The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Ankarsrum Assistent

Benito's picture
Benito

Ankarsrum Assistent

I just unboxed, cleaned and setup my new Ankarsrum Assistent, I’m loving the build quality and this gorgeous orange we picked.  I can’t wait to try it out.  I plan to bake two Hokkaido milk breads tomorrow.  Hopefully I’ll have a glowing review and I hope I can learn to use this quickly with tomorrow’s bake.  In the meantime here are the photos.

Comments

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

If my wife would abide by an orange appliance, I would have gotten that same color.  Since the color doesn't affect its performance, I opted for blue and matrimonial harmony. :)

FWIW, I've got a batch of your 75% Hokkaido sandwich loaf going today, and it mixed up in the Ank nicely! :)

Rich

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Rich, I can’t wait to try it tomorrow morning.  I didn’t have enough starter to make a two loaves so the starter was just fed.

Fortunately my partner and I have the same love of orange so that choice was easy.  You have to keep your wife happy and the blue is really nice too.

I’m looking forward to seeing your Hokkaido milk bread!  Hopefully I can learn to use this mixer quickly!

Benny

CalBeachBaker's picture
CalBeachBaker

Beautiful machine Benny! 

You're going to enjoy the open accessibility of the bowl and how you can manipulate the roller arm to work the dough.

Tony

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Tony, and thanks for your help in my other thread.  I do think I’ll enjoy using this new mixer.  At the very least I won’t need to hold it down while mixing like I did with the KA.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

A real showpiece! Orange you glad you upgraded to a machine that is well suited for the job and your skills. I hope it works great for you and look forward to the video because I still don’t understand how it actually works. I have never used a mixer that didn’t require some hand kneading to finish the job. 
Happy mixing

Don

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Don.  I seriously considered the Bosch as well, but it actually takes quite a bit more counter space than the Ankarsrum Assistent.  Once I figure this out I’ll post a bit about the actual mixer.  In the meantime I hope to figure it out fast enough to successfully bake two loaves tomorrow.  🤞

Happy Baking

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

One note about the Ankarsrum Assistent that I learned tonight.  I have been making tangzhong directly in the mixer bowl, formerly of the KA mixer.  This Ankarsrum Assistent has a very very thick base and instead of taking several minutes to make a tangzhong, it took well over 30 mins!  I won’t be using this bowl to make tangzhong, I’ll have to go back to using a saucepan.

Benny

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Great new addition to the kitchen Benny!  I’ve been a hand mixing holdout, but your post about mixers has me rethinking it.

Benito's picture
Benito

I still mix by hand for certain lean breads such as baguettes and hearth loaves.  But for anything enriched such as challah or milk breads I use a mixer.  I may try using the Ankarsrum Assistent for lean breads now too to see how it does.

Isand66's picture
Isand66

I hope you enjoy it as much as mine.  I have the midnight blue and I love it.  

Benito's picture
Benito

I hope so too Ian, the blue would have been my second choice if the orange was out of stock.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

Ian and those who bake porridge loaves often using their Ankarsrum Assistent to develop the dough, when do you usually add the porridge?  In the past I’ve always added the porridge after my KA mixer has at least moderately developed the gluten.  I did the same using the Ankarsrum Assistent today, it went well using the roller but again, it took about 30 mins of mixing to get the porridge well incorporated and the dough to come together.  Once possible things I could have done differently is to add the porridge gradually instead of just dumping it all in at once.

Do you folks have any hints?

Benny 

Isand66's picture
Isand66

That’s crazy.  I add it in pieces after the autolyse.  Is it cold when you add it?  If so make sure to bring it up to room temperature.  I just made a porridge bread several days ago and had no issues incorporating the porridge.  I actually almost forgot to add it 😩.

Benito's picture
Benito

I mixed and developed the dough today for the milk breads.  It took much longer than I expected, I’m guessing this is that learning curve that they talk about.  I tried both the hook and the roller and overall I think the roller is better for this type of bread that isn’t super low hydration.  I was able to bassinage some extra milk into the dough since it seemed a bit dry.  Adding the butter was slower than the KA mixer with the spiral hook.  The butter was definitely room temperature and I added one pat at a time.  Perhaps someone who has done this with the Ankarsrum Assistent will offer some advice.  I do have to say that adding the stiff sweet starter to all the liquids was much easier than with the KA.

