Author Topic: Dough Mixers  (Read 2543 times)

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Offline Joepalma

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Dough Mixers
« on: March 28, 2013, 06:01:42 AM »
I am looking to purchase a dough mixer specifically for making Dough for Neapolitan pizza. I am debating between the Electrolux DLX and the Santos fork mixer. My hydration levels generally between 60% and 65%.  I never make dough using less than 1000g of flour. I welcome feedback any who have used either or both of these machines.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 07:23:20 AM »
I go back and forth between using the Santos @ ~63% hydration and the Tartine stretch/fold manual method @ 70% for batches of 1500g of dough. I wish I could say one way is clearly superior, but even after countless batches, there are still too many variables in the mixing, fermenting, and baking for me to identify why a given pizza came out this way or that way. I used to be much more meticulous in measuring and evaluating; these days, I'm more relaxed and try to enjoy the process as much as the results, which may be less consistent, but the mean has definitely been improving.


The Santos produces great dough. The more I use it, the better it gets - but that applies to just about everything in life. The Santos requires a unique approach that has taken me several years to develop and I am still tweaking. The way I use it now is very different than from when I started. I'd find it hard to believe someone could say some other mixer was better than the Santos without having gone through that process with both.


I think you'll find many more people using the DLX, so it might be a better choice since you'd have a larger base of experience to take advantage of.   
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 07:27:56 AM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 09:15:03 AM »
DLX ownwer here. I love this freaking thing.

1000g flour @60-65%? I mix batches like that regularly. Double that, too....That's right in its wheelhouse.

Highly recommended by Mmmph.
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 09:22:19 AM »
I can also Get you a small spiral mixer if you like ! Mecnosud IM5 or 8 these are built in italy and great machines!
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline toyman

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 10:24:44 AM »
Another DLX owner here.  My recipe is based upon 2000g of flour and 65% H20, give or take a percentage.  It doesn't miss a beat, is gentle on the dough and does a fantastic job.  I will say that with large batches, I can't go in the other room and watch TV until the timer goes off  :angel:.  I stay with the machine and push down the dough if it starts creeping (mainly early in the mix) with a silcone spatula.  Once it's done, I'll do a quick stretch and fold or 3.  The stainless bowl is very heavy duty and easy to clean and use.  Great machine! 

Offline scott r

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 10:47:56 AM »
I want to preface this post by saying that after reading bills post I realize its very possible I sold my santos too soon.    I had it for about a year and a half, but I was at that time making pizza at least three times a week, so it got lots of use.   I actually thought it was one of my least favorite mixers, if not my least favorite, and I have had a lot of mixers!   At that time I was trying to recreate some neapolitan pizzas that I had sampled in Naples Italy, and the pizza I had at Il Pizzaiolo in pittsburgh that were all using 60% hydrations.   I think that is on the low side of what the santos does best, and if I were making 66% hydration doughs I think I would have liked the santos more than I did.       

One day I had the fortune of meeting forum member widespread pizza, who had a bosch mixer.   I went up to his house and brought my dough and we baked pizzas in his amazing hand built low dome wood burning oven.    It was very obvious to me that his dough was really different than mine, even though we were using a very similar recipe and techniques.    I decided it would be a good idea for us to swap mixers for a month or so to really put them through their paces.   Surprisingly his little $300 bosch universal (not even the plus) made what was in my opinion a much better dough than my santos.   it was also much easier to use...almost dummy proof.   I remember his surprise as well that he couldnt wait to get his bosch back!   I was quite verbal after that on this forum about how amazing the bosch mixer is, and I will never forget my surprise when I started seeing threads where people were complaining about thier bosch mixers.  If you are doing a really wet dough (65 on up) in the bosch, and especially if you are doing really small batches (enough for just 1 or 2 pizzas) its not the best mixer.   It does, however, excel at pizzas from about 65 on down, and once you get to 60 percent and below  its actually my favorite mixer.   

My DLX was almost the exact opposite of the Bosch in its "sweet spot".    I think that if you are looking to do higher hydration doughs above 65 ish percent it is much better than the bosch, and maybe even as good as a full size (slow speed) professional fork mixer.  It can go WAY high with hydrations into the 80's with no issue, and really the high 60's is probably the cutoff for the Bosch.    The problem with this mixer, though, is that it really doesnt make the best doughs at under about 62% hydration.   Im sure there are people that use their DLX at 59 percent and say its great, but trust me... I spent many days with these mixers doing side by side comparisons and this mixer just falls short when it comes to lower or what I call medium hydrations.   

My spiral mixer is the mixer that really is the best of both worlds..... It can easily do high and low hydrations, but you just have to be careful with it.   Like the Santos, its a very fast moving mixer, which forces you to use very short mix times.   Unfortunately spiral mixers are expensive, at least double the cost of the others we are talking about.  You could actually get a bosch and a dlx for about the same price as a spiral or the santos.           

Id say... if I were starting all over again and could only buy one mixer it would be the spiral, but... if you really know you are going to be only working in that 60-65% range, I would save a bunch of money and just go for the Bosch.    Thats smack dab in the middle of its sweet spot, and if down the road you want to get into any chicago thin crust style pizzas (highly recommended!!) or laminated dough pizzas which both use hydrations in the 40's, you will have the best mixer for that as well.

