Author Topic: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer  (Read 1939 times)

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Offline CDNpielover

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Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« on: November 10, 2012, 06:50:54 PM »
Hello everyone,

Until now I have been using a bread maker to knead my pizza dough, but gave it away as I was moving across the country.  I now need a new appliance for kneading dough.  Initially, I was going to buy a Kitchenaid stand mixer, however I've been doing some reading and it seems the new models aren't as well-built as they used to be.  I'm also not sure if I want to spend several hundred dollars on one of the top models they make, especially considering that I won't really use it except for mixing dough once a week.

I'm now considering getting a food processor for dough kneading.  I've had food processors in the past, however  I never used it for making dough.  Can anyone comment on how well that works?  the appealing thing about a food processor is that I know I'll use it for many other things besides just kneading dough.

Can anyone recommend a good model with a strong motor?  I can spend up to $300, but would like to keep it under $200 if possible.

This one seems to get good reviews http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-DFP-14BCN-Processor-Brushed-Stainless/dp/B0000645TW/?tag=pizzamaking-20 although it seems they have updated that model (but it's priced $65 more)  http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-FP-14DC-Collection-14-Cup-Processor/dp/B002I5DMU0/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Or, is there a better model that someone can recommend?

Thanks!   :chef:


Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 06:55:41 PM »
Oh - and I should note that I usually make doughs with 40-50% water...  not sure if a food processor is appropriate for those water contents.  Thanks!

Offline scott r

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 10:09:00 AM »
for that hydration the best two options are the bosch mixer or a food processor.  They both do the job about the same because either way you dont want to do too much mixing at that hydration (Im assuming you use something to roll out the dough since hand stretching is next to impossible at this hyration).    If I were you I would probably just get the food processor since it can do so much more, but the bonus of using the bosch is that it makes great dough up to about 63% hydration.    Good luck!   

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 10:18:27 AM »
Oh - and I should note that I usually make doughs with 40-50% water...  not sure if a food processor is appropriate for those water contents.  Thanks!

CDNpielover,

What styles of pizzas do you want to make that call for those hydration levels?

Peter

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 12:59:53 PM »
Dear Scott and Peter,

Thanks so much for the advice.  I usually make Chicago-style thin, deep dish, American, Greek-style, and sometimes the Lehman style NYC.  I think the highest water content I work with is 63%. 

I'm really leaning towards a food processor, mostly because I will use it a lot more.  I'm not sure if it will work across all of those water contents however. 

This Cuisinart FP-12 is a steal at $155 on Amazon (the die cast color is cheapest).  http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-FP-12-Collection-12-Cup-Processor/dp/B002I5BOV4/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Offline scott r

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 01:30:30 PM »
you can make a great dough in a FP.   Once you get above about 52% hydration try this...

try only combining the ingredients with the FP... just spin it for a few seconds, then finish with stretch and folds every 20-45 minutes. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 02:27:54 PM »
CDNpielover,

I don't think you should have any problems using a food processor for the types of doughs you want to make. However, there are limitations with food processors as there are with other types of mixers. You can read about some of these limitations in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18586.msg181030.html#msg181030, the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12877.msg125013.html#msg125013, and the article at http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/02/pizza-protips-kneading-converting-recipes-for-food-processor.html. Also, although not mentioned in the foregoing threads and article, if you plan to use the food processor to make a deep-dish dough, you will want to keep the mixing to an absolute minimum. Otherwise, you will end up with excessive gluten development. Further, for fairly low hydration doughs such as the Mellow Mushroom clone doughs that you have tested, you may have to use some hand kneading at the end of the food processor knead, even with the substantial amount of molasses those doughs use. I made many such doughs and had no problem producing good, coherent dough balls.

Recently, America's Test Kitchen (Cook's Illustrated) updated its tests of food processors. Since I am not a CI subscriber, I cannot cite the actual article in which the test results were presented in detail. However, you can see a synopsis at http://www.americastestkitchen.com/equipment-reviews/detail.php?docid=26352. I have been using a standard Cuisinart model such as the one recommended in the CI article for many, many years. It is a workhorse that has never let me down, within the limits of its capabilities, of course. I personally would go with a 14-cup model, not anything smaller.

If you scan the Prep Equipment board or do a few forum searches, you will find an enormous amount of material on the subject of food processors.

Peter

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 02:38:48 PM »
Dear Peter,

Thanks for your advice.  Can you tell me why you would not go with a food processor smaller than 14 cups?  

I can get a 12 cup Cuisinart for $155, but the 14 cup version is more than $100 more.  It's hard to justify spending $100 on a 2 cup larger capacity!  Both of these options feature 1000 W induction motors, which is very attractive.

However, I could go with the older model for $199 - the 14 cup Cuisinart recommended by America's Test Kitchen).  However, it has a smaller 720 W non-induction motor.  It's also about $40 more than the newer 12 cup model.

I don't have a large family (just 2 of us), so I don't really plan on using the processor for large jobs...  but maybe there is some other reason you prefer the 14 cup capacity?  If you could let me know that would be super, as I would like to make a decision soon!

Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 02:51:09 PM by CDNpielover »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 03:30:07 PM »
CDNpielover,

I use my food processor only for myself but I got used to the added capacity of the 14-cup Cuiinart, not only for making pizza dough but for other applications. Also, at the time I purchased it, price was not a particular concern.

The main advantage of the larger capacity unit is the ability to make more dough, whether it is for conducting multiple experiments, freezing for future use, or whatever. You might want to solicit the views and opinions of our members who have the 12-cup food processors.

In my case, I would have rather spent the added money to get the larger unit than to get a smaller unit that was inadequate and thereafter regret not having purchased the larger unit. In general, it seems to me that people who buy the smaller size of anything are more likely to regret not having gone larger than the other way around. People find ways and occasions to use the added capacity.

Peter

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Need advice on food processor or stand mixer
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 05:38:19 PM »
Thanks Peter, I think I've decided to go with the older 14 cup model for $199.  The motor isn't as good and it doesn't have as many bells and whistles as the newer model, but the lid doesn't have the fancy new seal which is apparently really difficult to clean.