The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Get a new DLX or stick with my Kitchen Aid?

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TedW's picture
TedW

Get a new DLX or stick with my Kitchen Aid?

I have a nice Kitchen Aid stand mixer now. Have loved it for years. I've recently started looking at advanced pizza dough recipes, which need a very wet dough, and those in the know suggest looking at a Electrolux DLX. I like to upgrade, but for $600 I need to ask the pros here.

Is this mixer really that much better?

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

What about the Bosch Universal Plus?

I just made a 95% hydration ciabatta yesterday, mixing was about 13 minutes with cookie paddles.

TedW's picture
TedW

Have not looked at the Bosch, as people rave and rave about the DLX

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I have three mixers, a 35 yr old Kitchen Aid K45, a Pro 600 that is a few years old, and an Assistent N28 that I received about 2 months ago. The old K45 is still a great machine and fully functional and I will keep it to run my Kitchen Aid attachments (meat grinder and shredder). I bought the Pro 600 when I was unable to get a replacement bowl hold-down fixture for the K45 - which I later found for $16.

The 600 Pro is a piece of junk (which I don't need to explain here but will offer to dialog off-line with anyone who is interested) so I went hunting for something better.

I selected the Assistent N28 over the Bosch and the Hobart N50. The Assistent takes some getting use to and you have to convert your recipes to use it, but I am routinely making 3 Kg batches of 75% hydration ciabatta and running with the dough hook at speed 6 (out of eight) for 25 or 30 min to fully develop the gluten. In the middle of the Picasa album at the other end of this link there is a video of the N28 working on a 1.4 Kg batch of 70% hydration dough using the roller:

https://picasaweb.google.com/DocDough/BreadMultipleBatchesOfCiabattaCiabattiniAndCrusticks?feat=directlink

No complaints, and it doesn’t walk around on the counter unless you are mixing a smaller batch of stiff dough at high speed with the roller and have either flour or oil on the counter. I have found that the roller works best for kneading bread at batch sizes below 2 Kg and the dough hook is preferred for batches that have more than 1 Kg of liquid. In between you have a choice. The design is robust and with the belt drive is likely to outlive me.  In the nordic countries the N28 comes with a 10-yr warranty, but the US distributor offers only a 1 yr warranty (I think because that is all they have to compete with) but the machine seems to be identical to the european model with the exception of a 120v motor instead of a 220v motor.

Doc

TedW's picture
TedW

Nice rundown Doc. Thank you

EDIT: Nice vid and pics! Thank you so much for sharing!

Cyberider's picture
Cyberider

I recently purchased a DLX to supplement my KA.  While I am careful with the KA, I wanted something that would allow me to do at least double what the KA was capable of.  The DLX easily does what the KA struggled with.  Though I haven't done a really big load yet, from all indications the DLX should handle three times or more the amount of dough the KA can.  So, my suggestion is to have both and use each for what they are most capable of.

TedW's picture
TedW

Seems that most have the DLX in addition to something else. Thanks for those thoughts

suave's picture
suave

With very wet dough your best bet may be forgoing mixer altogether, and sticking with folding.  The only real reason to go for DLX is if you need to mix large amounts of dough on a regular basis.

TedW's picture
TedW

Well, that's a good point, Suave. I'm not sure how motivated I'd be if I had to knead such a wet dough...

asicign's picture
asicign

I mix large batches of dough, including a wet pizza dough with about 3 lbs high gluten flour with my KA 600 PRO.  I've been doing this for 1 1/2 years without any trace of a problem.  Is it possible that the issues with these machines after Hobart sold the line have been rectified?

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

The problems have been rectified,according to Kitchenaid.  Even though they say that all the gears are metal, the gearbox was made of plastic.  Over time you could stress the gearbox causing it to either shatter or leak oil, which would result in the mixer breaking down.  I bought a Pro 600 back in April 2010 and I used it alot for making bread.  I could hear the gears grinding which I did not like.

I ended up selling it and buying a Bosch Universal two months ago.  There are three big issues that people do not like.

a) cleaning

b) can't make small batches of dough

c) can overheat dough if mixed for a long time at high speed

For me the cleaning wasn't an issue, it was more of a learning process.  I never make just one loaf of bread, so batch size is not an issue for me either.  The third problem again is just more learning.  The first time I made brioche in the mixer all the butter melted as soon as it hit the warm dough.  I've since learned not to overmix with it, and give it a break to cool down before adding the butter.

Since getting it I've made everything from sourdough, baguettes, cakes, bagels(low hydration), ciabatta(long mixing time), brioches, and so on.  According to the improvments in the motor, the mixer should last me 20-25 years,  I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I mix large batches easily in the DLX, but never very slack dough there.  I leave smaller batches to the KA and do most of my slack doughs by hand.  I don't understand your question though as it seems to have something to do with an issue of sweet doughs.  Or did Imisunderstand?

breadman_nz's picture
breadman_nz

I really like my DLX after an initial "this thing doesn't seem to mix right" period of a month or so. It seems to prefer higher hydration doughs, but also copes very well with dry, low hydration bagel dough, even drier egg pasta dough and everything in between. It does take a little longer to work the gluten - the action is more gentle than a planetary. I have never (and don't forsee) exceeded its capacity as a home baker.

That said I am also restoring an N50 mixer at the moment, so that'll make for an interesting comparison once I finally get it running (I dropped the stator housing, denting it and therefore requiring a new part - *sob*).

bblackburn's picture
bblackburn

Does anyone have any techniques ideas for bagels in the DLX mixer (54% hydration)? On the hook it just spins around unless I give it a few nudges all the time. And the roller barely kneads the dough at all; the dough never looks smooth unless I hand knead it and beat the crap out of it:)

breadman_nz's picture
breadman_nz

I use Rheinhart's bagel formula from "Artisan Breads Every Day" - it's 56.25% hydration, and mixes just fine in the DLX. I either do the standard 6-9 bagel amount (454g flour), but have doubled it no problem. I give it a good 10-15 minute spin on around 1/3rd maximum speed. Dough ends out smooth and well developed.

TedW's picture
TedW

I would have thought the pressure on the roller could be adjusted

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I do a thing that I call a Crustick (link below) for which the dough is quite similar to a bagel (55% hydration and all high gluten flour so quite stiff, 5% of the flour in a pre-ferment as sourdough starter) and while it takes a while to mix with the N28 using the dough hook for a 2 Kg batch, it does mix.  I usually finish it up with a few turns by hand, but that is more so I can feel how well it is mixed than it is to actually add to what the machine does.

https://picasaweb.google.com/DocDough/ImagesForCrusticksRecipe?authkey=Gv1sRgCJDlxPKNxIXrZA&feat=directlink

It is not clear to me that the particulars of the hydration are as important as the properties of the dough, so if it is not mixing for you, you can probably add a few % of H2O.  Up to somewhere around 58 0r 60% you won't get into trouble with forming the bagels or boiling them.  Much of the chewiness and texture comes from the flour and the gluten development rather than the dough hydration.

Doc