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Best Dough Mixer: Is It Worth It?

Let me tell you why I asked, right in the title, if it’s worth buying the best dough mixer. A dough mixing machine will mix the ingredients and then knead the dough for you. But, there are some models that can do even more.

The reason for my question is very simple: because you have the alternative to mix and knead the dough by hand. That will cost absolutely nothing, just your time and energy. Some people choose to preserve those so, they turn to machines to do some of the work.

It’s a bit like asking if it’s worth buying a stand mixer for its paddle attachment that helps you make so many desserts, when you could beat, mix, and cream the ingredients by hand.

In both these cases my answer is simple: getting a dough mixing machine is totally worthy it and buying the best stand mixer for frequent dessert making is also worth it.

Since I mentioned stand mixers, let’s talk about which products would actually qualify for the title the best dough mixer.

What Is a Dough Mixing Machine?

A dough mixer is a machine that will make the dough for you. It first gently mixes the ingredients to completely incorporate them and then kneads the dough absolutely perfectly.

Usually, the fermentation and the proofing have to be done by you.

There is one exception to that: if you’re using a bread maker then you can let the dough inside the machine throughout all the stages. You can even have the machine bake different types of breads for you.

But if you’re using a stand mixer, which is another extremely popular choice, then you have to supervise the fermentation and proofing. If you don’t get these two stages right, the loaf won’t be phenomenal, even if you’re using a Dutch oven or a bread cloche or a baking stone for bread.

As you can see, there is more to dough mixing machines than stand mixers. There are quite a few more very exciting choices.

These are the candidates for the title of best dough mixer:

Stand Mixers

dough mixer
All models come with a dough hook attachment, besides the flat beater and whisk.

So, you can make all kinds of loaves, including French, Italian, sandwich bread, and gluten-free loaves. The possibilities are really endless.

The user manual will indicate which speeds should be used for mixing and kneading dough so, read it carefully before testing your new best dough mixer.

Usually, it takes somewhere between 5 and 8 minutes for the dough to be completely kneaded. It’s much faster than doing it with your hands.

If you’re kneading by hand:

  • mix the ingredients for 5 minutes
  • knead for 10 minutes – others recommend kneading for as much as 20 minutes but that’s completely exhausting, I barely manage 10

This is the perfect choice for a dough mixing machine that can also help you make so many delicious desserts.
I definitely recommend it for those who are lovers of baking breads and desserts, a single machine can help with both.

My only recommendation if this is your choice: read a bit about fermentation and proofing dough because they’re two crucial stages for the loaves to develop those deep yummy flavors.

Can you also use a hand mixer to knead dough?

Absolutely.

There are hand mixers that also come with dough hooks. The dough will become elastic in about 8 minutes. They’re just as fast as their more expensive relatives.

Bread Makers

using a bread maker as a dough kneading machine
These machines are wonderful, especially if you’re looking for more than a best dough mixer.

They’re so good because they can also bake the dough, not only mix it, knead it and perform the fermentation and proofing stages, too.

Some can even make gluten-free loaves from start to finish.

And you can get one for a much cheaper price than the cheapest stand mixer.

A dough cycle usually takes 1 hour 30 minutes but the beauty is that the dough can be used immediately.

If you’re just letting it run until the dough is completely kneaded, it can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. That means no fermentation, no proofing in the machine but on the countertop or maybe in the fridge for pizza dough.

My advice is: read the user manual and add the ingredients only in the order recommended there. The rule is that the yeast doesn’t come in contact with the liquids.

Pasta/Bread Dough Maker

This is the latest combination to appear on the market. Let me just warn you that the price is not exactly cheap. Not at all.

Well, it does have the same price as the KitchenAid Gourmet Pasta Press Attachment, to put things into perspective. That’s an attachment that fits some KitchenAid mixers to transform them into pasta makers.

The world is indeed full of wonderful things.

Thus, you can buy yourself the best dough mixer that can also make pasta. I’ll review one such model just below, maybe it’s something that has always interested you.

Best Dough Mixer: Stand Mixers

Let’s start our journey searching for the best dough mixer by reviewing a couple of stand mixers.

I start with these dough mixing machines because people usually think of them when they picture a machine that kneads dough. Since I use my bread machine almost daily, I think of that. It depends on what we’re used to.

1. Hamilton Beach 7 Speed Electric Stand Mixer – Affordable Dough Mixing Machine

As a stand mixer, the price for the Hamilton Beach 7 Speed is quite one of the most affordable.

It has planetary motion, like the more expensive models. That just means that the sides of the bowl are touched by the attachments and the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

There are 7 speeds and, on the top of the mixer, you’ll find inscribed what speed is best used with which attachment.
Speed 3 is designated for kneading dough for loaves and pizza.

There are 3 attachments: flat beater, dough hook, whisk.

It only has a 300 watts motor. To put it plainly, it’s awesome for amateur bakers but it doesn’t satisfy the expectations of a professional.

