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bread/dough mixers

jgilbert's picture

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OK, now my bread baking obsession has lead me to the idea of buying a bread mixer. I've heard the new Kitchenaid mixers aren't up to snuff. They say that the worm gears are plastic and will wear out with regular bread mixing in a short time. I've heard the Bosch mixer is the thing to try, but I can't find any info on this at the Bosch website. So my question is: to all bread bakers, what is the best mixer to buy and why (ie gearing, bowl accessibility etc...) Money is tight so lets talk about the $300.00 or preferrably less price range.

Gerard's picture

(post #53678, reply #1 of 27)

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Kitchenaid is a good lil mixer but might not be enough for dough, I don't use mine for bread, I have a 60qt , the medium 20qt hobart is a great machine but $2000 used.
None of them use worm gears, I don't think the gears are plastic either , the problem w/kitchenaid is the motor and being brush motors they don't generate the hosses required.

Do it by hand, its therapy for the soul.
PS, A kitchenaid is still a great tool to have whether you make bread or not.

Cheers, Gerard

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #2 of 27)

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I have a KitchenAid and I have had no problem mixing doughs with it. The dough recipe I use for Pizza is very rich and elastic and I have been doing it in my KitchenAid for years.

Is there a more "commercial strength" KitchenAid you can look into without springing for the 2 Grand (used)?? Perhaps something that falls between my little home machine and Gerard's workhorse?

Sandra_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #3 of 27)

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A friend who makes about 20 loaves of bread daily for sale in her store swears by her Bosch, but it is pricey. If you're just doing this for domestic consumption, I'm with Gerard -- do it by hand. Kneading the dough is the next best thing to a neck massage. (Maybe better, since you get to eat the results!)

Juli's picture

(post #53678, reply #4 of 27)

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I have to second Chiffanade's opinion. I also have had a KitchenAid for a number of years and use if for dough regularly. It's very sturdy and seems to handle even fairly good amounts of stiff doughs with ease. If you're just talking home baking needs, and you're trying to stay under $300, I wouldn't rule out the KitchenAid. There are different models, so maybe the problem you've heard about is in reference to a low-end KitchenAid. I've also heard good things about a Kenwood mixer from a former co-worker but have no first-hand knowledge of it.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53678, reply #5 of 27)

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If you can't afford a Hobart, do it by hand. That is part of the joy of breadmaking. By the way my heavy duty Kitchenaid is fine for small batches. The only trouble is the poor action of the dough hook.

Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #53678, reply #6 of 27)

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I’ve had the Kitchen Aid "Professional" model since Christmas and so far my only complaint is that it walks around the counter a bit when doing heavy work – but that’s not difficult to deal with.

This model has 350watts of power and an ‘Overload Reset’ button if the motor overheats – the only domestic Kitchen Aid mixer with that much power and the reset feature.

Also, the manual indicates a re-design of the dough hook which Kitchen Aid claims cuts the time necessary to knead bread dough by 50%. I have no previous experience with mixers and so can’t compare. I haven’t cut kneading time off any recipe and the kneading results have been satisfactory. (I have other bread making challenges, but I don’t THINK they’re related to kneading.)

Two well-known cooks that I know of (Corriher of CookWise, for one) have indicated a preference for Kenwood mixers, but we can’t buy them here in Ontario, Canada any more. I tried to do a comparison before buying the Kitchen Aid - but no luck.

The price here for the ‘Professional’ was $450. Canadian which should put it in the $300 U.S. range.

All in all, I’m very pleased with the Kitchen Aid model that I have – so far. And I am very glad I didn’t buy a less-powerful model – for doughs; and one where I couldn’t control the temperature of the bowl from underneath – for other purposes.

