The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

kitchen aid pro line 7 qt stand mixer anyone?

katyajini's picture
katyajini

kitchen aid pro line 7 qt stand mixer anyone?

Is anyone using this mixer? http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/kitchenaid-pro-line-stand-mixer-7-quart/?cm_src=AutoRel after reading all the sad reviews about the present day Kitchen aid stand mixers I was 99.99% decided to buy the Electrolux  for bread making and other mixing needs. I have never owned or even used a stand mixer or the Electrolux so I have no personal experience to guide my purchase. But as I enjoy cooking/baking more and feeding an young family with a hefty appetite, I would like to get one (a heavy duty mixer) and get something that is useful and reliable for the long haul. I thought the Electrolux would fit my bill perfectly.  The only reason I gave it a second thought is that so many recipes and cookbooks are written for the kitchen aid type stand mixer and I would have to adapt everything without even knowing how the recipe should feel.  There are such glowing reviews about the pro line 7 qt on Williams-Sonoma, Amazon and King Arthur that this one is not chintzy as the earlier ones and the owners just love working with it. So friends here, who use a mixer for heavy work, have any of you used the new pro line 7 qt?  What do you think of it?  Would it work for me? And is it good to have both the kicthen aid and the Electrolux?  or would that be just redundant? Or should I just stick with the Electrolux? Thank you so much!   

Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

I've had it for a couple of years. Use it for some bread dough recipes (pizza, pita) and for its pasta attachment. Seems very sturdily built.

It's quite big, so storing it and moving it on/off the counter are (small) annoyances.

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

No issues. It's a good small mixer. Only hitch is the annoying bowl lift mechanism. Sometimes hard to get big hands in there to scrape down. Big commercial mixers need lifts due to their weight. A home or small job mixer is better as a head tilt (IMHO), but then again, no one at KitchenAid asked me LOL

Cheers

katyajini's picture
katyajini

thank you so much for the endorsement...it will help me with my final decision.

Plantaholic12's picture
Plantaholic12

My travails with changing from a Pro 600 to a Bosch Universal Pro are detailed elsewhere on this forum ( I think I'm getting to the good part), but I have been tempted by the 5 year warranty on some of the new KA 700's.

The devil is in the details. What research I have done seems to indicate there are several 7 quart stand mixers available from KA. One has the 5 year warranty, the others have the one year then a % of what you paid.

Now that I know how to switch gears ( literally ) in my KA, I still think the Bosch is better for wheat.

But that KA, she's got some nice curves on her!

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Hi!

AAAHHH!  I just got myself a KA proline 7 qt for Christmas. 

I do have to say the following, with the disclaimer that since I have never used a stand mixer before I have nothing to compare my present and little experience with:

its a great mixer, its quiet, moves through batters and cookie doughs very easily. Its quite well finished as far as appearance goes. I have it in medallion silver, sleek and low key.

I do have a lot of experience baking however, and it can simplify, time and energy wise, a lot of baking chores.

However I really bought it for kneading bread dough and I can see that it is not the 'pro' or as 'powerful' it is touted to be.  There are explicit warnings not to use it higher than speed #2 yet I can see it going nowhere to a finished correctly kneaded dough at #2 even with  5-6 cups of flour. or maybe it would have taken 20-25mins?  I didn't try that long.  Rose Levy Beranbaum openly instructs in many of bread recipes to use a KA at #4 and even #6 for both paddle and dough hook for extended periods of time until the dough comes together.  Well, why would she do that?  I tried #4.  At speed #4 there is a constant clicking, clacking sound.  Its not the motor but some part hitting against another part at the higher speed.  And it does begin to heat up after 10-12 mins of kneading. If it does this while brand new it is going to wear out sooner rather than later if I use it regularly for kneading (which I want to do!) I don't think I have a lemon.  I think the mixer works very well but its not as powerful as I was led to believe.  And upon reading the reviews more closely many people have heard the clicking which gives them pause. I think it will be inadequate for kneading whole wheat, whole grain doughs or big batches of dough. I think there are ways to work around these limitations in power, more autolysing, stopping the kneading periodically and resuming after 5-10mins of resting both machine and dough.  But I don't want to, I just wanted a simple strong mixer for when I just wanted to get some kneading done quickly!  Maybe my expectations are inappropriate for this type of mixer?

Just a question: do you all never use it above #2 for kneading? and still get proper kneading?  On this forum, as an example other than RLB, people are making Jason's ciabatta at highest speed?

