I want to start baking more. cakes, bread, etc. I don't have or really want a stand mixer.

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boomchakabowwow

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I just do not want one. cost, storage, the accouterments, etc. seems too much for me. I just want simple. I have good hands, and really need to learn good kneading moves, but I don't think that will be a problem.

most recipes start with, "get out your stand mixer.."

I'm gonna make a cake today. I will try my $10 hand mixer, and I have faith that it will work. people have been baking since bible times..no way that had a mixer. :D

any avid bakers going old school? or do you think a stand mixer is a must have?

I could borrow my neighbors.
 
Most cases ,it just take more time ,alot more. Very doable tho.
Sometimes dough not as smooth if u do ot with hand ,Np in home settings🤷🏼‍♀️
 
“Need,” no. But, heck yeah they are useful. If you are doing cookie dough and cakes it makes life a lot easier. I’d argue that frosting is going to be better and easier with a stand mixer.

On the bread side, there are so many no knead, low knead recipes out there that a stand mixer seem less essential.

For quick breads, muffins, scones, the old egg beater style works just fine.

FWIW, I got my Kitchenaid 20 years ago. It’s still going strong and sees use as a meat grinder and pasta maker in addition to a mixer.
 
My life changed forever after I started baking my own bread and finally decided to bite the bullet and get a stand mixer. I ended up with a Kenwood Chef Titanium XL (which, in my opinion, is a class above the KitchenAid mixers with its 1.7 kW motor). There is no way I would go back to making bread or pizza without one.

In addition, it is super useful for my sausage making adventures because it doubles up as my meat grinder and meat mixer. I also have the food processor and blender attachments, which get regular work-outs. (In a pinch, you can even make emulsified sausage with the food processor.) All in all, this is the most useful kitchen appliance I have acquired in many years.

I know that Kenwood is essentially unknown in the US, so I'd go with the biggest and heaviest and largest capacity mixer you can afford. The KitchenAid 7 qt mixer with bowl lift has the strongest motor of the KitchenAid line, so that might be an option. I have no first-hand experience with Ankarsrum, but they have a good reputation, so they are probably also worth checking out. Or see if you can unearth a second-hand commercial mixer, which would probably beat all of them, including the Kenwood.

I agree with the other people who pointed out that for cake batters, beating egg whites, and similar jobs, a hand mixer is just fine. A stand mixer shines when doing heavy work, not so much for the light stuff, such as frostings or whipped cream.
 
For bread I'd recommend looking into no knead breads. There's a lot of recipes and techniques out there that work great. Even kneading it yourself really isn't that much work unless you do very large volumes. Then if you find yourself doing it a lot you can always buy a stand mixer later. But it's in no way required; kneading is simple enough that even kids can do it, and experimentation is cheap.
For most simple stuff like cake a cheap handmixer (or just a wisk!) always sufficed for me.
 
I'm also on the fence about a stand mixer, simply because of a lack of storage space vs the amount of use it'll get. So far doing fine without one, the Magimix XL also does not get the mileage that would be justifying it's price tag (it's pretty useless for dough). Must say that Kenwood Titanium Chef XL gets me drooling, same as the Bosch Maxi MUM, planetary movement, strong motors, large bowl....

For Pizza dough with high hydration (>65%) IMHO there is no need for any electrical equipment, resting and slap and fold works perfectly. For the rare occasion I make bread kneading for 10 minutes is not the end of the world.
When making cakes etc using a hand mixer helps alleviates RSI like complaints (where did good old RSI go anyway) for beating eggs, but even that is doable with a whisk.
So you need a big enough bowl, bench space a whisk or hand mixer and you're set.

I'd say it comes down to how much you bake at any single occasion and how often you bake.
 
I'm also on the fence about a stand mixer, simply because of a lack of storage space vs the amount of use it'll get. So far doing fine without one, the Magimix XL also does not get the mileage that would be justifying it's price tag (it's pretty useless for dough). Must say that Kenwood Titanium Chef XL gets me drooling, same as the Bosch Maxi MUM, planetary movement, strong motors, large bowl....

For Pizza dough with high hydration (>65%) IMHO there is no need for any electrical equipment, resting and slap and fold works perfectly. For the rare occasion I make bread kneading for 10 minutes is not the end of the world.
When making cakes etc using a hand mixer helps alleviates RSI like complaints (where did good old RSI go anyway) for beating eggs, but even that is doable with a whisk.
So you need a big enough bowl, bench space a whisk or hand mixer and you're set.

