The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Growing family stand mixer recommendation??

Peter_pan's picture

Growing family stand mixer recommendation??

Hello! I have a decent sized family and our Kitchen Aid artisan mixer is just not big enough anymore. I believe it is a 5qt size. We've made the KA work for a long time, but we can just about finish off a decent portion of one batch of bread in one sitting ( each batch makes 2 or 3 loaves).

We make bread fairly often, but I don't believe I could ever bake enough bread for the family to justify a $3000 dollar mixer. Do you have any recommendations? I'm willing, with some persuasion, to spend about $800-$1200 tops.

I'll be honest, i'm considering a 20qt mixer, but have concerns that if i just wanted to make a small batch of something...that it would not be able to handle small quantities. Would i still need too keep the KA mixer too??

Is there anyone else out there with a similar problem?


MANNA's picture

If you are needing to make that much bread I would suggest getting a restaurant buss bin with a cover. Use time and a series of stretch and folds to develop gluten. I have made over 2 kilos of dough this way in a single batch. When I was doing the farmers market I would be tending multiple batches of dough. The next suggestion for making such a large quantity you dont want the last loafs over-proofed. After shaping the final loaf let them cold rise in the fridge overnight and bake right out of the fridge. The cool fridge will prevent the last loafs from over-proofing.

gary.turner's picture

I'd recommend the DLX/Magic Mill/Assistent/Ankarsrum. It simply has the ability to knead lots of dough (~5kg/11lbs) of nearly any hydration, while able to do all the usual mixer jobs down to whipping a single egg white.

Search the forum for the various names it's been sold under. You'll find lots of threads, and I don't recall ever seeing a negative review where the reviewer knew what he was talking about (there are those who will fail to follow instructions, then complain about results).

It's not a cheap mixer, but it is within your stated budget.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

some of those extra hands to work.  A big family is a bigger labor force unless they are all under the age of 3.

Dan001's picture

I agree with MANNA.  The gluten will develop mechanically by mixing say between 5 to 10 minutes or by stretch and fold over a 2 hour period. So anyone without the money to buy a mixer can make bread with no mixer at all in very large quantity if desired

One key to stretch and fold is to have an hydration at 70% or higher depending what is added in the flour( nuts, grain etc)

Sooo. Before you invest in a larger mixer, i invite you to buy a Buss boy restaurant plastic container to use to make your stretch and fold.. Probably about 10 dollars and you will be amaze of your results


Happy Baking

Peter_pan's picture

Thank you for the help. I will try the stretch and fold method. I appreciate everyone's advice.

cerevisiae's picture

And when it's not full of dough, it could be used to make dinner cleanup easier, and for the little ones it could be a great spaceship/train/other thing you can sit in.

Maybe you'll end up needing two.

Dan001's picture

Here is an exellent video showing you that it can be sticky and wet and this is not a problem without any mechanical mixer


Happy baking

Dan001's picture

One more thing. In the video she does seem to strech and fold for ever. Here is what i do. 10 strech, rest 20 minutes, 10 strech rest 20 minutes, 10 strech rest 1 hour, 10 strech rest 1h20 minutes.

Cut in loaf size ( say in 500 gr) let rest in a boule for 15 minutes

Shape, proof for 45 minutes and bake

I do mine at 77% hydration, hers looks like she is in the 80 % plus hydration. If you have difficulty at first reduce hydration to get the technique and then try at higher hydration. But starting at 75% is a good place to start exploring