The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

re' stand mixer

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kathym's picture
kathym

re' stand mixer

 I requested information from the knowledgeable people on this site last year about the purchace of a stand mixer.  After looking over the responses, I purchaced the DLX.  (found a great price on e-bay pre-owned, but barely used) I love this mixer for bread.  I still have my "old" traditional style for cakes ect.  but would recomend the DLX to anyone.  I have read about the leaning curve, but maybe through dumb luck, I had no problems.

cecilB's picture
cecilB

Well, you already made your decision, but after glancing over all the conversation on the mixers I wanted to put in my two cents worth - I've been using a Bosch for 16 years - overusing it, I should say.

For bread and everything else. I thought I would try my mom's kitchen aid for more delicate type stuff and decided it's a pain in the neck always having to stop and lift up the head thing to scrape the sides, etc. Maybe it's because hers is the smaller model. I don't know.

I think Cooks is in with Kitchen Aid, because a friend of mine who, so far, has had her KA (Pro) replaced after using it for not even a year - said they have subscription advertisements in their packaging. Something along those lines. hmmm. I didn't like the way they rated Bosch in their magazine. I have used mine quite heavily for all these years. I know a KA wouldn't have lasted throught what I've put my Bosch through!

Cecelia

JReyes's picture
JReyes

 

Seems like everyone's got their own opinions about these machines. What I'd like to clearify is what are they being used for? I've had a KA ProLine for more than 16 years now. I've never had any trouble with it but I won't say I've used it extensively either. I've made everything from whipped toppings to bread in that machine with no problems.

However, last year we decided (after much research on the subject) to start grinding our own flour and making our own bread. I am a home schooling mother of four ages 10,7,4 & 2. I wanted the quality and health benefits of making my own bread but didn't have the time....so...I went with the NutraMill and a bread machine. All the research I did made it very clear that the KA would not stand up to the challenge of fresh ground hard wheat plus I really couldn't afford the time it would take to make the bread. The bread machine seemed like the perfect solution.

As you can guess, it was not. My bread, while it was better the store bought, was good but not excellent and hardly ever consistent. I tried bread in the KA and it turned out wonderful but I could never completely knead it in the machine. The fresh milled flour is just too heavy for it and I have to turn it off so that it doesn't over heat. (the motor gets very hot if I run it too long).

So while I think that the KA ProLine is a wonderful machine. It just can't do what I need it to do. I want to be able to make several (not just two) loaves of bread with fresh milled hard wheat flour without having to knead it myself. (okay, I realize that for some of you that's the best part but for me, at this stage of my life, I just don't have the time or energy). And from what I understand the Bosch can get you from start to finish in 90 minutes because it only requires one rise time instead of the normal two (sometimes three).

I am leaning toward the Bosch because it is considerably less expensive then the DLX and because my "wheat Lady" absolutely loves hers.

Just my humble opinion.

JReyes

staff of life's picture
staff of life

"I've had a KA ProLine for more than 16 years now."

 My repair guy told me that Kitchenaid was sold to another company, and that's when the metal gears were exchanged for plastic.  I've had two KAs: one my mom loaned me that she bought in the early 80s, and one I purchased for myself last year.  There was a HUGE difference in quality between the two and had the first KA I used been as problematic as the second one, I would have never purchased the second one.  I've got a DLX now and I love it, but the customer service is TERRIBLE.  My first DLX conked out after a month, and though it eventually got it replaced (a crookedly installed bracket allowed a belt to go haywire inside), I was incredulous at the treatment I got from Electrolux.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Quote:
My repair guy told me that Kitchenaid was sold to another company, and that's when the metal gears were exchanged for plastic

Kitchenaid was sold by Hobart to Whirlpool in the mid 80s. Many people think the quality declined after that, especially with Kitchenaid's increasing popularity.

The plastic you mention was, I think, actually a plastic gear housing used in certain models of Kitchenaids manufactured by Whirlpool. Due the the large number of complaints, I don't think they use it any more.