I'd say it comes down to how much you bake at any single occasion and how often you bake.
Magimix is really one of those things I've been deliberating on for quite a while now... on the one hand it's really useful when making stuff like duxelle for a ganache, or shredding piles of parmiggiano. On the other hand... is that worth a few hundred euros for what's likely to still just be a dozen usecases a year.
Same problem with the standmixer; I just don't bake enough to make it worthwhile, so the few times I bake I just do it by hand or with a handmixer. Although that's also a selffulfilling prophecy; by making it easier with a standmixer it's possible you'd also do it more.

I have one advice on this thing though: make sure you have a place to quickly and conveniently use whatever appliance you buy. Be it a dedicated countertop spot, an appliance garage, whatever... but if you have to dig around in cabinets making it a bother just to drag it out you're aready cutting the amount of times you'll use it in half.

As to bowl.... the tip I once got from a baker (and I've sworn by it ever since) was to use one of those big dishwashing tubs for kneading bread. Works really well and if you want you can even do it while sitting on the couch...
 
The magimix sees far too little use, for our needs I'm faster with a knife and a Microplane than all the cleanup, for sure there is a break even point but likely only when you have a large family to cook for (>5)

Second using a dough bin, I repurposed the bottom of a water softener for large amounts of pizza dough, basically the same as a dough crate.

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I'm generally ill-disposed towards universal Swiss-army-knife appliances that do several things. That's simply because a dedicated single-purpose appliance will always outperform a jack-of-all-trades one.

In case of the Kenwood, the attachments made it work for me. Instead of having a Magimix, a Vitamix, and a meat grinder, I have just the Kenwood, which also does dough, beats eggs, makes whipped cream, etc.

This trade-off works if you use the accessory functions occasionally, not daily. If you make smoothies every day, a Vitamix does a better job. And, because it gets used a lot, dedicating the bench space to it makes sense. Similarly for the other appliances. But virtually no-one grinds meat every day, makes smoothies every day, chops loads of veggies every day, and bakes a cake or bread every day. Buying a dedicated (admittedly very good) appliance for each of these jobs is not only hugely expensive, but also requires a huge amount of storage space.

Suddenly, the Kenwood looks really attractive. And I can confirm that it works extremely well for me. With its 1.7 kW motor, it has more power than most meat grinders, and the blender and food processor attachments work very well. All at a fraction of the cost of dedicated appliances and in a fraction of the space.
 
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you all have awesome comments. thanks!! Kenwood...hmmm.

a friend has a countertop vintage Hobart.. I think it is a Hobart.

@MarcelNL said it best with this line (sums up my thoughts perfectly): "I'm also on the fence about a stand mixer, simply because of a lack of storage space vs the amount of use it'll get."
 
I just tried to find my friend's Hobart. first peek it was $4000. hahaha.. he got it when his family retired from the business. I think he said they made fish cake with the machine. dunno. it is rough looking and he had it fixed but it looked like with a rope it could pull my truck out of the mud. it is super heavy and stays put.
 
FWIW, KitchenAid is basically the consumer models of Hobart. Hobart literally invented the stand mixer.
 
For dough, if we’re not talking commercial Hobart, there is Ankarsrum and there is everything else.

https://www.ankarsrum.com/us/
It depends on your needs. I purchased an Electrolux (now Ankarsrum) almost 20 years ago. I had four kids at home. I made all our bread. I would make three large loaves at a time, each one taking 20 ozs. of flour. Add in the hydration for the type of bread and well, you do the math. It was a lot of dough. This was the main reason I bought the mixer, and I never regretted it.

However, the mixer was not as versatile as was marketed. It worked, but I found myself wishing I had a big 'ol Kitchen Aid for a lot of pedestrian cooking chores, but of course I was not about to have two big mixers. Some people actually did, though. For large amounts of bread dough and cookie dough, it was in a class by itself. I would encourage anyone with these kinds of needs or desires to get one.

Now it is the wife and myself. All of my bread is stretch and fold. The amounts that are not could be easily done with a Kitchen Aid (and yes, I would definitely get the biggest "pro" model, whatever that is now). Most of the attachments are great, except for the meat grinder. The grinder is junk. Yes, I had one on an old pro Kitchen Aid I got back in the mid 90s. I made a lot of sub-par sausage until I became more educated and found what a quality grinder can do.

