The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What mixer do you use for your bread dough?

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gypsywoman's picture
gypsywoman

What mixer do you use for your bread dough?

I have read several posts and have seen some written reviews on the different mixers...but I'm curious, what do you use?  I want to start making bread from home (I used to make for a local deli using their Hobart) and am wondering if a Kitchenaid Pro 600 (a vintage one) will work fine. 


 


Can you please let me know what you use and what your experiences have been with other mixers?


 


Thanks

bodger's picture
bodger

I used to use a Kitchenaid, which was fine but I've gradually changed to hand-mixing and hand-kneading.  Ok, I'm rarely making more than a couple of kilos of dough, but I really enjoy the handling process and it takes no more time than with a KA (using slap & folds).


 


Until recently I used to use the KA for mixing, but even this I have now moved to hand/spoon mixing.


 


Give it a go!

gypsywoman's picture
gypsywoman

Great...so is it that difficult using your hands and mixing bowl?  How much dough are you able to mix at one time?  Do you have a recipe you can share to give me an idea?


 


I used to mix a very large batch with the Hobart and have no idea how to scale it down to making a few loaves at a time.


 


I know this may seem like a stupid question, but I am new to trying making bread the old fashioned way. 


 


I'd appreciate any help I can get!


 


 


Thanks so much!

bodger's picture
bodger

It's all pretty easy.  The messiest bit is definitely the mixing, and the least interesting part is picking bits of dough from your hands!  I can also guarantee that your telephone or doorbell will ring as soon as you've got your hands messy!


 


As I'm only a novice baker I don't make huge batches (I don't have an oven/ovens big enough to bake more than a few kilos at a time anyway).  I find 2kg of dough ideal - it's nice and light when you're doing the slap & folds (instead of traditional kneading) but just enough to get "a hold of" - much less than this and I find it actually gets harder to work with.


 


There are a load of recipes on this site (take a look at the ficelles recipe here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9839/ficelles-made-anis-bouabsa039s-baguette-formula which is about as easy as any recipe can get!) but in general I'd recommend sticking to recipes which give measurements by weight as they tend to be more reliable (IMHO).


 


You mention elsewhere that you're looking for the least expensive way of making bread - in that case, lean doughs and hand-mixing and kneading is the way to go!  Not sure you can do much about the electricity or gas used by the oven, but other than that...

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

A large metal mixing bowl, wooden spoon, plastic scraper, hands...


I don't have room for appliances in my kitchen, and I find setup and clean up a hassle...

gypsywoman's picture
gypsywoman

I am new to this site and don't know if I reply to one it gets posted or replys directly to the sender.


 


May I ask, using your method, how many loaves are you able to net with your bread recipe?  I've only made bread with the Hobart and it was very large quantities.


 


I want to learn how to make bread from home and the least expensive way the better. 


 


If you have a bread recipe to share using your method, could you so that I may get a better understanding how it measures to what I used to do...to get an idea of the scale of quantities used.


 


Thanks!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Gypsywoman, there is an excellent handbook here - just click the "handbook" tab at the top of TFL's home page.


I'm sure you will find it very helpful.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

I am making between 20-24 kg of dough, in batches of no more than 4 kg which is what I can mix easily in a 15 quart mixing bowl.  If I am doing baguettes, I get about 12 per batch, other breads are 6 per batch.  I also do tester loaves that are about 500 g after baked weight...


Hope this helps.  Lemme know if you need any more info.


Tim

ehanner's picture
ehanner

If you have a vintage Kitchen Aid I would say, hold on to it. The older KA mixers had steel gears and are very reliable. The newer ones are much more prone to problems when mixing larger quantities or firm dough. While I agree with the above posts about hand mixing and would encourage you to try it, your KA will be fine if you don't over stress it. That I believe was your question.


