I'm planning on buying a basic mixer for baking experiments. Quick questions:
1. I've seen single and double dough hooks. Which is better?
2. What attachments are "must haves" for a mixer?
1. There are a gazillion threads on mixers on this forum. I suggest you search for those you are most interested in, then ask specific questions.
2. What do you want to do with it? Be more specific, type of baking (breads, pizzas, cakes, cookies, meringues, etc), whole grain vs. white, hydration levels, batch sizes, etc. All of these make a tremendous difference in what would be recommended, both in terms of mixers and attachments. For example, I consider the flaker for my DLX a "must have" because my kids eat tons of oatmeal, and I prefer to give them minimally processed, fresh oatmeal. Many people would never use it, and for them it would be a waste of money.
3. What is your budget?
I figured the maximum of how much bread I could bake in my oven at one time and used the amount of dough needed to get that many loaves as a criterion for which mixer to purchase. I figured a big mixer can make smaller amounts (or I can do them by hand) but a small mixer can't do dough that's over its capacity.
Of course, that wasn't my only consideration but it was one that could easily have been overlooked. I chose an Electrolux, btw.
I ended up with an Electrolux too. And because my Kitchen Aid "Pro" 600 died a very early death and it took forever to get the Electrolux (ordered new model and the ship date kept moving back), I found a deal on a Bosch Compact as well to hold me over. Great little mixer for small-medium sized batches and outperforms the Kitchen Aid by a mile.