Finding the best dough kneading machine is quite an easy task as there are countless great stand mixers and bread makers out there that do exactly that: knead dough for you.
You can opt between mixing the ingredients and kneading the dough by hand or you can use a machine to do all that hard work for you.
When we’re talking about dough kneading machines, like stand mixers and bread machines, we can refer to them by the name dough kneader.
If you don’t want to knead dough by hand, which is not that easy, you can use a dough kneader. I’m going to talk in detail how these machines can be used in order to help you make dough for all kinds of breads. The dough for any type of bread can be made by using a dough kneading machine, including for gluten-free breads.
What Is a Dough Kneading Machine?
A dough kneading machine is usually a name used to refer to stand mixers because they can easily knead dough in just a few minutes thanks to the dough hook attachment that they all include.
But I would also argue that we can call a bread machine a dough kneader because it can also be used just for making dough.
A bread machine can not only knead the dough for breads or pizza and some even for pasta but it can also take things further.
You can let the dough inside the bread maker until it’s gone though the bulk fermentation and the proofing phase and remove the completely risen dough and then bake it in an oven. Or you can let a bread maker make the bread from start to finish, baking included.
Bread machines offer a lot of versatility, they’re good for being used as a dough kneader but they also bake loaves, as well. Many models also work for many gluten-free breads. As I said, they’re useful and versatile.
Check out my post on the best gluten free bread machines if you want to learn more about them.
5 Best Dough Kneading Machines for 2021
There are plenty dough kneaders on the market so, I though I should recommend some of the best dough kneading machines.
It’s going to be a combination of stand mixers and bread machines, since we’ve established that these two kitchen appliances really work the best for kneading dough.
1. Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer
The Hamilton Beach stand mixer makes sure to make one thing very clear to its potential users: it uses the same planetary mixing action that more expensive models from KitchenAid use. That’s one of its strong selling points.
The planetary mixing action means that the entire bowl with all its sides is touched by the dough hook attachment or by the whisk or flat beater. Those are the standard attachments for a stand mixer and this model also includes them. The ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and mixed.
And the fact that it’s one of the few stand mixers with a price just barely under $100. Those are not that easy to find if you want something good and pretty powerful.
It also has 7 speeds, with speed 3 meant for kneading.
It has a 4-quart bowl, which is good enough for making a batch of dough but not big enough if you have a very large family.
It has a 300 watts motor. It’s powerful but at a more 2-3 times a week amateur baker level, it’s not fit for professional bakers.
Where this model is different from more expensive ones is the fact that its body is made of plastic but the bowl is made of stainless steel and it even has a handle, although not the most comfortably positioned one.
The important thing to remember with this Hamilton Beach and with all the other stand mixers in general is that when you’re lifting or lowering the head you should do so with care. Aid it and don’t use it brusquely. That’s a thing that applies to all tilt-head models, which the large majority are.
Other than that, the Hamilton Beach stand mixer is a great best dough kneading machine.
2. Cuisinart SM-50BC Stand Mixer
The Cuisinart SM-50BC is an excellent kitchen appliance, although the price for owning it is not cheap. The first thing that you’ll notice is the beautiful design, with a metal construction that inspires durability.
The bowl is pretty big, it’s a 5.5-quart bowl that fits up to 6 cups of dry ingredients. That’s a large quantity of dry ingredients and, I would say, that it’s a perfect dough kneader for those with larger families. The bowl also has a very large comfortable handle.
It’s a powerful one with a 500 watts motor, with an impressive number of 12 speeds. Speed 3 is the one used for kneading.
The attachments are: chef’s whisk, flat mixing paddle, dough hook, and splash guard with pour spout. As it’s also the case with KitchenAid, there are other attachments that can be bought to fit the Cuisinart SM-50BC, like an ice cream maker, meat grinder, spiralizer, and pasta making attachments.
It also comes with a 3-year warranty. The Cuisinart bread maker is the same in this respect.
The Cuisinart SM-50BC is another tilt-head model and, once again, I will remind you to treat it with care when you lift off the head as well as when you lower it.
