It was finally here.
It, being the mixer I had decided on nearly three months ago. After writing this post. I researched, and researched what was going to be best suited for me. Which one to get… which one to get?
So why did I need a new mixer?
I make all our bread, and although my kids are still quite small, we go through a LOT of bread, so it’s only going to increase. Sourdough being the bread of choice or a sourdough/commercial yeast blend. I quite often use a fairly stiff dough that needs a bit of effort behind it incorporating the salt. While I have no problem with kneading, my kitchen has a problem with bench space… it’s very minimal!
With baby crawling around- getting in to things she probably shouldn’t be, four year old holding on to a leg singing me a sad sailor song, six year old trying to read out his homework, and a dinner pot on the stove probably close to burning. Even just the simple process of kneading salt into dough (in a very small kneading space) can be a little frustrating.
A good mixer, eases this. It really does.
Over the past few years, I had been using a Sunbeam Professional. I was really happy with it and it suited most of my cooking. Although it wasn’t until researching new mixers did I realise just what a flogging I was giving it. At the most I was mixing a little over 3kg of bread dough. The sunbeam recommended amount was less than half that. Lasting two solid years of sourdough making, (plus general kitchen baking 2 years before that.) I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did.
First I looked at the Kitchenaid Artisan KSM150.
Gorgeous colours, and looks solid. $749, 300watt motor, made in the USA, but only takes 1.3k of dough. Reviews also say it can run a little hot when being put to the test with bread dough, needing frequent cool off periods. It also may have times of creeping up the hook, if there is a larger amount of dough in there.
Kitchenaid Professional has definitely got more grunt and aims higher than the average home baker needs. However, as far as I could see it wasn’t available in Australia.
Next I looked at the Kenwood Premier Major KMM770.
No colour options (silver), 1200watts, 2.4kg dough capacity, 6.7L bowl capacity, and upwards of $700. Originally a British company, and is now all made in China.
The Kenwood Titanium Major was also a contender, with same colour, an increase in the watts- 1500, but no increase in dough capacity or bowl size. I was getting mixed messages as to whether an increased wattage in the different machines actually made any difference or not.
These machines did sound ok, but the dough amount still wasn’t enough and it was a sizeable machine for something that still wasn’t quite what I needed. Problems I had read about the Kenwood was ‘walking’ when it’s on and really noisy for the older machines, (not sure about the new ones.)
The Varimixer Bear Teddy- 5L I looked at, but the weight was concerning as the spot where the mixer was to go is again quite small. A lone stockist in Sydney was also quite vague.
Throughout my research another name kept popping up, Assistent Original. There didn’t seem to be any distribution in Australia, despite it being available seemingly everywhere else. It certainly didn’t look anything like any of the other planetary mixers I had looked at.
It did however, seem to be exactly what I was looking for.
Not too big, 7L bowl, could handle up to 5kg of dough, came with basic attachments and more if I needed them later.
It sounded good, really good.
But how to get one of these little gems? I didn’t think it would hurt to send an email, which went to a US distributer. That, then got bounced to Sweden, who in turn bounced it back to Australia, to a baking company who just so happened to be starting to import them. One load of ten had already arrived and disappeared into baking land, a second was to be shipped the next week from Germany. Was I interested?
Fast forward several months, now with my Swedish mixer in my hot little hands… what could it do?
Let’s find out.
First up the instruction manual is not great. I watched the instructional dvd (also available on youtube) and that helped. I basically fiddled until I had worked out what was what,and mostly it was fine, (you do just have to play a bit.) The dough hook took the longest to get the hang of, (saying that, it was probably only half an hour) which worried me a little as this was the one I basically got the whole thing for. Finally I found if I brought the arm just a smidge more forward, the peg sat in fine.
There is an extensive recipe booklet that comes with it. It would be great to explore some Swedish recipes, but unfortunately it’s all in Swedish, and I can read not a word. With distribution of the machine in a handful of English speaking countries, I’m surprised they haven’t done an English language one.
In a nutshell…
Comes in lots of different colours- I got cream
800W and weighs 8.6kg. $682 plus postage
Developed, designed and manufactured in Sweden.
Has been around since the 1940′s
Previously known as DLX Electrolux, Magic Mill Verona- now known as my new kitchen love
Basic model comes with a dough hook, double whisk, cake beater, bowl scraper, dough roll, and lid
In built timer- this is sooooo handy. Dial it up and go and do other things, come back and viola.
It’s quiet. All you hear is a gentle mixing sound on the lowest setting, which for my bread is more than adequate.
When to use the different attachments- I’ve made, biscuit dough and cake batter with the double whisk, cake beater and dough roll. There isn’t a huge difference in the over all result. They all come up with the goods in the end. Dough hook definitely for the larger amounts of bread dough though. Initially I thought it wasn’t doing a whole lot, but it is. (Just be patient and let it do it’s thing.)
I was curious to know whether it could whisk a couple of egg whites as well as several kilos of bread dough. It could, and did. I haven’t done less than 3 egg whites at this stage, but for those three it worked beautifully.
The mixer has a lot more attachments available, and if I decide I want others down the track I can buy them singularly. For the time being though, the basic attachments suit my needs.
Problems with the machine- none what so ever. I’ll certainly edit this post if I come across any problems, but so far- using it is great. I’m still at the casually polish it as I walk by stage.
It is completely different to the other types of mixers on the market, which initially felt a little daunting on opening the box. I soon shook that off though…it’s good to be different. I’d be quite happy to have a machine like this in my kitchen for the next 20 years.
Have a look here, if you want to see it in action using the dough hook.
Other reviews that might be handy and of interest
Planetary mixer advice- on sourdough.com (Australia)
Assistent Original vs Kitchenaid- (USA)
Where to buy it from if you are in Australia?
Blackwood Lane- who were very helpful when I had a lot of questions to ask before I purchased.
* I don’t get anything by writing this review, this is purely to help out anyone that might be in a similar position, looking for a new mixer and unsure of what to get for their baking needs. Would I recommend it?… Yes, it’s awesome.
** All food pictured has been mixed in the Assistent Original.