Information on Ankarsrum Mixers
I just bought an Ankarsrum Mixer. I understand that in the past it has been known under a variety of names including Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, and DLX. Is it possible to setup a forum section dedicated to this type of mixer since the mixing method is radically different from most other mixers?
I'm experienced with KitchenAid mixers, but this mixer is very different.
I've searched the internet for viable information and I've not found much. I'd especially like to have user to user input.
I'm hoping that The Fresh Loaf will consider adding a dedicated section on the forum might be a very beneficial and unique source for this specific information. I know of no other place on the internet where this type of information is able to be exchanged via forum (user to user) format.
Is something like this useful for The Fresh Loaf Forum?
This is my go-to forum. I've learned many valuable things on these forums and I appreciate your efforts to provide such a great service to bread bakers.
Thanks for the great work...
I just ordered my Ankarsrum from Costco, and am eagerly awaiting it. There are a number of pretty good videos on Youtube which make it quite clear that it's very different from a planetary mixer (I have a 5 quart KA and a 30 quart Univex). My feeling is that it will take longer to develop the dough in the Ankarsrum but that it will be much gentler on the dough, so we'll see if I'm right! There seems to be a wide variety of ways to make bread dough, between the dough hook, the scraper (to use or not to use) and the roller, so I'm looking forward to experimenting and hopefully posting some results. Even if we don't have a dedicated forum for mixers we should be able to at least put "Ankarsrum" in the title and search it. Though it's complicated with all the different names. :)
As a matter of fact, I think Floyd, our host has an Ankarsrum!
I think you will find that the DLX, while it works the dough differently from a planetary mixer, will have little effect on the formulae or your own methods.
The load on the motor is affected very little by the stiffness or amount of the dough since the loading on the motor is limited by the torsion arm and not the dough. My experience, compared to comments by KA users, is that the DLX is more efficient (gluten develops quicker) and its use does not heat the dough nearly as much. Your mileage may vary.
I found the manual less than ideal for a first time user. On the other hand, after mixing and kneading several loaves, their instructions make a lot more sense. I seldom use the hook, simply because I don't make 6+ lbs of bread at a time. I do use it for bagels (a dozen), if I remember to change from the roller.
If there is something a KA type mixer can do that the DLX can't, I haven't found it. I've made breads, cakes, cookies, meringues, short breads and the smoothest mashed potatoes you can imagine (without making them starchy).
Don't fret about the differences, they are too small to do more than cause you to make the same kind of changes you'd make for any mixer, even two of the same type.
ps. I've had mine since 2010 with nary a lick of trouble nor loaf failures I could attribute to the DLX. ~g
I have an Ankarsrum too. It's great. I agree with Gary though that it really doesn't require significant changes in formulas or technique. Maybe a couple of batches to figure out the what speed you like and how far from the edge you want to set up the roller, but then you are pretty much doing what you've always intended to do with less effort (fewer stops to scrape dough off the paddle, much easier to see and check the dough development without the mixer head obscuring the majority of the bowl). About the biggest change I can think of I've made is that I'm not afraid to step away to do something else while it is mixing: the teeny, entry level KitchenAid I used previously shuddered and walked across the countertop wickedly. I was afraid that if I looked away for more than a few seconds, one of these times it'd make a run for it and come crashing down onto the floor.
All that said, if we end up with oodles of conversations about mastering the use of an Ankarsrum, I certainly could create a section for them.
I use both an Ankarsrum and Kitchenaid (7 quart). I started with a Kitchenaid, and was hoping that the Ankarsrum would replace it completely, but found some limitations that prevent me from getting rid of the Kitchenaid (perhaps due to my own inexperience). I've had trouble incorporating butter into brioche dough (the butter would just coat the dough and the bowl, rather than becoming incorporated into the dough). I have also had difficulties kneading bagels. However, I do think that if I had made a bigger batch of bagels and/or tried the dough hook, I probably could have made it work. In any event, since I have both I find myself reaching for the Kitchenaid instead of the Ankarsum under these circumstances.
I also find it somewhat annoying to use the Ankarsrum when making things that need to be whipped or creamed (using the small bowl - I have not tried to do these things using the larger bowl). It's more difficult to scrape down the bowl to make sure the ingredients are evenly incorporated because you have to do the middle part that sticks up as well as the sides. I prefer using the Kitchenaid (with the scraper paddle) under these circumstances. However, it IS convenient that the top of the Ankarsrum bowl is completely open, so it's easy to add ingredients.
I also note that the attachments for the Kitchenaid are generally cheaper than the corresponding attachments for the Ankarsrum.