Peter

Rebecca's picture

(post #53678, reply #7 of 27)

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I used to use my KitchenAid for kneading dough & it was more of a chore than I was willing to put up with. It really didn't knead as well as I wanted. I've had a Zojirushi Bread Machine (BBCC-V20, $200) for about a year and it is indispensible. It kneads the dough so completely & so well - much better than the KitchenAid and much better than I could by hand. No more dense loaves that don't rise enough! Most of the time I use the machine just for mixing, kneading, & the first rising. Then I punch down, shape, more rising(s) and bake in the oven. I use this machine about 14 times a week. I would never have enough time to knead this amount of bread by hand or even in the KitchenAid. Even though pizza dough is easy to mix by hand, I just do it in the machine. There is a pre-heat function which heats all the ingredients to the right temperature so I can use cold water, and yeast & butter right out of the freezer (I cut up butter into tablespoons and freeze them so I don't even have to measure out every time I want to make sandwich bread). Most of my breads & rolls are made w/a homemade starter & are baked on unglaxed tiles so are really great. This may be the best thing I have ever bought!

P.S. The book that helps w/foolproof recipes & techniques is Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine (Eckhardt & Butts). The recipes use the machine mostly for kneading & rising only.

dixie_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #8 of 27)

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Rebecca, I also use my Zojirushi only to mix and knead the dough. I love it. I have been looking for a new bread book, this one I will try. Thanks.

Rebecca's picture

(post #53678, reply #9 of 27)

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I hope you like the book, Dixie. Let me know. Most of the recipes are terrific!

dixie_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #10 of 27)

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When I get it in, I will let you know so you can tell me your favorites. Thanks

dixie_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #11 of 27)

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Rebecca - Got the book, so share favorites. I have been baby-sitting a starter for over a week in anticipation of the book. Thanks

Rebecca's picture

(post #53678, reply #12 of 27)

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Hi Dixie! Here's a copy of a note I emailed to my dad for whom I bought the book. I'll send another list later (he lost my first note about other favorites!):

1. ITALIAN MARKETPLACE BREAD p. 106 : This is really great. The wheat berries make it a little chewy. It is started the night before & is baked in the oven. For the final rising after its shaped, I cover it with a tent of parchment paper that has the "dough" side sprayed w/Pam. The dough will stick to foil so don't use foil (if you don't have parchment, I suppose you could use foil if it is sprayed w/Pam on the "dough" side).

2. FRENCH BREAD FOR THE BANNETON p. 114 : This is fantastic if you bake it until the crust is very brown (nut brown). It is started the night before & baked in the oven. For the banneton, I just use a basket w/a big piece of parchment paper in it instead of the cloth (I could never get enough flour into the cloth to prevent the dough from sticking). So, put the parchment (no need to spray w/Pam) in a basket, put the dough in it, sprinkle w/flour, cover w/parchment that is sprayed on "dough" side w/Pam, let it rise. When time to bake, remove the "Pammed" parchment & lift the dough & the parchment right into the oven (I use a baker's peel to make it easier). After 15 minutes, I take the loaf out & quickly remove the parchment, then return loaf to oven to finish baking (parchment will burn if left on for entire baking time).

P.S. I fold the "Pammed" piece of parchment in half ("Pam" side in) and save it for future dough risings.

3. PISSALADIERE p. 194 : This is great, very rich, sweet, & savory. I made it without the olives and CHANGED the amount of BUTTER from 12 Tablespoons to 3 (yes, only 3 are needed) Tablespoons. Also, it makes two small pies, so we made one with anchovies & one without & they were both great. Do not overbake, don't let the crust get brown, just golden. If its too brown, it will still be good but the rich crust will be a little dry. Still good leftover, eat it cold for lunch!

4. SIMPLE MARINARA p. 237 : This is the best marinara recipe I've tried. Its really easy to make & would be good for anytime you want Italian tomato sauce for any recipe or just pasta. Make at least double the recipe since the quantity given is so small (only 1 pint). We made it for dipping into the Grissini on p. 236 - these were ok, but not quite right so I'm going to try them again w/changes - I'll let you know if we have any success (I think they should be made 10" long instead of 20").

Gotta go make nachos for the kids dinner - more later. Rebecca

Rebecca's picture

(post #53678, reply #13 of 27)

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Actually, I don't use Pam - I've been using EverBake from King Arthur & it seems less greasy & more nonstick.