I will post this as a separate question but welcome any feedback please.

 

Plantaholic:  I got a nice at Williamssonoma with a two year warranty. 

 

Thank you so much for patiently reading about my discomfort with my new and fancy toy.  I did really want to love and live with it forever, but I don't know now.

 

 

    

 

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Friends I need to ask, please since I am so new to this stand mixer business:

1) Is using the above mixer every 2-3 days to knead between 1-3 pounds of dough considered average or heavy use?

2) Once I had some black lubricant come down the spindle that rotates with the hook or paddled hanging on it, while it was working.  At this time the motor was not running warm or hot.  Is this something that just happens once in a while, maybe its not a sealed motor?  Or is this a sign of stress on the motor?

3) As I have been using this to knead bread dough, it will get warm and even bordering on hot.  I have learned to stop the machine every few mins during kneading before it gets hot and then continuing.  Is the motor getting quite warm considered abusing it and I should be very careful about this otherwise the machine will die soon?

I know these are probably very naïve questions, but I really don't know.

Thank you so much! 

gondo's picture
gondo

The machine will heat up which is normal.  It has a thermal switch that will trip if it heats too much and shut down.  You just wait for it to cool and the switch will reset so you can continue.  3 small / 2 larger loaves is no problem for the mixer. Any more and you may be working it a bit much.  If you want many loaves at a time look at a commercial mixer that is 8QT+.  If you want to make 10 loaves at a time pay the price for the commercial mixer or go to the bakery.  There is a reason they use a $10,000 mixer in a bakery and not a $300 Kitchenaid.  

rgconner's picture
rgconner

I don;t use it make bread very often, but I do for grinding meat and making pasta, both of which are hard on the machine compared to stirring or whisking.

I place a wet cloth (a cloth diaper to be exact, but terrycloth or microfiber works just as well) on the housing, the water evaporation does a good job of soaking up some of that heat.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I don't know your mixer, but you might try contacting consumer information provided with the mixer instructions.  Or try finding a discussion online.  Have you emailed the manufacturer?

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

The black grease is not coming from the motor. It's coming from the gear box.  sounds like a bad seal.

I have that mixer and one day is started to go tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,tick, tick, tick,.

Now when I mix dough it has a hitch in the rotation. so during a rotation cycle it hesitates once every revolution, 

I took the thing apart and cant find bad bearings or missing teeth on the gears.  So I put it back together and will continue to use it until I break it good.  I don't think it's a good bread mixer...good for cakes and lightweight cookies but breads are to much for its engineering and I think they should not provide a dough hook with the machine if it can't handle bread dough.   

Gonna get a 12 quart Univex mixer and put the KA on the curb.

gondo's picture
gondo

I agree.  Eventually your going to want to fill your small kitchen oven with 6 or even 8 loaves at a time and the Kitchenaid just won't cut it.  The small 10QT commercials are nice.  

However it's no reason to condone Kitchenaid for using a dough hook.  It works wonders for small batches of bread like 3 loaves at a time.  Just don't expect to turn out continuous batches of 3 loaves and make 12 batches in an hour.  You'll burn your machine out.  I could however make 2 pizza doughs at a time daily and expect my mixer to last 20 years.  That a kitchenaid can do.      

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Thank you!  I will contact the company and think about this

gondo's picture
gondo

I am a professional cook and am familiar with planetary/stand mixers or the original Hobart Design.  I just wanted to comment so maybe I can help some future people who fall upon this post.   

There is a reason stand mixers are designed the way they are.  They work!!!  Other brands that make gimmicky designs like Bosch or Kenwood may work great for certain things but the tried tested and true Hobart design works good at everything.  One person might have success making bread in a Bosch and claim it's better than a Kitchenaid. My experience is the Kitchenaid is the best home mixer on the market.  It's rotates the attachment while spinning it around the bowl giving it a tremendous amount of coverage which is great for kneading and whipping air.  

Now to answer a few questions.  As for the grease.  The original Kitchenaids where made when they purchased Hobart and they were heavy duty and could last 30+ years.  Then whirlpool acquired Kitchenaid along the line and the quality dropped.  These mixers would often have failed gear boxes and eventually drip grease as people have encountered.  The result was a surge of people flocking to Bosch and Kenwood and Electrolux.  So Kitchenaid beefed up their design.  They have an all metal direct drive gear box and a redesigned speed control and are great again.  Just don't try to push 50lbs of dough through a small tilt head 4QT mixer.  It's designed for a Betty Crocker cake batter in a box.

