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Stand Mixer capable of kneading bread dough

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I have been looking for a stand mixer capable of kneading bread dough, including whole wheat.

The only one I have found that gets a universal thumbs-up is the Hobart N50 5-quart mixer, but it sells for around $700 or more for a used one. This is far more than I want to pay.

I read that KitchenAids used to be made by Hobart, and worked extremely well. Then KitchenAid was bought by some company and the quality went to the pits. So this brand is not worth looking at, not even their "Professional" models.

I've been looking at the Viking 7-quart but even it has mixed reviews when it comes to bread dough.

The Electrolux and DeLonghi seem to have about the same reviews as the Viking, but seem to be sort of specialty brands in the US, and are not readily available.

Can anyone recommend any particular used older models that were made to last and can knead bread dough? Or if you know of a current new model that will do the job, that would be good, too.

Thanks.
post #2 of 39
There are two types of "stand mixers."

One kind is represented by Cuisinart, DeLonghi, KitchenAid and Viking. The other is represented by Bosch and Electro Lux.

The DeLonghi was formerly Kenmore (of England, not Sears), and KitchenAid used to be Hobart, but is now Westinghouse.

There's a myth that Kitchen Aid went all to heck when Westinghouse bought them -- that may true of the refrigerators, but not the stand mixers. Those didn't get bad until right around the turn of the century when Kitchen Aid redesigned the motors and transmissions and started off-shoring production.

Since then Kitchen Aid largely fixed their production problems and their stand mixers are as good as anyone elses.

If I recall the last Cook's Illustrated comparison test they ranked the KA and Cuisinart as substantially similar but switched to Cuisinart in their test kitchen largely for the sake of change itself.

I don't know how much it's worth, since I've never owned one, but I hear the DeLonghis are excellent.

But be realistic, don't expect a lot of difference between any of them. It's fair to say that price and cosmetics are the biggest differences for the "come from the top" planetary mixers.

If you're really serious about heavy duty dough mixing, you're better off with a Bosch or Electro Lux. The "underneath" system they use is a lot easier on their transmkissions and they can handle more difficult loads.

The Hamilton Beach 7 qt commercial is a come from the top small commercial mixer which can be found heavily discounted. That is, you can find it new for around $600. I don't have any direct experience with the mixer, but do have some with other products from Hamilton Beach's commercial division. They've all been excellent.

Something to think about is which stand mixer attachments you'll want to use. Kitchen Aid's are excellent, varied and manifold. Some of them, like the pasta maker, are stupid-good. Bosch can double as a pretty darn good mixer, etc. The reason I say it's something to think about is that a substantial investments in attachments will hold you captive to the brand.

If you really want a true heavy duty mixer, there's no use crying about the price. You're not going to find a $200 mixer that does the same thing -- even if they say "heavy duty" or "professional" on the box. They cost what they cost; that's all there is to it. But if you're going to make two loaf recipes of whole wheat bread a day, I wouldn't bother with anything other than the Bosch, Electrolux and the commercial Hamilton Beach.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #3 of 39
Tyro - last year I was in the market for a stand mixer and posted a message very similar to yours. I had just begun to make bread and therefore I started to do my due diligence, reading every review I could get my eyes on. Keeping in mind that reviews on, say Amazon.com for one, are not entirely reliable you can pick up some info that can help you make a decision. Look for reoccuring complaints such as motors overheating after several minutes or dough riding up the dough hook.

In the end I decided that the mixers on the end of my arms were probably more reliable and I make all my bread by hand. Besides, it's just so much gosh darn fun!

I must admit that I did not look into the Bosch or Electro Lux much at all - more than I wanted to spend at the time. By all means look into them because BDL will rarely steer you in the wrong direction.

Willie
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post #4 of 39
There were, indeed, many complaints concerning quality when Whirlpool took over KitchenAide and mine was one of them. 'Haven't any idea as to their quality nowadays.

