The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I Think I'm in Love: New DLX

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gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

I Think I'm in Love: New DLX

Hello there,


My name is Jennifer and I am one very grateful newbie.


My bread odyssey began a few months back while shopping at the grocery store: I'd finally had it up to -here- with the cost of bread vs. the quality.  We live in a hideously remote location, the selection is bad and we're feeding three growing boys.  My priority, of course, is my kids; I can't do a thing in the world about my location; I can definitely do something about the quality of our food.


I wish that I would have found y'all early on in my search for a mixer.  Have a little KA that I love dearly but knew it'd never do the whole wheat thing for any length of time, so we started looking for a good machine to do the job.  Researched and selected the Viking 7 qt.  Let this be your warning: STOP.  Don't do it!  Save yourself before it's too late!  I love my Viking Pro food processor; could all those negative reviews about the mixer really be on the mark?  NAHHH.  About 7 batches into its short life here, it started leaking oil from the thingie (sorry, I'm tired...waiting for the bread to finish baking) that holds the attachment.  I have a hard enough time getting flax oil past my five year old, let alone motor oil.  I shoulda known, though, when it up and died on the very first batch of dough.


So then the search was on.  Again.  This time, we'd decided on a 12 qt Hobart.  Love the machine and was totally confident that it would have the muscle--And Then Some--to help me bake simple wholesome whole wheat bread for my family.  [Note to self: simple does not equal easy.]  Was given marching orders by my DH to "Buy It Now" and just. couldn't. do it.  The cost was the thing that stopped me in my tracks.  That, and we really don't have a separate helipad for it.  And...it would be my luck that the indestructable mixer of the millenium would break down, and out here in the middle of nowhere I couldn't get it fixed in a reasonable fashion, and I'd be right back to Square One and out $1500.


So as my mouse was hovering over BIN and breaking out in hives, I had the inspiration to google "bread baking forum" and that's how I found y'all.  I was really hoping to find an enthusiastic recommendation for a reliable workhorse of a bread mixer that didn't require paletizing or a small crane to move it around.  That's when I found the reviews on the Electrolux DLX/Assistent/Magic Mill/whatever it's called.  They can call it what they want, I'm gonna call it my bread baby forever.


This is one *awesome* machine!  I l-o-v-e that the cavernous 8 qt bowl is so open (no precision aim or arm contortions required in order to add ingredients) and that I can move it myself easily; nor does it demand more than its fair share of real estate on the counter.  It's not pretty, but it is built like a tank and works like a dream.  I was concerned at first about the whole spinning bowl thing, but then I watched the video that some kind soul posted here and liked what I saw.  I still had "planetary or bust" stuck in my head, and that was a hard concept to let go of.  But something about the design and the reviews here made me take the leap, and I'm so glad I did.  It was a fraction of the Hobart's cost (I don't run a bakery and I'm not a professional, just a mom with very hungry boys : ) and just all around a better fit for our family at this time.  Granted, it's just my first loaves in the oven now, but you should smell the fragrance.  It's heaven.  It was super easy to mix, kneading was a snap once I got the arm figured out (and yes, I did walk away : ) and it made up the most wonnnnderful dough.  Really looking forward to my first try at pasta with it (we got the attachment goodies, since we weren't buying the Hobart).  (Got our DLX at www.pleasanthillgrain.com)


Anyhow, thank y'all so much for this forum and for your honest reviews and experiences with products.  The bread just came out of the oven and it's fantastic.  Wish I could share it with you.


Thank you!


Jennifer : )

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Welcome Jennifer!


This is indeed a great resource and a place where you will be among like minded friends. Glad you like your DLX. I bought one a year ago and wouldn't part with it. I'm about to mix an 8 pound batch of Whole Wheat Raisin with Cinnamon, and I know it won't be any trouble at all for my DLX.


I look forward to seeing your posts and progress with baking.


Cheers,


Eric

ryeaskrye's picture
ryeaskrye

How does it do with smaller quantities, like say 3-4lbs of dough?

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

I had two spins with it yesterday:  a single pizza crust (3 C whole grain flour) and then later on I made up the two loaves of the ww (7-8 C total).  The DLX didn't blink.  I think it mighta actually laughed at me.


This is just my first experience, though, so could be beginner's luck.  I'll be listening to what the long-time DLX owners have to say.

