May 21, 2009
Tools of the Trade – The Stand Mixer
When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I found several Bette Hagman cookbooks at the library. I didn’t have to read long to realize I needed a heavy duty stand mixer. All I had at the time was a good hand mixer. Mom to the rescue! Yes, my mom traded her KitchenAid mixer for my hand mixer (hardly a fair swap, but that’s how moms are).
I know some of you are thinking about how that stand mixer was used to mix wheat batters and doughs. That’s where my dad comes into the picture. He carefully and thoroughly cleaned the mixer. I recall the use of toothpicks to get into tight places. I was very sensitive to gluten at the time, and I never reacted to anything made with the mixer, so he must of done a great job.
If you are new to the gluten-free diet (and plan on baking), you might be wondering why a stand mixer is necessary. I find it invaluable for two reasons:
1. Gluten-free bread dough is not kneaded like wheat dough, but it does need to be mixed very well. A stand mixer does the job best.
2. A stand mixer can handle greater quantity than a hand mixer. Gluten-free dough is much thinner than a wheat dough. While a hand mixer might handle mixing it, the amount of dough can be too much for the beater size.
The Big Question: What Mixer Do I Buy?
I’m no expert, but from what I have read, KitchenAid is the most highly recommended. They are expensive but they last for years and years. That still leaves you with many choices, though. KitchenAid stand mixers range in size and power as well as price. Carol Fenster uses a lower end 4.5 quart model that she is happy with.
I have considered replacing my mixer which has a handle to lift the bowl. I think I would like a tilt head model better because I find it difficult to scrape the bowl. I would love to have input from my readers about what you use and like.
Labels: tools of the trade
It works fairly well. I also have a blender, & a hand blender (which my NZ friend calls a "whizzy stick" & so we do too). I also have a bread maker that has a "gluten free" setting on it, but i've not used it much. I've been recently thinking i should go to a stand mixer, but i've so little counter space, i don't know where i'd put it.
I have read a ton of reviews of Kitchen Aids that have the leaking oil problem and people are very disappointed (I think the company was bought by another one recently--but something changed with KitchenAid!).
The new Bosch Universal Plus takes up less space, too, and ways 10 pounds less that a Kitchenaid Pro!
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