All that being said, I still love my Ankarsrum. The Kitchenaid really cannot compete when it comes to the thing I really care about - making bread. The Ankarsrum is especially good for making larger batches of dough. (I've had to take apart a Kitchenaid due to the dough climbing up the hook and into the mixer, which was horrible.)
I use one of two methods, depending on my attitude that day.
The first is to chill the dry ingredients and the butter, then cut the butter into the flour as you would with pie crusts or biscuits. The dry ingredients can then be added to the wet while mixing. I think this is the better method of the two even though my skills at cutting in are poor at best. A hand mixer with counter-rotating whisks works well. Rough cut the butter into chunks and let the whisks do the cutting in.
The second method is to soften or melt the butter and mix at a medium high speed with the other wet ingredients.
Thanks, Gary. I will give those approaches a try.
I had to get the kneading "mind set" of the KitchenAid out of my mind. And I still work at that to this very day. Old dog & new tricks. ;<) But I've found that if I let the Ankarsrum do it's thing the kneading is efficient and without much friction to the dough. If any new user is having similar problems that I've had, you might consider using the dough hook to get started. It kneads similar (but much better) to the KA. But by all means try to eventually move to the roller and scraper. I think the roller and scraper is where and Ank really excels.
Even to this day, when I knead with the Roller and Scraper it doesn't look right to me. BUT the results are great!
At this point I have abandoned the roller for bread dough. I use the hook and scraper until shaggy then just the hook from that point forward.
I am glad to hear that you are finding success with the Ankarsrum. I too am very pleased with the purchase.
I'm very much in doubt what to purchase. A spiral kneader like the Maxima 5 liter or the multifunctional Ankarsrum. My interest is focussed on bread or pizza and occasionly on pastry. Are there any pro's or contra's you are willing yo share? TIA
Never heard of the Maxima, So I googled it. Looks like a brute of a mixer. It is much heavier than the Ankarsrum. But I have no knowledge of it. I don't think these mixers are available in the United States. I am used to working with a KitchenAid and moving to the Ankarsrum took some getting time to get used to it.
In my opinion the Ankarsrum handles dough kneading much better than the KA. I kept having to replace gears on the KA and it struggled with low hydration doughs of any size. Ankarsrum has been around since 1940 and has passed the test of time. It kneads dough with the scraper and roller in a very uniques way. Even after a prolonged mixing time the dough does not get heated much. It is also very easy to add ingredients since there is very little in the way to block the top of the bowl. It can handle a lot of dough, I think as much as 8 pounds although I've only went as high as 5 pounds thus far. So far, I've found no down side to the mixer.
I'm glad I went with Ankarsrum.
very excited i finally purchased ankarsrum; have watched the youtubes; have read the comments; and i figure i'll be selling my 7 qt KA, which i've never liked much, and is hopeless for small batches of baked goods, etc
But I am still a bit confused.
1. roller vs. hook -- the roller is 'gentler' but not as effective when using larger amounts of dough? is that correct? [i tend to make 2000 gr, roughly 5 lb at a time]
2. i can already see that it will be perfect for my rye sourdoughs; hamelman 5 grain levain; etc. but what about "higher" hydration? i make a version of Forkish or Tartine weekly [5 lb which i bake in two 2.5 loaves]. does the ankarsrum REPLACE the 3 hour folding that i've normally done with these breads? usually i mix by hand, then do fold 3,4 times, and then let it continue to rise for 3/4 hours before "punching down" for shaping.
so with the anskarsrum, is it replacing the slap/fold at the start of the bulk rise? or just should be thought of as an initial mix/knead, and then continue with slap/fold, etc,
3. too much flour? this morning, i followed my normal Forkish variation [1040gr flour mixed; 800 gram water; salt; levain] and used the roller/scraper for about 4 minutes. it just looked much softer than i'm used to, and so i added more flour to it. i guess i'll see how it bakes up.
Congratulations on your new mixer. With a little time and practice I think you will grow to love it. I know i did.
> so with the anskarsrum, is it replacing the slap/fold at the start of the bulk rise? or just should be thought of as an initial mix/knead, and then continue with slap/fold, etc,
The more the dough is handled the faster the gluten will develop. If you are going from the mixer to the oven in an hour or two, I'd probably do most if not all of the "handling" in the mixer. On the other hand, if you are going to allow time for the flavors and acids to develop you need to keep your hands off the dough. Hence the slap and fold ritual over several hours instead of an aggressive handling up front.
