New Mixer, Old Bread
This was a weekend of experimentation. I have a DLX Assistant for large batches of bread dough, but also keep a smaller mixer for smaller batches and for cakes, cookies, and the more usual kitchen tasks.
About a year ago, I gave away my old, old Kenwood and decided to get a KitchenAid Artisan 6 qt to replace it. I was never happy with it. I realize it must have its fans and detractors, but it just did not suit me at all, either in its mixing, its presented difficulties when adding ingredients (raise-lower bowl type), often tossing flour all over the kitchen, its temperament when increasing-decreasing speed, its nooks and crannies that seemed to collect flour and food particles that I could not reach easily…I could go on, but as I say, some love KAs, some do not. I found myself in the latter category. ‘Nuff said. My son now has the KA and he is thrilled. You never know.
I went in search of a new mixer, but, really, all I wanted was another Kenwood…not in the cards for a US customer. So I looked carefully at the Vikings and Cuisinarts, which appeared to be Kenwood clones over here, but I just wasn’t thrilled. And then I saw a Hamilton Beach Commercial 7 Qt CPM700 mixer online. Two year warranty on parts and labor. Boy, it sure looked like a Kenwood in all the photos. AND, even better, because it was rated commercial, it had a stainless steel beater and dough hook. I bit the not inexpensive bullet and ordered one online.
It arrived Thursday and by the Grain Goddess and Bread Faeries, it was a Kenwood! It said so right in the book. Oh, it wasn’t made in England – it said designed by Kenwood and manufactured in China, but I think that is as close as I am going to get these days. The grain mill attachment I had for my old Kenwood fit perfectly, as do other Kenwood attachment accessories. Whew. Wow. I am so glad I never tossed them.
So I had to bake bread, right? I mean, this thing needed a road test. First off was sourdough muffin loaves. Basically, same dough as to make the muffins, but I turned it into loaves, dusting the outside with cornmeal. Great toasting bread. The mixer performed like a champ, but then I decided to REALLY give it a work out – Carol Field’s Cocodrillo. This isn’t like Jason’s quick version – the original Field’s recipe calls for a full 17 minute run of the mixer, the addition of salt, then another 3 minutes. The mixer purred like a kitten.
The flickr link below shows various stages of the cocodrillo making, from pre-ferment to finished and cut loaves. You can see the mixer in action in some of them, but if you want an overall view of the mixer, it is easily found online.