The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mixer for a new bread maker???

MotoJack's picture
MotoJack

Mixer for a new bread maker???

We're going to be leaving in about 10 days on a road trip and will be away from home for about a month so I'm not going to order a mixer at this time.Upon our return however I will want to aquire a decent mixer and so I pose the question.What's generally considered the best bang for the buck.I'm reading a few reviews and currently I'm leaning towards the Cuisinart 7 quart model SM70 which is currently selling on ebay for $349 with free shipping.I had thought the kitchen aid mixers were supposed to be the preferred mixers for home bread makers but now after reading so many reviews it seems to me the SM70 is a better deal.So....???

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

If you look over the similar postings in the archives you will see the same conclusions.


 


1. Volume of dough. If you want to make big batches go with the Electrolux or Bosch. Otherwise the Cuisinart or KA.


2. If you want a multipurpose mixer do the KA or Cuisinart. For mostly bread do the Electrolux or Bosch.


Dough removal and clean-up are a lot easier with the Cuisinart or KA.


 


Paul

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I suppose it all depends on whether you need a mixer or a universal kitchen machine I suppose.  I don't need all those attachments that come with the Cuisinhart, they'd just be duplicating other appliances I already have.  Whether the Cuisinart is a better deal than the KA (I use a KA) is open to conjecture; but it's certainly worthy of consideration.  It's not clear to me how the Cuisunart bowl locks onto the base but if it's solidly locked for kneading and heavy mixing then I think I too might consider it, sans attachments.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Honestly, for you, if you are just going to be baking 1 or 2 loaves at a time you don't really need a mixer. You have the most valuable tool already, that being the round edge plastic scraper and a spoon. Believe me I'm a Binford Power Tool guy myself and have bought all those things but they mostly sit unused these days. Work with your hands for a while and get a feel for the dough. After 10 loaves you will never look back and you will be a better baker for it. Trust me on this one MJ.


Eric

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Having given it more thought, I like what Eric suggests; especially because you're new to bread making and learning how to "read" and "feel" the dough is so important.  Save your bucks and hand knead for a while.  It'll also give you time to do more research on stand mixers, maybe even give you a chance to try a couple, so you get exactly what you want.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I found that mixing and kneading by hand was an extremely important aspect of learning to make bread.  Every loaf you make and every dough you knead is a learning experience that comes through your hands.  While one could undoubtedly skip this and still make excellent bread I think that you would be missing out on a great experience and a solid foundation of knowledge. 


After years of working all dough by hand I acquired an old Hobart made KA mixer.  The mixer is great for a loaf or two of bread and it has proved to be quite valuable in the cookie department and a multitude of other kitchen tasks.  If bread dough is your only concern and you want to make more than a loaf or two at a time then all my reading says to buy the Electrolux. 


I would still mix by hand until you feel that you are an accomplished bread baker.  This hands on learning experience will be invaluable down the road as you troubleshoot and fine tune your bread baking.


Jeff

poppyfields's picture
poppyfields

I have had a Hobart-era KA Artisan mixer for over 20 years and loved it. It was great until I fell for a Whole wheat oatmeal 2 loaf recipe. It could mix it, but it struggled and got hot. Since I did not wish to risk burning out my Artisan, I got a Cuisinart Food Processor to mix that dough - which was fast and worked well.


Recently, after a sudden cross country move and a stint in a small apartment, my hubby wished to treat me to a new big mixer for my new townhouse. After reading up on Cooks Illustrated that the new Cuisinart that you mentioned now rated equally as good as the KitchenAid, I ordered it as my present. The store sent me the 6 quart Special Edition KA Pro instead.


At first I was disappointed, then I realized it was worth $100 more so I started playing with it. I love the big spiral dough hook much better than the old C hook on my Artisan. I can make double batches of dough and save energy by loading my oven with 4 loaves rather than 2.


Which brings me to my next point. 7 quarts is huge! Do you bake enough at one time to warrant this monster machine? My 4 quart Artisan was perfect for cakes and cookies and 2 loaf recipies. I am going to purchase the extra 3 quart bowl for my new machine to make smaller batches that are hard in a 6 quart bowl.


So, are you sure you want a mixer bowl that big?


As the others have suggested, learning what dough should feel like is important. I have been using my mixer to incorporate all the ingredients, then letting the dough rest (autolys) for 15 min or so and then kneed by the stretch and fold method found here. Best of both worlds.


Good luck with your decision and happy baking.


 


 


 

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

It really depends what your goals are. I've got a KA and an electrolux, and they both serve their purpose. I really prefer the KA for standard mixing stuff. I guess you could make a box cake mix in the electrolux if you really wanted, but it kind of seems like small quantities would get lost in there.


 


Where the electrolux beats the KA is on volume. if you are baking big batches of bread at a time, the KA just won't hack it. Mine was struggling at 1600 grams of dough (enough for a couple decent sized boules of Barenbaum's hearth bread). The electrolux will do 4.  The KAs are notoriously bad with really stiff dough (you aren't supposed to make more than 6-8 bagels worth of bagel dough at a time). That said, I'm not entirely sold on the electrolux. It doesn't really work it's stated capacity either, and seems to require more attention than the KA to mix thoroughly.

MotoJack's picture
MotoJack

Thanks everybody.To date I've not made any bread except the no knead type.I make a double sized dough when I make it and that's probably the most I'd usually make at one time no matter what bread I'll be making.When I move on to other breads requiring kneading I see now that 10 minutes of kneading isn't gunna kill me.I watched a few videos and it looks like fun doing it manually so I'll skip the cost of a mixer.The ups guy came yesterday and I received my dough scrapers (curved plastic & stainless straight edge),the scale and the dough wisk.Baked 2 loaves of no knead and the new gadgets are handy indeed.The stainless scraper I used to shoot some flour under the big blob of dough and also when dividing the dough into the 2 loaf portions.The counter cleanup is also easier also using the metal scraper.

jroden's picture
jroden

I have used the big kitchenaids and had a lot of trouble with them.  In general, there is a lot to be said for the 4.5 quart models, I have an old ultrapower I bought off ebay for $80 that I use for making fairly big batches (5 lbs of dough, it's more than I should be using) and it labors but does OK.  This same recipe caused my pro 600 to fail, go figure.


 


I have a bosch on order, I'm going to keep the KA to run all my accessories.  It would be fine on its own, but I just like to make bigger batches of stiff dough