the assistent- part two (bread nerd stuff)

cityhippyfarmgirl

A few people lately have been asking me about my Assistent Original mixer and how it has fared since I got it 6 months ago. Well, what to say?

I love it.

I love, love, love it.

Effortless. For any bread maker it really is effortless. The fact that I can put the ingredients in, dial up the timer and walk away from it, is truly a miraculous thing.

Not only that, it also does well with mixing non bread ingredients. Whipping two egg whites is a breeze, just as well as the bigger amounts of bread dough.

To date, I still haven’t put the mixer to the 5kg test that it apparently can go up to with bread dough. The most I’ve put in there would be about the 3kg mark in any one time (about 6.6 pounds.) With the larger amounts of my sourdough it does ride up the hook a little initially, but it should, that’s a whole lot of dough in there. The lowest setting is more than adequate for mixing the bread dough, and (quietly) mixes it really well. Even with a lower hydration dough and mixing the salt in after a fairly lengthy autolyse period- this dough still gets a good even work over.

cityhippyfarmgirl So have there been any problems with the machine, and any peculiarities or tips worth noting?-  The only tip vaguely worth mentioning is that when making bread, the machine likes the majority of the liquid in at the beginning, and sitting at the bottom, rather than the flour first. I always hold back my liquid a little, as flour, starter and other ingredients all have a factor in how much water is needed. (eg. If 625mls are needed, I’ll put 500mls in the initial dough mix, and then slowly add the remaining, in the first minute or two of mixing.

cityhippyfarmgirl Other Attachments- I still haven’t purchased any of the extra attachments that you can buy for the mixer. (Basic model comes with- dough hook, double whisk, cake beater, bowl scraper, dough roll, and lid.) I’d be very curious to know how some of the extra attachments work also seeing them in action, but at this stage I haven’t needed any. As the basic model suits all my baking needs.

So would I recommend one?- Yes. In a heart beat. I will wax lyrical to anyone that vaguely mentions the word ‘mixer’ to me. Kenwood, Sunbeam, Kitchenaid, Thermomix are all fine and dandy, but if you are serious about baking, bread making in particular and want more oomph in your kitchen, this mixer really is the bees knees.

How much love?- If my machine died today, I would order another one tomorrow, I love it that much. (However it won’t die, as I suspect this Swedish love is going to be around in my kitchen for the next twenty plus years.)

cityhippyfarmgirl

For more details on how I came to this mixer, what kitchen requirements I had, other reviews, and various other links, please see my original post on this machine.

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* 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 still awesome.

* If anyone has any specific questions that I might be able to help with, please do ask in the comments.

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43 thoughts on “the assistent- part two (bread nerd stuff)

  1. It’s great that you’ve posted a follow up. Quite often us bloggers are guilty of writing initial impressions and nothing more.

    Looking forward to the post in 20yrs time when I hear it is still going strong!

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  2. Good post and follow up….bad temptation!! How many gadgets can one woman get away with I wonder? Hmmm..
    Love the retro look of this machine. I used my kitchen aid to mix up the dough this morning since I didn’t feel like getting flour all over…and then spent just as long cleaning out bits of dough that had crept up the hook and into the top bits. So this post is very timely. Did you research any of the (small) commercial bread mixers? I remember seeing a little one in the corner at the Glebe Point Diner ages ago and looking at it quite enviously. Wonder how they compare with something like this.

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    • SG I’m sure it annoys all the Kitchenaid people I say this too, but I say- sell it and buy one of these 🙂 The resale on a kitchenaid would be reasonable and this Swedish love really is effortless. Cleaning is easy. One scraper and the dough hook.
      I did look at the commercial ones, and they were all just far too big for the only small space that I could put it. The only one I vaguely considered was the Teddy Varimixer which at 5L is smaller than the Assistent (7L) and then goes up in size. It was also really vague researching stockists in Australia for small commercial mixers.

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  3. It’s a great looking mixer and I’m so pleased you’re very happy with your purchase – there’s nothing worse than spending the money and then realising it’s not living up to expectations xx

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  4. This looks like a beautiful machine. I purchased a Cater Master 5kg flour capacity dough mixer several years ago and love it too. Kneading sourdough with children/family etc was just taking up too much time and making too much mess. The only disadvantage is that it is large and has to live outside of my kitchen. Happy baking, I love reading about other people’s baking equipment!

