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sssmasi 01-31-2007 11:27 PM

Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?
I'm just wondering if people out there in internet land use the dough attachment that comes with the Kitchen Aid mixer or if you use something else that is better for pizza dough.

edschmidt 02-01-2007 05:31 AM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?
I cant help, but excellent question, I got the heavyduty model for christmas which comes with the c dough hook. When I kneed french bread dough, or similar it makes an unhealthy sound and begins to smell like its heating up too much. Since its new and I have the warranty, and thats what I got it for I just figure if it dies it dies. I was wondering if the S hook is a smoother needing process and if this would eliminate the problem. Love to hear back from kitchenaid owners.

CanuckJim 02-01-2007 06:44 AM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?
Arrgh, you guys, pleeeesee:mad: don't get me started on the dreaded Kitchen Aid. Do a search on this forum for mixers, and you'll find all you really need to know about these things. The smell might be coming from the PLASTIC transfer case, which by this time is probably cracked, so the gears are chewing themselves to pieces. Kitchen Aid makes big claims about how much dough their mixers can handle. Do not believe them. The smell might also be coming from an inadequate and overheated motor. Fact is, these things aren't designed to handle dough, period.

I had a 600 series that self-destructed in three months. KA would not return my money. The store where I got it would only give me an in-store credit.

In response, I bought an Esmach SP5 spiral mixer that only does dough from the San Francisco Baking institute. There are cheaper alternatives, the Viking among them.

Be careful when purchasing a Kitchen Aid, their reputation has gone down once they went off-shore and once Whirlpool bought them out. If you are sceptical about what I have to say on the subject, surf the net for KA mixer owner reviews. Not good.


jengineer 02-01-2007 09:00 AM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?

DrakeRemoray 02-01-2007 01:14 PM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?
2 Attachment(s)
My older kitchen aid has not died, but I was killing it. So this christmas I plunked down the cash for the SP5 that Jim has. I have only made 1 batch of bread with it so far. It performed flawlessly, but it is very loud. Still, I made a double batch of brioche. The kitchen aid used to heat up severely on a single batch, but a double batch in the SP5 it was barely enough to get the knead action going. I could easily have done a 4x batch!

At roughly 4x the cost of a kitchen aid, I am sure it is not for everyone...but it is going to save me hours and hours.


Richard 02-01-2007 01:46 PM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?

I have followed your travails with the post you made several months ago on the KA600.

Still using one, and have not yet made the move to the SP5. How much of a workout does yours get each day, i.e. how many 8 pounds of dough at at time due you make each day. Also do you have a schedule for preparation, rest, shapi8ng, when you start fire, etc. Sort of same type of info Nancy Silverton provides in her book. My problem lately with baking bread has been I am not getting my proffing / oven ready in sync.

CanuckJim 02-01-2007 04:08 PM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?

Okay, my man, next time ask me an easy question. There are so many variables here, it's hard to begin.

But, as far as the SP5 is concerned, I've made 24 two-pound boule (4-6 at a time, knead time 4-6 mins.), plus 48 rolls, plus baguette and other stuff in one day in the thing, and it just doesn't blink. Doesn't heat up, doesn't object. Occasionally, it struggles just a bit with deliberately very stiff bagel dough (enough for two dozen at a shot, 4 ounces each), but I add a few drops of water and everything's fine. It's chain drive, so there is some noise, as Drake points out, but I find the merits far outweigh that one drawback. Take the top cover off, and it looks like the sprocket drive from a 250 cc dirtbike. It's the chain drive, plus the motor, plus how it's built (like a tank) that give it the torque it needs (something the KA's all lack, and that's what kills them). Right now, I'm doing a similar count, sometimes higher, three days a week. I have no doubt whatsoever it can handle more. The thing is the essence of an industrial appliance; it just does what it was designed to do.

