The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Electrolux DLX... should I bother? Do I need a mixer at all?

skinnydoc's picture
skinnydoc

Electrolux DLX... should I bother? Do I need a mixer at all?

Hi all... am new to all this craziness.   

I have a KA Artisan, and am not super impressed with its ability to handle anything over 700g or so... I think I might be breaking it.  

I have some birthday $$ I can put toward the Electrolux Assistent, from Pleasanthillgrain.com, but it is serious $$! On the other hand, I do like to buy one thing and do it well, rather than junk to be replaced.    

I'm wondering if in this world of cold fermentation and stretch-and-fold techniques, its even necessary? How does it fit into the workflow of the high hydration dough concept?  I do have a young family, so we'll be eating a fair amt of bread in the coming decade, but I also am a full time professional, so I'm not going 'back to the land' and planning to handmake bread as my new job : )

Over on the pizza forums they rave about this thing, and it looks very cool, I just wanted to see the latest opionions before I drop the big bucks.

thanks!

 

Ben

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Use the search function on the upper left, put in DLX or Electrolux.  Read what comes up.  I, by the way, love my DLX.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Ben,

You can make lots of bread without a mixer.  Bakers did it for thousands of years.

However, as you said, you don't want to let the bread run your life, so a mixer is a labor saving device.

You can make 700g loaves with your KA, so I presume you really want to make more dough at one time.

The Assistent will allow you to make larger batches, but so will a Bosch or another belt-driven mixer.

If you are committed to getting a larger mixer, then the Assistent is a good option.  The design has been stable for a long time and I have not heard any major complaints.

But it is not trivial to make the step up. It does take some work to adapt recipes to the particulars of the mixer's capabilities.  It might be a good idea to start a thread on TFL for doing just that so that people can learn from the trials and successes of others.

I am happy with my Assistent, but there are things that I don't do with it - whipping eggs is  one thing where I go back to my Hobart-built KA K-45 and the balloon whip.

At dough hydrations below about 65% or batch sizes above about 3Kg, I generally use the dough hook; otherwise the roller works just fine. My standard weekly batch of bread is 1400g (two loaves or 14 ciabattini) of 75% hydration ciabatta dough and it mixes up in about 9 minutes at speed 6 (using the roller) after a 20 min autolyse.  If I double it, I usually switch over and use the dough hook.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I made the jump to a DLX from a KA I bought 25 years ago. I made that jump so I could mix large batches, and it works well on 9 pounds of heavy dough. To be honest, the main thing I learned after buying the DLX is that I didn't really need a mixer. I do use it for heavy batches of bagel dough and usually for batches over 5 pounds. But, truth be told, knowing what I do about kneading and stretching and folding and the autolyse, I can do just as well with out any mechanical help. Remember the mixer is intended to mix. Once the mixing is done, the hook will develop the dough and incorporate the fruits and nuts which can also be done with your hands.

Eric

skinnydoc's picture
skinnydoc

for the thoughts.    It seems like I should do more homework on my bread making first, and more hands-on time, before I go there.  I was excited to get a cool device, but the price was a bit steep.   I do enjoy the stretch and fold thing, so far, though I feel out of my depth.

thanks for the help, more comments welcome!

 

Ben

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I suggested that you use the search function.  If you look hard enough, you'll find a very recent comment on another thread in which a writer is offering his DLX for sale for, I think, $325.  Mine was purchased used and functions quite well now for 8 years.

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

The thread with the used DLX for sale is entitled "Is there not one mixer..."

EvaB's picture
EvaB

my mother baked a lot of bread without a mixer, she did at one time have a bread bucket mixer (hand cranked) as she baked bread for my uncle as well as the family. She did a lot of at least 4 loaves once a week (and sometimes more) all by hand. She didn't use the heavy grains or make artisan breads, but you can just about bet that those were made by hand alone for a lot of time, its only now that we have to have a mixer.

I will use a mixer, because of shoulder problems and trying to mix enough dough to make a large batch of bread would be way beyond my body! But that said, I have a kitchen aid mixer, and so far nothing has stopped it from working. I haven't done a lot of bread but I have made some whole wheat, and other heavier bread doughs, and its just worked fine. I wouldn't try to make more than 2-4 loaves at a time depending on the recipe with it. So if I wanted to make a big batch to give away, or sell then I'd look into getting a decent 20 quart commercial mixer and setting it up.

FaithHope's picture
FaithHope

Use it for everything!  Bread, cakes, cookies, etc...I find the roller works super awesome.  Used the hook at first, but the roller works way better in my opinion.  Killed two KA, finally got the DLX.  TOTALLY WORTH THE $!!

Faith