Benny

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Hi Benny. I think most Ank users have learned to get comfortable with improvising. Regarding the butter, I don't like it when there is a thick layer of fat or liquid coating the inside surface of the bowl because I feel like the loss of friction hampers the process. I pat a chunk of butter, not too thickly, on the surface of the dough and pull a flap of dough over it to encase it. Then I turn the mixer back on, starting slowly but steadily increasing the speed as tolerated until the butter is fully incorporated. I don't hesitate to use the speed dial during this process because I don't want to be at it all day. Other Ank users have probably come up with their own hacks, but that's mine.  

I saw the 30% WW Hokkaido Milk Bread you made today and it looks wonderful. You have lucky friends.

Benito's picture
Benito

That is a super helpful tip AG thanks so much.  I will try that next time for sure.  You’re right, the butter smeared in the inside of the bowl and then there was a loss of friction and it was challenging getting the butter incorporated.  Your tip should solve that issue.  Thanks again.

Benny

foodforthought's picture
foodforthought

Benny,

I recently made a brioche with butter at 50% flour weight and no issues with incorporating using the dough hook which is my preferred method. However I don't think I developed the gluten sufficiently before adding the butter so final results were maybe a 7 out of 10. Next time... Thing about the brioche formula I was using, hydration was fairly low (50% whole egg + 10% milk) since the egg is only 74% liquid. Anyway, I backed off of kneading to avoid overheating before I added all that butter. The 18% liquid component of the butter actually brought dough hydration back closer to the target 60%.

I also regularly mix baguette and ciabatta doughs using the hook, so you might change your mind if you try it out a few times. I can watch gluten strands winding around that hook for many minutes, but then I may have been a cat in a previous life...

As long as I'm at it, I made 2 Basque cheese cakes (yes!), a chocolate-almond Torta Caprese (11 out of 10!) and an apple cake (meh) recently using the whisk/beater attachements. The beaters work great but I'm still getting used to the bowl with a big spike in the middle. Interestingly, I found I needed more bowl scraping than I expected and that spike kind of feels in the way all the time.

Good luck with your new mixer. I'm mostly pleased with mine after 5-6 months.

Phil

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for your feedback about the Ankarsrum Assistent Phil.  I’ll have more testing to do with the dough hook vs roller for kneading dough.  I’m thinking that the dough hook might be better for low hydration doughs and that the roller better for higher hydration?  Did you use the roller a lot before deciding that you preferred the dough hook?  I know that the dough hook emulates a spiral mixer more so many bakers settle with that because of the similarity.

Benny

foodforthought's picture
foodforthought

…of the roller, I moved over to the hook and found it more to my liking. I made 68% hydration baguettes and 80% ciabattas with the roller but felt I was not getting sufficient gluten development at the time. Breads turned out just fine, so maybe I was just impatient??? Bulk, folding and retardation all played their usual roles, so maybe they made up for the lack of structure I perceived.

Anyway, these days it’s the hook for bread doughs pretty much exclusively. Sooner or later I suppose I’ll get back to trying out the roller. Have seen comments from a number of bakers who seem to prefer the roller, so far be it from me…

I’ll be interested in your future (and numerous!) experiments.

Phil 

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes I seen posts from bakers who either fall into the “only use the roller” or “only use the dough hook”.  I’ll have to figure out if there is a type of dough that does better with either.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

Today’s dough developed in the Ankarsrum Assistent was probably the best thus far.  I’m starting to get a hang of it I think.  I’m concentrating on using the roller since it is supposed to be good for all kinds of dough.  I am working on a kamut semolina SD Hokkaido milk bread today and adding butter finally worked well using the roller.  What I wasn’t doing was getting the butter very very soft.  This morning I cut the butter into pats and placed it into proofing box at 82°F.  When added to the moderately developed dough, it was worked in much more easily than previously.  I will need to continue to use the Ankarsrum Assistent but I’m more confident now of its benefits and utility.

Benito's picture
Benito

Here’s the Ankarsrum Assistent at work on a sourdough Vanocka dough for two loaves.