The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spiral bread dough mixers

ralsagoff's picture
ralsagoff

Spiral bread dough mixers

I trying to buy a spiral mixer with a removable bowl that is 2 speed but single phase So far I cannot seem to find one. There are plenty 3 phase ones. Thanks 

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

An awesome one can be found here: https://pleasanthillgrain.com/appliances/mixers?brand=4837

If you are interested, act fast, because they are about to raise their prices significantly.

I also did an extensive review of the machine here: https://wheatbeat.com/equipment-review-famage-spiral-mixer/

Let me know if you have more questions!

Zuri

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Ralsagoff, what country and city are you in?

Camarie's picture
Camarie

Those are all too ridiculously expensive!! I'll stick with my Nutrimill.

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Are ANK actually spiral mixers like the Famags on the PHG site, or another technology (albeit similar to a spiral method)?

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

No, ANK mixers are definitely not spiral mixers. Their method of mixing is a different technology.

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

OK, thanks, wheatbeat.

Camarie's picture
Camarie

how much do you want to spend for one? They are ridiculously expensive & big!

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Hi Camarie,

 

Yeah, I know, crazy prices.  On the other hand I want to build a brick oven and do more bread, and do it without killing something like my small KA.  I've pushed the poor thing so much, I don't know why it's not toast.

 

I have a ton of brewing equipment as I used to be a pro in the industry but for many reasons can no longer brew.  So, I'd sell of this stuff to get me close to an appropriate Famag.  I'm trying to figure out why the Hausslers are so expensive.  I'm sure they're as dependable as tanks but with one speed, that's a bit of a downer.

My concerns on the Famags would be (1) durability - are they good for heavy use, day in and day out?  (2) not a fan of the non-removable bowl and hook in some models; (3) not a fan, really, of the infinitely variable speeds.  Would prefer the standard 2-speed switch.  They look beautiful and I've seen (almost) nothing but great things about them (I was a bit concerned - someone posted somewhere that the breaker bar basically couldn't hold up against time, and would shift out of place in the direction of travel.  They jury rigged a fix, but at $1500-$1900, that should be something engineered in properly).

 

Anyway, yes, my hope.  I have other things for pastry work.  Looking for a workhorse.

 
wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

Yes, that was me that made the modifications you mention. The breaker bar slipping is poor engineering, but I don't think it affects performance in a meaningful way. As for durability, I see no indication it won't last many, many years of heavy use. Only models higher than 10S have fixed bowls/top. Infinitely variable speed is a negative for sure but it still beats one speed. The Haussler is expensive because, well, it's German. Are BMW that much better than Lexus and worth the premium price? 

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

Also, keep in mind that the VAST majority of professional bread bakers use a spiral mixer with breaker bar for a good reason: Nothing develops gluten as efficiently, and certainly not an ANK or KA.

Camarie's picture
Camarie

Yeah, they are very powerful though. The motors in those are nothing like the one in a regular mixer. About ten times as strong!! So strong that they use chains to power them!!

Camarie's picture
Camarie

To save money, you can buy the Nutrimill, Bosch Universal or the Ank. They work very well & excel very well with baking bread.

I looked into getting a spiral dough maker,  but the price for one is  just too ridiculous!!!

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Many thanks, everyone.  I should mention that I have the slimmest of thoughts to start the smallest of a bakery.  I live in a unique microcosm of several neighborhoods linked by raw milk, soaps, and a couple other things.  Some sell at our farmer's market, much is just very local.  No intent to start any scale - had a French restaurant, my body's busted up from so many years on the line - but enough to pay for materials, I'm good.

I'm also poking around a bit about building a brick oven.  So one thing I do like about the Famags, aside from the spiral technology, is their flexibility in going from very small batches to much more. 

I also want to buy once.  I'm leaning Famag (passing on any thought of the German make, for several reasons.  One being, well, point of origin isn't worth the markup, agreed,wheatbeat), but I would like to know more about the ANK's.  How do they actually work?  What is the actual technology?

wheatbeat, thanks for the mod info, too.  Seems like an elegant solution.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

You can see just about anything on youtube.  Including mixers of all brands.

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

I owned an ANK and promptly returned it. I will not knock it, because I respect the bakers that swear by it, I can only speak about my own experience. I can't tell you what the technology is because the whole thing didn't make sense to me. When it came to lower hydration dough especially (under 63%), for me it would spin the dough ball around like a clothes dryer and a big plastic wheel slapped and squished it (and not much else) on every rotation. Also, small batches seemed to not get worked at all. A small ball sticks to the wall of the bowl and just spins around enjoying the ride.

I think for higher hydration and larger batches, it probably works much better. But I never got that far to know...there is a rubber wheel that spins another part by rubbing against the bowl. After one use, I saw black rubber dust in my dough coming off that wheel. There was no way I could live with that.

