I am a baking freak and have a special love for baking bread. I don't like to use difficult-to-find ingredients and expensive gadgets and hence did not have a stand mixer and so far I have never felt the need for a stand mixer.
But who doesn't love surprises and when you get something totally unexpected as a surprise gift, the joy becomes double. Same thing happened with me when I received a stand mixer as a surprise gift from my family.
With a new stand mixer at home, I decided to do my Gluten-Free Bread Course with it. Suddenly, bread kneading that seems a difficult task, became a cake walk for me. Don't take me wrong, bread baking is 100% doable without a stand mixer. What stand mixer offers the greatest convenience is kneading dough?
Introduction to stand mixer
A stand mixer is an electric kitchen appliance that has a mixing bowl with a motor and a rotating wire whisk. Stand mixers are used to blend, chop, whip, and knead ingredients for cooking, baking, etc.
The first electric stand mixer was invented by a man named Hobart Bosworth. The first stand mixers were designed to create buttercream. They started out as bulky, metal machines and they used high volume, strong pulses to aerate the icing.
Today these mixers are considered a staple in most kitchens and there is a wide variety of them with many different features so you can find a stand mixer that suits your needs best.
Benefits of a stand mixer
I was not aware of the benefits of a stand mixer until I got one. The primary advantage of this type of mixer is the capacity to make many batches at once. For those who bake for large gatherings or parties, this can be an important feature to have in your kitchen!
Some people like me may think if it is worth getting a stand mixer, when they can simply use a bowl and a spoon. But there are many benefits for having this type of equipment in the kitchen. For example, a stand mixer can be much faster at making time-consuming tasks such as whipping cream or kneading bread dough. This means that the stand mixer is great for those with arthritis or other limitations on their hands.
Additionally, it is far easier to clean up a stand mixer because often there is only one bowl used rather than six or eight.
What can you make with a stand mixer?
There are many different things that can be made with a stand mixer. Some cookie dough recipes require a stand mixer because they tell you to cream the butter and sugar until they are fluffy. You may also need a stand mixer for making bread, as it kneads the dough for you.
A stand mixer is a kitchen device that is capable of carrying out tasks that would need a lot of effort and time if done by hand. It can be used to mix and knead dough, and make ice cream, among other things. One of my student recently bought a Wonderchef Stand Mixer because she wanted to start her home baking business and start taking orders.
Can you use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer for bread?
Stand mixers can be expensive and take up your counter space in the kitchen. Kitchen aid stand mixer is by and large the most popular one but expensive.
Bread is a staple in most households, but not everyone has the room for a stand mixer. Luckily, it's possible to make bread without one - all you need is a hand mixer. Though there are certain limitations when it comes to kneading dough using a hand mixer.
When you knead the dough with a hand mixer, you will be fully involved in the kneading process. Whereas, when you knead the dough in a stand mixer, you can leave the kneading process to happen automatically and do something else.
Do you need a stand mixer to make a cake?
This is a difficult question specially when most of us have been doing cakes with a whisk or may be a hand mixer. As long as you ensure that you are able to mix all the ingredients thoroughly without over whisking them, you can do without a stand mixer. All you really need to make your cake is eggs, sugar, milk, butter, vanilla extract and cake flour.
If you are baking for your self-consumption and baking is just a hobby and occasional, investing in a stand mixer might not be a good idea. But if you bake often of you take orders, investing in a stand mixer might seems important. As long as you have a stand mixer you can make any type of cake.
Somebody asked me if the stand mixers make better cakes. The answer is NO. The stand mixers do not make better cakes, but a stand mixer ensures proper mixing of all the ingredients that will end up in a great cake.
So the difference is the method of mixing the ingredients especially when you want to make a large batch.
What to look for before buying a stand mixer?
There are many options when it comes to buying a stand mixer. Here are the questions you should be asking yourself before making your decision.
- What is my budget?
- What features do I want at the mixer?
- How often will I use the mixer?
- Can I afford one with additional attachments, like a dough hook or whisk attachment?
- What bowl sizes and speeds you need?
You could refer to the post of Top 10 Best Stand Mixers and make a decision for yourself.
The drawbacks of a stand mixer
I can't think of anything major but some of them are:
- It can be difficult to clean some parts.
- It makes a lot of noise when in use.
- Occupies a dedicated space on my kitchen counter.
In conclusion, a stand mixer is a device that mixes ingredients in a bowl by using a rotating whisk and an electric motor. Do you really need one? Yes, if you are baking breads, pizzas, casseroles, and other dishes which require kneading. There is nothing more satisfying than taking fresh bread out of the oven and spreading some homemade butter on it. Go for it if you bake regularly and are die hard bread baker just like me.