If you develop your gluten quickly, then wait for hours while the flavor develops, the gluten will have broken down by the time you get your dough to the oven. The result is generally a flat loaf. It may have gained a lot of oven spring but there wasn't enough gluten structure to support the lift and the loaf collapses in on itself.
Different breads and different hydrations call for different techniques. With baguettes I really don't want much gluten development. Trying to hand roll a rubber band out to 24 inches can be pretty frustrating and disappointing.
so if i understand you correctly:
1. i should only use the anskarsrum for breads that i do not delay baking. I use only sourdough, and most of my doughs go into the fridge overnight for a long second=rise; i guess that's what i'm used to. so
anskarsrum mix + long slow rise overnight = disaster, flat bread??!
2. in that case i should only use it for breads that i plan to bake same day? i don't really ever bake same day, so will have to rethink this.
i guess i'll know tomorrow how this batch came out; anskarsrum for about 5 min; first bulk rise, minimal slap, fold (3 hrs); and overnight sleep in fridge.
"i should only use the anskarsrum for breads that i do not delay baking."
No, not at all. The Anskarsrum isn't different from other mixers in this regard. Just do a tight shaping and you're good to go.
I bake my breads in a loaf tin rather than making baguettes etc. (I eat a lot of sandwiches) so this may not apply at all to your situation.
I use the ankarsrum to knead my sourdough that is going to spend 18+ hours developing a nice sour tang. I have no problem with lots of oven spring and the gluten is just fine. But I am in a loaf tin so I'm sure it's different for baguettes.
But just so you can compare different techniques (and my kitchen is cold - about 58F most days) ... I do a brief (less than a minute) initial mix in the Ankarsrum with roller scraper. Just enough to mix the wet and dry and I don't worry about how shaggy it looks. I cover it and let it sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on my mood and what I've got going on. Then I knead it (roller/scraper) for 4 minutes and let it sit for about 15 minutes then I add the salt and knead it for a couple of minutes just to make sure the salt got mixed in well. I turn it out and give it a couple of letter folds and rest 10 minutes and depending on texture I will either give it another couple letter folds and rest or do my final shaping and into loaf tin. Depending on temp that day it will sit for an hour to 6 hours on the counter (shaped and in the tin) and then into the fridge overnight or if kitchen is really cold it'll stay out overnight (or maybe with a cold pack).
this is helpful. your method, Andy, is basically what i did this morning:
initial mix; then autolyse; then added the starter, mixed, added salt, then kneaded about 5 min. then did the folds in a bowl, where it's sitting now for bulk rise. then i figure i'll overnight it in fridge.
yeah, my house is cold as well, 57night, 62 day; so i have one of those proofers to coddle my dough!!
i guess i'll see if it's over-proofed/or flat. i tend to bake both loaves on a pre-heated metal slab (pizza thing?) for the 'artisan' crust.
When I've tried baguettes on the pizza steel, they flattened out. And I think this is what the others are telling you about the gluten not being able to support the loaf without the regular folds during the bulk ferment. I get away with it because of the loaf tins to hold the shape.
You may want to just do less kneading in the Ank (4-5 minutes total seems to be plenty) and then do the folds.
well so far the oven spring was great; now to see how the crumb looks. so i might be fine with 4-5min knead with Ank and then continue with stretch/fold as i usually do. not sure how to post photos, since i'm a fairly passive user, but these comments have been helpful.
and crumb looks great; yeah, couldnt wait to cut into one of the loaves.
so we've passed the first test.
I JUST opened my new Ankarsrum mixer.. so excited. but confused as to which to use, roller or hook for bread dough?
Any information or help from the more experienced owners?
Jet, most use the roller and scraper. I like both.
If you are used to kneading in a Kitchenaid or other similar mixers, you will do well to accept that this type mixer will knead differently. I love my Ank, but it took me a while to get accustomed to using it.
Let us know how it works for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Dan.. Thanks for the information.. So, the dough hook is NOT used then?
I made my first batch of bread dough yesterday. I used both roller and scraper. I can definitely see that the process will take some getting used to.
I also noticed that the dough is much wetter than I normally like. Is this normal? Also how long do you normally let the machine knead the dough?
Soooo. what IS the dough hook used for?
IMO, the doughhook has it’s use. I use it on dry doughs.
Your dough hydration (wetness) should not be affected by different mixers. The ratio of water to flour is a constant, but it could appear different in the mixer. I’ve seen the videos by Ashley McCord that says the Ank doesn’t require as much ch water. I have discussed that with her, as I disagree. She has been a great help to me.