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  5. Now off to read the original post. It’s terrific to do a follow up, it does atake a while to get used to a product. I’m a beginner bread baker and using a bread maker which does everything most of the time. So will be keen to read more about this, for interest really and to learn more.

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  6. Thank you Brydie! I am waiting for my Kenwood to break down and this will be the one I get for sure. Glad to know it is a ‘keeper’. Incidentally, I have found the same thing with mixing bread in mine, I always put the liquid in first not the flour. xx Joanna

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  7. Having the right tools for the job makes such an incredible difference doesn’t it? I’m glad you’ve found such a great piece of equipment x

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  8. Ended up here after a nudge from Ankarsrum. Great blog!

    I’m so pleased it’s now available this side of the planet. I brought mine with me over 20 years ago, and it wasn’t new then, and it’s still going. And I don’t cosset it – I bake every couple of days, and I have almost every attachment – and use it. Sausages, flour, graters, grain roller… It is getting towards its end now, and so it’s really timely there’s a new distributor here.

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  9. How are you finding it now? I’ve been pining over Kitchenaids for years now but after seeing these on remodelista and then finding reviews on your blog (so awesome finding someone I trust has one!) I’m thinking one of these is far more practical for me. It will probably be quite a while before I can buy one but I figure if you’re still in love with yours now that will be a sign to start saving!

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  10. Hi there! Thanks so much for your blog. I have been researching for a while now and seem to have come-up with some similar options to your info on the first blog. I’d love to know if you feel that it’s worth buying the assistant if you are not a big bread baker?? I’d love to bake my own bread, and have certainly been inspired by all of the videos and info on this wonderful product, but as I’m studying nerve working at the moment I don’t have a lot of time and am wondering if I should be spending all of that money on something I may not be utilising properly or fully! Do you Bake many normal cakes and can this mixer handle light cakes like sponges? It doesn’t seem to aerate as much as the others but I may be very mistaken there (hope so).
    I have contacted the Melbourne supplier and they are now quoting the standard assistant at a whopping $899.00! Wish I’d been able to get it at your price, only a year ago! Any thoughts?
    Thanks again,
    Sunshine to you,
    Danielle 🙂

    Ps does anyone have any feedback on the kenwood chefs? I’ve heard such mixed reviews about the new ones, feel totally confused and a bit downhearted about products that used to be so good being rather crappy now. 😦

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    • HI there Danielle. The smallest amount I’ve ever done in the mixer is two egg whites of which it coped absolutely fine. I know a couple of people that don’t do the same amount of bread making that I do, and have still been really happy with the machine.
      Nearly two years on since I first bought it, I still love it, every little bit of it. It’s always used, and not once has it had the slightest of hiccups. The $900 is worth it, as you’ll never need anything else again.

      Good luck with your purchasing!

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  12. Hi there. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and have found it extremely useful in helping me to decide on a stand mixer. I recently bought a KitchenAid Artisan – all the rage here in the UK due to some high profile tv shows. However, after a week, the head bounced up and down so alarmingly when kneading dough (1lb flour) that I thought it might bounce up and smack me in the face. It had to go back – and to be fair, they did give me my money back. I want a mixer mainly for bread, and after lots of research, the Assistent would seem to be the one! The only concern I have is whether or not it is too big for my needs. How is it at handling dough made with just 500g – 700g of flour? I’m sure I could do bigger quantities and make use of freezer for any dough not required for immediate use. I’d really appreciate any comments you might have on this. Thanks.

