If you’re looking for a stand mixer for bread, you’re actually looking for an incredibly versatile kitchen equipment.
Stand mixers are truly helpful and unbelievably good at making bread dough. They’ll be able to make the perfectly kneaded bread dough.
A stand mixer can become one the best kitchen tools for those who appreciate making breads at home. It’s an already known matter how amazing stand mixers are for those who frequently make desserts so, we’re not going to talk about that since it’s a known fact. This discussion will be focused on the matter of using a stand mixer for bread dough making.
Once the mixing and kneading is done, you take out the dough from the mixer’s bowl and let it proof (what we call rise until it doubles in size). You can also use a proofing basket for this stage.
For a perfect baking experience, I recommend giving a thought to using a baking stone or a Dutch oven. But that’s a whole different subject so, let’s get back to our discussion on which is the best stand mixer for bread and why you might really want one.
1. Affordable: Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer
Don’t make the mistake thinking that just because the Hamilton Beach stand mixer is a lot more affordable than mostly all other stand mixers it’s also not extremely good. It’s a perfect stand mixer for smaller households or for people who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a best stand mixer. First, there’s the planetary mixing action that other a lot more expensive models, like those from KitchenAid have. Hamilton Beach is also pretty powerful, has 7 speeds, a 4-quart bowl with a handle. It has a plastic body but as long as you treat it gently when lifting and lowering the head then all’s good.
2. Best: Cuisinart SM-50BC Stand Mixer
At twice the price of the above model, this time we have a best stand mixer with a metal body but you still can’t be rough with it when lowering and lifting up the head. It has an impressive 12 speeds, a powerful 500 watts motor and a vert big 5.5-quart bowl that fits up to 6 cups of dry ingredients. Overall, it’s an amazing best stand mixer with an appropriate price tag for what it offers.
Why Use a Stand Mixer for Bread Dough Making
It makes everything so much easier – fast and effortless are the two words that come to mind when discussing the advantages of using a best stand mixer for bread dough making.
Proper kneading is essential in the process of making yeast breads.
It’s the step of the process where the ingredients get mixed, air is incorporated, and the gluten develops. The gluten network developed during the kneading process will allow the dough to expand during the proofing part, the final rise that takes the longest.
Some people love using their hands to mix the ingredients and knead the dough for up to 25 minutes.
10-12 minutes is the standard kneading time that we pretty much all know about but the up to 25 minutes kneading by hand is the optimal time for obtaining a smooth and elastic ball of dough. It requires some strong muscles and a good technique plus you really have to love doing this because for most people it doesn’t sound that appealing.
Which is where stand mixers come in. These helpful kitchen appliances will get all the kneading done without fault in just 8 to 10 minutes or maybe even less, it depends from model to model.
The essential part of using a stand mixer for bread is that the texture will be similar as if you were kneading it by hand for much longer. That’s an incredible aspect.
You get the desired texture without having to worry if the dough is kneaded properly and you don’t have to do any work. Well, the price of a stand mixer shouldn’t definitely guarantee that you don’t have to do any work.
Top 3 Best Stand Mixers for Bread
After much research and quite a few days spent debating on which are the best stand mixers for bread, I decided to review just 3 stand mixers. In my opinion, these three are truly capable.
They all have their unique features and quite the popularity. I think you will be able to find what you’re looking for among these 3 stand mixers.
1. Cuisinart SM-50BC Stand Mixer – Overall Best Stand Mixer for Bread
This is not exactly the cheapest best stand mixer for bread but it’s not on the level of the KitchenAid mixers either.
I think that if you’re willing to spend a bit more on a stand mixer for bread, then this Cuisinart model might be worth it. Let’s see what it has to offer to those who are willing to invest a bit more.
It’s quite a large one, it features a 5.5-quart bowl that looks great even though it’s a tall bowl and not a wide shallow bowl. But the size is really nice even for those cooking for a large family. And it has a nice big handle, you won’t be afraid of dropping it or of not being able to carry it.
It states that it stirs 6 cups of dry ingredients, that’s quite a good amount for non-professional bakers.
I also like the fact that it has a metal construction and the silver lining design looks really good, although they have a bunch of color options.
The metal construction definitely inspires reliability and durability, it’s one of the reasons for recommending this Cuisinart stand mixer as the overall best. The price is not outrageous either so it’s a fantastic combination.
It’s a tilt-head model. And I know that it’s made of metal but don’t flip it aggressively. Don’t slam it open. Don’t let it drop shut. Aid it. If you treat it roughly, it might make the pivot snap. As long as you lift it slowly and lower it just as slowly, you shouldn’t have any problems with it.
That goes for all stand mixers, whether they’re made of plastic or metal, not just for this Cuisinart.
It’s also quite powerful being able to handle heavy thicker dough as well. It’s a 500 watts stand mixer with an impressive number of 12 speeds. Speed 3 is the one used for making bread dough.
The attachments are exactly what we would expect: chef’s whisk, flat mixing paddle, dough hook, and splash guard with pour spout. You won’t have any problems adding ingredients through that space. The accessories are coated metal, they’re easy to clean.
