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Best stand mixer for bread dough

I have a ~10-year-old KitchenAid Ultra power (300-watt) mixer. I have noticed that recently it seems more bogged down when kneading bread dough and mixing thicker cookie doughs. I have toyed with the idea for a while of upgrading to a new mixer, but looking at the options I am getting more confused as to which mixer is the best option for me. I generally use my mixer for thicker doughs and rarely use speeds higher than 6. If I go with the Artisan, I'm not sure it's a big enough power and capacity gain to make it worth the risk of getting a new machine (my current one isn't perfect, but at least I know its flaws.) At the same time, I'm not sure about the Pro 600 because of the price difference, plus it seems to have quite a few negative reviews compared to the Artisan. I'd love any input and advice! TIA!

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  1. "They" say that the new Kitchen Aid mixers are not as good as the old ones and won't stand up to a lot of bread dough kneading.

    I did a lot of research and ended up getting a Bosch. It works ok but I have nothing to compare it too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kengk

      I've heard the same thing. And that Hobart no longer makes Kitchen Aid mixers. Anybody know whether either of these statements is correct?

      Used to own a Kitchen Aid that I bought in 1988. It never failed me. Gave it away during a move. Haven't replaced it because I primarily used it to make pizza and bread dough. These days I eat less of both, and I've joined the no-knead dough cult besides. The only mixer I need now is a large spoon for a minute or so.

      1. re: emu48

        If you have an old Hobart KA mixer, you have a great one. The newer models are inferior and built on their old name, not current quality.

    2. I love my KA Pro 600.

      1. The Electrolux assistent aka DLX aka Verona which is now called the Ankarsrum

        http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/elec...

        A huge improvement over the Kitchen Aid IMO. I love mine.

        1. Unless you're just looking for a reason to buy a shiny new machine, I think it sounds like yours could probably benefit from some TLC to the internals. Either diy (look on the internet for instructions) or send it out to be done. You'd be amazed what some grease and perhaps the odd replacement part can do.

          +1 to the comments about new vs. old KA's. I have an old one, but I have worked with new ones quite a bit and despite being higher wattage, they seem not as well built. My circa 1990 "Heavy Duty" bowl lift model shall be wrested from my cold dead hands, although I do pine for a 10qt. Hobart as a companion (I often do tens of pounds of dough at a time)

          If you are really serious about something for bread doughs, consider checking out thefreshloaf.com or other bread and grain-specific boards.

          1. I like my KA Pro 600. I would have preferred to get a Hobart N-50, but for the price, I can break 5 of the KA-600s.

            Primarily complaint against the Pro is that out of the box, it kinda sucks for very small batches of anything.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wattacetti

              Wattacetti, there's a 3 quart bowl with a special beater made for the 6 quart machine - I think that it's called a "combi". I got one several years ago when only WIlliams Sonoma carried it, but a friend just got one on sale at Kitchen Connection. It makes the Pro 600 Kitchenaid much more versatile. I have no complaints!

              1. re: wattacetti

                I would have preferred to get an N50 too. Just an fyi. Used working Hobart N50s can go as low as the price of your Kitchenaid on ebay. When my my kitchenaid dies, a Hobart is what im getting. Its a gift from my aunt who frequently comes over so I cant sell it either. Im afraid it will be years before I get a Hobart. At least the Kitchenaid looks great on my countertop. The Hobart desperately needs a makeover.