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Can the Vitamix knead/mix dough? If not, a good entry-level mixer for pizza dough?

Just wondering if anyone knows if the Vitamix 5200 can actually knead dough? I'm looking to make pizza dough in small quantities (enough for a 14" pie) in the next week and I'm hoping to not have to splurge another few hundred on a stand mixer if I don't have to. I have not made too many doughs before so I'm not sure what to expect from the Vitamix. Perhaps other chowhounders can comment?

I tried searching youtube and on Google and there are a surprisingly little amount of discussions on using blenders for kneading dough - maybe because it doesn't make sense??

Anyway, if I'm advised against even trying, perhaps someone can recommend what mixer to get? So far I have only found: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-K45S... ($144) and KitchenAid KV25GOXMC Professional 5 Plus 5-Quart Stand Mixer, Metallic Chrome ($319).

To add some more background as to what doughs I'd like to make:

Chapatti, naan, pizza dough, no-knead bread (just kidding), maybe once in ever few years brownies or something similar...

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Sorry for jumping in here, but it just occurred to me (and don't laugh!) that I might be able to knead pizza dough myself?

    I'm looking at the recipe here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/newyorksty...

    I'm thrown off as these pizza dough recipes call for kneading the dough for a long time, "Allow mixer to knead the dough for a full 15 minutes at which time it should pass a windowpane test." I imagine the mixer does a more thorough job of kneading than hands and I guess I'm seeing this as translating 15 mins of mixer action into 30-45+ mins of hand action... or am I missing something??

    1 Reply
    1. re: classacts

      There's no reason to knead pizza dough until it passes the windowpane test. There are lots of reasons not to. Unless you're making a dough you're going to use in an hour or two after mixing, you don't want the dough at it's peak gluten development then.

      But you can certainly make pizza dough by hand. It shouldn't take more than ten minutes or so, for a reasonable quantity of dough. You just need to knead until it's reasonably smooth. I'd use the Tom Lehman style dough from pizzamaking.com to start with, and use the dough calculator there to figure out how much you'll need.

    2. A vita mix will not work for dough (but it grinds grains into flour like a charm!).

      A kitchenAid is terrific, but if I wouldn't buy one *just* for specialty bread making unless you have arthritis and need to make big batches- and can't just knead it by hand.

      A cheaper, more efficient option might be to purchase a bread maker machine with a manual setting. I use mine all the time just to knead a quick single loaf of something. I don't actually *bake* in it, but its easier than the KitchenAid to pop on the counter, knead, clean and put away.

      I have never kneaded a dough by hand for more than 15 minutes. You need a proper technique (I am sure u tube will show you). Hand kneading is relaxing and fun, and once you get the hang of it-into a rhythm- you can pull a large dough ball together , smooth and elastic in about 10 minutes or less. It can be fairly messy though...errrr...maybe that's just me. I tend to get flour all over myself and my kitchen when making dough by hand :)

      1. If you can find a used bread machine (with dough cycle) in a thrift store, you'd be set for a very small outlay of cash. I've been doing ALL my doughs (bread, pasta, and pizza) in one for years and would never do it any other way.

        1. You can if you really want. I mean, they have various bread recipes in the whole grain cookbook right? They even have a video showing how it can be done. But it is not the right tool to make dough. The shape of the cup and the blade is just wrong. Did you see how many times the guy had to scrape down the ingredients? They even had to fast forward the process to make it look less tedious.

          Chapatti and naan dough don't really need kneading. My friend made it look all too easy by hand. And like the others said, pizza dough don't need kneading.

          You may want to look into a hand mixer instead.

          1. You could try the pizza dough version of 5 min bread (no kneading) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSOoH6...

            1. I tried making bread once in my old Vita-Mix 4000. The result wasn't great.
              I recently picked up a gently used Bosch Compact mixer and although I haven't attempted bread dough yet, it's an awesome little machine and I believe it can handle 6 lbs. of dough. There's at least one Compact/dough demo on YouTube--have a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzOJgo... .

              1. I make pizza dough in my cuisinart. easy peasy! But yes, kneading by hand also isn't too strenuous.

                1. I have a KA, a VitaMix, a Cusinarts and an Electrolux Assistent, and I make my pizza dough by hand. For a small amount of dough to feed the three of us, it really quick to mix it in a bowl, turn it out on a counter and knead for a few minutes.

                  1. You don't need equipment of any sort to make pizza (or any other) dough. I routinely make pizza and bread dough on the order of 15 to 20 pounds, by hand. All I use is a big bowl. It never gets kneaded, but stretched and folded in the bowl every half hour or so over a couple of hours. If I'm in a hurry or just doing a small batch, I'll use my kitchen aid just to combine the ingredients but my doughs never, ever get worked iwith the mixer. It's unnecessary and yields a lesser product anyway.
                    Those stiff, dry doughs that require long kneading times and heavy machinery to do the work for you are the dinosaurs of baking.
                    Use a hydration of 75-80%, properly autolyse and the dough practically makes itself. It's a magical thing, watching a lumpy, gloppy mess transform itself into a silky, elastic and bouncy dough baby just sitting there and with the occasional stretch and fold.

