Alternative to Kitchenaid Pro Mixer?
I've started doing a lot of baking and my basic Kitchenaid just isn't strong enough (I think it's the 325 wat model). So I bit the bullet and got the Pro Mixer, brought it home and made a batch of bread dough that called for 7 cups of flour. My basic model just about got the dough mixed but I could tell it was close to overheating. So it should have been a no brainer with the more powerful motor. I followed the manufacturers exhoration NOT to go above 2 with the dough hook. To my surprise, the motor shut off after 4 minutes. I tried it again a week later and the same thing happened. So I returned it. Now I'm gun shy. It could have been a dud, but I've seen many mixed reviews of the KA pro mixers. Should I get another one and hope it doesn't have the same defect? Or should I try a Viking or Cuisinart? The only reason I want to upgrade is for doing heavy stuff like bread dough. The basic KA handles everything else just fine. Thanks!
I have the Electrolux Assistent (sic) and it is fabulous for bread dough. The mechanism scrapes the bowl as the arm mixes and you can see everything going on and easily add flour from above. I love it.
There is the option of the commercial Hobart N50 mixer, but that might be too big for your kitchen or too deep for your wallet. I have a K-A 5Qt. commercial mixer that I have upgraded the motor, but it wasn't cheap to do.
The Bosch and the Viking also get good marks, and both are quite adept at mixing even the heaviest of bread doughs.
I bought a Cuisinart a few weeks ago and have made a 3 or 4 batches of pasta dough and 2 batches of bagel dough using high gluten flour, with no problems. You could tell the motor was straining a bit (those are really stiff doughs, after all), but it didn't seem to be near it's limit. My batches used 3-6 cups of flour, and I have the 5 qt model, so you might want the larger version if you do lots of big batches.
More on the Electrolux Assistent -- I do a double rosemary roll recipe for our NY's Day open house every year, and with the KA, I had to do two batches. With the EA, I can do both batches at once, no sweat. Love it, love it, and my husband bought the grinding attachment to make sausages, and he said it made the KA seem like a toy.
i heard the bosch mixer (dont know model) is a much more heavy duty machine
(this i found out AFTER i bought my KA-i like it so far-i did the 7 cup flour dough too and it smelled a little burney-if that is a word)