The Fresh Loaf

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KitchenAid Artisan mixer?

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jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

KitchenAid Artisan mixer?

I just came across a sale on the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer (up here in Canada) at Home Outfitters ...Nov 25 & 26, 2009, while supplies last.


It's $299.99 less $100 in money cards and there is also a $50 MIR bringing the mixer to $149.99.


This is a pretty good deal ....BUT....is it going to be useless for bread making? My loaves are always around 500 grams ..never bigger.  Is this mixer only for cakes/cookies or will it do some kneeding?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I bought my Artisan for about the same price (in USD) a bit over two years ago during a "Cyber Monday" sale at Amazon.  Many breads later (and dozens of bagels), it's still going strong.


I will say that I have never mixed dough over speed 2 - which is the top speed noted in the manual.  I think many mixers are abused by their operators failing to read and follow the instruction manual, with the result that the motor breaks down.  In too many cases, the manufacturer is blamed when it really is the fault of the operator.


With the bagel dough (58 percent hydration), I use two pounds of high gluten flour and that does strain the motor after about four minutes during the second (six-minute) mix.  I'll shut it down for a few minutes if I'm concerned about overheating and sometimes I put an icepack on the motor head for cooling purposes.


I've also used it to mix 2# of flour with a higher hydration dough (68-70 percent) with no strain on the motor.  


In my experience, five hundred grams of flour will be easily handled by the Artisan - so long as you follow the manual's instructions and don't use any speed higher than 2.


Happy shopping!


 

Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

Hey, I got my Artisan at the same sale! I usually only do a 500 gm dough, and it only takes a couple minutes to knead after it's mixed, so the motor doesn't even warm up. A double batch takes a minute or so longer, but not enough to matter.  Since my bread is usually all whole grain, I don't try anything larger than that, the manual says 6 cups max if whole grain.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I got my KA as a wedding gift 20 years ago and it's still going strong after countless loaves of bread, cakes, cookies, and many other goodies using the attachments. I think it's a great investment that will give you many years of joy.

Royall Clark's picture
Royall Clark

I'm baking a lot of bread with my Artisan and haven't had any problems. I did get up to 116* when I was working a stiff brioche dough but most of the time I make 500-600g batches. Buy me the blue one and I'll send you my white one!! '^)

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I"ve been using a 4.5 quart Kitchenaid for 5 years.  I've mixed up to about 1.2kg of dough in my mixer.

AW's picture
AW

advises against this mixer if you plan on doing intense dough like brioche or large quanities. Recently I was baking at a friend's house. She had one of these and it felt like a toy in my hands when compared with the Pro Series one I bought on the recommendation of Greenspan.


If your concern is money look on Craig's List. Many times brides will get them and not want them. Or people will buy them on mail order, realize they are too large, and then also realize they are too heavy to ship back.


I was really worried about forking out the cash for the Pro and have never ever looked back (3 years later). Hope that helps.

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Thanks for all the suggestions. I did go and look at the machine..it sure is pretty :)


But I decided against it. My thinking is I don't want to have to baby it ...I use an old 30 year old siemens kitchen machine which is a dead ringer for the bosch compact. I made the ciabatta this past weekend with it (as show here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v24OBsYsR-A ) and although it turned out just fine, I thought the KitchenAid would have been better.


I will just carry on using my siemens for now..when it breaks then I'll decide on a bosch or a KitchenAid Pro ...thank you for everyone that offered opinions..it's very much appreciated !

mekales's picture
mekales

I have an KA Artisian that is 25 years old and has been used for everything from breads, bagles and cookies to milling 100's of quarts of tomatoes... and is still like new! I am going to pass it on to my sister this year as last Holiday I received a KA Pro 6 and I love it as well. Don't hesitate to buy the Artisian (IMHO) just be sure to read ALL the instructions as not only will it help keep the mixer in good shape, but there are some excellent tips in that book to make your mixing & baking easier! ENJOY!


P.S. What color?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

The KA mixers of today are not necessarily the same as those of 25 years ago. Plastic gearing, etc.

jdunivan's picture
jdunivan

I watched a tv episode on how these were made and I do not remember seeing any plastic gearing. Maybe I missed that. Has anyone opened one up?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Yes, many have been opened up. A littlle research will reveal that some of the less expensive models have some nylon(a type of plastic) gearing in their mechanisms. Whether you call it plastic, nylon, whatever, the point is many don't expect anything but metal.


Just do a search for "nylon gears in Kitchen Aid".

Mumsie Leonie's picture
Mumsie Leonie

I bought my KitchenAid 6Qt professional in Jan 07....by May 07 it was in for gear repairs and yes they are plastic.  6 months and $160.00 later I got it back. This machine cannot be used even for the simplest of bread choice, using either Reinhart, Hamelmen, or Suas formulas. It is simply powerless.  It is air cooled and will not take much work. I have just got it back from the repair shop again 09 ( new repair shop) didn't take 6 months...but $135.00 later I have new gears again.  Considering all I used it for was Cakes and Icings it was the worst investment I have ever made.  I purchased a Viking 7Qt with 1000 Watts and have not had a problem. If you're serious about bread baking anything less than 1000 Watts just does not cut it.


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Sorry about your mixer problems.


I recall reading about wattage in Cook's Illustrated, so I searched their website and found the following quote:



We did wonder whether statistics listing power meant anything. Only a few mixers list output wattage (horsepower); most list input power (wattage). Output wattage is the amount of power the motor actually produces—which flows out of the motor, moves through the mixer arm, and, ultimately, smacks the ingredients around. Input wattage is simply the power that flows from the electrical outlet into the mixer's motor. What does input wattage tell you about the power of a mixer? Absolutely nothing—it's purely a marketing gimmick.



I wonder if there is any way to discover the true output wattage of any mixer on the market.

jannrn's picture
jannrn

I have lusted after one of these for years and finally got to use my boyfriends that he inherited from his late father. OMG what a WONDERFUL machine!! The problem is that since it was his dads and was used for MANY years starting in the 60's or 70's, there is no manual. Where can I get one? I REALLY want to take care of it and help it to last as long as possible!! What an AMAZING mixer! I can't wait to work up some bread or even his Dad's Donuts!!!


Thank you!!

Gunslinger's picture
Gunslinger


KA Mixer

 


I have lusted after one of these for years and finally got to use my boyfriends that he inherited from his late father. OMG what a WONDERFUL machine!! The problem is that since it was his dads and was used for MANY years starting in the 60's or 70's, there is no manual. Where can I get one? I REALLY want to take care of it and help it to last as long as possible!! What an AMAZING mixer! I can't wait to work up some bread or even his Dad's Donuts!!!


Thank you!!



Try here. http://shared.whirlpoolcorp.com/product_literature/search.jsp?siteCd=KAD



 


jdunivan's picture
jdunivan

Had mine for 4 years. LOVE IT! But definitley not for large quantites of firm dough. It does start to strain.

BaguetteGirl's picture
BaguetteGirl

Is this mixer adequate for the recipes in The Bread Baker's Apprentice or Artisan Breads Every Day?  I haven't started any bread baking and have no conception what a stiff dough is or what a large amount is.


Thanks!

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I finally settled on the Cuisinart 5.5 Quart. There was a conair/cuisinart warehouse sale in my area this weekend and I picked up a refurbished one for $150.00 (7quarts were $200)  Warranty is 90 days on refurbs so I intend to do a lot of baking to put it through it's paces while still covered!