The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

KA Pro 600: is this normal?

Bill W's picture
Bill W

KA Pro 600: is this normal?

The maiden voyage didn't go so well. I'm making the San Francisco sourdough recipe from Reinhart's "Crust & Crumb". The final mix was about four cups of the firm starter and six cups of flour, 2 cups water and the other ingredients. All flour is King Arthur unbleached bread flour.

I hand mixed everything, broke up the starter and mixed it in a bit, and started with the dough hook on speed 2 (as per the KA manual). It started in okay, laboring a bit here and there, and after about a minute it shut down. I divided the dough in two, and the first half went pretty well, laboring a lot, but not shutting down. On the second half, it shut down after a minute or two. I proceeded to hand-knead. A half-hour later, the mixer was functional, so it was just a self-preservation shutdown, I guess.

Is this to be expected? I know the "professional" designation is marketing hype, and doesn't translate into "commercial", but I'd heard in various places that this unit would work well under reasonable expectations. I'm fairly new to baking, so I don't know, is the recipe I'm making her particularly demanding on the mixer? A normal batch for me would be about half of this size, I'm only making the full recipe because I've got a couple of holiday parties to go to.

Any advice would be appreciated.


LindyD's picture

I'm curious if you tried it at speed one? I think of the manual transmissions on my car, gear ratios, and speed.  I.e.  It's easier to start moving in first gear...less wear and tear on the engine.

I have a KA Artisan and regularly use it for an initial mix of six cups of bread flour and a couple cups of starter, but I always start it at the first speed and for the most part, keep it there.  My manual warns to never knead dough above the second speed.  I've goofed on occasion but so far have managed to avoid melting the gears.

For what it's worth, KA has come out with a new, improved dough hook for your machine.  I've read it's quite effective.


nbicomputers's picture

the ka is not mulit speed trans!  it is a multi speed moter with a fixed speed single gear transfer case. so the amount of tork you get is fixed.

i have what now is a 20 year pld 5 quart mixer the first one i had was made by hobart but no more.

i have mixed dough as tough as bagel dough in my mixer and it never has shut down or tripted the built in braaker

this does not sound normal for a ka mixer

cdnDough's picture

Definitely not normal.  Take it back.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Bill.

I have a KA Accolade, a 5-qt mixer with a slightly less powerful motor than your mixer. I am also very familiar with the SF SD from C&C. This is a large, stiff dough that pushes the mixer to its limit. In the past, I have divided the dough into two and mixed each part, then combined them by hand. Subsequently, I got a Bosch Universal Plus mixer to handle recipes like this.

Your mixer may or may not be faulty. More likely is that it is just not capable of handling this large a batch of a stiff dough. If you plan on doing large recipes frequently, you might consider a larger-capacity mixer like the Bosch or the DLX.


Padeiro's picture

I will second the opinion of getting a different mixer.  A KitchenAid will never be able to do a large amount of bread or very stiff doughs.  I have had a Bosch for 11 years and use it heavily to make a batch of 11 lbs of whole wheat bread weekly.  It has never missed a beat.  Apparently the newer model is better. I used to work at Williams & Sonoma and told the customers if they were serious about making bread to buy a Bosch.

janij's picture

I have a KA 600 professional as well.  I don't think that what you experienced is normal.  I have demanded more than that from mine and never had it shut down.  With that said... there is a new DLX under the Christmas tree.  I did not want to blow up my KA on bread so I upgraded.  I think it will depend on how serious you are about bread baking.  When my 5 qt KA quit I was not making all the household bread ( It blew up becasue of grinding too many deer and a cow, I don't hold that against it.  More against my husband.)  Now that I make all our bread and am making more whole grains, fresh ground flour breads etc. I decided to upgrade before the 6 qt blew.  If you are serious and can take it back I would and invest in a Bosch or a DLX.

Russ's picture

I'm pretty sure you've gone beyond your mixer's "flour power" rating. KA considers bread flour a specialty flour and only recommends up to half of the flour power when using any specialty flours. With 10 cups of flour in your dough, you need a 20 cup rating to not exceed the mixer's capabilities. Oh and by the way you are right that KA's manual only specifis usin speed 2 for kneadin dough. If you use a different speed and admit it, they may void your warranty for it - same goes for exceeding "flour power" capacity.

Let me add my voice to those recommending a different mixer for breads. I upgraded from a 4.5 qt KA Ultra Power mixer to an Electrolux DLX after realizing that my KA wasn't going to last long once I took up bread baking. The DLX handles everything I try with it without complaint. I recommend it highly. I also hear good reviews from Bosch owners. These are the only noncommercial mixers I would consider for bread making.



JavaGuy's picture

I've been doing ok with a 5 quart KA. I check the heat coming off the motor and give it a 20 minute rest if it feels more than warm. Also, once a large or stiff dough comes together, the dough hook will get stuck for a half second and I'll hear the motor squeal. At that point, it's time to start hand kneading.

Of course, I'm secretly trying to destroy the KA so I can justify a Bosch. Does anyone know if the KA attachments, like a pasta roller, will fit on the Bosch?

verminiusrex's picture

I've been putting my KitchenAid through pure hell this year, baking about 20+ lbs of bagel dough every friday for the farmer's market.  I did probably about 300-400 lbs of dough before the head assembly just fell off about a week ago.  $100 to fix, but still cheaper than a new mixer.

In my opinion a kitchenaid mixer does well for most home use, but honestly they are meant to do the weekly home baking and not true industrial work.  I also think that there is a limit to just how much dough it can comfortably handle, for my bagel dough that's 2 lbs of flour and 16 oz water.  Generally if my mixer is struggling it's because there's too much dough in the bowl. 

Bill W's picture
Bill W

I think what I'll do is try a few more smaller batches of different doughs and see how it holds up. If it can handle a half-batch of the Reinhart sourdough I made the other day, I'll be happy with it. I'm definitely not planning to start making huge quantities of bread, probably a couple of loaves a week will be it.

Maybe a pizza for tommorrow... (and if it chokes on a single batch of pizza dough, I'll definitely return it).


Bill W's picture
Bill W

Mixed another batch of bread dough this morning, another "Crust & Crumb" loaf, also using a firm starter, but I cut it in half so it was about a pound total. This time, the mixer handled it with hardly any straining at all. Nice looking dough, too.

Thanks again to those who offered their advice.