The next part of your question is much, much more difficult to answer. Depends, really, on your oven; how much mass, if any, how much insulation, etc. Here's what I'm doing right now, in the depths of winter, with overnight temps in the minus 20 C range. After the day's bake, the oven cools down some while I deal with customers, have dinner, pet cat, kiss girlfriend, prep next day's doughs, etc. About 10 pm, the slab and cladding are still in the near 400 F range, though the hearth and dome have cooled to about 400 after multiple bakes during the day. I start another fire before bedtime to keep the core saturated overnight. Most, but not all, of my breads are wild yeast and retarded overnight. In the morning, I check temps and fire again; the size of the fire depends on what I want to do and how much I've gained overnight, or maybe I've just stayed even. This is an early start, 5 am, but I can get more shuteye once I've started the day's fire, unless, of course, I'm doing one-day breads as well, which I usually am (see rolls above).

There are two schools of thought on retarded breads. One, Nancy Silverton for example, recommends letting the doughs warm up for about 2-2 1/2 hours before baking. This can get very tricky when you're dealing with a wood-fired oven, because a delay can result in over-fermentation. The second, Geoffrey Hamelmann, eg, says go right from the fridge to the oven. I try to land in the middle somewhere, because I've found breads right from the fridge don't rise as much, and the other way is risky in summer. This third approach gives you a window of opportunity to make sure your hearth temp is good for what you want to do. For me, under ideal conditions, that's about 550 F for baguette, 500-550 for boule, etc. My high mass oven takes about 2 hours to moderate, meaning that the slab and cladding are not taking heat from the hearth and dome; sort of equalized. Once I've got the max hearth temp I'm looking for (normally in the 750-800 range), I rake out then take the breads out of the fridge. In an hour and a half, if the hearth's still too hot, I just leave the door off for fifteen or so minutes to bring it down.

Believe me, this can be tricky, and I don't always get it right. Today, I added to a post that I baked Ancienne baguette at 610 F on the hearth, not something I usually do, but my schedule demanded that I get going or my customers would have me for lunch. Took 8 minutes; ordinarily it takes 12 at 550 F. Worked out okay, but you better be on your toes.

Sounds trite, but experience will be your best guide and the quirks of your oven will be the best teacher. Getting both the oven and the doughs in sync is one of the toughest things in this kind of baking. Maybe, some day, I'll get it absolutely right, time after time, but for now there are always adjustments and compromises. Maybe what you need is a course from a baker with a wood-fired oven. Management is key.

Hope that helps somewhat.


maver 02-01-2007 08:46 PM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?
Just to chime in on the kitchen aid thing, we have a kitchen aid K5SS that was a wedding present (1992). This is a household model, and I've used it fairly regularly over the years for bread and pizza dough, along with our other uses. We've never serviced it, and it's really been fine for us. It gets warm occasionally if I use too much flour, but 1kg of flour for pizza is fine, and if I make more I split it into two batches. I am not about to go buy a new mixer, and I think the question about S first C hook is a good one. I'd be interested to know if others have tried using a different hook with the kitchen aid and whether it does anything substantially better.

I'm not recommending others go out and buy a kitchen aid - I did hear (cannot recall the source) that the company was bought out around 15 years ago, and that quality has not been good since. I also understand the advantage of a dedicated spiral dough mixer like the SP5 in terms of improved dough handling as Jim has pointed out. But mine works ok.

CanuckJim 02-02-2007 02:31 AM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?

You're doing the right thing with the KA. If you're only going for 1 Kg at a time, the thing should last for years. It's only when you approach the manufacturer's stated capacity that the machine breaks down. The 600 I bought was claimed, if I recall correctly, that it could handle 14 cups of flour. No it couldn't. The small print said only regular flour, though, and only 8 cups of whole wheat. Neither was true.


Richard 02-02-2007 08:30 AM

Re: Whats the best Kitchen Aid mixer attachment?

Your explanation was helpful. Thanks fo rtaking the time.

When re-heating the oven the next day, would I have to re-fire to again get a completely white dome or just get hearth to desired temp. My oven is usually at 275 - 325 degress the morning follwoing a pizza bake (about 12 hours later)


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