3. Oster CKSTBRTW20 Bread Machine
The Oster CKSTBRTW20 is not only one of the cheapest bread machine but also one of the cheapest best dough kneading machines.
It can be the perfect dough kneader if you don’t want to spend too much money on such a machine.
This is a small bread machine that can be easily stored in a cupboard to avoid cluttering the counter space. It only weighs 8 pounds.
But keep in mind that since this is a bread maker it can do a lot more than knead dough. It can make loaves from start to finish, from mixing the ingredients to kneading the dough to rising it to baking it.
However, you have to keep in mind that the baked loaves are horizontal. It’s an unusual shape and some people have problems with the horizontal shape since we’re used to the traditional round or rectangular shapes.
There are 12 cycles: basic, whole wheat, sweet, French, Expressbake 1.5 and Expressbake 2.0, quick for breads with no yeast, European, dough/pasta, bagel dough, jam, and bake. The addition of the bagel dough is not often encountered but it can be a nice surprise for some.
The loaves can also be made in 3 sizes: 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds and baked with 3 crusts: light, medium, and dark.
You can also add additional ingredients to the dough like fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, seeds. The machine beeps when it’s time to do that.
The only thing missing is the gluten-free cycle but check out my next two recommendations for a dough kneader if you’re interested in making delicious gluten-free breads.
4. Hamilton Beach Bread Maker 29882
If you want a bread machine as a dough kneader because a stand mixer is just too expensive for your budget, the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker 29882 can be the best dough kneading machine for you.
It’s very similar to the above Oster bread maker with the addition of a gluten-free cycle. So, if you’re looking for a dough kneader with the focus on making gluten free breads, this might be what you’re looking for.
It also bakes horizontal loaves but there are only 2 loaf sizes: 1.5 pounds and 2 pounds with the same 3 crusts: light, medium, and dark.
There are 12 cycles: basic (white), French, gluten-free, quick (for recipes that don’t use yeast), sweet, 1.5-pound Express, 2-pound Express, dough, jam, cake (for recipes with soda or baking powder like banana bread), whole grain, and bake.
It’s another small bread machine that you can store away easily since it only weighs 12 pounds. There are stand mixers a lot heavier than that.
5. Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso – The Overall Best Dough Kneading Machine
Why do I say that the Zojirushi Virtuoso is the overall best? Because it’s indeed an excellent bread machine.
However, the price is also very high. It has the same price as some KitchenAid stand mixers. Unfortunately, some KitchenAid stand mixers are almost twice the price of the Zojirushi Virtuoso.
There are 10 cycles: basic, basic wheat, basic dough, quick, quick wheat, quick dough, jam, cake, sour dough starter, and home made (you can take your favorite 3 recipes and program them as cycles).
The sour dough starter cycle is definitely unexpected but if you’ve wondered how that would go, you get the chance to try, the recipes book that comes with Zojirushi Virtuoso includes a recipe for sour dough starter. It will take 2 hours after which you can add the rest of the ingredients and make a sourdough bread under the basic cycle.
It doesn’t have a gluten-free setting but that won’t stop you. You can use the basic cycle for GF loaves, there are even two recipes included in the book.
The Zojirushi Virtuoso has two kneading paddles for perfect kneading and because the shape of the loaves is rectangular. The kneading paddles are also smaller so the holes at the base of the loaves will be a lot less noticeable. That’s one aspect that users definitely enjoy.
Another thing that makes it stand out among bread makers is the fact that it’s capable of baking loaves with the perfect crust.
It also yields excellent results with nice rises for all types of loaves, including whole wheat and gluten-free loaves, which can present more difficulty when it comes to nicely risen loaves. Using vital wheat gluten for whole wheat bread can solve that problem, whether you’re using a dough kneader or your own hands.
Now that you have read some reviews for the best kneading machines, what do you think? Is the price paid for a dough kneader worth it or would it be better to knead dough by hand since it’s free?
How to Use a Stand Mixer as a Dough Kneading Machine
Using a stand mixer as a dough kneader is very quick, not messy, and very easy. There are not a lot of things you need to do.
As with any baking recipe, first you need to measure the ingredients accurately.
