The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

stand or spiral mixer, must pick one cant afford both please help

bigronda's picture

stand or spiral mixer, must pick one cant afford both please help

hello, i wish to open a cafe in a number of months and to do the baking of cakes/muffins/some breads myself. I have only
a little baking experience but am working night and day practicing to improve with every book/dvd i can get.

I really would like to move to a proper planetary mixer as hand kneading, while a good skill to develop, is slowing me down.
The catch is that a decent one will set me back about €380 while I can buy a floor standing spiral mixer for €680 ( The first would be more practical for learning but would become redundant for a cafe and I think buying both would be foolish and i have to mind the cash I have. Would it be feasible to practice with a spiral mixer, whats the minimum amount of dough that could be mixed in a 20l/8kg mixer like this one?

Any suggestions or help would be very much appreciated, or comments on spiral mixers in general and what to watch out for when buying one.

proth5's picture

determine if you are willing to buy a mixer that will mix only bread products - or if you will be mixing other things like cakes, quickbreads, cookies, etc - or anything that will require creaming butter and sugar.

Then consider that a spiral will mix bread and bread like doughs.  Not cakes, not egg whites, not most cookies.  It will do a superior job for bread, but that is it.

Then consider that with the proper sizing, dough hook shape,  and power, one can mix bread in a planetary mixer.  It will not mix as fast and you must be careful to put the liquid in first and make other mixing compromises, but it will mix bread.  I know of bread bakers who use planetary mixers with great success.

Then pick the mixer to meet your needs. 

Some smaller spirals do not have a reverse or a proper breaker bar - these are things you will want if you buy a spiral.

Best wishes.

mimifix's picture

Have you ever worked in a bakery or cafe; or other food service? (A place similar to the type of business you want to own.) If not, I suggest you get that kind of experience which will be invaluable for the success of your own business. Good luck!

bigronda's picture

Your a gent Ron, thats great info to have. Its an extra 100stg for the 30 quart, money well spent perhaps?

ehanner's picture


I don't think you can make an informed decision until you know what specific products you want to bake. Unfortunately a big spiral mixer sized for your projected output is an essential purchase. That said, if you are looking at producing 3 dozen muffins each morning with occasional frosting, a much smaller mixer will do, one that also has a whisk. I know bakery operations that have produced 200 loaves a day without a big mixer, strictly by hand. It isn't the kneading you need, it is the mixing, stretching and folding tubs. The S&F isn't time consuming, it isn't hard and it produces great Artisan style breads. I would say, first satisfy your pastry needs, sweet breads, muffins, and gnash, whipped toppings and such.You can always spend the money later if you see a need for a HD dough mixer.