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post #5 of 39
KA has not been made by Hobart in many years. You can still find KA's made by Hobart if you don't mind rolling the dice on an eBay purchase for a 30 year old counter top mixer. My KA professional is about 15 years old and it still works like a gem. I can't even begin to tell you how KA's I have seen in professional kitchens over the years. They make a commercial model as well. KA did suffer quality problems but they stopped with the plastic parts in the professional models about five years ago. The KA professional models are well worth considering. However you should know two things. One, KA professional models come in a LOT of different wattage ratings and configurations. For example the one Costco sells you will not even find on the KA web site (Costco has a no hassle return policy if you are un-happy for any reason). two, kneading bread dough is VERY hard on a counter top mixer and unless you are doing one loaf at a time every mixer listed here up to this point will likely struggle to some degree except the Hobart N50. For around $1250 or about half the cost of a new N50 you can find a used 20 quart table top mixer like a Hobart A200. If you have the space or make more than one loaf at a time more than once a week this may be your best option. If you need a counter top mixer then the Hobart N50 is about as good as it gets.
BTW most used Hobart N50's are going to be more than $700. They run around $2200 new.
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post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'll look into the Bosch and the commercial Hamilton Beach.
post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you did your research the same way I am doing mine. My problem is hand-kneading just doesn't work for me. After maybe 200 folds, I don't want to do anymore. And it probably takes four times that to get that proper "gluten window". I've tried "no-knead" without success, so I'm going to try a mixer if I can find the right one.
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight. This will be for home use only, one or two loaves at a time. I want to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on something that can't even handle kneading dough.
post #9 of 39
None of the brands listed other than the Hobart's will knead the dough for two loafs at a time with out some difficulty. Kneading dough is one of the hardest things on most counter top mixers. My KA is a 275 watt model so no where near the most powerful. I have no problem kneading dough for a single loaf with my KA. If you are a Costco member most stores carry the KA so you can basically try it risk free. IIR the KA at Costco is 475 watts and under $300.
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post #10 of 39
With respect... not true.

Of the brands I listed, both of the come from beneaths (Electrolux and Bosch), and the Hamilton Beach Commercial can easily handle 2 loaves of whole wheat bread at a time. They're all pretty expensive compared to the others, though.

The KA commercial didn't make the list because it's only a 5qt. So, while the motor and transmission might be able to handle the load, the work bowl couldn't handle the volume.

Veering off onto a related topic... I went back to hand kneading when my old KA, made during the first horror year of plastic housings, broke. The results are superior; and since then I haven't felt any need to return to a stand mixer for the purpose. But there are lots of people who get better results with a mixer -- including quite a few who wouldn't bake at all if not for the machine.

The OP seemed written by someone who's "been there and done that," so it swould have been redundant to sing the joys of hand mixing and kneading. The only proseletysing worth mentioning is that once the dough looks shiny and elastic -- dump it out on the board and take it to window pane by hand.

From my own research, if I were buying without regard to the hundreds of dollars I've invested in KA attachments, I'd either buy a Bosch plus a stainless work bowl (the plastic one distorts while you mix -- very weird), or an Electrolux (buy the best and have done with it) -- in part because of their smaller workspace footprints.

BDL

PS. H/t to Willie -- not just for the h/t to me (thanks), but for a darn cogent post as well.
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post #11 of 39
The KA professional comes in a 6 quart option but IMO if you buy that planning on mixing dough for more than one loaf at a time with it you will end up disappointed. If I was looking in the $600-800 price range I would much rather pony up and get a used Hobart A200 if the space was available or at least search for a used N50.
When you drop under $500 irrespective of brand they are all going to struggle with kneading two loafs at a time.
I do stand corrected as I did not notice the Hamilton Beach Commercial in your post and I have no experience with that unit. Bowl capacity alone is not a good indicator of ability or strength. Since it appears I am not the only one with out any hands on experience with that product I don't believe we can put it in the "can do" category either. However it does have more wattage than the KA and it bridges the gap in price point between the others and a true commercial product like the Hobart or Globe.
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post #12 of 39
Good point. Maybe a used Global, too. They are awful big though.