Anyway, what I am saying is that I would agree with Dan, but only in a certain context.

Cakes? I am at the point now where I would not use a mixer at all. I am a much bigger fan of getting a quality, heavy dough whisk. Cakes and quick breads should not be beaten or over mixed (my opinion). Whipping up the frosting? Hand mixer or wand, depending on density. No you definitely do not need a mixer in my opinion. Going strictly by your original post, I would recommend a heavy whisk (yes, I have one and use it all the time for things like this). Frosting? It depends on the amount and density. You don't need it, but I'll always take the machine if it can do in five minutes (and do it well) what would take me 15 or 20 by hand. Whipped cream type of stuff? Wand or hand mixer.

My 2 cents.
 
^ Spot on. I also make all our bread, but only have 3 kids. For creaming butter and sugar, or making buttercream frosting, the Ankarsrum is just bad. It does have a decent grinder attachment at least.
 
One thing people don't realize is high-end automatic bread makers can automatically turn out great dough for you. The Zojirushi bread makers can be set to turn out any kind of dough you want to add the ingredients for. All you are left to do is form up whatever it is you are baking and finish it from there. I used to be a baker in the US Navy, I have a love affair with bread. The one thing using mechanical dough mixers gives you is consistency. When you are baking bread at 6,160 feet consistency is ultra important.
 
whipped cream goes into one of those unless I need beaten cream which I do by hand. Never make frosting and butter cream or I'd be round as a billiard ball by now ;-)

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One thing people don't realize is high-end automatic bread makers can automatically turn out great dough for you. The Zojirushi bread makers can be set to turn out any kind of dough you want to add the ingredients for. All you are left to do is form up whatever it is you are baking and finish it from there. I used to be a baker in the US Navy, I have a love affair with bread. The one thing using mechanical dough mixers gives you is consistency. When you are baking bread at 6,160 feet consistency is ultra important.
Just curious how the navy would get to 6000ft :oops:
 
Hand mixers work for most stuff you'd bake at home. If you want a serious machine for bread/pizza doughs, you want a spiral mixer anyway. That said, a stand mixer can do so many things, and it does them a lot better than most multitasker machines, so theyre nice to have around.

Most of my bread loaves are now higher hydration sourdough loaves and do not benefit from machine mixing very much IMO. Stretching & folding them produces results that cannot be bettered but you will be making 1 or 2 loaves at a time this way most likely. Yeasted doughs, however, I strongly prefer to do in the stand mixer. Especially enriched doughs for making laminated pastry dough.

FWIW I think the "no knead" bread recipes are rarely very good. Not so much that the resulting bread sucks, but mostly in the sense that for a very, very marginal bit of extra effort you can get so much better results that I dont see how the opportunity cost can be at all worth it. 3 or 4 stretch and folds, preshape and final shape. That's all you gotta do to make a loaf of bread competitive with the good local bakeries. Most of your results depend on your starter health and your flour.
 
Hand mixers work for most stuff you'd bake at home. If you want a serious machine for bread/pizza doughs, you want a spiral mixer anyway. That said, a stand mixer can do so many things, and it does them a lot better than most multitasker machines, so theyre nice to have around.

Most of my bread loaves are now higher hydration sourdough loaves and do not benefit from machine mixing very much IMO. Stretching & folding them produces results that cannot be bettered but you will be making 1 or 2 loaves at a time this way most likely. Yeasted doughs, however, I strongly prefer to do in the stand mixer. Especially enriched doughs for making laminated pastry dough.

FWIW I think the "no knead" bread recipes are rarely very good. Not so much that the resulting bread sucks, but mostly in the sense that for a very, very marginal bit of extra effort you can get so much better results that I dont see how the opportunity cost can be at all worth it. 3 or 4 stretch and folds, preshape and final shape. That's all you gotta do to make a loaf of bread competitive with the good local bakeries. Most of your results depend on your starter health and your flour.
Yeah agreed... no knead bed are great for inspiration but I think it's best if you use them as a starting point and add a bit of kneading and folding here and there. They're nice to get a feel for how simple breadmaking can be though. A lot of 'conventional' breadmaking recipe makes it all sound very complicated, with very strict timings, rest times, etc.
 
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