Author Topic: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust  (Read 1704 times)

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Online orangeman1

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I am a new to making my own dough and have read through many threads and can't quite get to the answer to my question. I see KA, Bosch, DLX, but most users here seem to have needs of higher capacity than I do. In all the threads, somebody inevitably will say that small batches give them trouble on any particular model so that keeps making me wonder.

I plan to use no more than 3-4 cups of flour at a time to make 2 thin-to-medium crust pizzas.  Maybe I'm too new to understand why I would make more dough than I can eat at one meal, so my mindset is to make the smaller batches.

It's going to be a Christmas present for me, so while money is a consideration, there is some wiggle room here. I had my eye, on a KA Artisan, but now after reading all these threads, I thought I should ask the question specific to my needs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 11:57:24 AM by orangeman1 »


Offline scott r

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Re: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 03:10:19 PM »
Every time I make dough I do a large batch and use the dough throughout the next 1-2 weeks.  Its nice because I always have dough on hand if family or friends visit and want pizza or bread.   

To accomplish this I use a small amout of yeast, which allows me to hold the dough in the fridge for a long time, or leave the doughs out at room temp to be used sooner.     Usually I make dough early in the morning or late at night.   The first doughs I use of the batch are fermented totally at room temp, and are either done for dinner that night (if I made dough when I first got up that morning) or lunch the next day (if I made dough before I went to sleep at night).    At some point balls are formed and put into the fridge where they can be held for later use.   

A well hydrated NY or neapolitan style pizza dough makes amazing bread, so I always end up making a few loaves for the neighbors or family members that love it. 

If you really must do very small batches I think the bosch compact would be your best bet, but a standard kitchen aid should work out as well.   Of course you could always use a cuisinart or similar food processor to combine the ingredients and do some stretch and folds by hand.   The part of hand mixing I look forward to the least is that initial incorporation of ingredients, so this works out nicely.  The stretch and folds are easy and really let you zero in on the perfect amount of gluten formation.   A food processor is also nice way to save money, have a machine that can do much more than a mixer would, and still turn out a top notch product.     

Online orangeman1

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Re: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 08:42:53 AM »
Scott, thanks so much for that comprehensive answer.  It is just what I needed.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 02:43:13 PM »
If you really must do very small batches I think the bosch compact would be your best bet, but a standard kitchen aid should work out as well.   Of course you could always use a cuisinart or similar food processor to combine the ingredients and do some stretch and folds by hand.    

+1 on what Scott says. I use a Bosch Compact (it was a birthday present... with some financial help from me). Great for small batches of dough (use to around 550 grams with now problem... should be able to go up to 2 pounds).

Before I got that, I used an old Cuisinart food processor (an old 8-cup tank of a food processor... used the steel blade not the plastic "kneading" blade) with good results too. The technique I used was to put all the ingredients into the bowl (water first), and then pulse to just combine them (around 8-10 1-second pulses). The workflow called for a short rest (I did 20 minutes) followed by around 1 minute of continuous running. One issue with the food processor is that the final dough temperature seems to be a lot higher than when I use the Bosch Compact, so start off with cold water (even with some ice in it) to get a final dough temperature below 80 degrees.

Barry
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 02:53:23 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline RobynB

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Re: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 04:51:56 PM »
I have the KA Artisan 5 quart, the newer 14-cup Cuisinart, and the Bosch Compact.  I started out making dough in the Cuisinart.  Started using the KA and was happier but stressing the machine too much, but I was making bigger batches than it sounds like you will.  I bought the Bosch and I am very happy with it. 

Offline apizza

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Re: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 07:35:30 PM »
Wow, good timing orangeman1 on this thread. I bought a Bosch Universal a few years ago because my wife's Kitchen Aid was groaning with stress.  I have found the Universal is not what I need for small batches of dough. I have been looking at the Compact and these replies have been helpful to me as well. I'll look for a new home for my Bosch and maybe go for the Compact.
Marty

Online orangeman1

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Re: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2012, 11:26:10 AM »
Thanks to all that replied. I ordered a Bosch Compact and look forward to its arrival. I'm sure it will be perfect for my needs.

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Best mixer for small batches (3-4 cups of flour) thin-to-medium crust
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2012, 07:56:21 PM »
Every time I make dough I do a large batch and use the dough throughout the next 1-2 weeks.  Its nice because I always have dough on hand if family or friends visit and want pizza or bread.   

To accomplish this I use a small amout of yeast, which allows me to hold the dough in the fridge for a long time, or leave the doughs out at room temp to be used sooner.     Usually I make dough early in the morning or late at night.   The first doughs I use of the batch are fermented totally at room temp, and are either done for dinner that night (if I made dough when I first got up that morning) or lunch the next day (if I made dough before I went to sleep at night).    At some point balls are formed and put into the fridge where they can be held for later use.   

A well hydrated NY or neapolitan style pizza dough makes amazing bread, so I always end up making a few loaves for the neighbors or family members that love it. 

If you really must do very small batches I think the bosch compact would be your best bet, but a standard kitchen aid should work out as well.   Of course you could always use a cuisinart or similar food processor to combine the ingredients and do some stretch and folds by hand.   The part of hand mixing I look forward to the least is that initial incorporation of ingredients, so this works out nicely.  The stretch and folds are easy and really let you zero in on the perfect amount of gluten formation.   A food processor is also nice way to save money, have a machine that can do much more than a mixer would, and still turn out a top notch product.     

Can you give a sample recipe of your recipe Scott?


 

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