The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Need help selecting a new mixer

ted01's picture

Need help selecting a new mixer

Hi folks,

I need to purchase a new mixer for bread making.  In order to get an idea of the type and quantity a batch is for me, I'm posting one of my favorite recipes that I make all the time.

But first, let me give some background.  I have a KA pro 600 and it struggles and overheats regularly with the recipe below.  I just returned a WonderMix because the second time I used it with the below recipe the input shaft sheared (and they no longer send a spare, despite what the box/manual says).  I've considered the Bosch Universal, but the reviews consistently talk about the difficulty with cleaning.  Not a place I want to go.  At least the KA is a cinch to clean.

So, what I'm looking for appears to be a stronger machine than most/all consumer stuff.  I'd rather not get into a commercial machine, but if that is the collective wisdom here, I'll have to consider it.


Here's the recipe:


Water  700grams

Honey  132g

Fresh milled Whole Wheat flour (using a MillRite)  470g

Bread flour  470g

Dry milk  16g

Gluten  64g

Salt  22g

Diastatic Malt  4g

Yeast  12g

Shortening or oil  56g

Seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, chia, quinoa, etc  200g


This yields two large loafs (9" X 5" pans) each weighing about 1.1KG (~2.5lbs).


Any ideas are appreciated.




suave's picture

Or, actually, no choices at all - you need an Ankasrum. 


I have a KA pro 600 and it struggles and overheats regularly with the recipe below.

As it should, since its real capability is about half of what you're putting in.

barryvabeach's picture

Ted, I agree with Suave, the best choice is the Ankasrum, though it is pricey.  The Bosch Universal Plus would probably work, I found the center column a little awkward when cleaning it, but others don't mind it.  

fotomat1's picture

Universal with stainless bowl with bottom mounted dough hook. I have all 3 mentioned and I like the Bosch best....hated it using the plastic bowl. Good luck!!


ted01's picture

Thanks for the responses.  I know Suave, silly me actually believing the manufacturers advertising!  

I didn't think to mention something that might have a bearing on the advice offered.  I don't mind if the new mixer is large, for example, one of the smaller commercial mixers.  I have been reading some of the older post here and there has been talk of machines like the General GEM110 and the Eurodib B10.  I realize that these are heavy machines, but I'm ok with that.  I can either find a dedicated place for it in my kitchen or put it on wheels and store it elsewhere.  Both of these machines can be had new on ebay for less than the Ankasrum.  I get that the Ankasrum is much smaller and can be stored much easier, but I've realized as much as I bake bread, storage is a lower priority for me than a machine that simply doesn't choke.

In addition, I didn't mention that this machine would be used pretty much exclusively for bread making.  I'll keep my KA  It's been an awesome mixer for almost every other thing I've asked of it, just not this task.  

Does this change any of the advice I've received so far?  Anybody using one of these smaller commercial machines?  Are there any other small (7-10 qt.) commercial machines in that under $1000 bracket I should take a look at?

Thanks again for the friendly welcome and great advice I've gotten so far.  It's a pleasure finding a forum with kind folks instead of some of the less pleasant forums out there.


Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Everyone has favorites and every particular setup has a best use.  5 lbs of dough is likely not best use for KA600.  A Bosch Universal will handle it.  Not sure what the cleaning fuss is.  You have to wash any bowl you use.  I don't find the Bosch any harder to wash than anything else. 

I think it'll come down to how much do you want to spend for your hobby.  Searching through the forums  you will find pros and cons for any set up you have considered.

joecox2's picture


This may not be a popular suggestion on this forum, but I would pick up one of the NSF commercial Kitchenaid mixers KSM7990 or KSM8990 (7 quart or 8 quart mixer).  The 7 and 8 quart are identical except for the size of the bowl and you can put an 8 quart bowl on the 7 quart mixer.  It will fit all of your regular Kitchenaid front hub attachments and will have the same look and feel of your smaller mixer.

The 7 and 8 quart NSF mixers have sold stainless steel attachments similar to what you would find on a Hobart commercial mixer and the stainless steel bowls are very easy to clean and stack if you get more than one.  The motor is a DC rather then AC motor like the other Kitchenaids and runs cooler and quieter then the others.  All of the gears are metal rather then plastic and the motor and transmission are one piece units that makes them stronger.  I have a KA grain mill attachment that I grind up 9 grain into flour and can run the mixer on high (10 speed) for 30-40 minutes grinding constantly before I let the mixer cool down (very taxing and would break any of the smaller mixers).   

I make a 12 grain bread very similar to what you make and I'm able to do enough dough for 4 loaves in 9x5 pans with no problem.  I do use an 8 quart bowl when I make this so that I don't have any spillage but the motor does not have issues or bog down.  I have a small at home bakery and make 100-200 loaves a week with the majority of the baking done in very large batches.  I've had this mixer since the middle of last year and have been using it constantly and have not had a single issue.

