Thursday, January 10, 2013

Part I: Kitchenaid vs. Bosch... One Mom's Opinion....

I think that it has been about one year since I started making all of our family's bread from scratch.... and from scratch I mean gathering the wheat, cleaning the wheat, grinding the wheat, and THEN making the bread. I do not use a bread machine, but I'm all about utilizing a mixer to mix up the dough! I have owned a Kitchen aid mixer for about a dozen or so years... and I have loved it. However, its bowl was only about 4 quarts which was becoming a challenge for my ever-expanding family. But honestly, the real reason I wanted it to die was because I wanted a RED one! However, my faithful mixer would not die. But as my bread making expanded, my little mixer was not keeping up: the bowl wasn't big enough, the motor wasn't powerful enough, (and it wasn't red.... because I know that the color really makes a difference on performance). So last spring, I decided that I had a good enough reason to upgrade my mixer.

Now, enter in the blogging world of information.... I can't say that I wasn't warned. In nearly every blog of faithful breadmakers, it was recommended that the best mixer to get would be the Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. Their expertise was that the Kitchen aid would not keep up with the 800 watt motor of the Bosch. Problem: the Bosch isn't RED.... and quite frankly, it isn't really attractive either... I told myself that I had to get the Kitchen aid because I had the pasta attachments for a Kitchen aid (and it comes in red). I mean, the professional model has a 575 watt motor... surely that is good enough right? And it's RED!

So, I saved my pennies and dimes, and for an early birthday gift my generous mother-in-law pitched in and bought me the beautiful, RED, professional model Kitchen aid about 6 months ago (and I gifted my little Kitchen aid to my friend). WOO HOO! Let the bread making begin! I have made dozens of loaves of bread since then with the Kitchen aid, and I hadn't really given the Bosch another thought... until December... when my Kitchen aid DIED right in the middle of my batch of dough! So how did it handle all of the bread making? It was mediocre, but all that was masked by the fact that it is red.  My recipe makes 4 loaves, and I do 2 batches at a time (actually I'm doing 3 batches at a time now). Before I consistently soaked my grains overnight, the Kitchen aid handled the dough OK. The motor did get hot and you definitely could hear it struggling at times, but it always managed to conquer the dough and we were on our merry way to fresh bread. I did have to stand by the mixer and "baby sit" it because if I didn't, it would walk its way off of the counter.  But after I started soaking the grains (which tended to yield a "stiffer" lump of dough to initially work through the next day), the Kitchen aid really started to bog down... culminating in dying right before my very eyes! I was horrified!  Thankfully, Kohls didn't need a receipt to exchange it and my DH was going to town that afternoon anyway and he graciously exchanged my mixer for another, beautiful, RED, Kitchen aid.

Funny thing is: as I unpacked the new, RED, Kitchen aid.... there was this little green card on top that said that the motor had a protective sensor that would shut the machine off if the motor overheated... and if you waited 20 minutes, it would again start..... OOPS.... maybe my first Kitchen aid wasn't broken after all... Oh well. So I continued with my bread making ventures! The very FIRST time I used the NEW Kitchen aid, I was mixing up my second of three batches of bread and it DIED... just like the first mixer! GRRRRRRRRR! This time I figured it was that protective sensor, so I waited 20 minutes.... still no power... 30 minutes... still no power... 40 minutes... 45 minutes... FINALLY, it turned on again. This was not exactly my most efficient experience in bread making! All this time I am lamenting that I didn't listen to all of the wise women's advice on the Bosch! I briefly mentioned to my husband that some time in the far off future, it would be nice to have the Bosch...

Little did I know, my DH decided to surprise me with a Bosch mixer for Christmas!!!!! I was super surprised!!!!  And now that I have used it a fair amount, I thought I would share my opinion of how the 2 mixers "match" up! My DH also got me the blender attachment for the Bosch, so I use the machine nearly every day in some fashion. The blender gets used for kefir smoothies, and I've used the mixer for cornbread, bread, cookies, etc...  It does a fantastic job. It effortlessly mixes stiff bread dough, developed the gluten (my bread did a fantastic job rising... even in the cold of winter), I love the lid that REALLY keeps everything contained while mixing... i.e. - there is not flour flying out over the top of the bowl... and it is easy to run. My 7 year old made double chocolate whole wheat cookies all by herself tonight using it.

So all-in-all, I am loving my Bosch even though it is not red... I will be writing a more detailed side-by-side comparison of the Kitchen aid vs. Bosch in part 2 of this post... coming soon!

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