The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best stand mixer for everyday home baking use

LDRuss's picture
LDRuss

Best stand mixer for everyday home baking use

My Kitchenaid died a loud and painful death this morning. I am looking for a stand mixer to replace it. I need one that will hold up to making bread at least once a week, cookie dough, meringues, and whipping cream. My current bread recipe uses 5 cups, but my children can now eat through that batch of bread in one day. I'm hoping to get something that can handle a bigger batch of bread, but still manage my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Any suggestions?

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

The Ankarsrum is, hands down, the best dough mixer for the home. It also does a great job with whipping egg whites, and, I presume, cream. I've read that it also creams butter well, but I haven't tried that. If it's true, it would probably work fine for cookies.

TomK's picture
TomK

I second the Ankarsrum. I mix 3 to 4 kg of dough once a week & it doesn’t even breathe hard. I’ve had it for a year now and I expect it to outlive me.

Tom

MontBaybaker's picture
MontBaybaker

Had my Ankarsrum just over a year and love it.  If my 1981 Hobart-made KA 5-qt wasn't now my daughter's and was larger, I'd still be using it.  After my 2001 KA Pro 6qt died a final death in 2015 (after near-purchase cost in several repair bills, AND still needs a new power supply & mother board), I used the old Hobart KA for a year while deciding what to buy.  Changed to Ankarsrum after much research. 

Dough of any quantity or kneading time doesn't phase it.  A 4-cup flour sweet roll dough is so small in the bowl I often wonder if I counted right (but I usually weigh).  Have also done cakes & batters in the plastic bowl with both whisks.  While KA has supposedly addressed the motor and worm gear issues, the bowls on the 7 and 8qt are so tall you can't see much.  The Ank bowl is completely open, and there's no divit on the bottom to hold unmixed bits (the KA always did despite scraping).  The 2001 KA bowl height had to be adjusted several times, also the head tightened as it would wobble.  I got a bad KA, but my mother-in-law bought the same KA 6qt 4 months after me and has never had an issue.  I've used hers and it's so quiet (mine sounded like a tractor).  Ank has been made by the same company since the 40's; KA changed manufacturers repeatedly after Hobart sold off the Home Division, and the quality control problems began.   

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Have you done cakes that call for creaming butter? The whisks don't seem sturdy enough for that. People that have described creaming the butter use the roller and scraper.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

The new cookie whisks that (I understand) are now included work very well for mixing heavy cookie doughs and handle creaming butter without a problem.

g

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

I recently used the batter whisks for the first time.....yes, they work well, but aren't as effective as my regular mixer with a beater blade. The whisks require a fair bit of scraping. On the other hand, the open top is nice. Bit of a tossup as to which I prefer.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I use my Ank to make gluten-free bread 'dough' which is a lot like cookie dough, and the cookie dough beaters work very well. Actually, I've made cookies too. I've also creamed butter and sugar using these beaters, as well as the wire whisks to whip cream and make 7-minute frosting (egg whites beaten with sugar syrup). All of them worked very well. If you are creaming a small amount of butter you might have to stop the machine and scrape the bottom of the plastic bowl a time or two, but that's very easy to do.

I've also made up to six loaves of bread dough (smallish loaves); something I absolutely couldn't do with the KA.

LDRuss's picture
LDRuss

That's very helpful!

 

Melesine's picture
Melesine

I use the roller and scraper for cakes and creaming butter. 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Ldruss,  it can be hard when you put out a question and get a wide variety of answers - though I won't make it hard,  I have the Electrolux DLX mixer,  but that is just the name the Ankarsrum was marketed under years ago .  I bought mine used and it is still going strong.    I have used the roller to make whipped cream, just to see if it was possible, and it actually worked fine.   While the current models come with the plastic bowl and whisks, some of the earlier versions didn't, and that may explain why there is  a youtube video of someone creaming butter using the roller as well.  Also,   when they first introduced the plastic bowl, it came out with one set of whisks for egg whites,  Ank came out with cookie whisks, which are heavier than the standard whisks, and they would probably hold up to creaming butter.  If you want to see other info on the mixer, you might want to search here or youtube using Electrolux, DLX, or Assistent,  since it was commonly referred to that until fairly recently. 

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

I bought my Ank about a year ago with the sole intent of using it to mix bread. It has not failed me in any respect.

What surprised me is how well it mixes other things, like meringues, whips, cookie dough, and more. I too was skeptical of those thin wire rods but they seem to hold up well and do an excellent job.

I will likely be buried with my Ank.

LDRuss's picture
LDRuss

the price is a big issue. Is it really worth twice as much as a KA? If a new KA lasts 15 years I can replace it and still spend less than the Ank.

suave's picture
suave

If you broke the KA you probably do need Ankarsrum.  At 5 cups/~700g of flour you already were pretty much at the limit of better KA models.    