And speaking of standing corrected, I didn't realize there was a KA commercial 6 qt. Nice to know even if I'll never buy one.

You can sneak in under $500 with a Bosch. But point taken.

The Bosch, Electrolux (nee Magic Mill) and Hamilton Beach Commercial are all a lot more respectful of counter space than a Hobart or Global.

One wonders about the economics (in the complete sense of the word) of buying a largish commercial stand mixer to make two loaves of bread once or twice a week. Each of the three recommended mixers is pretty expensive, but they're also a lot more respectful of counter space and effort required to schlepp them around than the bigger machines. Those things were part of the recommendation; perhaps I should have been a little more "transparent" in my thinking.

The Electrolux has a long history in this country as Magic Mill before Electrolux standardized their worldwide branding to "Assistent." It's was even up to the task with the older generations smaller motor, and is more capable now.

Much the same can be said about the Bosch; with the proviso that there have been a lot of recent improvements and the plastic bowl is very weird with a difficult load, to say the least. Still it not only works, it has a great reputation for tough jobs. And FWIW, the blender attachment is supposeldy near "Vita Prep" quality, if not Vita Prep capacity.

My personal experience with Hamilton Beach commercial equipment has been very positive. Everything I've touched has been well made and built to last. So I expect the transmission in their mixer is up to the task. With 800 watts (close to 1 hp) there's not much doubt about the motor.

BDL
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post #13 of 39
I agree that the Hamilton Beach Commercial is worthy of a close look. Looking at wattage alone in any brand can be a bit deceptive though. IIR the 6 quart KA for example is 600 watts. I don't suggest trying double loafs in that. A Hobart N50 is only 5 watts or 1/6 HP and IMO there is little doubt that it is a much stronger machine than every thing listed here save for the larger Hobart or Global.
I don't share your affection for the Bosch although I generally like their products. The N50 is not much larger than a KA although it is heavier.
The Hobart A200 is another story. I only mention it since this is a professional forum and I expect a lot of Chef's do catering etc where the A200 could really be a big bonus. I used to have one in a much smaller house than I have now. It does require a fair amount of room and you need a dedicated knee high table for it. Hobart has been making some variant of the A200 for some thing like 70 years so they are easy to get repaired and can handle just about any thing you toss at them. At an average of $1250 for a used one in decent shape I think it's at least worthy of mentioning however it's not going to be a practical option for most.
Here's the site for the N50 just for fun.






Hobart Corporation: N50: Features
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #14 of 39
I have a KA Pro 600 6 quart and it handles dough for 2 loaves of bread just fine. I also use it for cracker crust pizza dough which has a very low hydration rate and is impossible to mix by hand and it works well for that also. With torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders kneading by hand isn't an option :lol:
post #15 of 39
Remember, "wattage" is a measure of electrical consumption, NOT a measure of mixing power!

Mixing power STARTS with the motor, then you must take into account the "power train losses", friction, etc., and not all motors have the same efficiency rating (conversion of electrical energy iinto mechanical energy. For smaller motors, say less than 2 HP, efficiencies run from a low of, oh, 70% to a high in excess of 85%.

At 100% efficiency, 1 HP=746 watts

At 70% efficiency, it takes about 1060 watts to generate 1 HP.

At 85% efficiency, it takes about 878 watts to generate 1 HP.

Be VERY careful using wattage ratings to compare mixers or anything else with electric motors.
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post #16 of 39
If you really must knead dough and have a need to save dough (:roll:), think about buying a bread machine. A bread machine is only $150-200 and can knead dough just fine. I let my bread machine knead all my dough then I bake it in the oven.
post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thought I would follow up and let you know I followed your advice and bought a Bosch mixer. Found a used one on Craigslist along with a Magic Mill III Flour Mill for $75.00. The mixer was made in the early 80's so is at least 25 years old, and it works great. For the first time I'm able to get a good windowpane with my bread dough. And the baking results are great. This is a really well built rugged machine which will probably outlast me. Thanks much for your help.
post #18 of 39
Love it when a plan comes together.

