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

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Cheyenne, Wyoming is 6,160 feet in altitude. US Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada is at 3,950 feet is the highest Naval Airstation. USS Akron (ZRS-4) could fly at 25,000 feet, the Akron had a fully functional galley.

Screenshot 2023-12-04 at 08.55.04.png
 
Maybe an outlier, but I haven’t noticed any major issues using the ank for creaming butter. It could potentially be taking a bit longer, but the machine doesn’t care about the time it takes and it gets to the same spot in the end. My regular recipe is a sourdough sea salt brown butter chocolate chip one, that makes a little over 4 dozen large cookies. It’s about 4.5 kg of dough, and there’s no struggle whether it’s the creaming process or the mixing. It does take longer than a kitchenaid for bread doughs, but not as long as hand kneading and shows no sign of struggling regardless of how much dough I throw at it. It’s got some interesting attachments nowadays, been thinking of getting the meat grinder attachment to use it for extruding ramen which the company seemed pretty confident it would do with no issues. I use the roller and scraper for everything. I’ll have to chuck in some egg whites to see how they handle getting stuff to stiff peaks.


Back on the subject of baking; for rustic loaves, sourdoughs, etc. breads that contain flour water salt and yeast, and are under 70-80% hydration, no, you don’t need a mixer. Just autolyse and cold proofing to given gluten time to develop. Once you get to high hydration (100%+), or to enriched doughs (adding fats), it becomes big quality of life improvement. You can basically make anything without a mixer. It just might take you ages or turn you off ever doing it again.

Cakes can be hit or miss. Simple things like a Texas sheet cake? A hand whisk does it fine. If you’re looking to mimic the great British baking show, it helps to have a mixer for things like marshmallow, sponges that need stiff peaks and mousses (even though they do force contestants to not use them to be sadistic on technicals). There’s a reason the old French culinary gods had legions of indentured lads to whisk egg whites and other manual activities.

For what it’s worth, I live in a tiny apartment, to the point where I have to determine which pots and pans I’m going to buy due to limitations on where I can put them. I consider a stand mixer to be a requirement in my kitchen even though I may only bake a few times a week at most. I’ve learned I’d rather make rice that’s 80% of its potential on the stovetop and give up a rice cooker than spend 20 minutes kneading shokupan.
 
FWIW, KitchenAid is basically the consumer models of Hobart. Hobart literally invented the stand mixer.
Hobart sold the KitchenAid divison almost forty years ago. Prior to the mid-1980s KitchenAids were basically the smaller, consumer version of the Hobart commercial mixers but those days are long gone.
 
Hobart sold the KitchenAid divison almost forty years ago. Prior to the mid-1980s KitchenAids were basically the smaller, consumer version of the Hobart commercial mixers but those days are long gone.
I stand corrected! Did the quality also go down the drain since then or are they still alright?
 
They aren't as physically robust as they once were. They are still perfectly adequate for most home users but for someone who bakes bread on a weekly basis they probably won't hold up, especially with denser doughs. For the most part older Hobarts and Hobart era KitchenAids are still entirley serviceable so the used market occasionally offers up some bargins. Ankarsrun is probably the best new option barring really expensive pro or semi-pro machines.
 
A while back I had one of the “pro” kitchenaids. It really struggled on heavier doughs and became really warm. The slow speed still threw flour everywhere. I believe they have plastic internal gears, which kind of makes sense from a sacrificial breakage sense, but it’s still annoying.

A quality hand mixer will handle most mixing tasks well enough. It’s like getting into rectangles. You’ll learn what you need by doing.
 
Modern KitchenAid mixers are fine.

If youre not sure whether that is enough mixer for you, maybe look at a Haussler spiral mixer? Fair warning the smallest one weighs over 60 lbs iirc. Though it will fit on a counter.
 
My first thought reading this thread was that people were baking bread for thousands of years before the invention of mixers.

My second thought was that historians say bakers had the most brutally demanding jobs in society, enduring countless hours of intense physical labor under miserable conditions.

My third thought was that during the French revolution, bakers made particularly formidable angry mobs, due to those countless hours of physical work.
 
No, u don't necessarily need a stand mixer unless u wanna bake specialty dough like panettone, etc. For sourdough bread, hand mixing/folding is just fine. For other softer dough, a hand mixer to break the lumps up.
 
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.
In the UK Kenwood is the 1st choice, no one who knows what they are doing buys a KitchenAid, no matter how pretty the colours are.

Not that the GF will let me use it!
 
In the UK Kenwood is the 1st choice, no one who knows what they are doing buys a KitchenAid, no matter how pretty the colours are.

Not that the GF will let me use it!
It's much the same in Germany, although Bosch and Ankarsrum figure quite largely there, too. I get the impression that KitchenAid is mostly a US brand (although they are readily available here as well as the Kenwood mixers).

From all the videos I've seen and all the reviews I've read, the KitchenAid models are rather anaemic when it comes to making low-hydration doughs. It's not possible for a KitchenAid 375 W motor to do what a Kenwood 1,700 W motor can do, even after making large concessions for differences in motor efficiency. I've also seen a lot of complaints about worn gears and broken belts, and even burned-out motors from kneading low-hydration dough with a KitchenAid.

One more thing… For bread dough, getting one of large mixers with a spiral hook is essential. The smaller ones have a C-hook, which doesn't work anywhere near as well. I know first-hand from my original base model Kenwood Chef, which had a smaller bowl and a 1,000 W motor. The motor was plenty strong enough, but the C-hook did not agitate the dough nearly as well as a spiral hook. (You end up with much of the dough wrapped around the hook and spinning in mid-air, instead of getting properly kneaded.)