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If you use the KitchenAid a lot and also knead heavy and or large doughs you will probably have to change gears periodically. I’ve changed 3 sets of gears in probably 10 years or so. I never burnt a motor, though. 

KitchenAid are great but they have limitations. If they would have handled my needs, I’d never leave them. I think they look great on the counter and the attachment are very good. As a matter of fact I still have one stored away with those attachments. It once again needs a good rebuild. That mixer is a dear old friend. 

Sorry KA Guys. But I felt in all honesty that I had to share my experience. :-(

Dan

isand66's picture
isand66

I have the Bosch Univeral Plus and love it.  I  stripped the gears twice on my wife's Kitchen Aid and went for the Bosch.  It's plenty powerful and I have no complaints.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

LDruss,  you can usually pick up a complete older Ankarsrum on ebay  ( using the prior marketing names)  for around $300,  it will outlast a few KAs  

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

I see used Bosch Universals, the older models, all the time for cheap (like $50-100). I've bought a few like that to give to family members that need a mixer. I used an old Bosch for ages until I picked up an Ankarsrum -- love the Ank but if I had to I'd be happy going back to the Bosch (I kept the Bosch - it's like an old friend). The Ank and Bosch both will last a long, long time.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m totally sold on Ankarsrum. Other than the Ank, I’ve owned 2 KitchenAids. I can say with experience and confidence that you’ll not regret the extra cost years down the road. If you don’t plan to use the mixer much you might go with something less expensive. I’ve never used a Bosch. 

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You might get lucky. Take a look at this. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ankarsrum-6220-Original-Mixer-Barely-Used/222755864895?hash=item33dd48c13f:g:JFwAAOSwAaJaMql~

Disclaimer— I searched eBay for this. I have no knowledge of this mixer other than what I read in the ad. It is a current model model. Ankarsrum is now offering a 6230. A little longer motor warranty, but the 6220 has the identical motor. The newest model also has metal knobs. The plastic knobs on mine seem very adequate. I own the 6220 and would buy it again, considering the reduction in price. 

I thought this might possibly cause a bidding war, so I went to your profile with the idea of sending you a private message. Sadly, I found none. If you want others to contact you via PM consider entering this info in your profile.

Dan

bakingmama1's picture
bakingmama1

I've personally never used an Ank, so I can't say for sure. But I do know that I L O V E my Bosch! I got the Universal Plus as a wedding gift about 4 years ago. It's fantastic and mixes my huge batches of cookie dough and bread with no problem at all. https://boschmixers.com/product/bosch-universal-plus-mixer/

But it may be beneficial to look into both an Ankarsrum and Bosch - especially product reviews. Good luck! And sorry about the death of your KA!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I followed the link above to the Bosch. The similarities between the Ankarsrum and Bosch are amazing. The bowls spin the same. The hook, scraper, and whisk are close to identical. 

Thanks for the info.

Dan

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Dan,  I have owned a Bosch Universal, as well as currently own an Ank, and there are some differences.  In the Ank, the bowl spins, and the roller spins, but the roller does not move around the bowl, and instead, stretches the dough out each time it passes between the bowl and the roller.  In the Bosch, the bowl is stationary, and the dough hooks move around the bowl  and the dough is stretched out due to the friction between the dough and the bowl.   Also, in terms of cleaning, the Bosch has a lighter bowl, but it has a center column, which some find harder to clean than the open design of the Ank, which has a much heavier bowl.   I agree that both are pretty different from the KA that many posters use.

Portus's picture
Portus

... a non-starter for TFLers, or at least the mixer of choice for only a select few? I have a Titanium major that does everything I could wish for in a mixer.  That said, in most bread recipes I follow, mechanical kneading has given way to autolyse, SF and similar.

Ankarsram is almost unknown in this neck of the woods, with KA/Smeg seemingly the preferred "Yuppie" mixer owing to their retro-designs, but with Kenwood still a favourite.

law_and_loaf's picture
law_and_loaf

I will just add that the Ankarsrum creams butter like a champ with the stainless bowl/roller... the key for me is that I melt the butter first and pour it into the bowl and let it cool for about a half hour before adding sugars and creaming away, and I end up with about the creamiest butter ever.  

I've made bread, cookies, cakes, even pie dough in the ank and the only time I use the small bowl/beaters is for whipping cream or egg whites.  This machine is a champ.

I've used both the KA and the Kenwood in the past.  The KA wasn't powerful enough for dough.  The Kenwood is very powerful but is a pain because the bowl is tall and narrow, and even the bowl scraper attachment doesn't scrape the bowl very well. it also spits flour everywhere if you're not careful.  I don't think there's really anything wrong with the Kenwood, those are small gripes, but the Ank is just a superior machine.  

Melesine's picture
Melesine

ankarsrum