should be pleased with what I want to do....cookies, cakes and multple breads. She has the BOSCH and LOVES LOVES LOVES IT! She said she only makes bread in it though, she didn't feel it would be as good as a Viking for 'sweets'. So if you are a passiontate BREAD only BAKER, maybe Bosch would be for you. I'd call and talk with them at pleasant grain (I have no affiliation btw). pleasanthillgrain.com. They are quite helpful.


My santa present next year, God willing and the river don't rise......a flour mill!


Happy Holidays  cathy

proth5's picture
proth5

I've worked with a Viking and it is a nice machine, too - just didn't make my "wish list" - Enjoy!


Pleasant Hill grain gets a lot of recommendations...


A flour mill is a big choice, too.  Did I ever mention that I love mine? 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Pat, I chose the Bosch because of financial constraints and I am very happy with it. I don't use it for my small sourdough boule but when I have a quart of discard I make a huge batch of "Neighbor Bread" to share. Last time it made enough dough for 5 big braids with ease. I also find it easy to clean - the dough cleans off the sides and an old toothbrush takes care of the grooves on the center post. I have also made cookies with the paddles but haven't tried whipping egg whites yet, glad David mentioned not blinking! Good luck making the decision, A.



proth5's picture
proth5

if money were not much of an object (I won't say money is not an object, but I've got to get that crowbar out and open the wallet anyway, so why not treat myself) would you have gone with the DLX - and why?


Be glad to hear your reasons!


Thanks so much

gardenchef's picture
gardenchef

...money no object, wouldn't that be grand : )


just curious as to wy Viking didn't make your wishlist? Any reason in particular?


cathy

proth5's picture
proth5

I have an older Kitchen Aid (must be 15 yrs old by now) and it is perfectly lovely for a lot of applications - just not vienoisserie and large batches of dough.  I've not had a real problem with it - just mixer envy from working with larger commercial mixers - and I can hear that I am starting to put a strain on it.


I really don't see the Viking as a big enough change to go out and buy one, it would be a near duplicate of a tool I already have.  As I said, I have worked with one and it is a fine mixer.


Hope this helps.


Pat

LindyD's picture
LindyD


Any advice about how I might become happy with the old Kitchen Aid?



Well, Pat, you could buy the sheeter you've been longing for.  That would be a reason to put up with ye olde KA a bit longer - if you have to choose between the two.


On the other hand, I really like Paul's idea of getting Mark's thoughts in the mix since you spent a week baking with him in Montana.


Decisions, decisions!

proth5's picture
proth5

You reminded me about the sheeter.  Oooooo and I just saw a used one up for sale.  No room for it, though.  No room.  No room.  And me with cookies to roll and cut.  (Cry me a river...)


I will follow up with Mark, though, if he doesn't catch me on these pages.


Thanks!


Pat

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I watched the croissants video in vincent's blog and now fully understand the awesomeness of sheeters.  

mcs's picture
mcs

Oh come on Pat.  I know the real reason you came up here as an intern was to get some quality time on the sheeter - not to learn any bread baking secrets.  I'm pretty sure the sheeter has been at the front of your mind for a while and the mixer is just a gateway tool to get you halfway there. 
Of course I prefer the Hobart style mixer- mainly because that's what I'm used to, but also because they can be used for doughs, fillings, and everything in-between.  I've never used a Bosch, but I had a DLX about 15 years ago and I got rid of it and decided to mix by hand instead.  Can't say I've used the mini spiral.
If you end up looking for a Hobart style mixer, you might want to check out Costco's commercial stuff.  They've got some Precision mixers -tough machines for a decent price.  Precision's 10 quart machine is supposed to be pretty hardcore heavy duty. 
Good luck and see ya.


-Mark

proth5's picture
proth5

Ok, ok, I think about sheeters every day.  Especially when confronted with several pounds of cookie dough (that defeated my KA) that needs to be rolled out paper thin. 


I've been looking hard at the Hobart style mixers as I revisit this descion over and over and what concerns me is their weight, height, and general footprint.  I really have a very small kitchen with limited counter space and I manage inches.


I was thinking that just changing out my dough hook (I have the "old school" dough hook) would be helpful, but then that doesn't address the capacity issue.


I'll take a look at the Costco/Precision stuff.


I do like spiral mixers for bread, but agree that they are more specialized.  I've had that little debate with "my teacher" who scoffs at the Hobarts - I mean, if I were running a small bakery why wouldn't I get a machine that can do more than one thing? 


It gives me pause that you ditched the DLX - I've heard a lot of good things about them.  What caused you to do it?

gardenchef's picture
gardenchef

Looking forward to making big batches of cookies do SHEETERS have to do with cookie baking?


~ cathy


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

If you watch Vincent's video on croissants, you can watch a sheeter in action.  It beats using a rolling pin.  Enjoy!

gardenchef's picture
gardenchef

I saw a 10min  French bakers video....loved that sheeter, didn't know what it was called. Thanks if only my kitchen had countertops enough....


Merry Christmas Happy Baking

proth5's picture
proth5

I bake a family recipe of "brown cookies" once a year and just finished my 12 hour session of rolling, cutting, and baking.  Although I'm no slouch with a rolling pin, visions of sheeters and commercial convection ovens danced in my head.  They would have made the whole thing go much better.  And I only bake a half of the original recipe.  It is no joke to undertake this.


For those with a cookie baking bent, I am sorry, but there is no use in me sharing the recipe.  It contains at least one ingredient that is nearly impossible for individuals to obtain (don't ask, don't tell how I got it...) which is vital to its taste and texture and also comes as a piece with a set of very old, rather small, cookie cutters.  It cannot be made in the larger sizes of contemporary cookie cutters.  Really - the cookies are just awful in a larger size. Properly done, it is our family's "taste of Christmas."


But a sheeter would have been nice...

Broc's picture
Broc

We have both a KA and a Bosch, b'Gosh!


My wife bakes her mother's dense, brickesque, dry "crumbly bread" -- and uses the Bosch, which is able to chew through the mush.


I use Reinhart's recipes with the KA.  "My" breads are moist, luscious -- and family and neighbors love 'em, always ask for more.


But -- don't blame the crumbly bread on the Bosch!


=====


Nice, splendiferous Honey-Challah, sitting comfortably in the fridge, readying itself to be unveiled tomorrow!  Oh, yes!


 


 

proth5's picture
proth5

do not make the baker.  Then again, your tools can limit what you can do...


Thanks!

osx-addict's picture
osx-addict

Not sure if you saw this yet.. But I stumbled across this today -- just passing along as I've got no idea if any of their prices are good,etc.. They do appear to have a good selection tho :


 


http://www.mixerworld.com/