                    1. Yes you can! I have just tried it.

                      After reading this excellent post on the perfect NYC pizza: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives..., I really wanted to try the food processor method except I don't have one. I do have a Vitamix. So I thought why not try it. The recipe is for 3 pies so I scaled it down to 1/3 to make one pizza just to try it out. I placed the ingredients in the Vitamix and pulsed it a few times. I then scraped down the sides with a spatula and did some longer pulses. I did that 3-4 times and it became a ball. However, I noticed that It kept mixing just the bottom part that's near the blade, but not so much the top part. So I stuck the tamper in to push down and turn the dough ball so the top gets mixed too. The whole process, with the stopping and scrapping and tampering, only took a few minutes. Just make sure the machine doesn't over heat. If it does, then stop it and wait a couple of minutes. Then just scrape it out, roll into ball and put it in the fridge for cold ferment. Apparently the taste peaks after 3 days in the fridge, according to this post: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives.... I made my pizza after 2 days and it was fabulous!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: chokawiibear

                        Next I'm going to try using the Vitamix for baguette dough, after reading this post: http://breadbasketcase.blogspot.com/2.... Of course, mine will be just one baguette (recipe makes 3) since the Vitamix cannot handle as much dough as a food processor.

                        1. re: chokawiibear

                          Did you use the "dry" container? That's what's recommended for kneading dough.

                          1. re: MacGuffin

                            No I did not. I don't have the dry container. I think it would be easier to use the dry container since it's a bit wider on the bottom.

                            1. re: chokawiibear

                              If you're going to use your Vitamix for bread it might be worth your while to invest in one. You might check eBay or Craig's list to see if you can save some money. There's one listed now on eBay that's currently at $70-something but you might want to wait until after the holidays when prices on everything tend to drop.

                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                Thanks for the information MacGuffin! I thought about that and I think I'd rather get a food processor, so I can get more functions out of it for not that much more money. I already have a Kitchenaid mixer that I use heavily for breads and used to use for pizza, but to get that type of pizza crust that I want, the mixer is just too slow. Of course I'm not buying any more kitchen gadgets until I get a bigger kitchen!! :)

                                1. re: chokawiibear

                                  My pleasure but I'll repeat the advice not to tax your KitchenAid. I belong to a Yahoo group for mixer owners and almost all of the members have Boschs or DLX Assistents (now the "Verona"). I have a Bosch Compact and you wouldn't believe what it can do because it looks like a toy--it's perfection for a small family.

                                  Regardless, despite my great love of the Vitamix, I don't think it's all that great for dough.

                      2. Don't mix dough in a kitchenaid, you'll kill it. It might be ok if you do a very small amount on low speed, but they aren't strong enough to power through tough doughs.

                        But maybe the newer ones are better designed, i don't know.

                        I was told second hand that kitchenaid is going to release a machine specifically for dough, but who knows how long that will take.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gotsmack

                          We use our Kitchen Aid (a lift-up-bowl 6 qt) for yeast doughs frequently, and it came with two dough hooks, so I assume this is an expected use of the thing (some people do say that the older Hobart-made ones are heavier duty). We don't usually make really stiff doughs, but so far, the mixer is happy enough (you'll have to keep it from "walking" when mixing stiffer doughs.

                          I think you're also supposed to lubricate it occasionally. I've been too lazy to do it in the 4-5 years we've owned it, but now that I've mentioned it here, I'm sure it will break tomorrow.

                        2. In our experience with KA it's not much use for heavy mixing. Ours let out magic smoke and died. We replaced it with a Bosch and it worked flawlessly doing all sorts of heavy dough work for 15 years. Gave it to our niece and now she's using it and we bought a newer Bosch.

                          We'll be making molasses oatmeal bread and dough for cinnamon buns with it tomorrow. Yum!

                          You'll really be unhappy when you burn out your semi expensive KA. You'll be happy for a very long while with the Bosch.

                          Have fun

                          Jim

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mdgolfbum

                            One doesn't encounter too many complaints about Bosch mixers. But since I already have a Compact, I'd like a DLX so I can have the best of both worlds. :)

                          2. Yes! It can. I just tried it and I was pleasantly surprised at the smooth, tacky, wonderfully stretchy, easy to work with, delicious dough that came out. It took minutes as opposed to the hours I used to spend kneading. Fail the window pane test no more. I don't have a dry container. Just pulsed on Variable Speed 3 while pouring in the liquid ingredients. I used Peter Reinhardt's recipe with the instructions for the dough in the Vitamix booklet.