BDL
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post #19 of 39

220 Volt

Since I am based in India i do not have the same voltage system as most of you do in the US. We are on 220V system here so if someone from any other part of the world can recommend some good companies & models it would be much appreciated. I think the Kitchen Aid has the Artisan series in UK but this is not going to be good enough and it is also much more expensive there. Does anybody have experience with using a transformer to run 110V appliances in other countries?
post #20 of 39
BDL,
Absolutely right on the Bosch and the Electrolux DLX. I use both and can make multple loaves of bread, ciabatta, foccacia at one time with no strain on wither machine. The Bosch is simple to use right out of the box, while the DLX has a bit of a learning curve to it. They can handle heavy doughs easily and if you choose to you can add lots of different attachments to them and clear some counter clutter. I will say that with a full load of dough my Bosch will take a walk on the counter, while my DLX stands firm no matter what it is mixing. The Bosch was upgraded an year or two ago and now has suction feet on the Universal Plus, but mine is the older model and has held up to my making 25 ciabatta everyday for over 2 years when I got it back in 2002.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of the brands I listed, both of the come from beneaths (Electrolux and Bosch), and the Hamilton Beach Commercial can easily handle 2 loaves of whole wheat bread at a time. They're all pretty expensive compared to the others, though.


From my own research, if I were buying without regard to the hundreds of dollars I've invested in KA attachments, I'd either buy a Bosch plus a stainless work bowl (the plastic one distorts while you mix -- very weird), or an Electrolux (buy the best and have done with it) -- in part because of their smaller workspace footprints.

BDL
post #21 of 39
Hi Mattie,

Testify!

Validation is always welcome, and especially welcome as you have more hands-on with the Elextrolux and Bosch than I.

BDL
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post #22 of 39
Hand kneading for me is also out because of arthritis and I use a KA Pro 600 and it makes 2 loaves of bread just fine and my raisin bread recipe (even denser) works great.
post #23 of 39
Very informative thread. Now my choice is ez

post #24 of 39
Just FWIW, I've used my Pro 600 for a bit more than three years, now, making bread at least once weekly.

It has no problems handling double loaves (and, with some doughs, triples). Even whole-grain and low-hydration doughs are a cakewalk, if you'll pardon the pun.

If anything, the opposite is true---because of its bowl size, it sometimes has problems with single-loaf recipes. Making preferments are sometimes difficult for the same reason.

I've had no problems with the machine of any kind.
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post #25 of 39
BDL

The Bosch is very simple and quick to use right out of the box and will bring a dough together FAST! The DLX is gentler, unless you crank the dial way up, and simulates a hand kneading action when in use. I thought all the talk about these machines was hype before I bought them, but they live up to all the talk. I do like that the DLX has a timer on it, you can set it and walk away. As I said my Bosch has walked almost off the counter when I didn't keep an eye on it when it was mixing.

I will be babysitting the grandkids on Friday night and will make up one large batch of dough in one of the machines (probably the DLX as it's already on the counter right now), from that batch we will get between 12- 16 pizzas, depending on what size we stretch the dough out to. I usually stretch it out to around 12 inches because I have a small specialty high temp(*800 degrees) pizza oven here at home and that is the max size that will fit in that oven. If I use the regular oven (as we will at our sons Friday) I stretch out to 16-18 inches. Yesterday for Mardi Gras I made 4 half sheet pans of foccacia for the officers working security with hubby, it took one not quite full load of dough in the DLX. If making regular pan bread the DLX will make approximately 8-12 loaves in one mix, depending of course on what size bread pan you are using; the Bosch seems to do a little smaller batch for a full load, it will also sometimes throw flour when you first turn it on if you don't put the cover on, not so with the DLX, it's ingredients stay put with no cover on it, I also find the DLX bowl much easier to clean than the regular plastic one that comes standard on the Bosch.