I think it takes longer to knead a dough with an Ank. But it is very gentle on the dough and it doesn’t heat the dough nearly as much as other (KA, etc) mixers.
Give this a try... Mix your water and yeast or starter in the mixer using the scraper and roller. In a separate bowl wisk in your salt and flour. Then turn the mixer to slow and pour in your flour mixer. Let it mix until the flour is just incorporated. Stop the mixer and put the white cover on (to prevent drying) and let it rest for 1/2 hr. Then run mixer(with speed knob set to 3 o’clock and let it run about 1 and 1/2 as long as instructed, or until the dough is developed to your liking.
Try to forget about your prior knowledge of other mixers. Tha Ank handles dough very differently. Mix by faith and not by sight :-)
You own an outstanding mixer...
WOW.. great information!!! I will give this a shot (per your instructions).
I've read quite a few blogs about individuals getting discouraged by the different process while using this mixer. But, I am on a mission to learn about this mixer!
I'll let you know how this goes.. again, thank you for taking time to share your knowledge and experience!
Also meant to ask if you have/recommend any of the extra attachments. I am really interested in getting the mill to make my own flour. As well as the pasta press/extruder. Any suggestions?
In my experience, those that complain about the Ank, either don’t own one or haven’t learned to use it properly. I know of only one user that has learned to use it and then later decided to go with a much more expensive Itallian unit. The general consensus for the Ankarsrum among home users is highly regarded. Learn to use it, and you are sure to join the ranks of those who rave about it.
I don’t own any Ank accessories, so Im no help for that.
If you have issues, try to video the process and post it to the forum. There are a number of experienced Ank users on this forum that are sure to help.
Again, thank you!!
A couple of posters in this thread mention the dough being wetter than they are used to. I found this to be so for me, as well. I was afraid to add too much flour for fear of the loaf being too dense or dry. I am fairly new to bread making, but when done by hand, the dough wasn't as wet or "loose," if that makes sense. Is that just how it is, or should I add more flour until the dough forms more of a ball?
Could the softer dough be from over mixing?
Decem, It is my opinion that hydration is hydration. I can’t imagine how the mixing method would make a difference in the dough if the ration of liquids to flour was identical. I may be wrong, and I am very willing to learn.
Mixers, or various kneading methods will vary as far as gluten development is concerned, but I don’t think an Ank or anyother mixer will make a wetter dough with identical hydration ratios.
Now, if you grossly over mixed the gluten would break down and the dough would turn to slop. But this would take a lot of mixing to accomplish that.
I agree with Danny (deeper in the thread) regarding hydration vs mixing methods. Given that you carefully weigh your ingredients, the mixer just isn't going to change how "wet" the dough is.
There are two things, one required and the other helpful, that you should do when mixing with the Ank. First, and required, is that you must mix all your wet ingredients together first. Set the roller to ride against the rim and mix your water, milk, juice, eggs, oil, your wet starter or poolish somewhat vigorously. If you include yeast in any form with the wets, mix very vigorously. Incorporating air will help the yeast to be more reproductively frisky. This applies to any mixer. A fast start will reduce the chances of off tastes from yeast by-products. (This is why brewers always rouse the wort when they pitch the yeast.)
Now adjust the arm's distance from the rim according to the chart in the manual. At dead slow, add the dry ingredients and mix for ~three minutes to fully incorporate. This is where I give the rough dough a rest for ten to thirty minutes. I am not doing it as an autolysis* rest, but to simply give the flour a chance to fully absorb the wet stuff. I think any mixer would gain from this step. Giving it a head start on gluten development is a welcome side benefit.
Following the rest, knead at a low-medium speed (I set the speed dial to about 2:30 or 3:00 o'clock, YMMV). The knead time will vary according to the degree of gluten strength your bread requires. For example, three minutes is plenty for most lean breads, while enriched sandwich breads may take upwards of ten to fifteen minutes.
* Since I almost always use a poolish or sourdough starter, the overnight preferment has already done its enzymatic breakdown of starches to simple sugars. ~g
Thanks for the replies! After y'all's replies and the reading I've done, I think I tend to timidly add the minimum amount of flour called for in any given recipe. I am going to try as you suggested above, Gary, along with gradually adding a wee more flour.
Late but I’ll add it here for others with questions based on my own experience.
I’ve been using the ankarsrum for about ten years. What I always understood was that the dough hook was added to accommodate American bakers to give them something familiar. The roller and scraper should be able to handle everything and in my case they have, with one exception that I’ll mention below.
