The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Electrolux Assistent user

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poppy1's picture
poppy1

New Electrolux Assistent user

Greetings from New Zealand. This site is a great introduction to serious bread-making. I've read many posts on this website about various topics and especially about the Electrolux Assistent/Bosch mixers then lo and behold, an Electrolux came up for sale a week ago in New Zealand (who knew they were sold here years ago). I bought a 400W model and am now very keen to make some bread. For US$75 I got a barely if ever used mixer, new mincer, new blender, bowl lid, scraper, manual etc but no dough hook. Is a dough hook vital? I watched a youtube video in which a lady said not to use it but I'm happy to buy one from the US if necessary along with the beaters/bowl. I'm also really keen to buy the grain mill attachment to mill my own flour but then again the capacity is so huge - it may be better to buy bulk freshly milled flour. Any ideas on which recipe a beginner like me should try out first? I do love sourdough, also loaves with sunflower seeds and oats. I've only made bread by hand before (kneading & no knead) but am excited about learning how to make fantastic bread (+ mince, cakes, cookies) in this piece of art that will sit proudly on my bench. It is a beautiful machine, very solid and simple. I was very keen to buy a Kenwood Titanium mixer as Kenwood is the main brand here for mixers, but really don't like the design - I have no idea how people get ingredients into the bowl without getting them everywhere or raising the mixer head. It seems much more intelligent to put the power underneath & leave the top open so you can see inside/add ingredients. I only wish Electrolux would make a large capacity food processor & centrifugal or masticating juicer to fit where the bowl sits but I'll have to look elsewhere to fulfill those needs!

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I, too, have the Electrolux mixer.  I love it because the bowl's so large and easily accessed while the mixing's going on.

About your bread baking, let me make a suggestion readers will have read from me before:  buy a bread baking text book and study it from beginning to end, unless you've got easy access to an expert for private lessons or a course.  Don't try to learn from recipes in a bread cook book or even from this website until you already have a foundation of knowledge from an expert under your belt.  Think about it:  the people who bake for a living train in courses, so why shouldn't you?  The advantage of a text book is that it builds a knowledge base from the ground up. 

You might want to know that I recently taught some kitchen-savvy bread-baking novices how to bake a simple white bread.  I started by having them read a recipe from a basic bread cook book.  I then taught them a four hour course during which they took notes on everything I said.  One of my students ended up with four typed pages of material that was not to be found in the recipe, stuff they'd never have known without taking a course. All that I'd taught is in DiMuzio.  While it's to be found on this website, it's scattered about in no particular order.

Here are two texts you might look at:  DiMuzio's Bread Baking and Hamelman's Bread.  If I were starting out again, I'd choose the DiMuzio.  I think that for a beginner, the Hamelman text is too complicated.  But you might feel differently.  Make your own choice.

In addition, learning the choreography of dough movement and little tricks of the trade can come from the addition of learning from videos.  There are lots of them linked to from this website and on Youtube, for example.  I recommend that you spend some time watching all the videos from the link at the top of this page, with the plan to return to them when the need arises.

You may find videos about using the Electrolux to make your dough.  I seem to recall seeing some.

Oh, yes, and practice, practice, practice.

 

 

poppy1's picture
poppy1

Thank you so much for your insight richkaimd. I do have so much to learn, I'll get the book(s) you recommended - I only wish there were short courses offered nearby but I'm out in the country on a farm so no luck there. In the meantime I'll try a recipe today & see how I go.

callie22's picture
callie22

I just got mine, but it's now called something different.  It's definiatly been an adjustment from a kitchenAid.   It just works diffently.  I think there is just a learning curve with until you learn what works for you.  I've found with certain breads I like to use the dough hook and with others I like to use the scraper and roller.   Just depends on how the wet the dough is.  I'm still in the learning process of how it works and what I perfer.  I've been very happy with it so far though.  Good luck!  :)

poppy1's picture
poppy1

Thanks for your comments callie22, I can see there's a big learning curve ahead! Great baking for many years for us both I hope!