Eric

BreadHound's picture
BreadHound

The shame of it! - No knead (pun intended!) Once I discovered that you really do not need anything other than your hands and spatula to mix and knead the bread, I was jubilantly on my way to earning my nickname.  I always thought you needed all this expensive fancy kitchen equipment, heavy duty stand mixers, dough hooks, etc.  Maybe commercial bakers do or people who bake large quantities but surely not necessary for home use.  Every loaf I have made so far has been mixed with a spatula or big wooden spoon and scraper on sides of bowl. I used the folding over method on the no-knead website and sometimes just do my own fold and knead a bit longer method.  The dough does not stick as much if you oil your hands and fingers beforehand.  Last time i slipped a plastic veggie bag over my right hand when kneading and very little mess as a result.  I imagine you could use those plastic disposable gloves if this was an issue.  Once you have the dough workable it is actually fun to knead kind of like play-dough.  Not labor intensive and the time goes fast.  Sooo worth it after you taste that first peice from the loaf...Yummmm

In search of Zion's picture
In search of Zion

 


I have the Electrlux DLX mixer and LOVE it!!  A lot of my friends have the Bosch mixer and really like theirs too.  I love that I can make 8 loaves of bread at the same time and pass the window pane test with no problem.  I cannot say enough about this mixer!  My KA always burns out, bounces on the counter and is a huge disappointment for the volume of bread I like to make.  The Electrolux is a bit pricey, but worth every penny.  Good luck

baltochef's picture
baltochef

I made my first 500, or so loaves at home by hand before I ever used an electric motor driven mixer to do so..I made my first two sourdough sandwich loaves at age 14 because neither my mother, nor grandmother, would agree to make the recipe for me that was printed in a copy of Outdoor Life Magazine..I have made bread everywhere from the woods around a campfire to the most modern kitchen..If one wants to keep things as simple as possible, then there is no finer way to make bread than by hand..In fact, I always recommend to newcomers that they learn to make bread by hand before they learn to use a machine..The knowledge learned by making bread by hand will directly transfer to machine kneading, whereas very little of what one learns by making bread with machines will directly transfer to hand kneading..


That being said, I believe that the Electrolux DLX is the best mixer currently on the market for kneading bread..It will do the job faster, and with less fuss than any of the other mixers on the market..I have owned or used them all, with the exception of the new Cuisinart mixer..It is also one of the simplest designs, with less to go wrong than any of the other mixers..The open top bowl design is, in my opinion, its best feature other than the direct drive motor-to-bowl connection..


In todays world cooks spending the $600.00 that a DLX costs, want appliances that do multiple tasks..The DLX does have a PTO port where attachments can be used..Its forte is, and always has been since its inception, making bread..Made in Sweden to very high standards, it is about as indestructible as a kitchen appliance can be short of being manufactured for commercial use..I had mine for 7.5 years with no issues..A second bowl and the dough hook, which my mixer did not come equipped with when I purchased it, are on my list to be purchased as soon as funds are available to do so..


Bruce

SteveB's picture
SteveB

"I have owned or used them all..."


Have you used an SP5?  How does its performance compare to a DLX?


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

baltochef's picture
baltochef

I have not used an SP5 mixer..Without better photos and written information and going strictly by the photo in the link; it looks similar in design to the KitchenAid Artisinal mixer in that it appears to have a dough hook attached to a motor that is cantilevered above the bowl on a pivoting head / arm..Going only by the website, and the photo, it would appear to be a "bridge" machine that straddles the commercial and residential categories of mixers..Similar, perhaps to the DLX..Making that assumption is a stretch considering the extreme lack of info on the website..With only a recommended 8 lb. dough capacity, it would seem to be less of a mixer than the DLX, which can handle a greater amount of dough..


I would e-mail the company for much greater details, as well as a price..I would also want at least 5 referrals to satisified residential home bakers..


Bruce

SteveB's picture
SteveB

The SP5 is a spiral mixer of smaller scale than, but nearly identical design to, commercial-scale spiral mixers used in many artisan bread bakeries.  It is not of similar design to the KitchenAid.  It is not a planetary mixer.  It has a non-removable rotating bowl with a fixed-in-place, rotating dough hook.  From what I've heard so far from people who own and use them, they do a superior job with dough development.  They also come in at a substantially higher price point than KitchenAid or DLX mixers.  I mistakenly thought that you had used one and was hoping that you would have been able to add some insight into its use.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

baltochef's picture
baltochef

I only meant that the SP5 seemed similar to the KA in that the head containing the motor pivoted upwards to allow access to the bowl..


When it comes to commercial mixers, they all have their quirks / idiosyncrasies that must be mastered in order to make good bread..Supeerior bread can be made using any methodology, from hands to machines..The Hobart planetary design is perhaps the oldest in continuous use in commercial bakeries, at least in the USA..All of the newer design mixers make great bread, as does the Hobart..


