Stand Mixer

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Stand Mixer

Postby Shro » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:54 am UTC

One good thing about the wedding: Lots of new kitchen appliances! But since they're all new, I don't quite know what do do with some of them yet, like this stand mixer. I did just get an awesome oatmeal-chocolate chip-toffee cookie recipe and I need more excuses to break this thing out.

What can I make with my stand mixer? Any tips on use?
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Zohar » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:01 pm UTC

They are mainly used for baking, in my experience. You can prepare many types of dough with it (including fluffy dough if you don't have a blender). Obviously whip eggs if you feel like making meringue or something else. For yeasty doughs use the hook-shaped attachment. For mixing things and for fluffy dough use the flat attachment (looks like a K in Kitchenaid mixers).

It really depends on what you want to make - do you want to make bread? Pizza? Cookies? Quiche?

I don't have any specific tips on using it. Just don't leave it alone - it vibrates and can move off the counter top without you noticing.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Azrael » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:They are mainly used for baking sitting unused on kitchen counters, in my experience.

I really do believe that Kitchen Aid has perpetrated one of the most thorough wedding registry scams ever.

Yes, I realize that many of the soon-to-follow posts will extol the stand mixer's usefulness and virtue. But it really does seem that the vast majority of them spend the vast majority of their nigh-infinite lives collecting dust in a corner.

The only time I've ever second-guessed our decision not to register for one was when I saw Alton Brown use a meat grinding attachment to make homemade sausage.

/unhelpful

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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:16 pm UTC

I use mine with its grinder for sausage and fresh ground meat and the grain mill for flours. The pasta rollers are nice too. And it gets plenty of use for baking. Whipped mashed potatoes, and big batches of deviled eggs are made easy as well. And who doesn't like deviled eggs?
If you are a cooking type person you will use it and love it. If you aren't a cooking type person find a home for it not on the counter and pull it out when you get the urge to use it. I have found that an extra bowl and whip are very useful indeed.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby PictureSarah » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

We use ours pretty frequently for any kind of cookies, muffins, mashed potatoes, etc.

Oddly, I don't use the dough hook attachment all that often, I pretty much still knead things by hand.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:And who doesn't like deviled eggs?

Ooh, pick me! Pick me! Hard-boiled eggs make me fairly seriously nauseated. It's really rather unfortunate. Of course, that never stopped me from making a bringing deviled eggs to parties. That works ok unless someone notices that I'm avoiding them like the plague.

Anyways, count me among those that whip out my stand mixer relatively frequently. The most common uses are probably making something using the creaming method, making frosting or whipping egg whites. (Last time I made chocolate chip cookies, I used the Cook's Illustrated recipe. It pretty much requires the use of a hand mixer, and it just seemed *wrong* somehow. Not that I don't consider that hand mixer an important tool in my kitchen, just that it's not something that I use to make cookies.) I'm not sure I'd be able to make it through the holiday season without it.

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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby J the Ninja » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:12 pm UTC

They are also fantastic for making whipped cream, especially with the whisk attachment. Just buy a small thing of "heavy whipping cream" (it's in the dairy section somewhere) add a bunch of powered sugar, maybe some cinnamon or vanilla, and just start slowly speeding it up.

They'll do almost everything of making cookies, and also, they are fairly decent at making mashed potatoes. Put in the the cooked-to-squishy-form potatoes, garlic, pepper, butter, buttermilk, and such, and power it up.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Thesh » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:03 pm UTC

When I was living with my parents, I used the stand mixer about 3 times a month. Brownies, pate a choux, cookies, cake, whipped cream, etc. When I moved out of my parents house, I bought one and have used it twice in the last two years. Because I live alone, I hardly every create large batches of things anymore to make it worth the cleaning.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:10 pm UTC

I do use our stand mixer's dough hook. I think if we had a less powerful model, I wouldn't use it nearly as much. The real beauty of it is having the power to kick out larger batches of dough or batter than I could beat or mix by hand in a comparable amount of time, and of being able to do something else (e.g. cleanup) while the dough hook kneads away.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Anonymously Famous » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

My wife uses hers for bread, or any dough, for that matter.