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Actually, for a long time before I got my Assistent (almost new and quite cheaply at an estate sale), I used a now still useful KA.  I still use the KA when I'm making 1 or 2 loaves.  I regularly make three large loaves without any difficulty in the Assistent.  I use the roller for cakes and cookies; never for breads.  I use only the dough hook for breads.  My regular pattern is to mix the liquids first with the dough hook and then added the dry (flour, salt, seeds, etc.), again with the dough hook.  I know the dough's getting there when it cleans the bowl and is tacky, not sticky.  That's when I try the gluten window trick.  It's nice that after some many years, the Assistent still looks brand new.

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

The Electrolux stand mixer is not available in Hong Kong but I've used one when I attended the Cordon Bleu boulangerie course and it does make a difference in the kneading. 

Judy

poppy1's picture
poppy1

Unfortunately mine didn't come with the dough hook, not sure if the previous owner lost it or whether it wasn't included with the package when purchased new. Looks like I may have to buy one. Thanks for your comment.

 

AsherMaximum's picture
AsherMaximum

jyslouey is referring to the spinning white plastic piece that is used in combination with the scraper. If you have that, you do not need the hook. Most people seem to say you don't need the hook unless you are doing really big batches. 

For the small stuff the spinner and scraper combo should be plenty.

poppy1's picture
poppy1

This afternoon I made some bread - it would've helped if I'd watched some more youtube videos beforehand as I wasn't sure about what I was doing. There was a problem at one stage as the dough started to make a big lump in half the bowl, pushing the dough up high & some came out of the bowl. Obviously I made a big mistake somewhere so I started to add things - first some liquid, then it looked too wet, then some more flour & then things settled down & mixed properly (i.e. the mixture was evenly distributed in the bowl). I ended up with a very moist mixture & moist loaves, similar to Vogel's bread which is really popular in New Zealand (http://www.vogels.co.nz/product-details/Bread/VOGELS-Original-Mixed-Grain-Toast?c=1&r=1&p=8). I have so much to learn about this mixer but I'm very keen to learn. The bread feels soft & tastes really good.

I had great success with more familiar recipes - I doubled my favourite ginger kiss cake recipe (made with yoghurt & spices & covered in a cream cheese icing). The Electrolux blended everything so beautifully and I was rewarded with the most lovely moist soft cake I've ever made. I normally make this in the food processor but have to make two batches, in the Electrolux I probably could've tripled or quadrupled the recipe. What a great cake mixer. I really appreciated 1) being able to look into the bowl & add ingredients; 2) not having to content with giant beaters; 3) everything staying in the bowl. This mixer is a revelation.

Then I made my favourite peanut butter chocolate chip biscuits (cookies) and was able to double my recipe. I read some posts saying that the Electrolux doesn't cream butter and sugar well - I think that's wrong - it did an amazing job of creaming and my biscuits were light, well-textured and generally excellent!

Very happy with my mixer, I'm just trying to think of a good Swedish name for him/her :)

Wartface's picture
Wartface

When I first started wanting to bake sourdough bread... I went out and bought a Kitchen Aid mixer. And all of the fancy things you could find to have the proper setup. I baked brick's, doorstop's and oversized hockey pucks with that fancy equipment. Then... Shasta at Northwest Sourdough.com answered one of my plead's for help. He told me that if I really wanted to learn how to bake really good sourdough bread... I needed to learn to do it by hand first. He said touch the dough, feel it. Know what is happening. Know... When it is ready for the next step. Then he said when you those how your dough should look and feel, use the fancy equipment to make it faster and easier.

That my fellow sourdough hobbiest... Is the best advice I've ever gotten on my path to sourdough heaven. I know use my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix in my salt after the 1 hour autolyse... But that is all I use it for. Your mixer can not knead your dough as good as the stretch and fold method, in my opinion. 

Bottom line... Learn to do it by hand and it will shorten your learning curve. Then use your mixer's to make it easier.