The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough Mixer

chykcha's picture
chykcha

Dough Mixer

Hello everyone, it's been a while since I have posted here. I saw many questions here about dough mixers, some of them unanswered. So when I was presented with the same challenge, I decided to post my experience, in case anyone finds it helpful.

I bake occasionally, mostly sourdough, white and wheat and also some mixed grain. Up until this point, I have been doing kneading by hand, but it was getting a bit too much for my thrice repaired shoulder. So when my birthday came around, I requested a mixer. At first, I was considering something semi professional, such as  Hobart, but the price was high (cheapest $2200) and the mixer as well was equally big. Too big and heavy for my counters. So I ended up looking at a Bosch Universal or a Kitchenaid (several models).

Bosch looked good, but was not sold locally, was only available through Amazon and a couple of other on line retailers. I would like to see the thing and touch it before I buy, generally speaking. Then I was left with Kitchenaid.

When it came to Kitchenaid, I have seen many conflicting reviews, many of them from up to 5 years ago. I did not want something weak or tilt head (or whatever it's called), so that eliminated the artisan series and left me with the "professional" ones. Williams and Sonoma had a great 7 qt one with 1.3 HP  (peak performance) motor or the one at Costco, which is a 6qt and 1HP motor.  The price difference was fairly big between the two, but the features and specs not. That means I went to Costco and brought home a new, shiny 6qt "6000 HD". 

I do have to say that I like this mixer very much, albeit used it only 5-6 times so far. I have made 2-3 loaves at one time and it appears to handle the dough very well, without straining or overheating. The bowl does seem to wiggle a little bit with bigger load, but it's not bothersome at all. I also have been getting more consistent (better) results with this Kitchenaid than with kneading by hand.

Here are some videos of the mixer in action and a picture of the latest sourdough I made. :)

 

 

 

 

Mason's picture
Mason

The one we got a couple of years ago is wonderful.  Used fairly regularly to make three- and four-loaf batches.  Tonight, I'm about to mix up a sourdough miche of over 2Kg of dough (though this might be pushing it, and might require hand-mixing and stretch and fold instead).  

I have had zero trouble from it, and lots of satisfactory results.  I'm sure you will be happy with you choice.

isand66's picture
isand66

I have 2 Kitchen Aid mixers and the Bosche Universal.

I am forbidden by my wife to use either of the KA since I stripped the gears in our Pro Model twice and once in our older model.

I have heard that the newer models now have metal gears which hopefully will eliminate this issue for you.  I would only caution you to find out if this is true because if it is not you need to be careful that you don't overtax the mixer.

I love my Bosche, but if you make smaller batches it does have its issues.

 

chykcha's picture
chykcha

Thanks for the replies. I have read about KA going back to all metal gears. I did not check, however, if my particular mixer is the one with metal gears or not. I suppose I should do that... But it functions very well so far. Obviously, I can't comment on longevity yet. But we'll see. :)

PeterS's picture
PeterS

is why you bought it from Costco. It the KitchenAid mixer doesn't have it and you are using it as described by the manufacturer, march right back to Costco and get your money back. That said, looking at the KA and Costco websites, your mixerappears to have metal gears. I have a late '80s K45. The bowl likes to twist and flip itself out of its mount when kneading dough; I have to stand with it and hold it in place. The upside is that I never overknead my dough. I also only knead on speed 1. I recommend that you do the same with yours: mix/knead bread dough on the slowest speed and stretch & fold. Your bread will be better and your mixer should last longer.

chykcha's picture
chykcha

Hey Peter! Good to know that my mixer has metal gears. How long did it take for your bowl to start wiggling out to the point where you have to hold it?

PeterS's picture
PeterS

(IIRC, it's been a while) after the first or second time I made bread dough. My mixer is a tilt head model that affixes to the stand at the bottom of the bowl. Yours, if I am not mistaken, hangs from a couple of pins and snaps in at the back. A much better arrangement--like my 20qt mixer and many others.