Q.s about low-hydration vs high-hydration re. 2 popular mixers
I'm new to the world of bread-making. My b-day's right around the corner and I'm hoping that I can get my hubby to order me my first stand mixer while I get started on reading about bread-making, strange and premature as that might sound (I need a stand mixer anyway so might as well get on it before I no longer have the excuse of my b-day)! The problem is that I - like so many - am trying to decide between the Bosch and the Ankarsrum/DLX and I can't order "the one" until I figure out the answer to a few questions. For the sake of keeping this post RELATIVELY short, I'll stick to only the questions that pertain to this title!
Having read several reviews/comments, it seems that the Bosch is better for lower-hydration breads and the DLX is better for higher ones. So here are my questions, if you don't mind my asking (I've done a some searches but just don't know if I'm understanding correctly):
- Is it true that lower-hydration breads would be denser breads like sandwich bread, and that higher-hydration breads might be more of the "artisan" types with holes in them and thicker crusts?
- Are the higher-hydration breads softer doughs (while they're doughs, at least), generally? I think I read the DLX makes a softer dough (in addition to having read it makes higher-hydration breads, so if that's true, that would make sense).
- Or, does a true artisan bread really only come from hand-kneading?
- My main goal has been to be able to make sandwich bread for my family, to save money (since we like expensive sandwich bread, e.g. Dave's Killer Bread) and just cause it would be fun to know I made it and have the kids help, and have the house smell good, etc. But I may get more into it over time and kick myself down the line if I don't get a mixer that's good for the higher-hydration breads. Is it fair to say that many who start out just making sandwich bread eventually want to learn how to make higher-hydration breads?
I hope I didn't just throw too many questions at you! Thanks in advance for your help. I'll start another thread with my remaining questions (about plastic vs. metal bowl and other misc. questions)!