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  13. Hi cityhippyfarmgirl
    When you bought your mixer did you need an adapter to use it here in Australia or was it converted already? The price of the mixer has gone up considerably since you bought yours from Blackwood Lane – about $899.00 now plus $60 postage if you are interstate. You can buy it online from Royal Design cheaper & free postage but it says that it is an EU version and will come with an adapter for Australian use. Not sure whether to go with the EU version so your info will help me make a decision.
    Kind Regards
    Helen H
    PS Love your blog

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    • Hi Helen, it’s all converted to Australian standards so no adaptor needed if you buy from Blackwood Lane. If you are bread baking, I still stand by it being the bees knees of mixers. For the baking I do, I would pay that money again in a heart beat…although I won’t as the machine will last for ever and ever. Enjoy it, wherever you buy it from 🙂

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  14. Hi cityhippyfarmgirl,
    I also have an Assistent, bought just after Blackwood lane became suppliers.
    I would go with Blackwood lane too. They have been very good to me.
    I endorse everything you have said about the Assistent. It is definitely a strong easy to use and compact machine for the amount of dough it can handle.
    I have bought the accessories too but found with 6 children I haven’t the time to really use them or justify having them.
    only really used the puree part once and the nut grater once and didn’t use the mincer , sausage horn or cookie press at all. I have them all for sale 15-30% less than
    new prices on ebay if you or anyone Is interested.
    Thanks for the tips on dough making too!

    Kangocatie

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  15. Just wanted to thank you and let you know your two in depth ‘bread nerd’ posts and experience with ankarsrum were super helpful to me in my search for a mixer able to do cakes etc and also mix 2 loaves of bread at once (doesn’t seem too much to ask!). [for anyone else in my position: Kitchen aid professional are available in Aus now. Over $1000. Not confident they could handle my standard 1.9kg dough]. Great to read from a fellow Aussie as so many bread mixer sites seem to be American. You’ve successfully shared the love!! I’ll be in Melbourne in a few weeks and can’t wait to visit Blackwood Lane and choose a colour! And I’m even more excited to get it home and bake up a storm:) thank you.

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  16. Pingback: Assistent Original- the Grain Mill | cityhippyfarmgirl

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  18. You mentioned it but did not emphasize how quiet it is.
    I needed a grain grinder for flour and balked at $700 for a Retsel, although they are the best. So I spent $1000 on the Assistant with the hunter package and grain mill. I love it! A word of advice, if you are serious enough to buy this machine, then get the deluxe package with all the attachments. I didn’t know it was available and have spent more in $ than the deluxe would cost, getting fewer attachments. Check the commercial restaurant suppliers to buy it
    They don’t have the mark up of boutique shops.
    In Canada the vider provided is the wrong format but there is an excellent booklet that shows all the steps to use it.
    Happy mixing! From Edmonton, Alberta

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  19. I’m wondering if you’ve used the roller for dough rather than the hook? I’ve read the hook was just an add-on for the US market and the roller is generally the preferred tool for dough.

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    • Hi there Griffilo. Nope, I hadn’t heard that at all. The roller is fine for biscuit or cookie doughs but for bread doughs, the hook is the one to use. Well for me it is. It works on a folding action which is what you want for bigger quantities.

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  20. Hi there,

    Just thought I should send a thank you for your fantastic review of the Ankursrum. I did get mine a month ago, blackwood lane got a shipment of them in. I was keen on the light blue-:) The machine is simply delightful. I make double and triple batches of bread dough to refrigerate – and its so easy with the timer. The bread is definitely lighter, softer and fluffier. I mill all our flour and the change in technique has really lightened my breads. The learning curve was pretty quick thanks to watching some Ankursrum videos at bread beckers. Com.

    My 9 year old daughter was inspired by watching the Delia online cooking videos. She wanted to start learning how to cook cakes, so I got a set of silver wood tins from black wood lane and set her up with the iPad. She has started using the clear bowl and whips to make butter cakes and sponge cakes. They work a charm. It whips cream, makes batters and does a lovely job with cakes. My daughter just watches the iPad and follows right along. The blender is also really, really good. I have been using it to make caster sugar out of raw sugar for baking, and it just works. Also makes wonderful smoothies. The silver wood tins are also really, really good. A major step up from supermarket cake tins…! my daughter made a deep dish apple pie on Sunday and it was amazing- the crust was crunchy, no sogginess…. Oh my. Just perfect. Better than we have had at cafes..!

    I needed to make a triple recipe of biscuit dough last week, the roller and scraper did an excellent job.

    This retro beauty is delightfully easy to use and clean. I thought it would be limited to bread, but we use it near daily for all sorts of jobs. There is a certain wholesomeness about it that just begs us to relax and cook something yummy. So thanks for the info and lovely pictures!

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