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Thread: Stand Mixer Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    6

    Default Stand Mixer Questions

    Thank you all for always answering my questions.
    Because of the economy, my hours have been cut at work. I am looking for ways to earn some extra dough.... I want to purchase a stand mixer and sell baked goods at the farmers market this spring. I am looking at KitchenAid and others. My question is - do I want a tilt stand or one that holds the bowl up off the surface? Of course I want a heavy duty motor to make as many loaves of bread at a time. Can I make them ahead and freeze? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks again.
    Lynnielyn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ireland
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    8,406

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    I have a wonderful kitchen aid (European version) that a friend moving back to the US gave me. She did warn me however, NOT to make serious bread dough with it because "it was the cheap version" so even though it came with a dough hook it might burn out the machine.

    So, be very careful to get a kitchen aid powerful enough to handle the job you want it to do - if you are seriously going to be making bread to sell, you may want to look into supply houses for the food industry and/or simply reviews of higher end kitchen aids on line.

    The other, lower-cost but higher labor option is a large, hand-operated kneading pan which I got from Lehmans and other places sell as well. These were used by bakeries up until the 1970's and are still used in the third world today. They make about six loaves of bread at a time and are fantastic if you've got a good arm (or an excited 10 year old) to keep turning the mess round and round until the dough is just about ready to shape. I find it usually needs about 2 minutes of kneading afterwards to firm the dough up but not always.

    Finally, there are some heavy-duty bread machines that you can use as a dough mixer (I do this) though most only will make about 2 1/2 pounds of dough at once; though I'm not sure a kitchen aid would do much more than that.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    427

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    Larger, heavier duty KitchenAids may work just fine for what you want to do. The run-of-the-mill KitchenAid from WalMart or Bed Bath and Beyond will burn out quickly.

    I use my Bosch to make six loaves of bread at a time without a problem. I'd recommend it over my KitchenAid in a heartbeat.
    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”--John Adams

  4. #4
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    Nov 2007
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    Unfortunately, KitchenAid has REALLY gone down in quality (especially durability) over the past 20 years or so. My son has gone through THREE "professional" KitchenAid mixers in the past 2 years... the gears are junk. It's VERY frustrating.

    You might want to look into a Viking, Bosch or Cuisinart. Many of the mixers out there have copied Hobart's (the original manufacturer of KitchenAid) "planetary action"... I suspect some of them are built quite a bit better than the newer Kitchenaids.

    As far as freezing your fresh bread to sell... I wouldn't, personally. We DO freeze homemade bread (I usually make 6-8 loaves at a time, and freeze them, so I don't have to bake bread twice a week), but it CAN cause problems with condensation on the inside of the bag (getting the crust soggy or wrinkled)

    The other question is what are your state laws in terms of baking and selling food? Before you invest a single penny in anything, check that out first!! If it's not legal without a commercial kitchen, it probably isn't worth doing, *especially* selling at a Farmers Market, which attracts inspectors and regulators like a dog does ticks..

    Summerthyme

  5. #5
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    Jun 2010
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    9,682

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    We have a little Mennonite Bakery Store in town that sells fresh bread and pastries.

    They use a Bosch mixer. They make several batch of bread 6 days a week.

    I also own a Bosch mixer and love it.

    You can also get parts and fix a Bosch if you need to.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. ...those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    C.S. Lewis



  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    If I ever am able to afford to replace my KitchenAid (now 32 years old), I'll probably get a Bosch or Viking.

    However, my kids all got together and bought me an incredible, big, Cuisinart food processor, and I can use it for a lot of what I currently use the KitchenAid for- slicing and shredding, etc. Since it's only hubby and I here most of the time now, my Kitchenaid is more than adequate for our needs. (and you CAN fix the KitchenAid mixers... in fact, DS finally replace the nylon gears in his with metal ones, and it will likely now outlast him)

    Summerthyme

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    1,500

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    I have a KitchenAid and a Bosch. The KA is dying a slow death and I only use it for making pasta now. My Bosch has the blender and food processor attachments and I use it, pretty much, every day. The Bosch can handle multiple loaves of bread at a time, which my KA could never do. If I had it to do over again, I would skip the KA all together and just go with the Bosch.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    66

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    I have an Electrolux Magic Mill Assistent DLX mixer, but I had a hard time choosing between it and the Bosch. We eat mainly wheat bread, and I read the KA had a harder time with wheat breads than the Electrolux and Bosch mixers. That was confirmed by family and friends as well that had KAs.

    The Electrolux is like a tank. Lots of attachments and uses as well...I need to get more comfortable using it. We just wanted a stand mixer that would last and that we wouldn't burn out the motor making bread. I think Bosch also would've worked great. In the end I let my dh decide....figures he'd go for the one that is "tank like".

    There is one on craigslist (found with adhuntr.com), sometimes people will ship from craigslist (that is if you are looking for used). Fedex Ground is usually pretty good for heavy items. http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/app/3463661800.html

    Otherwise there are plenty of Bosch mixers on ebay, and there are some really good stores selling those new as well.

    I have had mixed results with freezing bread depending where we have lived. Sometimes it is better to freeze the dough (think braided bread) and bake later.

    That said, I'd definitely check into the local laws and regulations as Summerthyme so astutely pointed out as they vary across the country and you want to make sure it will be worth your while before investing too much time, money, and effort.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    desertblossom makes a very good point- while it may not help much if your biggest problem is oven space, freezing the DOUGH just before the second rise (or, as I do at holidays in the winter, when our root cellar is at refrigerator temperatures, refrigerate it in the loaf pans overnight, then finish rising in the warm kitchen just before baking) will give you a much better product than freezing/thawing the bread itself.

    The other thing to consider is going back to the "old ways". When my kids were growing up, I had the Kitchenaid mixer- and it got TONS of use- but I needed a dozen loaves of bread a week. The Kitchenaid model I have can knead enough dough for two and a half loaves- two full sized loaves and one smaller (3x5' loaf pan) one. That meant making up multiple batches.

    It was MUCH faster and really not much harder to mix up the liquids in a 5 gallon pail, add the flour by hand with a big wooden spoon until it was almost impossible to mix (I usually moved it to a 16 quart shallow round stainless steel bowl for this step) and then dumping it all on the kitchen table (I made a custom-made pastry cloth out of 10 ounce unbleached cotton duck fabric, with elastic at all four corners- the elastic snapped over the table corners and held the pastry cloth in place- it works great) and kneading it (usually in 3-4 batches) by hand.

    I usually baked half after two risings, and the other half got punched down and allowed to rise again, due to oven space constraints. But it worked (and now, looking back, I DO wonder where I got half the energy to get it all done... but I sure don't regret the fun we had)

    One last thing- the KitchenAids biggest problem is still the silly gears- I THINK they have gone back and replaced the cheapie nylon gears with metal ones, but I'm not certain. Still, if you have anyone with a bit of mechanical knowledge and are offered a "defunct" KitchenAid, you may want to consider taking it. Mine died once, and it turned out to be nothing more but a TON of flour dust inside the case- it was shorting out one of the control switches!! My youngest son took it apart and fixed it for me that time, and it's run for over 18 years since.

    The main gears aren't expensive to replace, either...

    Summerthyme

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