As a pro chef I just cannot see the need for a commercial mixer in 99% of home baking situations..A 10-12 quart mixer is about the smallest that I would consider purchasing myself..Most families simply will not bake enough bread to justify the thousands of dollars neccessary to purchase such a mixer..The price differential between the 6-8 quart pro mixers and the 10-12 quart pro mixers is not that great..


If I were tasked with baking ALL of the breads / desserts for a large family (minimum 5-6 HUNGRY people with LARGE appetites) I would consider equipping the kitchen as follows:


1- digital postal scale--2-3 lb. capacity--0.001 oz. increments


1- digital kitchen scale--30 lb. capacity--0.01 oz. increments


1- stainless steel scale scoop for weighing flours


1- Dr. Weil / Spring 10-speed Swiss made hand mixer, 240w


1- Electrolux DLX 8 qt. mixer w/ spare bowl


1- Modern design 12-16 qt. direct-drive mixer with open bowl design--pick a manufacturer, they are almost all pretty good--I would prefer one with a removeable bowl and both a hook and a paddle--I could live without the paddle--I would purchase a spare bowl right up front--It would be very nice if it had a PTO so that a professional meat grinder and pasta extruder could be attached to it..


1- Cuisinart 3-cup food processor


1- Cuisinart 7-cup food processor


1- Cuisinart 14-cup food processor


       All of the food processors would be the older design with the simple up-down switches


2- Braun (or similar) coffee grinders--1 for sweet spices, 1 for savory spices


1- Dynamic MD-95 stick blender


1- Vita-Mix Vita-Prep 3 blender with 2 each 48 oz. and 96 oz. carafes


1- tropical hardwood tortilla / flatbread press with compound leverage capable of pressing 10-12 in. flatbreads


1- Lodge 14" cast iron skillet, well seasoned, for baking flatbreads


1- Lodge 14" x 18" cast iron griddle, well seasoned, for pancakes & English muffins


1- Imperia 8" professional pasta machine w/ cutters fot capelli d'angelo, tagliatelle, trenette, & fettucine


20- heavy gauge aluminum 1/2 sheet pans


8- heavy gauge aluminum 1/4 sheet pans


box of 1000 full size HD parchment paper coated with silicone--cut into 1500 1/2 sheets, and 1000 1/4 sheets


large assortment of pro-grade steel and aluminum bread pans, cake pans, muffin tins, tart pans, etc--plus all of the other ancillary equipment such as rolling pins, biscuit cutters, pizza wheels, dockers, etc..


I would be baking breads only 1-3 times per week for a family of up to 10 people..


If the kitchen was large enough then a refrigerator that could be ACCURATELY adjusted for temperatures ranging from 32F to 50F would be nice for retarding doughs..A proof box and a commercial gas-fired oven with baking tiles and a steam injector would nicely round out things..


Of course, the above list is a dream list for baking breads and desserts for a large number of constantly hungry people..I just do not see the need for commercial mixers in the home environment unless there is a real need for the larger capacity machines..For the price of a 5 qt. Hobart, or that 8 qt. SP5, one could purchase 2-3 Electrolux DLX mixers at the current $600.00 price here in the USA..

toyman's picture
toyman

SteveB - there is a poster on pizzamaking.com (Scottr) that has and uses both the SP1 & DLX.  To summarize his take, they both produce very similar quality results, but the SP1 gets it done faster, but is also almost twice the price. 

SteveB's picture
SteveB

toyman, thanks for addressing my original question.  I'll check out scott r's posts.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

sonomacarl's picture
sonomacarl

I mix by hand.   Usually make one loaf at a time but two are no problem   I have made my own bread for years but recently - sometime during the last year - it never is the same.   Have tried several brands of yeast and use King Arthur flour usually.. The bread has no odor - no nice "yeast" smell  - or taste.  Even the texture is not the same.   I would think it was my imagination but my husband says the same thing and is as unhappy with the resulting bread as I am.   Does anyone else have this problem?


 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

For a very small loaf (there are only  two of us) I usually just mix by hand.  I can make a half pound loaf by hand in less time than it takes to drag out the mixer.  But I use a KA Classic for anything requiring greater quantities of ingredients.  Haven't had any problems with it.  If I were doing a lot of bread making, like some of the members here, I might go for their professional model.  But the Classic serves my needs.