There are optional attachments that you can buy, just like it’s the case with KitchenAid: pasta extruder, pasta roller & cutters, ice cream maker, meat grinder, spiralizer.
They also have a recipe book that will offer you all the insight needed to properly operate this mixer. They even include a gluten-free pizza dough recipe, it contains quite the variety.
It also has a 3-year warranty.
Stand mixers with larger bowls like this one work incredibly well when adding ingredients in large quantities because their attachments don’t touch the bottom of the bowl. It’s something that’s common with stand mixers.
With that in mind, I don’t recommend this Cuisinart for those who are baking or making desserts for one or two persons. Check out the next best stand mixer for bread if you’re looking for a smaller model.
2. Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer 7 Speeds – Cheapest Best Stand Mixer for Bread
This is definitely a smaller stand mixer and it’s a pretty amazing model.
The price is just barely under $100, making it one of the cheapest best stand mixers for making bread and a whole lot of other baking goods and desserts.
If you don’t want to spend anywhere near $200-$300 on a mixer then this is definitely worth checking out. Let’s review the Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer a bit.
Planetary mixing action
The first feature that is worth mentioning and the manufacturer seems to be very proud of it is the fact that this has the same planetary mixing action that more expensive models from KitchenAid have.
What does that mean?
The attachments will thoroughly mix and incorporate the ingredients while, through their rotation that imitates planets orbiting the sun, they will not leave the sides of the bowl untouched. You don’t have to scrape any ingredients from the sides.
This is definitely one of the main selling points for this best stand mixer for bread.
It only has a 4-quart bowl but you will still be able to make nice loaves of bread with it. The bowl has a small handle, it will not be the most comfortable but at least it’s there.
You might also be deceived by the 300 watts motor but you should be aware that this is definitely a powerful stand mixer. You’ll be able to enjoy it a lot and it promises constant mixing speed.
It’s not for professionals but it’s definitely a very good mixer for those who enjoy baking a few times a week without the hassle of having to knead the dough by hand.
The black simple design is nothing extraordinary but at least it will be able to fit in most kitchens.
This is another tilt-head stand mixer but this one is not made of metal but of plastic. If you treat it with care and don’t tilt it brusquely or let the head drop forcefully, it should be quite long lasting.
There are 7 speeds and what each one is best used for are inscribed on the mixer like your personal guide always in your vision field.
Speed 3 has been ascribed for kneading.
There are the usual 3 attachments: dough hook, whisk, and flat beater. And a removal splashing shield.
Overall, the Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer is a nicely priced stand mixer just barely under $100 that will fit even in smaller kitchens and it’s perfect for smaller families, while still being able to boast of planetary mixing action and constant speed.
3. KitchenAid Classic Series Stand Mixer – Wonderful Best Stand Mixer for Bread
Is their a more famous manufacturer of stand mixers than KitchenAid? Even those who don’t bake or cook have heard of it and it has been featured absolutely everywhere.
It wouldn’t be a complete review for the best stand mixers for bread without reviewing one of these but I still recommend giving a chance to the above two options, as well.
When it comes to KitchenAid there are a number of models to choose from, including their massive 6-quart KitchenAid Professional 600 series that actually features their bowl-lift design. But the 600 series is quite expensive so, let’s review the more moderately priced KitchenAid Classic Series Stand Mixer.
The Artisan Series is quite a bit more expensive than the Classic one but it features a 5-quart bowl so you should check that one out if you want a bigger bowl.
What they all have in common is that they’re all famous for their planetary mixing action.
The KitchenAid Classic Series Stand Mixer looks amazing, it’s not often that I think about a kitchen appliance that it’s really great looking. It’s not big so it will fit in any kitchen and that white design is just stunning.
It’s a tilt-head design.
The KitchenAid Classic Series features a 4.5-quart stainless steel bowl that still promises to incorporate and knead the ingredients for 3 loaves of bread so, it’s not as small as you might think.
It has capacity for up to 8 cups of flour, that’s definitely a very high number, higher than the 6 cups of dry ingredients that the above Cuisinart model allows.
The manufacturer tells us that it also has enough capacity for 7 dozen cookies. You can throw a party without any worries.
The accessories are fantastic, too: coated flat beater, coated dough hook, and 6-wire whip.
It has a wide variety of mixing speeds, there are 10 speeds.
And even though it only has a 275 watts motor don’t be deceived to believe that it’s not powerful enough. It will mix, beat or knead anything you want.
At 22 pounds, it’s light enough that you can easily move it back in a cupboard if you don’t have the counter space for it.
The only thing to complain about is that the bowl doesn’t have that comfortable handle that the rest of the models have but given that this is a stand mixer more on the affordable side by KitchenAid standards, I’m not even surprised to see that there’s no handle.
The user manual that comes with this stand mixer also includes a lot of recipes. Even if you’re not going to make those exact recipes, read them because they offer insights on the speeds that the mixer should be used at.
For example, the instructions in the basic white bread recipe state that you should use speed 2 for kneading and it will take about 5 minutes for the dough to be done. And you should never exceed speed 2 when using the dough hook. Definitely read the user manual attentively.