Rebecca's picture

(post #53678, reply #14 of 27)

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Here is my feedback on more recipes, Dixie (I used the specific starters suggested in each recipe rather than substituting my own or a different one from the book):

1. PAIN ORDINAIRE - very good even though not made w/a starter!
2. NO PAIN ORDINAIRE - this is one of our standard sandwich breads because its so easy.
3. PAIN AU LEVAIN - I didn't like this. I only made it once but will try again.
4. PAIN A L'ANCIENNE - excellent. I use medium or white rye for the rye flour. I get a lot of oven rise on this so I make very deep slashes. Terrific for bruschette.
5. PAIN DE MIE - very good sandwich bread. Denser crumb than the softer No Pain Ordinaire
6. Pane All'Olio - didn't do anything for me. Most of the other breads are better.
7. WHOLE MEAL BREAD - excellent, esp. for toast. On the sweet side.
8. CLASSIC BREAD MACHINE SOURDOUGH BREAD - one of our favorites & its made in the machine! I increased the salt to 1 teaspoon for both size loaves. The 1 1/2 lb. loaf rose up too high in my machine & made a mess. I may try to use less yeast & try the large loaf sometime. My kids love this, too, & its makes fantastic toasted cheese sandwiches.
9. COMO BREAD - wonderful bread & makes great croutons. I've baked it in the machine and in the oven. Good both ways, however, the large loaf is really too large to bake in the machine. I use white whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat.
10. SWEET BUTTER LOAVES FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE - these are good, just not much for our taste. Like a dinner roll; tender inside. On the rich side. They took shorter to bake than the recipe says.
11. PAIN AUX NOIX - I didn't like this at all. It was very bland, however, the hazelnuts I used may have been on the stale side.
12. RAISIN LOAF WITH A BUTTERMILK CRUMB - very good one time and pretty good the second time I made it. I use white whole wheat flour instead of regular & needed a lot of extra flour.
13. SOUR RYE BREAD - excellent & no starter needed. It spreads too much if its too wet; it should be wet, just not overly so. It is a flattish loaf.
14. CIABATTA - excellent. I've used both instant & non-instant dried milk in this. I use parchment for the rising & baking on the oven tiles.
15. FOCACCIA - I don't remember this. I'm sure it was good, although I use another recipe for focaccia that I love and generally stick with.
16. MELTED ONION FLATBREAD WITH TOMATO AND PARMESAN CHEESE - doesn't this sound awesome? It was ok - barely. Not good enough for the effort involved.
17. PEPERONCINI CHEESE LOAF - terrific, esp. for an appetizer. I use extra peperoncini and only 1 t red pepper flakes.
18. PETITS PAINS - very good and I think they are better with the glaze. When putting on the parchment paper, I needed to flour the paper first.
19. MOUNT OLIVE ROLLS - very good.
20. RAISIN IN THE RYE ROLLS - excellent. I've used both rye and whole wheat flour for these. I love the sidebar suggestion of spreading them w/goat cheese mixed with creme fraiche (I find sour half & half is fine instead of creme fraiche) & broiling. My favorite breakfast, as a matter of fact. Goat Impastata is fine & easier, too.
21. MILK ROLLS FOR MEAT AND CHEESE MERENDE - excellent soft rolls. For wider, flatter rolls, make the dough pretty wet and/or let the rolls rise longer on the 2nd rise. Instead of greasing the baking sheet, I use parchment (used parchment is fine, even). Instead of covering the rolls w/a tent of foil, I dust lightly w/flour & cover w/oiled ("Pammed") parchment.
22. PANNE ALLA CIOCCOLATA - one of my favorite snacks and its really quite low in fat (could be higher!).
23. AUSTRIAN BRAID - very good. I use 1/4 t lemon oil instead of the lemon zest & its just fine.
23. GOLDEN GREEK HOT CROSS BUNS - nice sweet rolls & very good. Instead of orange zest, I have substituted 1/8t+ orange oil (when I forget to zest the oranges before juicing them!).

Have fun & happy baking. Let me know any tips you have & feedback. Thanks! Rebecca
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isturges's picture

(post #53678, reply #15 of 27)

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I've had my Kitchen Aid for years, and make an aaverage of 4 loaves of Italian bread dough a week. Not a problem. I solved the "walk about" it can do on the counter by placing the mixer in the kitchen sink. There is stays put.

