The Fresh Loaf

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Need Help: Magic Mill / Ankarsrum?

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JMSetzler's picture
JMSetzler

Need Help: Magic Mill / Ankarsrum?

Greetings fellow bread bakers :)

My girlfriend wants a Magic Mill mixer and has for quite some time.  She's an avid bread baker and is currently using a Kitchenaid Pro 600.  I'd like to buy her one of these for Christmas.  I need to ask a question:

 

When I first started looking at these several months ago, all I saw was this Verona Assistent which is what she wants.  I'm looking now and seeing this Ankarsrum Original name/branding on these mixers.  Are they the same thing?  Is the Ankarsrum newer?  Which one should I be looking to buy?  I need to get it on order this weekend or Monday if possible...

 

Thanks!

John Setzler

North Carolina

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Yup, all the same thing.   

I just got one (write up here) and love it.  She will be very very pleased.

If you order one through the store link here, btw, a percentage of the sale will come back to support TFL.

FreshGoose's picture
FreshGoose

From your review which was nice.  It doesn't look like the dough really gets kneaded that well with the roller.  Just seems it spins around and gets a light touch and then you need to wait again.   Am I missing something?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm still learning when to use the roller and when to use the hook and what speed to set it on, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but my impression is that the roller gives it a treatment that is a heck of a lot like a hand knead.  It gets squished and stretched a bit, scraped off the wall and rotated, and then squished and stretched again.  Which, it seems to me, is actually a lot better than the whipping the dough would get in my old planetary mixer.  Whipping it hard just got a lot of air in the dough... That was good, I guess, if what I was shooting for was a pillowy and relatively flavourless French bread, but for the kind breads I like to bake, less beating, more kneading is better.

It does take more time though. I'm finding I give it about twice as long as what I'm used to doing in a mixer.

Does that make sense?

FreshGoose's picture
FreshGoose

yeah certainly.  I didn't think of it like that.  So when do you usually put in the dough hook?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

"Too soon", I think.  And going back and watching my video, I've been slowing the mixer down quite a bit since then, as some of the folks in the comments advised.

Again, I'm still getting a feel for it.  It definitely gets the job done though!

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

For less than ~2kg (12 cups flour), stick with the roller. For very stiff doughs such as for bagels, it may be advantageous to use the hook at batches exceeding 1kg flour, but that's speculation on my part.

cheers,

gary

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

"It does take more time though. I'm finding I give it about twice as long as what I'm used to doing in a mixer."

That is not my experience. I don't have any direct experience with other mixers, so my opinion is based on instructions as written for KA type mixers. I usually reach the same development (window pane) in noticeably less time than the recipe suggests for the KA. Note that I usually make a 3lb, stiff, enriched dough. Hydration ranges from 62.5-65%. It is pretty easy to develop the gluten for rustic loaves more than I want if I'm not watching.

cheers,

gary

Floydm's picture
Floydm

As I mentioned, I think I was underdeveloping my doughs in my KA, in part because I had a difficult time monitoring gluten development.  "Whipped full of air" is not the same things as "well developed gluten", I have learned.  

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Not to be mean or anything - but I would recommend buying the mixer itself from Pleasant Hill Grain.  The price is the same as Amazon, but you will get ZERO customer support and/or help from Amazon.  PHG folks will walk you through every aspect of learning to use the Ankarsrum, should you need it.

And yes, the Ankarsrum is exactly the same as Magic Mill/Verona/DLX etc etc - every time the importer changed, they changed the name of the mixer).  I strongly recommend purchasing from Pleasant Hill Grain and donating some money to the site instead (how would one do that, BTW?)

Also I could only get it to show me baking books anyway in the store ... no sign of anything else.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Click "Baking Gear" on the right side of the store page to see the mixers and such.  

Also worth mention that Pleasant Hill Grain sells mixers through Amazon, including Ankarsrum.  I've never dealt with a return or a repairs, but I'd imagine that you'd get access to their customer service if there were any issues even if you purchased through their Amazon storefront.

The support this site link in the footer allows you or anyone else to make a direct gift to me to support the development and maintenance of this site.   

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Perhaps - but your link is fulfilled through the general page for the Ankarsrum, which uses some mysterious algorithm to choose which seller will fulfill that order.  I USED to think they did it based on lowest price, but several times in the past couple of years I've noticed that other vendors (who you will only see if you click on the "X new from $yy.yy" link) are sometimes cheaper, and may even have the Amazon Prime shipping thing too. 

At any rate, that is currently being fulfilled by Kitchen Clique.  I have no idea if Kitchen Clique is even an authorized dealer for Ankarsrum; I know that is a big issue with Bosch's.  If you buy a Bosch from a "non-authorized" dealer, you get no warranty.  One would hope that Amazon would make sure that any dealer they work with would be duly authorized; but I know for a fact there are a bunch of battery dealers (for electronics, like phones and laptops) who routinely scam their customers and Amazon does nothing about it despite years of complaints and photographic evidence, so .... I have little faith that Amazon is looking out for my welfare in any way.  (And I know this is true about the battery guys because I have been a victim of one of these hucksters - as long as they give the customer their money back when they get caught, Amazon lets them continue to operate).

Anyway.  I know it is complicated to set a store front up like that, and probably even more complicated to try to make a link that goes to a particular seller (and who's to say there isn't another seller of Ankarsrums out there who is equally deserving, that I just don't know about) - but the problem with buying through Amazon is that you don't know who the actual provider is unless you carefully check every time - it can change even after you put the item in your shopping cart when you click in off the general page like that.  And many sellers do NOT provide excellent, or even ANY, customer service; and should the item be provided by Amazon, you can forget any help with it other than straight refund/returns.

So I'd still suggest lobbing an actual cash donation your way (which I will do here shortly, even though I am NOT purchasing an Ankarsrum mixer today, or likely any other day, because it's just way more mixer than I can handle) and buying direct from Pleasant Hill Grain.  I don't mind YOU getting a cut of that, if it could be arranged; but I rather object to Amazon getting a cut of it, just on general principal.  Really it boils down to being able to be SURE you are buying from someone who will give you excellent support and customer service, and for this item at least, you can't be sure of that if you buy through Amazon's general listing.

Besides, what if someone wants the orange Ankarsrum instead of the chrome?  Or maybe the hot-pink one?

I will try to remember this is here, though, because I was planning on buying some baking books pretty soon.  When you've had a title checked out of the library for 4 months, its probably a good bet that it's time to purchase a copy of your own, LOL!

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Donation complete.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Thank you!

JMSetzler's picture
JMSetzler

Floyd, thanks for the response!  I don't know a whole lot about mixers but I read your write up and watched your videos.  I think I can see why she wants this mixer for bread instead of her Kitchenaid :)