How to Pick the Best Stand Mixer for Bread
There are a few features to keep in mind when getting a best stand mixer for bread:
Even if you’re going for more affordable prices, and I’ve selected a few affordable stand mixers that are great at making dough, a stand mixer is still going to be one of the most expensive kitchen appliances that you’ll get.
The prices vary a lot, there are stand mixers that cost a bit under $100, while there are others that sell for more than $400. That’s a huge gap so, take your time when picking a best stand mixer for your kitchen.
Some are incredibly expensive so you might have to save quite a bit if you want an extraordinary model.
There are two mixing actions for stand mixers, two motions that set them apart:
- planetary action – the mixing attachment (whip, dough hook) rotates around the entire bowl, it makes contact with the entire bowl and its sides, which means that all the ingredients are perfectly incorporated and mixed – the movement is similar to the planets rotating around the sun, hence the name
- 2-beater stand mixers (they come with 2 dough hooks) – these are the old-fashioned ones that we all grew up with, where the bowl rotates in the opposite direction of the stationary beaters, if you’ve used one you know that you might need to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that all ingredients are incorporated thoroughly
- if you plan on baking for a large family, it goes without saying that a larger bowl is what you should be looking for
- a 4-quart bowl is not a good choice if you plan on making more batches of bread at a time but it’s still good enough for a small family and they can be ideal for single persons
- a wide shallow bowl is also better because you can scrape down the sides of the bowl more easily, ingredients can also be added more easily but tall bowls are the most common
A high wattage indicates a stand mixer that can handle anything, even thicker heavier dough. A wider variety of speeds means that you can make everything with it.
Just as a recommendation:
If you’re getting a tilt-head stand mixer, handle it with care until you make sure of its sturdiness. A tilt head mixer also comes with the risk that the latch can stop working after some years of use.
KitchenAid has a bowl lift series that ensure that nothing can go wrong with the body of the mixer but this manufacturer is not only famous for its excellence but also for its very expensive prices. They also make tilt-head stand mixers so you can rest assured: tilt-head models are still very good.
You also have to read the instructions that come with the mixer because they might have a different recommended time needed for dough kneading than the 5-8-10 minutes that I’ve mentioned. It will differ from model to model so, make sure to read those instructions and see how it goes.
How to Knead Dough in a Stand Mixer
This will be a very short how to, which is why using a stand mixer to make bread sounds so appealing even though the prices are not exactly the most inviting.
- use the dough hook attachment
- measure the ingredients properly – for a better accuracy, use a kitchen scale for the flour
- add them all to the mixer’s bowl
- the proper speed is medium-low or on the lowest setting – you should read the instructions that come with your best stand mixer for bread, it will properly indicate which speed should be used and for how long
- in the first few minutes the dough will stick to the sides of the bowl without taking a definite form but just after 5 to 8 minutes the dough will be pulled away completely from the sides of the bowl and it will have a compact form, at which point the stand mixer is all done
- when the sides of the bowl are all cleared and the dough is elastic, the kneading is done – stop the mixer to avoid overkneading
- if the dough is too sticky and it’s looking rather liquidy, gradually add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it thickens
- remove the dough, you can use a plastic dough scraper for that or just your hands sprinkled with a bit of flour
- shape the dough in a ball by kneading it for about 30 seconds
- and that’s it, that’s the whole kneading process with a stand mixer, where you pretty much didn’t have to do anything
How to Make Bread Without a Stand Mixer
No knead recipes are definitely a first solution if you want to know how to make bread without a mixer but you still don’t want to go through all the trouble of kneading the dough for 15 to 25 minutes.
There are quite a few on the Internet to experiment with. The dough will look different, it will be a lot more soft and not have that smooth put-together shape that we’re used to but you can sprinkle extra flour after it has risen when you need to shape it for the baking stage.
Even so, the result will be delicious, especially if a Dutch oven or a baking stone or a cloche is used, no knead recipes definitely deserve recognition.
The other obvious alternative is to knead it by hand. It’s a pretty lengthy process but there are quite a few people who enjoy putting in the work. It can be fun as long as you have the strength to do it.
The easiest way to research the technique is by watching some YouTube videos. Then you can give it a go and see how your hands like it. If you’re satisfied with the process, you definitely won’t feel the need to get a best stand mixer for bread.
Bread makers as an alternative to the best stand mixers
There’s one last alternative that I discuss more in length in my bread machine vs stand mixer debate.
A bread machine has a kneading blade that mixes the ingredients and kneads the dough perfectly. You can use a bread maker just for the kneading phase or you can let it do its work until the rising phase is completed, at which point you can remove the risen dough and bake it in an oven or you can let it do the whole work and also bake the bread.
However, it is my opinion that buying a bread machine just for dough making isn’t worth it. It’s best to get a stand mixer and use it to make bread as well as other delicious desserts. That’s definitely worth it, if you have a passion for baking it’s a good investment that will help you create wonderful baked goods.
All in all, I hope you can find the best stand mixer for bread that will also match your budget and needs.