QUOTE(SLBunge @ Jan 4 2010, 11:26 AM)
I agree that they are built-to-last, but I think that kneading a bread dough ball is asking a lot from a mixer. Irregular forces like you get when that dough-hook spins around and slaps the dough are not very friendly to bearings and gears. Use your hands for that.
I still find lots of uses for my 16 year old KA mixer and wouldn't want to give it up.
This is sort of a it's-good-and-it's-bad thing. The newer KA mixers have a lot of power, and can easily handle bread dough. But I also suspect that they aren't built as well as the older ones. (That's just a gut feeling; nothing to back up the claim.) So maybe a new KA can do it, but maybe not over as a long a lifespan as an old one.
That said, these days there is a movement among bread scientists to minimize kneading time, since it functions more to oxidize ingredients than to improve the dough. (See the bread chapter in Bakewise
, esp. page 433.) No-knead breads are not anything less in quality than "real" kneaded breads. Abby, please don't be a bread-baking snob. If you are regularly baking bread, there is nothing wrong with using a machine to do the time-consuming or harder physical work (I find the mixing much more difficult than kneading, in any case). Do you butcher your own bacon? Do you pick and roast your own coffee? Why must you use brute force on your bread?
Artisanal bakeries don't; they use mixers and still produce a fine product (I'm thinking of one like Amy's).
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