On the other hand... if you know you never will need to go below 63 on your hydration, and you might want to get into roman style uber high hydrations down the road I would save a bunch of money and go for the DLX.     
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:06:59 AM by scott r »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 11:23:11 AM »
In evaluating the best mixer (and process and ingredients and oven ...) for your purposes, it may be useful to define what exactly you are looking for in your dough. For me, there are three criteria:


1) That the final dough is easy to shape without tearing.
2) That the baked crust is soft and tender
3) That the baked crust doesn't get tough when cooled ( = stays tender during the time it takes to be eaten, <5 minutes)


In addition to all of the other criteria such as flavor, for me the mixer must meet all three consistently.




Offline scott r

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 11:31:57 AM »
im with you on all accounts.    Although.... I have never had an issue with dough tearing unless it was a severely undermixed dough made with my hands, or I was an idiot and tried to shape a pizza with a dough that was not fully fermented yet.       

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 11:44:39 AM »
im with you on all accounts.    Although.... I have never had an issue with dough tearing unless it was a severely undermixed dough made with my hands, or I was an idiot and tried to shape a pizza with a dough that was not fully fermented yet.     


When pushing the limits of fermentation, a point can be reached where the gluten structure is so degraded that tearing can be a problem, especially with higher hydration dough in my experience.

Offline Joepalma

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 06:07:08 AM »
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I really appreciate it. What is clear is that there is no clear winner! I think I'll take the plunge and go for the DLX. It appears to have a strong fan base with very few negatives going against it.


Offline scott r

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 12:51:27 PM »
I think you will love it as long as you dont need to go below 62%.   good luck!    also, report back with your opinions once you have lived with it for a while. 

Offline Topeye.Tom

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 02:55:03 PM »
Hi all,

Great thread, just what I was looking for and I'm not even reviving an old dead thread!  Here's another option...

I've been making my dough (pizza and bread) by hand for years.  Just bought a Quisinart SM-70.  My right rotator cuff finally got so whipping the sponge hurts and I bought a mixer.

I've only used it twice, and have to say, it's OK.  Now I'm thinking I'm back in the market...   The first batch was 1200g flour, 50% hydration.  Mixed for 8 minutes.  Uses a spiral style dough hook.  The dough hook is non-stick coated and came out of the finished dough looking like it was clean.  Only beef would be that it did not mix the dough fully, there were dryer areas that had not kneaded fully.  This was fine, might be a little chewier than I like, but OK. 

Second batch was 1600g, 50% hydration.  Because of the drier areas in the dough, I monitored it and used a scraper to help move the flour into the ball and off of the sides of the bowl early in the mixing.  This worked and the final dough was smooth and even.  At about 5 minutes it shut down on the thermal protector.  I unplugged and let it cool, but not as long as I could or should have.  After it reset, I got just shy of another 2 minutes before it shut down again.  I finished it on the counter before letting it rest before balling.

I need to try a higher hydration and see if it can handle ~ 1-1/2 kilos of flour.  My opinion is that the high speed is too high and they could have given it a bit more of a gear advantage at the low end and made it a better dough machine.  I don't know if the original Marantz that this is a derivative of had a better low end or not.

I am looking at mixer options again, considering the Bosch Universal (mum6n10) but also at much more expensive options like used Hobart 10-12 quart and other options. 

Without really trying to hijack the thread, if I did bite the bullet and spend more than what a Bosch Universal costs, anywhere from 800 to 1600$...  Will an 800 - 1200$ planetary type mix as well in the 50- mid 60% hydration as well as 5kg size spiral at maybe $1500 or a bit more?

Or is maybe the Bosch really what I should look at, I just don't want to keep buying mixers.  If I do, I'll end up with a garage full and lots of $ spent!  My usual is in the 1-1/2 to 3 kg flour size dough batch.  I'm just starting to build my WFO, so for larger groups, like to celebrate when it is finished, I'll have to do multiple batches.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 11:17:08 PM »
I would go witha smaller sprial as mentione and its a $1500 bucks you will never look back on. The mecnosud makes an 8L 15-30+  doughballs or the 5L there are still a few still available !
John
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Offline Trickydick

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Re: Dough Mixers
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 04:07:56 PM »
Great thread! 

I have a "artisan" KA mixer, I think it's 5 quarts 325 watts. Crummy C hook... 
I have been trolling the forum for a while to figure out why my dough is inconsistent and and going to try and make some NY and Neo style pies in my WFO.  I also like to make pretzels, the dough for which is 49% hydration.  When I do a double batch ( good for about 10 pretzels) the mixer just can't get through the dough and stalls. So I have to continuously monitor.  I know its going to give up the ghost soon and its already about 5 years old (I wish there was a dough mixer attachment for my meat grinder 1 HP motor).  So I've been thinking carefully about what to replace it with.

I reading this thread, it seems that probably the Bosch might be the way to go.  Are there different models/options?  I had previously been thinking the DLX would be good (after first hearing about it at the Jeff varasano pizza page). Seems that it wouldn't probably work as well as the Bosch for doing the pretzel dough however.  I may also branch out and start baking other style pies and bread and so forth.  I really can't see myself justifying a $1500 mixer at this point.  I do want to ask however about the Bosch ability to make larger batches of dough.  I'd like to be able to mix up dough for a large group, in one batch:  say like three 16" NY style pizza dough balls, and maybe 6-12 12" Neo style dough balls on a different evening for a big pizza party on the weekend.  I know that my KASM is going to die very soon if I try to make large batches of dough for pizza in this fashion.  How does the Bosch fare in this setting, and again, are there any preferred models, options, etc?  I was totally unaware of the varied differences in internal design on the KA models..

Thanks

TD