The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

stand mixer

kathym's picture
kathym

stand mixer

I would like some advice. I need a new stand mixer. I think mine must have been on the Mayflower! Although it has served me well, I think it's time to go. Can some one out their provide some advice about what brand they feel is most satisfactory. I know that probably depends on the amount of money I want to spend. At this time, I am open to a reasonable amount. I would like this one to provide service for a long time. In other words, I would rather spend enough now and be satisfied, thus not out looking again if a few years.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Qathan has raved about how great the Electrolux DLX 2000 is.

I just bought my first stand mixer, a super cheap Kitchenaid. I'm very happy with the deal I got on it (it was under $100 dollars), but it is not going to last forever the way I treat it.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

I do indeed, The Electrolux Magic Mill DLX Assistent has been a Swedish secret for over 50 years. An exceptionally strong dough mixer, the Electrolux DLX has an impeccable reputation for long term reliability and quality results whether you're mixing a cake, whipping a meringue, or baking ten loaves of fresh, light, scrumptious bread.

qahtan

Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

I have the cheapest Kitchenaid mixer, the Classic. I bought it about 10 years ago at Walmart for $160.00.

Maybe they were built better then, but despite all the negative comments I read these days about the KA mixers mine works just fine.

I use it primarily for kneading bread dough, both white and whole wheat, about once or twice a week.  Undoubtedly there are many forum members who put their mixers to much harder use than I, but for my purposes it works just fine.

I wonder if I am just fortunate or if I, perhaps, was smart enough to buy my KA prior to the decline in quality I hear about. Anyone else have one of the older cheapies who care to comment?

jef_lepine's picture
jef_lepine

I've got a kitchenaid 6qt and it hasn't let me down yet. It does just about everything I want and never seems to be underpowered. It's 3yrs old now and I think it's paid for itself.

titus's picture
titus

I'm with qahtan on the Electrolux! I had a KA, but I think the Electrolux is far superior in perfomance, ease of use -- everthing!

Mike P's picture
Mike P

I have had both the Bosch Universal and now the Electrolux Assistent.  I like the Electrolux  better. I find its easier to add ingredients, its easier to clean and I like the kneading and mixing mechanism. Having said that, the Bosch is a fine machine and you wouldnt go wrong with owning one. It probably all comes down to personal preference. Has anyone tried the Viking that King Arthur sells??

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

I agree with Rena, I too love my KitchenAid 6 qt. Pro stand mixer. I have no problem mixing enough dough for a 4 lb loaf in it, but the instructions are clear about only using speed 1 with the dough hook for any kneading more than 2 minutes. I generally never knead for more than 4 or 5 minutes max at a time, with an autolyse for 20 minutes, then perhaps another 4 or 5 minutes depending on the recipe. For brioche I've kneaded for about 10 minutes without any problem, always at speed 1. I keep a close eye on the dough during kneading but can also multi-task and do other things close by. If you don't bake a lot of bread or do a lot of other baking a stand mixer is probably overkill, but I do a lot of both so mine gets a lot of use, and it is fun to use. I love the feel of hand kneading bread, but if I had to hand knead every batch of bread I bake I would not be producing nearly as much as I do to keep my large extended family happy.

 

BTW, is it Americans who don't read directions, or is it American MEN who don't read directions! ;-) 

Wayne's picture
Wayne

I tend to agree with Mountaindog that the KA pro is a very good machine for the home baker.  I have 3 machines at the present a 5 quart Kenwood (english made), a Bosch Universal, and of course the KA pro.  Have had all 3 machines for several years now and all are still going strong.  Also have a Bosch grain mill which is noisy but very efficient.  If I had to choose just one I would definately pick the KA.

fthec's picture
fthec

I've been following this thread from day one and thought I'd finally chime in with my two cents.  There's been a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding in the preceding information so let's try to clear things up.  First of all, why do we use a mixer at all?  In its simplest form, to a) incorporate the ingredients and b) to develop sufficient dough strength via gluten developement and to do so without overoxidizing/ overstressing the dough.

Stand mixers, like Hobart and KitchenAid are planetary mixers.  This type of mixer is used with great success in bread bakeries throughout North America but is rare in Europe where spiral mixers are prevalent.  Spiral mixers are very efficient at mixing dough--  in other words, they develop dough to optimal gluten development sooner and with less oxidation than planetary mixers.  The Bosch mixers (Univerals, Compact) and DLX would be classified as spiral mixers.

I, too, have used all three mixers:  KA 6Qt 475W, DLX, Bosch Concept 7.  All three are capable of making excellent breads.  My KA is repair prone but works well--  premix on #2 for 2-3 minutes, autolyse, mix on #3 3-4 minutes.  Without autolyse, gluten developement is more difficult, requiring colder water, a longer bulk fermentation and additional folds.  It has great difficulty with drier/ heavier doughs and can handle comfortably up to 2kg of medium consistency dough.

The Bosch and DLX have no problems with heavy/ dense doughs and can both knead larger quantities.  Both are extremely durable and reliable.

Of the three, the Bosch is best at kneading efficiently.........without question.  The DLX is  very gentle on dough but takes longer to develop gluten structure.

 Again, good bread can be made with any mixer--  the baker just needs to know when to turn it off and what the characteristics of the dough need to be.

Hope this helps.

