The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

everything i've heard about kitchenaid when it comes to bread is sadly true...

pcake's picture

everything i've heard about kitchenaid when it comes to bread is sadly true...

my main mixer has been a bosch compact, and while it's great for bread, it uses a "beater" whisk as a paddle that's very slow and ineffective for cookies, and not useful for batters - i end up mixing them by hand.  i was considering a nutrimill artiste when kitchenaid lowered the price on their professional 5 plus a lot, and an unrealized desire for a bowl lift mixer asserted itself.  my husband gave me the pro 5 for christmas.

the good news is it whips through cookie dough so fast, in less than a minute they're ready to go.  it took 6 to 8 minutes with my bosch, and didn't mix thoroughly.  the beater rocks for pie filling and finished the chocolate cake batter i make regularly in under a minute, with almost no scraping with the regular beater.  

then, dying to try a spiral dough hook for the first time, i made a batch of one of my regular breads.  holy cow!!!!  it struggled, running slowly and slowing more on and off. i wasn't sure it was going to make it - i almost pulled out the dough and put in in the bosch, but decided to wait it out since it wasn't hot.  the spiral dough hook is awesome, but i thought that short mix and 4 minutes of kneading was going to kill the mixer.  luckily it didn't break a gear.

so for any who wondered if what they've heard about kitchenaids not being the best for bread dough, it's true - at least, for the professional 5 plus.  it's dandy for other stuff, has a faster speed than the bosch, so good for meringue, too.  i'm not going to try bagel or pizza dough in the kitchenaid - maybe cinnamon rolls.

this is the one to which i refer -

mine is ice blue with coated attachments 

idaveindy's picture

What was the weight of the dough that you put in it?


pcake's picture

300 grams flour (250 grams whole spelt, 25 grams oat bran, 25 grams barley flour), 3 grams yeast, 2 ounces buttermilk, warm water to texture (i never measure it, just poke the dough till it's the usual hydration).

it's was half the loaf i usually make that i run in the bosch.  i usually use 600 grams of flour and 4 ounces of buttermilk plus warm water -  and it's not wet or very dry.  sort of average hydration.  next time i make it, i'll weigh it.

idaveindy's picture

That's pretty small. I'm  guessing something might be wrong.  If you can look on the data plate on the mixer, where it gives the model # and the details,  is it the  450 watt model or the 525 watt model?

I'm not an expert on KA mixers, but you might want to contact their customer service via their website and put in an inquiry.   One would think that a 5 quart mixer could handle dough for a single loaf.

pcake's picture

i never thought of contacting kitchenaid since every bread baker i know says they're not strong enough, so when it wasn't, my first feeling was i expected that.  but that's a good suggestion, thanks - i should talk to them and see what they say.

i was mistaken when i said this is a 450 watt model - it's 525.


idaveindy's picture

Was your purchase an "open box", as in some other customer's returned item, or a refurbished model?

The reason I ask, is that the Q&A for that model on the Target web site indicates that 450 watt motors were a previous version of the model, and that 525 watt motors are the most recent.  So... either KA went _back_ to 450 watt motors for that model, or.... you got an older one, or ... those commenters were wrong.

Granted, that info comes from Q&A webs site users, and not official KA reps.  

One of the problems with major retailers, I had this problem with Best Buy,  is that they re-sell returned items 3 times before believing there is a defect with it.  The retailer assumes the problem is "stupid customer" before believing there is a defect.  Admittedly, there are a few such customers (I've been one on occasion).  But, what it means, is that the manufacturer is using their customers as "quality control" instead of testing things before they leave the factory.  

You might also want to peruse the owner's manual for your model to see what it says about bread.  If your bread dough was within the limits set by the owner's manual, that would give you leverage.

BTW, if you have a local "Tuesday Morning", they sometimes have KA mixers at heavy discounts.   I bought one for a friend, a Professional 600, 6 quart, 575 watt motor, I forget the price, but it was pretty good.  There was some minor  defect, but my friend did not want to send it back.

pcake's picture

it was brand new in box, and had never been opened.

my mistake - it's 525 watts. 

they've been sitting on the shelves last year not selling because - get this - target was charging $449, which was $50 over list.  they were $399 on the kitchaid website at the same time.  i notice that now they're $200, they're selling at our target.

i don't see the manual addressing my bread issue.  maybe my dough is stiffer than other dough.  i've only been baking just under 2 years, and my bosch has handled anything i've thrown at it with no hassles.  maybe i'll try a kitchenaid bread recipe and see how that goes.  


pmccool's picture

Specifically, how and when you add the water.  My impression is that you are adding the water as the dough is mixed.  If that impression is wrong, then most of what follows should be ignored.

If you are adding water while the dough is mixed, the dough starts out stiffer than bagel dough (which is not good for a KA mixer) and gradually becomes softer as the hydration increases.  In other words, the machine is being asked to do something that it is not designed to do.

For a dough of moderate hydration, say 60-70% hydration with the whole grain flours you mention, it would work better if at least 90% of the water was in the bowl before you turn the mixer on.  The 10% that is initially held back can be added later in the mix if it is needed.

Don't be afraid to autolyse your dough when using a mixer of any brand.  That will save wear and tear on the machine, too.


Danni3ll3's picture

Hit the nail on the head. I have a Kitchenaid Pro Line and I mix a dough that has 1100 g of flour at ~75% hydration plus add-in and have no issues. But like Paul said, I put most of the water in first (I actually try to stick around 70% hydration for the autolyse (levain goes in after) and I have no issues mixing 4 batches back to back. I know my machine is more powerful but your’s should easily handle the amounts your stated. 

Try adding the water in first and see how that works for you. 

idaveindy's picture

Here's an old thread on that exact mixer, the Professional 5 Plus.

scroll down and read the comments from owners.

I gather that it's doable, but stay on speed 2 for kneading, not more, not less.  You can't have a stiff dough. And you have to turn it off if it gets warm.

Hope that helps.

albacore's picture

If you head over to the Mixer-Owners group on and join, you will find detailed discussions on most of the domestic mixers available.

The members there are very helpful and I am sure they will answer any queries you have on your mixer problem.