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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Shro » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:37 pm UTC

Any tips on adapting recipes to a stand mixer if it doesn't specifically call for one?
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:30 am UTC

For what kinds of foods? I can give lots of advice, but I need to know what you're thinking of cooking.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby PictureSarah » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:58 am UTC

I'm sure whatever PAstrychef says will be right, since she's the expert, but I hadn't even considered adapting for my stand mixer. I don't know why, just never crossed my mind. And everything has come out swimmingly.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Shro » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

On my list of things I would like to make with my stand mixer:
Muffins
Cookies
Tiramisu
Bread
Mashed Potatoes

If anyone has any good recipes for any of these things or anything else made more easy with a stand mixer, please share!
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:53 pm UTC

Just follow the recipe, and if your mixer doesn't have adjustable speed, be careful not to over-mix your more delicate batters (muffins, some cakes, definitely pancake/waffle mix). I wouldn't use a stand mixer for tiramisu because you need a double boiler to cook the zabaglione, which is not at all difficult to whip; the amount of extra mess you'd make by using the stand mixer is really not worth the small amount of effort saved in whipping.

What would you possibly need to change in a mashed potato recipe just because the mixer arm is powered by electricity rather than biochemistry?
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Amarantha » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:03 am UTC

If you overdo mashed potatoes you can smash the starch cells, which makes them gluey. You might get away with using a mixer if you run it very slowly for a very short time.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby poxic » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:07 am UTC

I'm reminded of the early days after Mom bought her first food processor. She tried mashed potatoes. We called it "liquid starch" or something like that.

She got better. She's actually a great cook, just going through the usual growing pains with new equipment. :wink:
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Zohar » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:11 am UTC

I actually heard people using their stand mixer for mashed potatoes. It sounds a bit strange to me, it ruins the starch in it... In any case, Bakemaster is correct, don't over-mix the batters. But I use it all the time to make muffins and cookies and such. And it's wonderful for bread, just use the correct head (the one that looks like a hook).
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:28 am UTC

Cook's Illustrated just did a whole article on whipped potatoes. Appearantly you can fluff them in a stand mixer and it works quite well. I use my mixer and the paddle beater for large quantities of spuds with good results. Adding some fat to coat the starch is important.
Muffins don't need a mixer, they just get stirred until everything is mixed and over working them makes them tough.
For bread, use the dough hook and keep the speed fairly slow. Work the dough until it is smooth and shiny and not sticky when you touch it. Most bread recipies published these days assume the use of a mixer, so you can read a few to get an idea of times and textures.
For cookies, the step of creaming together the sugar and butter is the one to watch-you can really change the end result if you get too much air in the mix. Although you may discover you like them that way. If you don't want to bake all of the cookies at once, make balls of the dough or roll it into a log and slice it, then freeze it to bake later.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Bakemaster » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:22 pm UTC

My uncle makes mashed potatoes that are smooth as silk by whipping them vigorously with added cream. They're really good, but also pretty rich for potatoes.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby skippysheila » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:38 am UTC

Shro wrote:If anyone has any good recipes for any of these things or anything else made more easy with a stand mixer, please share!


In most cases, if the recipe says "cream", "beat" or "whip", you can do that bit in the stand mixer. Folding or anything that requires a delicate touch is going to be tricky or impossible in a stand mixer. You can use a stand mixer for just combining things, but it's probably not worth the extra washing up.

Things that are made easier include beating egg whites for meringue/mousse, whipping cream, creaming butter & sugar together for a cake or biscuit/cookie base, and kneading dough.

As far as adapting things go, I'd suggest just trying from a standard recipe if you think it's reasonable. I don't bother looking for specific stand mixer recipes, just use whatever sounds good and go from there. The worst that can happen is that your muffins can be used as offensive weapons or something similar - which is a bit of a hint that maybe that's not a good recipe for the mixer. If you're prepared to have stuff turn out badly on occasion you do get a feel for it after a while.

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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby Shro » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

I guess now I have a reason to start buying flour/sugar/butter in bulk. =)

Experiments shall commence.
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Re: Stand Mixer

Postby KestrelLowing » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:37 pm UTC

WHEN I get my stand mixer... someday... I'll mainly use it like I did my parent's kitchen-aid. We tend to make a lot of cookies - more if we have the mixer around (it's so easy! You just put on the mixer, leave it be and scramble around getting all the other ingredients to add) and I love making dough.

Like many have said, if you don't normally bake, it's totally not worth the money. But, if you regularly bake and are usually at a loss for time, awesome stand mixers are a lifesaver.


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