After mixing I put my dough to rest in the Coleman Picnic cooler. If I'm in a rush I use heated water, for the perfect enviroment. If I have the time, I'll use hot tap water to get the temp to 90 degrees and the humidity to 90%.

gstringe_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #16 of 27)

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Had a kitchenaid once with one of those dough mixer blades, the ones that are a coiled wire shape-all it did was instantly screw the dough up into the mixer mechanism and motor that took an hour and complete disassembly to clean! So I gave up kneading by hand and got bread machine, but still can't beat 4 pm hot out of oven every day french bread from Albertsons at 98 cents a big loaf. If I want good toast I just use my mother's 70 year old recipe for plain white bread . I have 700 page book-bernard clayton-50 kazillion recipes. They mostly all turn out the same.

But basically the best is plain white bread hot out of oven with butter on the end pieces-have to fight for the end pieces-then you slice the sides and top and bottom -then make croutons out of the middle.

droul-think I'll make a batch right now.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #53678, reply #17 of 27)

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If you put the dough hooks in backwards, it will climb up on you like you describe. If you ever want to try it again, check the hooks for "R" and "L" or some symbols to match to the openings they fit into - that should fix your problem.

gstringe_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #18 of 27)

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please-don't say it was that easy and obvious-if all else fails-read the directions!! that makes me feel like duhh dumb.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #53678, reply #19 of 27)

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If it helps your ego any, the ability to take the sucker apart and clean it, then put it back together so that it works is a
b lot
better than being able to read the directions!

Juli's picture

(post #53678, reply #20 of 27)

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Are these hooks on an older version of the KitchenAid stand mixer? Mine came with a "c" shaped hook not a screw and I can only put it in one way. Just curious.

dixie_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #21 of 27)

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Rebecca, Thank you soooo much!!. You certainly went to a lot of trouble here and I really appreciate it. I am loaded with company at the moment and can't even think. I realized it this morning when I was making a loaf using "old dough" from a couple of days ago. I put it in the micro to raise - 30 seconds on def, then 10 minutes on hold, repeating a couple of times. (This is the way I raise most of the bread, unless a long-slow rise needed. Anyway, on the second 10-minute hold period, I smelled it. I had forgotten to put on hold and it was
b cooking.
Lost cause, and I decided I need to concentrate when experimenting and baby-sitting grandkids who get hungry every 10 minutes, but not the same 10 minutes.So I printed off all your wonderful notes and will get to it after spring break.

I sincerely appreciate your efforts and will let you know how I fare.

Peter_Goulding's picture

(post #53678, reply #22 of 27)

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I don't know how you could install the hook backwards. Not on my machine anyway. If you tried to mount it by turning in the wrong direction, it would simply fall off.

Dough climbing up the hook too far, in my experience, tells me that I need to add more water, even a very small amount. Have others found that?

Peter

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53678, reply #23 of 27)

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I've had kitchenaids for 20 years. Never saw a dough hook that could be put on any way but correctly. It only fits one way.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #53678, reply #24 of 27)

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Ok, ok, everyone who is confused about the dough hooks. I don't have a kitchenaid, but every hand mixer I have had came with relatively useless dough "screws" (they called them hooks, but this is more descriptive). If you don't put them on correctly, the screws turn the wrong way, the dough climbs up the screws and into the motor, and then up your arm and tries to strangle you. If you aren't using these screw-type attachments, then I have no clue why the dough would have climbed up it the motor.

gstringe_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #25 of 27)

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Yes mine were full spiral thingys, not hooks, as I remember-actually it was my son's mixer and I promptly gave it back.

BTW if there is one thing I am damn good at it is taking apart and fixing and putting back together again. There is not much I haven't fixed in the last 50 years, except my cooking-just don't do enough of it.

Rebekah_Gawne's picture

(post #53678, reply #26 of 27)

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I'm looking for a recipe and techniques to make hamburger, hot dog buns and kaiser rolls.- rebekah

sanderson_'s picture

(post #53678, reply #27 of 27)

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Check out mean chef's thread on the kitchen aid. < < Obsolete Link > Li "New Kitchenaid 6 Qt Mixer" 5/4/00 1:17pm>