Stand mixers can be a lifesaver for frequent bread bakers. They provide an efficient alternative to physically kneading the dough, saving time and energy. While they can be a major investment and somewhat expensive, it may be worth your while to buy a new stand mixer for your kitchen.
My pick? I love the KitchenAid Artisan Mixer. A classic!
Every baker is different, so make sure to consider the factors listed below when shopping for your mixer. Some of the best stand mixers on the market are outlined after this buying guide, each with their own features and unique purposes described.
Generally, the heavier the stand mixer, the better. Lighter models tend to “walk” or bounce around the countertop if it’s tackling a heavy duty job like bread dough. Your mixer should weigh at least 20 pounds if you’re planning on using it often for bread.
Some light mixers have suction cups on the bottom to avoid the “walking” problem, but this isn’t a very reliable solution and getting a heavyweight mixer will take care of this issue altogether.
For making bread dough, you’ll be focusing on lower speeds when using your mixer, so make sure the model you’re looking at has this feature. However, it wouldn’t hurt to find a model with a wide range of speeds so that you can use your mixer for other baking projects as well. Whipping cream or egg yolks needs high speed action. And who doesn’t like a good homemade whipped cream?
Your mixer needs to have a slow start option for the best possible mixing experience. A slow start is when the motor spins slowly for the first few seconds of mixing so that the loose ingredients don’t fly all over your kitchen. This is especially important for bread makers, considering the potential flour explosion a fast starting machine could create!
The material of the gears in your stand mixer also need to be explored. Nylon or plastic gears tend to be quieter than their counterparts, but metal gears last longer and therefore make the whole model a better investment for your kitchen. On this note, if you go for metal gears, make sure they are brass or steel, as these will yield much better results both long and short term.
You will want your beaters to move in what’s called a “planetary action” rotation, which basically means that they rotate the same way the earth rotates around the sun. This movement thoroughly scrapes the sides of the bowl with the beater so that all ingredients are fully mixed with minimal outside effort.
Top Picks: Ankarsrum Stand Mixer
If you bake huge amounts of bread, this is the stand mixer you’ll want. The Ankarsrum name began in Sweden 40 years ago, and has stood the test of time.
With a 12 pound dough capacity and a 7 quart stainless steel bowl able to fit 18 cups of flour at a time, you can make a lot of bread with this one. It has a high quality 600 watt motor that handles this enormous capacity with ease.
Adjustable speed, very durable.
With adjustable speeds of 44 to 130 RPM and automatic sensors that adjust the torque to the workload, it has unparalleled ease of use. It’s even been proven tough enough for everyday bread baking without the motor overheating or stripping gears. It can handle bagel or pizza dough with no hesitation.
Good value for a quality machine
While it is a bit of a pricey investment, it beats out its closest competitor (the Hobart N50-60 All Purpose Bench Mixer) as a much more affordable option with the same bread baking abilities. It also comes in various colors at Amazon to match your unique kitchen decor tastes. The 5-year warranty makes this a no-worries kind of decision.
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series
Another great heavy duty stand mixer suitable for bread baking is the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series. This is the most popular brand of stand mixers out there. Most bakers I know have one of these. KitchenAid actually developed the first ever tabletop mixer back in 1919. Their timeless reputation is proven by the 600 Series’ incredible capabilities and features.
6 quarts, 10 speeds, 4 attachments
This mixer has a 6 quart stainless steel bowl, which yields about 8 loaves of bread per batch. It has 10 mixing speeds, all metal beaters, and a 575-watt motor. With the mixer comes a “Powerknead” spiral dough hook, a flat beater, a wire whip, and a pouring shield. These extra attachments and features give you a much bigger bang for your buck.
1 year warranty
However, the KitchenAid does have some drawbacks. Its 1 year warranty can be worrisome to some new or first time buyers, especially since standalone mixers tend to need special care and proper use in order to last as long as possible. Most people feel you can avoid this by reading and following instructions carefully and consistently, but the limited warranty is an issue.
Some home cooks and bakers say it’s a bit noisy. But remember, this is an industrial level machine often found in professional settings, so it can also create industrial level noise. Consumer Reports actually docked the KitchenAid model for this reason.
For a medium duty stand mixer for bread, the KitchenAid Artisan model works well. It is quieter and not as powerful, but still makes beautiful breads if used properly and only occasionally.
If you’re planning on baking bread almost everyday of the week, you’ll have to sacrifice the noise level or go for the Verona model. Think about your specific needs or plans for your stand mixer and choose the best option for your kitchen.
Personally I like the Artisan KitchenAid. Call me a traditionalist, this is just the stand mixer I think of when I think of making bread.
Next we’ll look at the best Lasagna Pan for a Crowd
- Serious Eats – Everything You Need to Know to Bake Awesome Bread
- Good Eats – Dr. Strangeloaf – Alton Brown Shows You How to Bake Bread