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If you like to make heavy dough recipes for home or your small business, consider a few key factors when deciding the best stand mixer for heavy dough use. While some may consider large batches of cookies and cake dough to be “heavy dough”, we are more concerned with different types of bread recipes (including pizza crust) you may be making. Kneading dough in a mixer requires a different set of criteria when selecting the right stand mixer for this purpose.
Before you read any further – we did not do an exhaustive review of every stand mixer for heavy dough applications on the market. Instead, we researched feedback and recommendations from bakers that make large batches of dough multiple times a week. We researched commercial kitchens and stand mixers used there. We then down selected to 3 recommended mixers that will work for frequent heavy dough recipes.
This does not mean other mixers reviewed on our site or elsewhere cannot handle dough recipes – the mixers shown below are simply believed to be better suited for heavier baking needs, especially challenging dough recipes like bagels etc.
What is considered mixing heavy dough – and how do you decide the best stand mixer for heavy dough recipes and ongoing use? For the purposes of our recommendations and research, we decided on 2 loafs or more, and bread dough recipes for a wide variety of breads. Anything that we discuss below with respect to bread [which requires fairly intensive and heavy kneading] will more than apply to things like cookie dough, pizza dough and of course cake recipes.
Here are some rules of thumb most experienced bakers seem to agree on when choosing a stand mixer for heavy dough mixing:
- 5 qt or larger capacity stainless steel bowl
- Greater than 400 watts mixer motor (exceptions to this – see reviews below)
- All metal gear transmission in the mixer
- Stable – whether due to weight, design of the mixer, or suction cups
Based on our research, we would not recommend a KitchenAid Artisan or Artisan Mini as a stand mixer for heavy dough recipes. While they are good mixers for general purpose baking and cooking, they won’t hold up to the demands of heavier, larger batches of dough.
Using a Stand Mixer for Bread Dough
Many people can’t wait to unbox their shiny new KitchenAid mixer and whip up a batch of French loaf bread. After all – who doesn’t love the aroma of bread cooking, and having it warm out of the oven for dinner!
Often, however, owners of a shiny new kitchen mixer are disappointed rather quickly if they start with a heavy dough recipe. This is due to the mixer not meeting some of the specifications we listed above, and the experiences often include:
- A burning smell from the mixer motor
- A burned out motor – the mixer just stops
- Stripped transmission gears – the motor may run but the dough hooks stop turning
- Leaking oil into the mix as too much pressure is placed on the transmission
- The dreaded walking mixer – it moves all over the countertop
- Heavy dough sticking to dough hooks and rotating around or up the hook attachment
If you are using a stand mixer for heavy dough mixing, here are some models that meet the criteria above, and have above average reviews on sites like Amazon. Note that you should go higher in power and bowl capacity if you are looking for 4+ loaf batches, regardless of whether a stand mixer guide says it can handle it. The manufacturers are somewhat optimistic when publishing their batch size recommendations for mixers!
Note that we did not include commercial sized and priced mixers such as the Hobart HL200-1STD Legacy Planetary Mixer. These are honestly considered the staple brand in commercial kitchens and restaurants, but at prices starting at $5000 we decided to leave them out of consideration for home use.
Hobart N50 Commercial Mixer Review
Price: $2,249.99 (as of 10/22/2016)
Weight: 44.5 pounds
Capacity: 5 quarts
Power: 348 Watts
You may look at this price and then the motor wattage and say “what the heck – this has less power than my $300 KitchenAid Artisan Mini!”. However, this is where numbers can be very misleading!
The Hobart N50 stand mixer basically uses a solid metal transmission to deliver the full power of the motor even at lower speeds – such as when kneading heavy bread. Contrast this with most lower end mixers that may offer 400-800 watts, but only at higher speeds. In other words, even though this stand mixer has a lower wattage motor, it actually delivers more torque and power at all speeds than a higher wattage motor without a similar transmission. The speed is controlled through the transmission and not through varying the power to the motor like most lower end mixers.
This mixer is a top pick, and is built like a tank. Yes, it is a substantial investment. Given its expected lifetime, however, you will likely get your moneys worth and more.
At over 40 pounds, it doesn’t budge when mixing up 2-3 or more heavy dough batches, and we struggled to find any reviews that mentioned any issues kneading and mixing. In fact, numerous reviews are convinced this mixer could mix cement if you wanted it to!
Some key features:
- 3 speed transmission
- Bowl lift design
- Handles 4 pounds of bread dough
- Can use most KitchenAid attachments (has similar PowerHub interface) on this
Hobart is the name you see most often in the back of commercial bakeries and restaurants. If you’re a serious at-home cook and large batch baker, this is a solid machine built to last decades.
Ankarsum Original AKM 6220 Stand Mixer Review
TOP PICK IN THIS CATEGORY
Price: $699.99 (as of 10/22/2016)
Weight: 19 pounds
Capacity: 8 quarts
Colors: Mineral white, black chrome, creme, matte black, pearl blue, pearl green, pearl orange, pearl pink, red, royal blue
Power: 600 Watts
This stand mixer was also formerly known as Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, DLX. Often you will see a ton of references to Electrolux in particular – this is the same mixer essentially. Will it be the best stand mixer for heavy dough cooking? Let’s check it out.