Then add the ingredients to the mixer’s bowl as stated in the recipe. The basic bread recipe only involves water, flour, yeast, and salt. Others are more complex but it won’t be a problem for the stand mixer, whether you need to add butter or eggs.
Stand mixers will knead all types of dough, including those for whole wheat and gluten free breads.
A Stand Mixer With the Dough Hook Attachment Makes it a Dough Kneader
You need to use the dough hook attachment.
You should also read the instructions that come with your stand mixer because in there you will find the speed you need to use for kneading dough, it’s always a lower speed. And the time it takes until the dough is completely kneaded.
The time to completion depends from stand mixer to stand mixer. As an average, it will be 5 to 8 minutes. That’s how long a stand mixer will usually need to operate as a dough kneader.
You can also tell when it’s nearing completion because the ingredients don’t stick to the bowl, they’re turned by the dough hook attachment into a ball. The dough also feels elastic and it looks smooth.
Once the dough is removed, shape it into a ball and let it rise in a regular bowl, covered with a towel.
And that’s how easy it is to use a stand mixer as a dough kneader.
These dough kneading machines are quite pricey but if you’re a fan of baking and making sweets for your family, you’ll get your money’s worth.
Check out my post on the best stand mixers for bread if you want insightful reviews on these capable fast dough kneaders.
How to Use a Bread Maker as a Dough Kneading Machine
As I’ve mentioned above, a bread machine has the unique advantage of making the dough, rising it, and baking it.
It can do that for various types of breads, like white bread, whole wheat, sandwich bread, French/Italian bread, some have the gluten-free bread cycle, too. A bread maker also has separate cycles for bread dough, pizza dough and some even for pasta dough.
During the dough cycle, a bread machine acts beyond the purpose of a dough kneader because it rises the dough, as well.
Using a bread machine is very easy and if you get a bread machine cookbook, you will be amazed with how many delicious baked goods you can use it for.
There are just few things to keep in mind: always measure the ingredients precisely and only add the ingredients in the order specified by your bread machine (the flour never comes in contact with the yeast).
It’s definitely different from kneading by hand where the yeast is dissolved in slightly warm water for 10 minutes. For active dry yeast, you can also skip the dissolving into water step, it will work just the same, your dough will rise perfectly in both cases.
I just love using a bread machine on its full capabilities, kneading included, but I also rely on it to just knead the ingredients. It depends if the recipe requires an oven for baking or not. Plus, oven baking does indeed take the flavors to another level.
It’s similar to making your own flour at home, those are indeed different levels of deliciousness.
How do You Operate a Bread Machine as a Dough Kneader?
There is a very quick sequences of steps:
- measure the ingredients accurately as stated in the recipe
- make sure that the kneading paddle is in the pan – that small piece of non-stick metal is the one that makes all the work, it’s the actual dough kneader
- add the ingredients in the order mentioned by the recipe to the pan
- lock the pan inside the machine
- select the cycle and press Start
You can let the bread machine work just until it has kneaded the ingredients into a ball of dough. You’ll easily be able to tell when it’s done because the bread maker goes completely silent.
For a bread machine as a dough kneader, it can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes until it has completed its kneading job.
If you want to make whole wheat breads, select the whole wheat cycle and let the bread machine knead the dough. When the noise stops, the ingredients have been kneaded and you can remove it and let it rise and then bake in the oven.
The same goes if you want to make gluten-free bread. Select the gluten-free cycle and let the bread maker operate until the dough has been kneaded.
Check out my post on the best bread machines if you’re interested in discovering even more when it comes to bread makers as dough kneaders and so much more.
How do You Choose Between a Stand Mixer and a Bread Machine?
- if you like baking breads, pastries, and all kinds of desserts, and you absolutely insist of baking the breads in an oven by using a loaf pan, baking sheet, baking stone, Dutch oven or whatever else, you have to go with the stand mixer
- if you want to use a machine that doesn’t only act as a dough kneader but can also make all kinds of breads from start to finish then a bread maker is the option
For a more in-depth debate, check out my stand mixer vs bread machine post.