They both are great machines and it really comes down to personal preference and I honestly don't know which I would give up if I could only have one of them. I also have a very old 5 quart Hobart that is still going strong and can knead small amounts of dough, but if you have to make more than one or two loaves in one mix you simply can't beat the Bosch or DLX in a home kitchen machine.
Edited by mattie405 - 2/17/10 at 10:35pm
post #26 of 39

Hi

I just bought a Kitchenaid - Have read that they had started using plastic gears, but switched back to metal gears - mine has metal - not enough experience to tell you whether it is worth buying for bread.  still have to play with it - if used at the right speed and amount of flour it isn't supposed to be problematic. 

Regards

post #27 of 39

I don't know about the Hobart N50, but the A200 (20 qt) and the A120 (12 qt) both use differently geared transmissions.  IOW, you change gear ratios, whereas with the Kitchenaid, you don't change gears, you just feed the motor more "juice".  Neither the A120 nor the A200 mixers are for the occasional baker (unless you have lots of unused space).  The 20 qt comes in a tall (floor standing) or short (counter top, if you will) version.  I think the 12qt is only a counter top version.  I use a dolly to move my a120 around.  In my younger days, I could pick up an A200 and move it around, but I'd never try to lift it up on a counter without help. 

 

The downside of buying a used Hobart is that 1) the price is high -- they hold their value and 2), you may need to have it serviced.  They use a sealed gear transmission, but they need the grease changed over the years.  If they haven't been run in a long time, they tend to leak a small amount of oil (seals dry out and/or shrink), which is really just separated grease, leaving you with the thicker gunk stuck in the tranny and nothing to lower the viscosity.  The good news is that there's very little that goes wrong with them if you maintain them. 

 

The great thing about most of the planetary mixers is that they have the hub and can attach accessories.  While the KitchenAid has a cute little hub for adding little helper gadgets, the bigger hubs can take pelican heads and shred a buttload of cheese or slice a lot of veggies. 

 

Cooks Country TV has been using KitchenAids on the shows I've seen, but I swear they say "commercial" instead of "professional" and I'm not sure they're even as small as 6 qt.  Time to go google. Nope, Kitchenaid's site says 6qt.  However, if you notice the dough hooks, they're not the standard "j" hook, but a reverse spiral, which helps keep the dough from climbing the hook.  Now I want one... dangit.  I have a Kitchenaid 5 qt already, but these just look pretty.  Everything is stainless, no coatings and all that. 

post #28 of 39

If we're wishing, make mine Electrolux.

 

BDL

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post #29 of 39

Have you used one?  I've been curious about the Electrolux, but haven't found anyone with long-term usage of one that can report on durability, etc.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

If we're wishing, make mine Electrolux.

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyroCook View Post

I have been looking for a stand mixer capable of kneading bread dough, including whole wheat.

The only one I have found that gets a universal thumbs-up is the Hobart N50 5-quart mixer, but it sells for around $700 or more for a used one. This is far more than I want to pay.

I read that KitchenAids used to be made by Hobart, and worked extremely well. Then KitchenAid was bought by some company and the quality went to the pits. So this brand is not worth looking at, not even their "Professional" models.

 

This is an old thread, but I couldn't resist. 8-)

 

I routinely make four batches of pizza dough in one run, and each batch consists of 1Kg (2.2 lbs) of bread flour and 715ml (about 3/4 of a quart) of water and makes 4 pizzas. My KA is noisy, hot and is generally very unhappy sounding, and will walk right across the counter if I don't hold it, but it does a really nice job with the dough, and has been doing so for about the past 12 years.

 

Given a choice, I'd much rather have one where he bowl turns, the hook doesn't, and that would do 10lbs of flour at a time without walking off the counter, and I fully expect the KA to crap out at some point. OTOH, even if it dies, $225 for 12 years doesn't seem like such a bad deal.

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