A favorite of Sweden, this mixer has been in production since 1940 through various models and designs. Designed and manufactured in Sweden, we struggled to find negative reviews from people that have actually purchased and used the Ankarsum.
It will easily mix 6+ loaves of bread, has been reported to be quieter than most KitchenAids, and we could not find any reports of burned out motors due to mixing heavy doughs with it. In fact, almost every reviewer tends to favor this machine especially for large dough and bread recipes. This could be the best stand mixer for heavy dough chef’s – it is certainly our top pick for this category.
The picture above gives away the engineering – the mixer motor is in the bottom of the unit. Believe it or not, this results in a much more stable mixer [weight at bottom] and provides a unique mixing action that does a superior job on breads and heavy dough recipes.
It can be fun to watch, as a steel arm holds the roller, along with a separate scraper to knead the dough.
A few key facts to consider:
- It has a learning curve, as it mixes differently than a traditional overhead stand mixer
- Pay attention to instructions on which attachments to use – not completely intuitive
- 8Qt stainless steel bowl included
- Includes dough hook, roller, scraper, cookie beaters
- Has a removable power cord
- Comes with Spatula, dust cover, and accessory bowl
This Ankarsum (aka Electrolux) stand mixer also has a variety of attachments that easily compete with the KitchenAid PowerHub set:
- Grain mill
- Citrus juicer
- Food slicer/shredder
- 3 types of pasta rollers
- Flake mill
- Grain mill
- Meat grinder
- Nut grater
- Cookie extruder
The only real negative reviews we found concerned using this stand mixer for a lot of non-bread type recipes [cakes, creams, etc.]. Some reviews [a fairly small number] indicated that it didn’t always do as good of a job on lighter and smaller batches.
This is our top pick mixer for bread, and should be considered for any serious baker as well. The design, durability, capacity, stability, and build quality far exceeds brands like KitchenAid according to owner that have had both. It comes with an almost unheard of 5 year warranty on the motor and base.
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer Review
We did a review of this mixer as part of our overall KitchenAid Mixer Comparison project. Click on the link in the sentence before this one to read it!
It is within the same price range (~$600.00)as the Electrolux/Ankarsum mixer, although it is often discounted a bit steeper during sales periods.
To summary the linked review above, the Pro 600 series is viewed as more than capable of handling heavy dough recipes from a power, capacity, and stability perspective. It will not handle the same larger capacities as the Ankarsum, but it does have a more traditional bowl lift design with the motor overhead if that is your comfort zone.
There are a fair number of reports regarding issues with the attachments that come with the mixer, so be sure you are comfortable with what others describe there if you decide you want a KitchenAid for your heavy dough needs.
Bosch MUM6N10UC Universal Plus Stand Mixer Review
Price: $389.99 (as of 10/22/2016)
Weight: 12.3 pounds
Capacity: 6.5 quarts
Power: 800 Watts
People either love or hate their Bosch mixers. When researching actual usage of the mixer, we found the majority love it and gave it 5 stars, but with 15% of reviewers giving it 1-3 stars, you may want to take a closer look.
This is a powerful mixer, and similar to the Ankarsum, is a bottom motor design. It’s 800 watt mixer motor is made in Germany, it has 4 speeds, and there weren’t any volume of complaints around it ever burning out. The manufacturer states this Bosch mixer can handle up to 14 loaves of bread and a whopping 34 batches of cookies. That is a lot of baking! Did we mention this is our favorite for a best stand mixer for heavy dough chefs?
This stand mixer has plenty of power, doesn’t weigh too much, and in general is considered pretty stable when mixing large batches. It would be a good pick for heavy dough batches as long as you are good with the design, plastic bowls, and a little more cleanup work afterwards.
Some of the things people don’t like about it:
- It has a hard plastic bowl. While nobody reported problems with this, you may have a preference for stainless steel which would take you away from this mixer.
- The plastic mixing paddles are flimsy and don’t last long. Buy the available stainless steel ones.
- Cleanup can be very challenging. In fact, this is the number one complaint we found.
Some advantages of this Bosch mixer are:
- Has a nice collection of attachments [including a blender] similar to the KitchenAid PowerHub (meat grinders, etc.)
- Triple whipping action actually does a fantastic job of mixing
- Unique dough hook design excels when kneading heavy dough batches
- Easy to add ingredients while mixing
If price is a factor in your decision, the Bosch will likely be your best deal and still meet all your needs for the best stand mixer for heavy dough in a range you can afford. It also offers a 3 yr motor and transmission warranty, which speaks to their manufacturing quality.
We hope you found this information useful. We like the 4 stand mixers on this page for heavy dough baking and cooking. The requirements for power and stability are a bit higher than what you’d find in a normal everyday kitchen, but this gives you some options across a decent price range to consider for your heavy dough needs!
As always, if you found our research useful, please share on Facebook, Pinterest, or your favorite social network. Thank you!
Video Reviews of Reviewed Mixers for Heavy Dough