It has a 4-quart bowl, it’s a bit smaller.

The whole body is made of plastic, the bowl being made of stainless steel. My recommendation is: lift up and lower down the head with care. Don’t make brusque movements and don’t treat it roughly and it will last a long time.

2. Cuisinart SM-50BC – One of the Best Dough Mixers

This is entirely made of stainless steel and, frankly, the price tag shows it.

But I still want to remind you that you need to lift up and lower down the head with care, no treating it roughly.

It has a 5.5-quart bowl, which is pretty big, fitting up to 6 cups of dry ingredients. And the bowl also a very nice big handle.

The motor is a bit powerful, at 500 watts.

The SM-50BC has an impressive 12 speeds. Speed 3 is assigned for kneading.

It also comes with an impressive 3-year warranty.

Best Dough Mixer: Bread Makers

There are more than a few people who get a bread machine only to use it as a dough mixing machine. I let it bake my loaves, too, because I don’t always have the time or energy to bake in the oven.

I bake in the oven if I make recipes that can’t be baked using the cycles of my bread machine: for loaves that need to be shaped a certain way (batard bread is a recent example), focaccia, pita, baguettes, sandwich breads baked in loaf pans, etc.

1. Hamilton Beach Bread Maker 29882 – Affordable

If you want a really affordable best dough mixer that can also knead and bake gluten-free breads, then I recommend this Hamilton Beach 29882.

You can make loaves of 2 sizes: 1.5 pounds and 2 pounds. The loaves are vertical. 3 crusts to choose from if you’re letting this machine bake it: light, medium, dark.

There are 12 cycles: basic (white), French, gluten-free, quick (recipes with no yeast), sweet, 1.5-pound Express, 2-pound Express, dough, jam, cake (recipes using baking powder), whole grain, bake.

It only weighs 12 pounds so, it’s quite the small bread machine.

2. Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso – Overall Best

The Zojirushi Virtuoso is one of the most popular, most appreciated bread makers. There are other Zojirushi bread makers but this model is the best of them. And expensive.

If you have a big budget for buying the best dough mixer that can also bake loaves, this might be it.

It is also a horizontal bread machine, it bakes loaves close to the shape that we’re used to, which a lot of people really like.

In order to achieve the horizontal shape, it comes with 2 kneading blades instead of 1, like most models on the market.

The Virtuoso also promises perfect crust.

It has 10 cycles: basic, basic wheat, basic dough, quick, quick wheat, quick dough, jam, cake, sour dough starter, and home made (you can program 3 recipes as cycles).

It’s unexpected to see a bread maker that can even make sourdough starter. The recipe is included in the user manual. It’s very easy.

You can also make gluten-free loaves, it yields excellent results for both GF and whole wheat.

It is a bit expensive to get just as a dough mixing machine, you should test it for all it’s capable of doing.

Best Dough Mixer: Cuisinart Pastafecto Pasta/Bread Dough Maker

Let me tell you, I am all kinds of excited because I get to review a new concept: a dough mixing machine that has various attachments for pasta making, as well.

Let’s be honest: it’s definitely advertised toward pasta making more than bread and pizza dough making but it works for all three.

The Cuisinart Pastafecto has the following buttons:

  • auto-stop – automatically mixes and extrudes pasta based on the disk that you’ve attached
  • knead dough – breads and pizza
  • extrude pasta – to manually extrude the pasta dough
  • mix – manually mix quick breads

It has 6 pasta disks, for making:

  • spaghetti
  • rigatoni
  • fusilli
  • small macaroni
  • fettuccine
  • and bucatini

It’s supposed to mix, knead, and extrude up to one pound of pasta in 20 minutes.

Regarding bread dough, it can only mix and knead up to one pound of bread dough. You’ll obviously have to let it go through fermentation and proofing after removing it from the machine.

First the dry ingredients are added and then liquids are added slowly through the slot.

It also provides flour and liquid measuring cups, integrated storage drawer for the disks, and a cleaning tool.

Basically if you want your own pasta maker that doubles as dough mixing machine and you can afford the price, check out the Cuisinart Pastafecto.

Best Dough Mixer Alternative: Jiafueo Danish Dough Whisk

The absolutely cheapest alternative to a dough mixing machine is to get a Danish dough whisk. It will cost you under $10.

Is a Danish dough whisk used just for mixing the ingredients or does it knead them, too?

It’s actually just for mixing. But it’s much easier than do it by hand. Cleaner than using a wooden spoon, too.

For such a simple, small tool, it’s quite useful.

It consists of a 2 eyes design that has the purpose of mixing ingredients more evenly and faster. That means that it will blend together the water and flour without a lot of effort. You won’t be putting in too much work.

If you’re making a wet dough, a Danish whisk is great and it’s quite easy to clean.

It also works nicely for no-knead recipes.

All in all, a Danish whisk is indeed the best dough mixer alternative, if you don’t want to spend the money on any of the above dough mixing machines.