Second problem was someone saying dough couldn't be kneaded at speed 2 but would bog down past 2.  First off the way a motor works is it has more torque at lower speeds.  The slower speed allows it to pound through that tough dough.  Also most commercial mixers that are 10-80QT and even bigger usually have 3 speeds.  It's common knowledge that bread is always done on speed 2.  Same goes for Kitchenaid.  And if you know what your doing a loaf of bread can be done in 6 minutes or so at that speed.  I do 3 loafs at a time with my mixer.  The problem may be you don't know the proper technique for making bread with a stand mixer and dough hook.  I don't use a recipe exactly.  I measure the initial flour, yeast, salt, sugar, start it up on 2 and add the warm water.  That's all that is measured.  Then it's one spoonful at a time of flour and let it combine each time.  The dough will unstick and then eventually absorb all the flour and go sticky again and stick to the bottom of the bowl.  Another spoon of flour and repeat.  Eventually you get to a point when it absorbs the spoonful of flour and stays that way and doesn't eventually stick to the bottom of the bowl.  This is the stage known as cleaning the bowl and it's a nice dough.  It takes me maybe 2-3 minutes of adding flour and waiting to eventually reach this stage.  Let it sit for 6-10 minutes at speed 2 while you prep the rest of the stuff.  No need to measure out your flour since it'll vary based on humidity, protein, etc...

Another concern was the bowl lift vs tilt head on such a small machine.  One problem with the tilt head is when you tilt it the attachment is sideways and drips product.  Also your forced to tilt the head to get access to the bowl.  With bowl lift you can leave the attachment and just drop the bowl fast for a scrapping and bring it back up to continue.  There is no comparison between tilt head and bowl lift.

Also there have been reviews of the Kitchenaid design vs others like Bosch and Electrolux.  They add food coloring to the bread dough and knead to see which mixer does the best job of unifying the color and how long it takes.  The Kitchenaid was just as good or better then the others.  And that's just bread.  Batters, whipped batters and cream, etc...  All better with the kitchenaid.  The open bowl design of the Kitchenaid allows you to see in real time what's going on and add ingredients while it's working.  Also for something like whipped cream you can drop the bowl and drop the attachment and lift it to check for peaks.  Less convenient with the tilt head.  

As for durability, I had a 5QT heavy duty Kitchenaid for 20 or so years before it died the gearbox grease failure.  I now have the pro 600 and it's great.  I can do 3 loaves without a hitch.  And I'm sure the 7QT pro line would be just a touch better.  The 8QT might be a bit of a hassle since it has the safety shield in the way.  My opinion is that the Kitchenaids are the best on the market and that a daily routine of 3 loaves is no problem and considered intermittent.  If you want to do 12 loaves a day and 6+ at a time continuously you shouldn't bash on the Kitchenaid design and run for Bosch, Kenwood, or Electrolux.  I think then is the time to look at a 10QT+ commercial mixer like a Globe or Hobart.  Same design just bigger and more to your requirements.        

A word of warning before anyone should run out and get a 10qt mixer for home use.  Try to make meringue with 2 eggs and it's difficult.  Not enough stuff for such a large bowl.  The small mixers are required for small batches like at home and that's why 5-7QT mixers work.  Most restaurants even use a 6 or 7QT kitchenaid for small batches or sauces and stuff like that.  They have a 2nd commercial mixer for their doughs and large batches.  Or if you're a bread freak look at a planetary mixer which is designed just for dough.  Same concept as a normal stand mixer with a twist to make it better for dough.  

    

 

    

 

 

 

marco_nw's picture
marco_nw

I have a new Kitchenaid 7 qt Pro mixer and just made a bread recipe with 4 cups of flour.  Using the dough hook on speed 2, the mixer makes a ticking sound I believe is caused by poorly manufactured metal gears.  I called Kitchenaid and to my surprise they consider the ticking sound to be normal.  Does anyone have more information on this problem with Kitchenaid mixers?  I am wondering if I should let Kitchenaid keep their ticking mixer??  I would buy a better brand, but I have found other mixers to be much more expensive or more purpose built for bread.  I do not have budget or countertop space for several appliances.  Any help is appreciated.

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

Thank Gondo for the excellent review. I found it very helpful.