Hoyden's picture
Hoyden

I too am the proud owner of a new DLX which was where my year end bonus went.  I'm thrilled with it and I bake for 2.


 


I consider this to be the mixer I should have bought 10 years ago.  I balked at the cost and bought a KA instead.  I always hated using it because I couldn't see in the bowl or add stuff without considerable contortions.  So I gradually stopped baking.


 


Yesterday I baked ciabatta and I'm pleased with how it turned out.  Plus it was FUN.  I also used the DLX to make a batch of cornbread (overkill, I know) and some herb butter.  It's easy to clean.


 


I replaced the washer on the knob that tightens the arm with a locking washer.  It seems to tighten better for me this way and stay tighter.

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

Thanks so much Eric.  This is a wonderfully brilliant, friendly group of people.  I am really looking forward to learning about this wonderful stuff called bread.


Jennifer : )

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== I have a hard enough time getting flax oil past my five year old, let alone motor oil.  ===


Just as an FYI, I did some research on this when my vintage KA leaked a little lubricant.  The gear lubricant in a kitchen mixer should be an FDA-certified food-grade grease, which is non-toxic.  Doesn't mean that you would want to set out to eat it, but a few drops won't hurt anyone.  That's assuming that your mixer is new or has been maintained by a reputable repair shop that uses the correct grease during rebuilds of course.


You can Google "food-grade grease" if you want more info.


sPh

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

See?  You just proved my theory that you can't be on this forum and not learn something new!  Being a car lover, the idea of food-grade grease never entered my mind--but it's good to know.


Thanks!


Jennifer : )

bacjac's picture
bacjac

Looks like a nice machine. $500 is some serious coinage to better your mixing and obtaining lovely meringue. 


Can it make pasta? Ravioli? Home made sausages? Grate? Shred? Mill? Chop?


Whew - my heads spinning. Enough said.


Now BOW DOWN TO YOUR MASTER!



 


LOL

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Bacjac,


That's funny! But that's all it is. Good tools are expensive but, a value in the end.


Eric

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

LOL  No bowing here, I'm afraid, and no time for meringue either (at least not until spring and summer : )


I did actually make a batch of pasta with it last night.  Super easy--it's a fuzzy pumper for foodies!  (Notice I'm not commenting on the quality of the recipe or the experience of the cook.)  But the process itself couldn't be easier.  In the time that it takes me to make my sauce, I can have fresh homemade pasta as well--knowing exactly what went into it and the conditions of its preparation as well.  Love that about scratch cooking.


Being just less than a week into the DLX, yep, $500 bucks is a lot to spend--especially in these times--but I've been down the "make due" road so many times, always breaking the cheaper thing or having to go back and purchase what I should've gotten in the first place.  Over the long haul, the savings for us is a huge factor in our decision-making:  both in machine replacement cost, as well as money saved for the quality of food, in addition to improvements in our overall health by cooking and baking this way.  This is actually the bargain, heavily front-loaded though it is.

davec's picture
davec

Jennifer,


I don't know much about mixers, but, like you, everytime in my life I've bought the cheaper version, whether it be tool or equipment, I have lived to regret it, and wound up trashing the cheap model and buying the good one.  I'm confident you are going to be very happy with your decision.


Dave

Hoyden's picture
Hoyden

So, I've made several batches of bread in my new DLX - no problem.  I've made a couple uneventful batches of cookies in it too.


Tonight I tried a double batch of oatmeal cookies, which I really did not think was too much dough. However, the dough crept up the roller and then got on the rim of the bowl.  This happened after I added the eggs, so it was fairly wet.  It was kind of a mess and little bits of dough were flying off the edge of the bowl.


What did I do wrong? I had the roller loose, so it was mostly close to the rim of the bowl.  Should I have been using the whisk bowl?  It seems too delicate for cookie dough . . .  


 

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

Hi Hoyden,


I've had the same thing, but it didn't creep up so far as to fly out the bowl.  I reserved my flour until the end and add a bit at a time.  Maybe try a slower speed?


I made my second batch of cookies yesterday and was thrilled at how the DLX creamed butter & sugar--never had that kind of incorporation with my KA (sadly!).  The directions said to cream butter & sugar on three lines, so I set it on fast, but that might have been a little too fast for the rest of the recipe.  I did chocolate chip cookies with double chips (a girls' gotta get her Vitamin C, you know ; ) and it did just fine.


