The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Santos 18N ten quart mixer?

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Zenith's picture

Santos 18N ten quart mixer?

Does anyone own or use one of these?  I'm in the market for a mixer/kneader, and I like the idea of the fork turning and folding the dough.  But is it better than other designs -- how much table room does it require to operate?

rocketbike's picture

I picked up a new Santos on eBay about a year ago.  Its footprint is quite large - roughly 19 inches by 13 inches, and about 28 inches high when the cover is raised - too big to be left permanently out on the counter in our modestly sized kitchen.  My wife is also less than convinced of its aesthetic merits - she describes it as 'industrial'.  (And when I lug it back upstairs to put it away, industrial is how it feels!)

As far as mixing, I'm pretty happy.  The action is powerful, gentle and quite hypnotic to watch (YouTube has a video of it in operation);  I suspect though that taken with the slower mix time the risk of over-oxidization is increased.  The Santos' main drawback is that it really doesn't like to go to work on an empty stomach.  My standard 3lb 5oz of Vermont Sourdough isn't enough for the fork to be able to engage properly with the dough mix,  meaning that the bowl doesn't turn unless you move it by hand - not really what you want to be doing.  So I've had to upscale to 6lb 10oz and make four rather than two loaves at a time, which is fine now I've worked out fridge and oven timings and can freeze the surplus, but wasn't what I originally had in mind.

Bottom line - nice bit of kit, but the list price is jaw-droppingly high.  I paid GBP350 (approx. USD540), and at that price I'm very happy.


emmsf's picture

Zenith, did you ever buy one of these?  I used a big industrial fork mixer a while ago, and it was so gentle and, in my view, built beautiful dough.  I have always wanted one, but have hesitated since they're pretty rare in the home kitchen.....

Zenith's picture

No, I have not yet bought anything -- no one can dither as long as I can!  I continue to abuse my old Kitchenaid 6 quart mixer with whole wheat doughs, so it may take that machine's death to push me into buying a new mixer.