Luber's picture
Luber

Hi all - I'm a long time KA user (5qut Pro) and have recently starting baking more. It's too handy a machine for me to ever want to get rid of, but for baking more than 2 loaves (3-4 lb of dough) it does come up short. I was thinking of upgrading to the 6 qut since it has more power and a better designed dough hook, but am now looking at the DLX and the Bosch. Here's an interesting video which makes the KA look pretty poor compared to the Bosch.

http://www.everythingkitchens.com/bosch-video-launch.html

I'd be interested to see a comparison between the DLX and the Bosch. My concern with the Bosch is that even at the lowest speed it seems to really whip around and tear the dough a lot, I'd be curious to see if the gentler action of the DLX makes a difference in the texture of the finished product. That it takes longer is really not an issue for me, since with autolyze you don't need to mix that long anyway, and the DLX has a timer so you can set it and forget it.

Anyone used both and have a preference for one over the other?
mommajack's picture
mommajack

I too picked the cuisinart. I read many reviews and this one seemed to have the least amount of conflicting information, plus I'm on a budget so while I would love to get a bosch or electrolux i just haven't seen any on sale or that are affordable right now...i got a good price on the cuisinart (20% discount) but i haven't had it that long (1 month), the warranty was a definite plus

RigoJancsi's picture
RigoJancsi

Hi Mommajack,

I too am thinking about buying the cuisinart and would like to know more about its performance. I found Cuisinart 7 quart and Bosch univeral for about the same price. While there is pleanty of information awailable about Bosch, not much about the cuisinart. i am particularly interested in knowing how it works with a small and large ammount of dough and if there are any other problems like dough rising up the hook, overheating, crawling over the counter when kneading a large batch of dough.  

Marty's picture
Marty

mommajack, would you care to comment on your Cuisinart mixer since you've owned it for a couple of months? I have been doing some research on the 5.5 qt mixer and would like to hear how it's going. Anyone else out there with comments on Cuisinart mixers?

Eli's picture
Eli

Does anyone have the Viking mixer? I am curious about one. I have the KA PRO 600 but never use it for bread.

Eli

www.elisfoods.wordpress.com

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

I've looked at both the viking and the plastic cuisinarts and neither impressed me for the money.  Both list high power motors, but I'm not convinced the gearing/motor is any more capable than a KA pro.  I have a 10 year old 4.5qt KA classic that is I use for bread every week.  At 300W, it isn't the strongest mixer, but it kneads 2 loafs of sourdough without much trouble.  I had a 20 qt hobart that I played with for 2 weeks before arranging for hobart to rebuild the transmission and donating it to a local community kitchen.  I bake for 6 adults + 4 kids most weeks, and I think my sweet-spot is something between 8-12 qt.  Honestly, I cannot imagine your 600 struggling with kneading.  What sort of dough weight are you working with?

Eli's picture
Eli

I just don't use it. It is hard to get the ingredients in it though. I was thinking of a smaller one and I just love kitchen equipment. I have seen the Viking from afar and was curious as to how it worked. I like kneading by hand but some of the larger batches are tiring. As for weights I usually do anything between 2 and 6 pounds. Sometimes I will just start in the KA then move it to the counter and finish it there if it is over 6 lbs.

Eli

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

Sorry, I misinterpreted your post as suggesting that your KA pro wasn't capable of kneading your bread... my bad.  I often start kneading with the KA and finish by hand as it allows me to make adjustments if required.  I scrape the bowl and hook every few minutes.  As far as loading, I always remove the bowl before adding ingredients with either the fixed bowl or raise-and-lower bowl stand mixers that I've used.

toyman's picture
toyman

I've gone from a 4.5 qt KA mixer to a Cuisenart 11 cup food processor to kneading by hand, to a Electrolux DLX.  My KA is about 15 years old, and would do small batches of dough fine, although it was a pain keeping the dough down as it climbed the hook.  So, I went to my Cuisenart with the dough blade, & dough setting.  It had problems restarting after the autolyse period, and again small batches.  Since I've settled on a few recipes, I make larger batches, normally starting with 2000g of flour & 63% hydration.  This yields me about 7-7.5# of dough.  I've been making them in large tupperware bowls and kneading by hand.  This works fine, but I wanted to be able to do double, triple or quad recipes so I can share with friends & family and store.  So after much research, I settled on the Electrolux.  Why?  8 quart bowl with easy access for adding ingredients.  Powerful motor and a system that seems to work very well and has been around (in Europe for many years)  I liked it better than the Bosch for a few reasons.  I didn't like the plastic bowl on the Bosch, nor the slightly smaller capacity (7qts?)  I also have used my expensive Bosch washer & drier for last 4 years, and it hasn't been a pleasant experience, to say the least.  So, I got my mixer (DLX) on Saturday.  Mixed up a 2000g batch of bread dough, got my feet wet, and this mixer rocks.  I also mixed up a batch of pizza dough.  They both came out smooth silky and beautiful.  I'm not concerned about small batches, since I freeze my pizza dough balls, and can bake large quantities in my wood oven.  The other thing I noticed about the Electrolux.  It's a bit pricey at $600, but, it's simple.  No digital readouts or a mulitude of controls.  It has a plug & 2 analog dials.  One is a rheostat for the speed the other is, for lack of a better work, an egg timer/on-off switch.  To me, this means that they put their money where it's important.  The motor, the bowl, and the arm.  It seems to be built like a tank, and powered thru my dough without issue.  For some it won't fit a need, and for others like me it will. 

mommajack's picture
mommajack

Hi,

I've been away for a while.  I use my Cuisinart to mix maximum of dough for 2 large loafs (?) or double the recipe from which I think is a rye pain campagne.

It seems like the mixer is fine for a programmed amount of time and dough of this thickness, viscosity???

I made the bagel recipe from the Bread Bible, and that dough seemed to really challenge the mixer.  I had to hold it down to keep it from walking the counter.....So I just halved the amount and then it seemed to work decently, though you could definitely hear the motor strain a bit.

It didn't overheat though or explode so I guess that is a definite plus.  Hopefully this helps you.