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Questions about ankarsrum mixer (aka DLX or assistent)

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bshuval's picture
bshuval

Questions about ankarsrum mixer (aka DLX or assistent)

Hi all,

Today I bought a brand new ankarsrum original mixer. I understand that the roller and scraper are the most useful for making bread doughs, and converting bread recipes to this mixer should be straight forward. What I am wondering about are other types of recipes. Here are my questions, and I hope I can get answers for them:

1. To make a pound cake, do I use the roller and SS bowl, or the wire cookie beaters and the plastic bowl? The cookie beaters look very flimsy tO me.

2. Can you make Italian meringue in this mixer? I am a little hesitant to pour hot sugar syrup into the plastic bowl...

3. To make choux pastry, do I use the roller or the cookie beaters? 

Thanks!

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

1.  The cookie whisks are more robust than you think. Any batter that I've tried has been handled by the cookie whisks with no problem, and that includes creaming cheese for cheesecakes, not to mention the usual cookie suspects, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip, etc.. The 8(?) whip whisks should be reserved for whipping cream and eggs and the like.

2. I've not tried Italian meringue, but the plastic appears to be of the Delrin family, a fairly high temp, highly stable plastic. Pour slowly, and the syrup should be sufficiently tempered. Have you asked your vendor? Pleasant Hill Grain are knowledgeable, helpful people. Their 800 number is on that page somewhere. They could use a proper web developer, well versed in library science, to make their site more usable.

3. You could probably use the whisks, but I'd go with the roller. The roller is the workhorse. I only use the whisks for whipping eggs and cream and for pourable batters. The latter because the bowl is easier pouring.

cheers,

gary

bshuval's picture
bshuval

Thanks for the tips, Gary.

I've used the mixer today to make a 75% hydration dough. I used the roller and scraper and it worked wonderully. I put all the ingredients in, liquids first, and set it to knead on medium. a couple of times I moved the arm to the center and back, but that's about it. I like how low maintenance this mixer is (no need to babysit it lest it walks). I could easily mix the dough and wash the dishes at the same time. I absolutely adore the timer on this thing. I did not think I'd use it, but I tried it and it is fabulous. 

I also made made a pound cake (the most basic kind; equal weights of butter, sugar, eggs, flour and a pinch of salt. No leavening other than air beaten into the batter). I used the roller and scraper for that, too. This worked wonderfully as well. The roller creamed the butter beautifully. The scraper kept scraping the side of the bowl. I moved the roller to the center a few times, but that's about it. The butter and sugar were creamed much more uniformly than what I usually get in the KA, in my opinion. When I added the eggs, the mixture didn't curdle (which happens to me in the KA). I scraped the batter into a loaf pan and baked. The cake rose well. It was a success. Well... Almost. I didn't grease the pan well, and the cake stuck to the bottom of the pan... The parts I managed to salvage were delicious, though. Next time I will make sure to grease the pan better. 

 

All in all, I am very happy with the purchase of this mixer and I am looking forward to using it more often. 

Melesine's picture
Melesine

I love the roller and scraper for pound cake, cheesecakes and thick cookie doughs like chocolate chip. I rarely even use the plastic bowl anymore. I did use it this week for beating egg whites for meringue for a pie. I've always done choux pastry by hand so I can't really comment on it in the Ankarsrum.

nikkiblum's picture
nikkiblum

I returned a Bosch Universal and my Ankarsrum (replacement) arrived today. I immediately made pizza dough, which  came out well, and then some bagels -- not so well. I think I should have tried the hook. I persisted with the roller. Usually the ones I make from BBA come out satiny smooth. These were a little lumpy-ish. Besides it's been incredibly hot here and sometimes that makes the bagels rise too much too fast, which flattens them during the bake. These felt a bit soft, but I'll bake them off n the morning. So I won't know for sure until then.   I know there's a learning curve with the Ankarsrum and now I'm on it. I was just looking for some advice that might make that go a bit quicker.  

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Sorry,  I only made bagels once in the DLX, and I used the roller and scraper.  Here is a youtube video on bagels using the roller scraper  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG52588uie4

 

and another shorter video with sound  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNHRiHcPgMU

 

nikkiblum's picture
nikkiblum

thanks Barry. I'll check out the videos. I baked the bagels this AM, because it's nice and cool then at least and I don't mind heating up the oven. Well, they are not as pretty and well-rounded as mine usually are. But they taste just fine. And the Big A was far less messy than my old KA. My assessment of  what happened was that adding the flour to the pre-ferment glomped up too fast and the roller was never able to smooth it out before the dough temp. came up too high. I might add it more slowly and at lower speed next time, or try the dough hook. Unfortunately, it took a little more than 2 pounds of KA high-gluten flour that I have to buy on the web and ship in.  But I learned a lesson. I think I'll try crawling up my learning curve with less expensive ingredients from now on. 

 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I have problems with the initial mix of low hydration (<55%) doughs, whether by hand, dough whisk or the DLX's roller. I nearly always need to perform a frissage to rid the dough of those little lumps. A key to mixing in the DLX is to run it at low speed with the roller spacing appropriate for the amount of dough. You will need to give a small increase compared to the manual's recommendations in the spacing for dryer doughs.

cheers,

gary

nikkiblum's picture
nikkiblum

I haven't made bagels again, but I made a big miche that is retarding in the fridge overnight. This was close to 70% hydration and I used folds during the first hour and a half to develop the gluten. It was still pretty soft for the final shaping. But no lumps  -- I autolysed the final dough and added in the levain. The actual results remain to be seen.

I appreciate your comment about the distance of the roller from the sides. I'll try and play with that a bit more. Even the wet dough seems to take much longer than my old KA and I don't think it's coming clean off the sides and bottom of the bowl in the the same way. Any thoughts? 

johnr55's picture
johnr55

I've owned the DLX since 1992, as sold by Magic Mill back then.  I had awful luck with the whisk bowl; periodically that plastic shaft in the middle of the bowl would crack, though I never used it for anything heavier than meringues or whipping cream.  I finally gave up and went back to the traditional way of using the mixer:  I even whipped egg whites and cream with the roller and scraper.  It's not my favorite mixer; I much prefer the Bosch, whose whisks and other attachments haven't given me trouble in nearly 40 years of use of various models.  I tossed the whisk bowl and attachments away about a decade ago for the DLX, and haven't regretted it.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Nikki,  it may take a little while longer in the DLX than the KA, because it is a more gentle kneading, but it should definitely come off the sides, but that is due to the scraper -  but once it leaves the scraper, it gets pushed against the sides again once it hits the roller.   It should develop a  wonderful windowpane, and even with a very wet dough ( 85% hydration) when you are done and start to lift it up, the rest should pull up with it as one mass.