On the plus side, it is powerful, compact, nice-looking and designed for easy access of the dough. 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Sorry you didn't like the ANK,  I have owned a Bosch Universal, ( not the plus ) the Bosch Compact, the Bosch Concept, at KA lift bowl, and the older model ANK -  called the Magic Mill, and have found the Ank is the best by far, IMO.  I am surprised to hear you had issues with dough not being manipulated with the Ank.  On mine,  even the tiniest amounts were kneaded -  IIRC, 150 grams of flour in a dough still was kneaded, the scraper gets it off the edge of the bowl, then it gets compressed by the roller, and that repeats on each rotation.    As for the squishing against the side for low hydration, that is the way I understood it developed gluten - similar to kneading dough by hand.  I used if for bagel dough once and it came out okay, so surprised it did not work for you.  

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

At the risk of being a mixer snob, once you experience a proper spiral mixer with breaker bar, everything else feels less satisfying.

flormont's picture
flormont

The spiral mixer became the conventional standard in contemporary bakeries since many years ago (even in France where the fork mixer was supposed to be irreplaceable).

However we can see a revival of the twin-arm mixers especially for small batches, thanks to some brands like Bernardi and their Miss-Baker range. The legendary Artofex brand is now part of history.

albacore's picture
albacore

I just love those twin diving arm mixers - I'm always fascinated by the Youtube videos of them and could watch them for hours. Flormont, do you still have your Artofex and does it make good dough?

Miss Baker also looks great, but I think the price will also be great!

Still, I am lucky compared to many in having a Famag IM5, having previously tried Kenwood Major (kept),  BUP (sold) and Ankarsrum (sold).

The Kenwood does a passable job as long as you have the spiral dough hook ( this is not the one that comes with the machine), but I mainly keep it for all the other duties it does so well - egg whites etc.

Lance

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

Lance, did I ever show you this bad boy?

https://wheatbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/secondary.mp4

 

albacore's picture
albacore

I'd love one of those Zuri, but I think I'd have to start baking commercially! Still, it would be a great usp!

BTW, here's a couple of Famag mods that might interest you:

1) Removable breaker bar for easier dough removal and cleaning

 

2) Heating belt for pre-warming the mixer bowl prior to use

Lance

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

Did you do this? I'm really interested in the breaker bar modification. I'm not sure I get the heater though. I usually do the opposite. I put the bowl in the fridge to pre-cool it and use cold water in my final dough. Usually the issue is overheating not under. 

Zuri

albacore's picture
albacore

You're lucky; my kitchen is cold in the winter so the bowl preheat is very useful, especially if doing an autolyse in the mixer for an hour. Plus I prefer warm dough - I aim for DT 26-28C.

Yes, I did the breaker bar mod - not too difficult if you have some metalworking skills. I used a new piece of flat bar, so the original could be refitted if I ever wanted to.

Lance

Camarie's picture
Camarie

What does it look like? The pics are all x'ed out.

 

albacore's picture
albacore

Probably my picture host Cubeupload having a glitch, as they run on a shoestring.

The pics are there now for me.

 

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, I hadn’t seen your breaker bar mod. Super ingenious! It also gets the breaker bar closer to the spiral. You were forerunner of the offset hook. How close does it get to the bottom of the bowl?

Were did you get the stainless bar?

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks Danny - I guess my mod has been overtaken somewhat by the removable bowl which is now available, but for my fixed bowl it's a life saver. I don't know why all fixies don't have it - I should have patented it!

Bottom clearance is 1/8"; I suspect recent concerns about excessive clearance have been overamplified.

Stainless stock from Ebay UK.

Lance

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Been sick.

Let me just say I've got serious baking equipment acquisition illness.  I'm completely fascinated by these machines.  I checked out several vids, incl. the Miss Baker, so thanks all.  I'd seen only an image of the diving arm from Calvel's book but was fascinated by Hamelman's description ("reminds me of two, kneading the dough together" or something like that), so to see them in action was truly fascinating. 

Unfortunately for me, the Miss Baker's size limitation and its cost make it a non-starter...but it sure looks beautiful.  The Santos is on my Amazon cart as a "reminder" (it's how I remember things I'm interested in.  Bad memory secondary to a neuro thing, so my cart is miles long, lol).  On Amazon it's $1775, lol.  I think I've seen it in league with the Famag machines.

At any rate, some great food for thought.  Thanks.

Pasquale's picture
Pasquale

no one has ever heard of Sunmix!!

the best brand in Italy for spiral mixers, fantastic ones for Domestic use.

https://www.sunmix.it/index.php?_r=2512&id=1&cat=15

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Pasquale, very cool!  I see they also sell a fork mixer.  Do you happen to know if they distribute in the US, and if so, who handles them?

Pasquale's picture
Pasquale

Yes they do by Pizza Goods 

https://www.pizzagoods.com/

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Great.  Thanks, Pasquale.  I've queried them.

Timothy Wilson's picture
Timothy Wilson

I would rather go for the Sunbeam one. They have a good value for their money and are one of my favorites. It doesn't make lots of mess in my kitchen as my previous one. I like Hamilton ones too, they have a really cool design and last for life really. I like reading some comparing reviews while choosing anything. You can look through this article https://mykitchenadvisor.com/best-stand-mixer/. Sure you will find your perfect mixer. After buying a few mixers I choose Sunbeam. It combines price, quality, and ease of use.