I have a Hobart-era KA (model K5A); it was purchased used in the early 80s. It looks like hell but is a sturdy workhorse.

IMHO, KA 5 or 6 quart model is fine if you make up to 3 lbs dough in a batch (ok - maybe up to 4 lbs if you're not using a large proportion of heavier flours like whole grains). If you make bigger batches (and many ppl here do) then today's KA may not be right for your bread making.

I did recently upgrade to a new "C type" dough hook and noticed it has subtle twist to it that makes it more efficient (the older C hooks didn't have this). With the C hook, I find that speed 1 is better than speed 2 for kneading. The dough spreads out horizontally as it forms rather than climbing vertically up the hook; the dough should slap or rotate against the sides of the bowl to take advantage of KA's planetary action. Given their design, a higher speed doesn't always mean more efficient kneading for these mixers.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== The plastic you mention was, I think, actually a plastic gear housing used in certain models of Kitchenaids manufactured by Whirlpool. Due the the large number of complaints, I don't think they use it any more. ===

Think about it from the perspective of an engineer working for a high-volume consumer products manufacturer: if you made all the gears out of the toughest (not strongest) possible high-grade tool steel, what would happen to the geartrain and the rest of the power system when the customer overloaded the unit (say, by turning it on high speed and dumping in a full load of bagel dough)? Which the customer will do.

Now, what happens if you make 7 of the 8 (say) gears out of gear steel, and one out of a reasonably strong plastic? What happens now when the unit is overloaded? Which is easier to repair?

Questions such as these are not easy to answer, which is probably why Hobart (an industrial, not consumer, products company) sold the KitchenAid line when it became too popular.

Hobart makes a countertop single-phase mixer similar to the KitchenAid but built to industrial specs. You might want to check the used market if this is really what you want, but keep in mind that questions such as the ones I posed will have been answered in favor of the professional in its design.

sPh

JIP's picture
JIP

When my In-Laws bought my Kitchen Aid Artisian mixer for me for Christmas two years ago I thought it was the best thing in the world I was so excited but now since I have been making heavier breads nd larger batches I fing myself wishing for the larger 6 quart wich I hope has a stronger motor since I first mag the country bread from Cook's Illustrated mine sounds like a lawnmower sometimes

Val's picture
Val

I have an older 6 qt. KA mixer with the standard C shaped dough hook. I just tried a replacement spiral dough hook, which worked very well. I made bagels today and had a very stiff dough to knead. The spiral dough hook handled it with ease and produced a very nice, well worked dough. One of the nice things about the spiral dough hook is that the dough does not creep up the hook. The spiral action keeps pushing the dough down. This also helps the dough clean the bottom of the bowl, which the C shaped hook seems to leave unaffected many times.

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I have the 5-qt KA mixer - its purple and I love it.  But I have to say when I purchased it a couple years ago I had no idea then I'd ever be baking bread.  While it is wonderful for cakes, cookies, etc., if I were making the choice today I would definately look for something more heavy duty for bread.  I do have problems with dough crawling up the dough hook and I'm not sure why that happens.

My mother recently told me about her neighbor's Bosch and said it was so much better than the KA and must stronger at kneading bread dough.  (I thought my mother was nuts for saying that about KA! :o) She said her neighbor also grinds her own wheat for flour using the Bosch.  Basically, she said the Bosch made quicker and easier work out of mixing bread and was very impressed with how it worked so well.

cecilB's picture
cecilB

Hey, can KA mix and thoroughly knead 6-8 loaves of freshly ground whole wheat (or other grain) bread?

3 times a week and sometimes per day!

hmmm I wonder....

c

Squid's picture
Squid

I just bought a KA pro 5 mixer, but I wish I'd known about the Bosch mixers before buying it.

After having a nightmare with an Electrolux designer dishwasher (I'll never buy Electrolux again), I replaced it with a Bosch that I absolutely love. They make a really good product.

I knew there was something wrong when my dough hook came with a sticker on it saying that the highest setting for dough is only 2. Huh? Setting 2 barely does anything.