The only time my machine ever showed any difficulty was when my nephew mixed a batch of German Christmas cookie dough that came out like cement. Otherwise there’s nothing I can throw at the Ankarsrum that slows it down. It kneads beautifully.
the machine is Swedish, from the land of rye breads. And when I started baking rye it struck me that this is probably what the machine is truly designed for. The mixing method, plastic lid for soakers and proofing in the bowl, strength of the motor, that plastic scraper which is exactly the width of a loaf tin for shaping and smoothing a sticky rye - it just all worked especially well.
More recently I started baking high hydration doughs, and after hand mixing forkish’s recipes a few times began to wonder how my ankarsrum’s roller and scraper could imitate that pincer method that forkish recommends. Of course they can’t - but that long neglected dough hook was worth a try.
I’ve since used it for precisely this and the loaves have come together beautifully. I just watch carefully to ensure I’m not over kneading.
Lastly, I’m not a fan of filling the sink with dishes when I bake. With some thought, the ankarsrum can pretty much accommodate every step through bulk proofing right in the bowl. I even take the scraper and slide its mounting peg into the roller to leave them both in the bowl with the lid on when I autolyze. They’ll stay standing that way and don’t need an extra wash.
”I even take the scraper and slide its mounting peg into the roller to leave them both in the bowl with the lid on when I autolyze. They’ll stay standing that way and don’t need an extra wash.”
Great idea. I’ve always laid the roller and scraper down into the bowl to put the cover on. Invariably, one or both would sink down into the dough.
I am getting used to my new mixer. Working on the brioche recipe that killed my KA. It is Jeffrey Hamelman's from Bread. I didn't think it would ever come together but the roller and scraper did the job. I like being able to make a large batch. I couldn't do Silvertons white sourdough loaf in the old one without doing it in 2 parts. It also has been used for cookies and was great.
It's been only a month but it is great
I know it was a long time ago that you posted this, but I’m new to the Ankarsrum Assistent and have twice now used it for enriched doughs and both times it failed when trying to add room temperature butter to the bowl. Ultimately I switched to the dough hook and the butter was incorporated well. Do you have any tips for adding room temperature butter to the dough when using the roller and scraper?
The hook is a good option. I used it often. Also, you could try holding back some of the liquid (bassinage), developing the dough, then adding the butter slowly. After everything is incorporated and the gluten is developed you can slowly add the remaining liquids.
Thank you Dan, that is helpful. Tony directed me to look at Rose Beranbaum’s website and there I noticed that she makes sure her butter is very soft, 75-90°F before adding it. Because of the colder fall weather my current room temperature isn’t above 75°F. One issue then that could be causing a problem for adding the butter is that it isn’t soft enough. Next time I’ll place the butter pats in the proofing box set to 82°F to get it softer.
Always use soft butter, with Ank.
Yes I’ve read that, I just didn’t realize how very soft it needs to be, thanks again.
I am considering switching over to the Ankarsrum after having used KA (Professional) for years. After intensive research on reviews on the Ankarsrum I understand that it’s roller and scrapper is without a doubt THE leading machine for bread making. However there haven’t been much comments on the use of the roller and scrapper for making cakes. I make both breads and cakes on a weekly basis. Anyone that can share their experience? Will the roller be able to cream the butter and sugar without having to switch to the plastics bowl?
Since part of the reason for creaming the butter and sugar is to incorporate air into the mixture, I would think the plastic bowl with whips would be better than the roller and scraper.
…and used the single whisks in the plastic mixer bowl. They work great, so I wouldn’t go to great lengths just to avoid them. I did make the mistake of trying the balloon whisks to cream cream cheese and sugar…much cream cheese caught in the cage of the whisks. LOL. The mixer bowl does have this spike in the center which I’m still getting used to. Anyway the four cakes came out as expected…made some friends happy.
You could probably get away with some thicker batters in the roller bowl. Made cream puffs yesterday and considered breaking out the Ank but ended up mixing by hand. Would have been a chance to test out roller with a thick batter.
One of the coolest tricks I saw at some point, was that i could shred cooked chicken, beef, pork with the KA, using the paddle attachment. It beat using the two-fork method.
Is the 2 wire whisk strong enough for that? or what are you all using to get that done? Trying to eliminate having my KA around. :)
I’m still new to the Ankarsrum Assistent and certainly haven’t tried shredding meat yet, but it seems that the paddles would be the right attachments to try for this purpose. If you haven’t tried it before I would certainly start with a small amount of meat to ensure that none of the plastic parts break.
Thank you. I don't have one yet. I am lining up as many arguments as i can, to face my CFO (the wife). :)