I upgraded to the Kenwood Titanium XL specifically to get the spiral hook. The extra bowl capacity and stronger motor were a nice bonus.
 
Last edited:
I wouldn't necessarily read too much into the wattages. My 200w Bamix ran circles around cheapass 800w blenders just because the motor / transmission is very different. Probably one of those direct drive vs magnetic induction things; I bet there's someone here who can explain us the nitty gritty and give us a conversion formula. ;)

With KitchenAid they also have different sizes / motor strengths. I've noticed that whereas the regular stores always sell the base model, the restaurant supply models always sold the heavy duty model.
 
power ratings usually mean that the thing use that amount, which is not the same as putting that power into whatever it does...
One exception is speaker power ratings, those typically mean that a speaker will not break, it for sure does not mean that much power comes out.
 
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.
You don't need a stand mixer for baking—I've never had one, never wanted one.
August-Sander-1200x1665.jpg
 
Last edited:

They seem to like the Ankarsrum. Some interesting tidpits there, like KitchenAid basically telling you to not use your machine for any length of time or larger volumes (THEN WHAT'S THE FRIGGING POINT OF THE MACHINE!). Kinda weird they still recommend the KA after they just mentioned some things that make it pretty much a hard pass for me. But in true ATK fashion it seems like they didn't test the Kenwood... sigh.
 
KitchenAid basically telling you to not use your machine for any length of time or larger volumes
Wow. Two minutes max at a time, and total time no more than six minutes. I don’t understand why they didn’t simply say “you cannot make bread dough with this mixer because that will break it “.

The little talk about power versus torque was cute, but meaningless. I don’t see how a 375 W motor could possibly have as much torque (or anywhere near it) as a 1,700 W motor. Power divided by angular velocity equals torque. This means that, at the same speed, a Kenwood has more than four times the torque of a KitchenAid, assuming similar motor efficiency. Case closed.

If you are interested in making lots of bread dough, the Ankarsrum will have a slight edge over the Kenwood. Otherwise, for whisking, beating, and good quality attachments, I’d pick the Kenwood. It’s more convenient to use with accessories such as a meat grinder or pasta roller because you don’t have to put it on its side to use the attachments.

If at all possible, get the XL Titanium (which is getting phased out). Later XL models have only a 1,200 W motor. Kenwood are cost cutting, too.
 
more power does not always equal more torque, I used to drive a car with 340bhp and 400 nM torque, the current one has 305bhp and 600 nM torque. Without knowing what motor and gear is used it's dangerous to to make statements IMHO. Still I'll totally accept that the Kenwood likely has plenty more torque (as indeed the final turning speed and efficiency are very likely highly similar anyway)
 
I think @Michi is probably right that the Kenwood can handle a far higher workload than the KitchenAid. But, do you need it?

I have a bottom of the line KitchenAid with a 300W motor purchased in 2003. It has seen 20 years of steady home use without any regard to warnings/instructions. That includes using pasta maker and meat grinder attachments. Sample size of 1, but I think it probably gets the job done for the overwhelming majority of home users - particularly if you aren't kneading bread dough.

That said, when/if this one kicks the bucket, I'll certainly look into a Kenwood.
 
I think @Michi is probably right that the Kenwood can handle a far higher workload than the KitchenAid. But, do you need it?

I have a bottom of the line KitchenAid with a 300W motor purchased in 2003. It has seen 20 years of steady home use without any regard to warnings/instructions. That includes using pasta maker and meat grinder attachments. Sample size of 1, but I think it probably gets the job done for the overwhelming majority of home users - particularly if you aren't kneading bread dough.

That said, when/if this one kicks the bucket, I'll certainly look into a Kenwood.
the TS was asking about a.o. baking more bread...
Anything using an attachment with another gear may well make torque requirements different, that may well work with a lesser motor.
 
Last edited:
Reminder that KitchenAid is giving advice for the "typical" home user.

You can knead bread dough in one. You need to pay attention to how much heat it is generating and treat the machine with some care/respect. That's the thing though, most home users don't. My mother could break an industrial Hobart if you left her alone with it.

Also the main reason to buy a KitchenAid is you buy into the ecosystem. I appreciate that for the crowd here that is not useful. But for many folks, it is. Not that different than Apple. Lots of official accessories, customer service is always there, you can buy one anywhere at any time of the year, the warranty is pretty likely to be honored, etc.

I had an informative experience a while back when I attended a Claire Saffitz virtual book signing (you know why it wasnt in person). You had to pay money for this btw and it was a limited audience zoom call. The people in this thing like a(n internet) famous baker, they have purchased not just a book but tickets to this virtual event, and the questions were... I mean it just revealed to me what "average" really looks like in terms of knowledge. People did not know the difference between European and American butters and this is sort of important while baking. It just is what it is, it's fine people are busy and whatever else..

That is ALSO the ATK audience and the vast majority of people KitchenAid is selling too.

Still, I will maintain if you are going to be baking enough bread to justify a mixer you should really get a countertop spiral. If you arent willing to fork out that kinda cash (or at the very least would if you could), you are fine without one. JMO
 
The main problem to me is that the main argument for a mixer is 'doing volume'...and then you get warnings telling you not to do volume. At that point I might as well do it by hand if I have to sit there babysitting the damn machine.

But my main dissapointment is that they didn't seem to have picked up the Kenwood; would have been nice to see how they judged it in a head to head. It also seems like they didn't include the heavy duty KitchenAid models? Would have been interesting to see if tehy fared much better compared to the cheaper consumer models.

I do agree that ecosystem plays a role; one of the perks of KA (and I think this also applies to the Kenwood) is that you can also turn it into a meat grinder, pasta machine, etc.
 
Back
Top