I now have two matching Dark Pewter 7 quart mixers with 1 extra 7 quart bowl and 3 8 quart bowls.  I was able to get both refurbished for less then $400 each and around $60 for each extra bowl. 

Again, I know most people on here hate Kitchenaid mixers and think they should only be used for box cakes, frosting and mixing egg whites.  These mixers are unlike anything Kitchenaid has made before and are great in my opinion.

joecox2's picture

ted01's picture

Joecox2, you made me laugh out loud!!  That is so awesome, having side by side machines like that!  Redundancy!


So, i want to thank all of you for your well reasoned responses.  I've decided to fling caution to the wind and go for one of the smaller commercial units.  I know, I know, in my first post I said that I wasn't all that excited about one of the smaller commercial units, but that is just what I have just scored.  A place call E-chef store had a sale on the General GEM110, a 10 quart "commercial" stand mixer.   Heavy son of a gun, but I plan to slap some wheels on it.  Total price including free shipping = $600.71USD.  That's a couple of hundred dollars less than the Ankasrum.  

It'll be here in a couple of weeks.  I'm giddy!

I want to thank you all again for the civil and intelligent responses I have gotten.  It's not always that way on the net, and as a long timer (going back to archie and veronica and usenet!)  I appreciate the difference.

Once I get this beastie, and have used it for a while, I promise I'll write up a full review of the thing.


I don't know what motivates you to bake bread, but for me it is the smell.  The smell of fresh baking bread has no equal.  Funny; I just spent $600 simply because I want to be able to make two loaves of bread at a time.  Why two loaves?  Because I want to give one of them away!  Heck of a justification!!!

fotomat1's picture

Please do let us know how it works out. I have seen one like that(probably the same with a different tag) at my local restaurant supply. People who work there couldn't really tell me much about it but it does look solid.

mmelaprof's picture

I had a Bosch for thirty years, gave it to my daughter when she married.  She still has it.  I bought myself a new one, have had it through 45 grandchildren.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Even the Bosch Compact, a $200 mixer, would handle those 2 loaves.  That's only about 2 lbs of flour.  The Compact won't break a sweat over that.

Should your commercial mixer become a problem, reconsider either of the Bosch mixers (Compact or Universal), or the Ankarsrum.  They're all pretty tough. 

The Compact is the best bang for the buck in any mixer that will handle bread dough - and it doesn't just "handle" it, it does it well and easily. And it only weighs 6 lbs!

The Universal is more powerful and has a bit more capacity - also cookie paddles!  Weighs in at 11 lbs.

And the Ankarsrum is just the best mixer a home bread baker can buy.  It only weighs 19 lbs (compared to 28 or 29 for the KA) and takes up less space both vertically and horizontally.

Chef Patrick's picture
Chef Patrick

This is just the discussion I needed. I am a home baker and have been taking courses from the French Pastry School. Based on what I learned there I decided a planetary mixer was not for me as I am looking for a dedicated bread mixer. I am interested in baguettes, croissants, chiabatta as well as Danish doughs. Most are high hydration as you can surmise. My problem is I went out and bought a Spiral SP-5 (which makes the Bosch and Ankarsum look like a bargain in price). No matter what I do I cannot get the SP-5 to develop the dough properly even after discussions with the group I bought it from. My plan is to try and resell it and buy one of the two recommended here. However I am not sure which would be the best choice. I like to bake 4 to 6 loaves at a time. Knowing that my question is what advice would you give as to the best unit for me. I am not into sprouted wheats, etc but do make rye, cheese and multigrains as well, many with a polish, leaving or starter. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

rgconner's picture

but I already own the best two mixers I think you can own: Left arm and right arm.

I mix up to 3000g flour batches at about 75% hydration, so that is around 5Kg of dough? 

I am not particularly strong either, I would have a hard time bench pressing more than 100 lbs or so. 

5 or six lift and folds with rest in-between to relax the dough and I am good to go. Biggest issue is it takes two hands, and I have not figured out how to clamp the mixing container down yet. 

I use a NSF plastic tub for mixing, you can put a lot of dough in those!

barryvabeach's picture

Chef Patrick,  if you are going to use it to knead breads,  I would go with the Anksarsum over the Bosch Universal Plus.   I have not had a dough yet that the Ankarsum could not handle - no matter how wet or small.   There were some doughs that the Bosch just would not knead, either the hydration was too high, or the dough amount was too small.  Also, the timer on the Ankarsum is a great feature,  if you want to knead for 8 minutes, set it and come back when it is done.  

Chef Patrick's picture
Chef Patrick

will be the sole use so thank you for your insight on the Ankarsum. With the issues I have been having I did go back to kneading by hand and while I enjoy it, I also like having a capable machine at hand.