 


Separate question:  I grind my own flour (ww/fine setting in nutrimmill) and used that for the cookies, and got about 1/3 more dough volume than I usually do.  Have any other DLX'ers noticed increased volume in their recipes?  Or is that more a function of the home-milled flour?  And a whole THIRD more volume?  I couldn't believe my eyes.


- Jennifer : )

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

Ok, I'm telling on myself!  I don't usually use two bags of chips, but I did yesterday and <voila!> a third more volume.  Mystery solved!  ROTFLOLOL


- Jennifer : )

Hoyden's picture
Hoyden

Hee hee.   I have noticed increased volume when creaming the butter/shortening & sugar together, but I didn't get any more cookies.  Just better cookies.

toyman's picture
toyman

Guys I'm new to the DLX also, just got mine on Saturday.  After working it out on a 7# batch of bread dough on Saturday, and then about 5# of pizza dough on Sunday, I will say that the key to keeping the ingredients in the bowl is to keep the roller about 1.5-2" away from the bowl until the ingredients start to come together.  On my bread dough batch, I started with the roller about 1/2" away from the side.  I poured 1280g of water in the bowl, then I added 1500g of flour a cup at a time.  Once it started coming together, in places, the arm would move in and out and then it pinched the batter consistency dough up the side of the bowl, under the arm, and on the outside of the bowl.  I stopped the mixer and moved the roller about 2" away from the bowl.  Once it became a consistent mixture, I adjusted the roller closer to the bowl.  I used the same procedure on Sunday with my pizza dough, and it worked like a dream.  I didn't have to clean up anything outside the mixing bowl. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Toyman,
Please do me a favor and try a batch using the dough hook. The roller is cool the way it works but it is way more putzy than the hook. You might have to control the dough a little with a spatula but most of the time it's much easier using the hook.


The only thing you might have to avoid is add in ingredients that are to large to fit behind the bar. Large chips for example might not make the clearance. I use large golden raisins in normal size chips with no trouble.


Eric

Hoyden's picture
Hoyden

Eric,


Do you use the dough hook for creaming butter and sugar for cookie dough?  I'm willing to try it if you say it works . . . I've seen conflicting advice on the dough hook. Do you use it for larger batches of dough or smaller?  The manual says use it for small batches (or not at all) and one of my bread books (I think the Bread Bible?) says to use it for large batches.


I've used the roller for everything so far, I made a double batch of 5 min a day dough with 13 c of flour (just mixing; not kneading) and it went great.  I locked the roller about 1.5" from the rim and had no issues with dough creeping.  I guess I should have read the manual a bit more closely because that's exactly what it says to do.  :-)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hoyden,
I wouldn't think the hook would work very well for creaming butter and sugar. When my wife makes cookies she ignores my fancy mixer with a grin and heads for the hand mixer. Old habits I guess. I don't make cookies so I haven't done much in that area. I did make some sticky buns that called for creaming and for that I used the DLX plastic bowl and whisk. I have whisked egg whites for candy (Divinity) and that was a snap. Pouring the cooked sugars into the egg whites was much easier than previous times having had to hold the mixer with one hand and a heavy pot with another.


The Hook is my first choice for mixing bread doughs. I could easily never use the roller and not miss it. The smallest batch I mix is 2 lbs and I don't do that very often honestly. For such a small amount I don't bother but the machine will handle a small batch with the same efficiency as my more typical 6-8 Lb mix.


I use the scraper with the hook only until it is getting in the way. When it starts to get caught in the ball of dough and the gluten strands start to form and stretch, I stop and remove it. From that point the Hook works alone. I use the slowest speed that will keep the ball working in place. Never above the lowest second range.


Another thing I have been experimenting with on larger batches is using the DLX to fold the dough. Instead of removing the dough after mixing and putting it in a bowl to ferment, I leave it in the mixer. I remove the hook and wipe the dough off the hook and cover with the provided plastic cover. Then after 1 hour, I replace the hook and lock it it in place as far as it will go closest to the side, and run the motor for about 3-4 seconds max, at the lowest speed. You need to be mindful of not kneading the dough. You just want to stretch a little. It's easy to over do it which will make tough dough. Then remove the hook again and cover if you need another fold in an hour. Give it a try but don't go longer than 4 seconds.


I do this machine folding with the higher hydration french mixes and multi grain and whole grains that need multiple folds to develop structure. It makes the routine much easier in the kitchen. When the timer goes off, I remove the cover, install the Hook and run the motor for a few seconds, remove the Hook and recover. It's quick and clean. When the dough batch is to large to double in the mixing bowl, I do divide it into two pieces and place it into bowls but I try to avoid that. I prefer to do all of the primary ferment in the DLX bowl and go to divide/shape directly from there. I have seen Professor Calvel use this work flow and if you don't have a production environment where you need the mixer bowl for the 2 hours of ferment time, why not do this. Hope this helps.


Eric

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

I agree with what Eric said.


Want to get my bread baking routine down to once a week if I can, so I tried a double batch for the first time yesterday (WW/freshly milled/clueless on hydration or weight...but it was about 14 C of dry ingredients).


I've been using the roller for mixing single batches (7C total?) and it's like Saturday Night Fever with the disco dancing that the DLX does all over the counter:  ka-THUNK ka-THUNK ka-THUNK and comparing in reverse, it was a tougher dough.


Yesterday, though, I tried the dough hook again, using a lot the same procedure that you describe.  I mixed the liquid and yeast first (I use Saf-Instant) with the roller for about ten seconds, then I switched to the hook.  I quickly added about 3/4 of the dry ingredients by heaping cups and let it do its thing, and added the last 1/4 a cup at a time until it was all incorporated and rolling nicely (which it was!).  After the last of the dry was in, I drizzled just a bit more EVOO over the rolling dough to counteract a bit of dryness.  Let it roll 5 minutes, Rest 5 minutes, roll another 5 minutes.  Like Eric, I removed the scraper (rolled So Much Better!) and left it in the bowl to rise for an hour.  Kneaded by hand about five times, just enough to shape it into a ball, put it back into the bowl for a second one-hour rise.  Came back to a dough BRAIN--it was huge!--that was about 4-6 inches above the rim of the bowl.  Divided and shaped and rose in the pans for a third hour, then baked at 350*F for 38 minutes (we're in the desert @ 2500' or so).


These loaves were my best effort so far.  Light, springy, gorgeous crumb (to my inexperienced eyes), but I did have a few air bubbles in there which I will not hesitate to blame on my use of a rolling pin when I was in the shaping step. O: )  The color was beautiful and the loaves were not *too* crisp.


This was my first time to leave the dough in the bowl, my first real success with the hook and the first time trying that third rise before baking.  I think that it was a combination of at least the hook and the third rise which made an amazing loaf (sandwich bread).  Leaving the dough in the bowl makes it so much easier; next time I'll try your suggestion, Eric, of just another 4 seconds with the hook to fold instead of kneading.


I've got a picture of the dough brain--can we post pictures to the thread?


PS: LOVE the roller for creaming butter and sugar as long as butter is room temp.  And even if it's not as soft as it should be, I but the butter into small pieces then roll it on high, using a bit of heat from the additional friction to soften it.  So far, so good.  It's making the most amazing chocolate chip cookies so far in over 20 years of baking, and 12+ with this recipe.


- Jennifer : )

gr8bskt's picture
gr8bskt

It's alive!  Dough brain at the end of the second rise.


 


dough brain on second rise


 


- Jennifer : )

Hoyden's picture
Hoyden

Eric & Jennifer:


Thanks for your in depth tips - I'm going to work with the dough hook next time and you've even inspired me to try the whisking bowl for my marshmallows.


 


The dough brain is hilarious  :-o

toyman's picture
toyman

Erik - Just finished up a batch of Caputo pizza dough, about 3500g.  The process I use goes like this. Add wet ingredients to bowl. My pizza dough is flour, water, salt & yeast, so I put 1280g of water in the bowl. Then I start the mixer on it's lowest speed with the roller & scraper in place and add 3/4 of the flour (1500g) a cup or so at a time until its incorporated.  Then I have a 25 minute autolyze.  After that I add the yeast, then salt, then balance of flour.  So, after everything came together with the roller & scraper and after the 25 minute autolyze, I pulled the roller and put in the dough hook.  I still had a little flour left over, and added it and let the machine work at a med speed for a full 12 minutes.  I did work the dough down with a spatula while it was kneading, but it was never unmanageable.   I checked the temp of the dough and it was 77* when the kneading was done.  The dough turned out very nice.  I'm having friends over tomorrow for pizza, so I have 5 balls in the fridge for tomorrow.  The other 7 dough balls were placed in plastic and into the freezer. I'll let you know how it turns out!