Review of the new KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer & a Recipe for Cranberry-Chocolate Cookies
Homemade bread. Hot and fresh from the oven. Just a little bit of butter and you could almost eat the whole loaf in one sitting!
There is something very comforting about the smell of yeast bread baking in your home. There is also a great satisfaction that comes with creating a loaf of bread, a real sense of accomplishment. It is different than the pride you feel when you have success with other types of baking.
Making my own breads, particularly Artisanal breads, was one of the reasons I was so excited to work with and review the new KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer. This mixer is described as “the largest, most powerful – and quietest – KitchenAid mixer ever offered.” I was especially interested in the commercial features and the capacity to handle larger and more difficult batters and the ability to knead very stiff bread doughs. There have been several projects I have had to abandon in the past because my KitchenAid stand mixer did not have the capacity or horsepower to handle them, so I was ready to put this new mixer to the test to see how it performed.
I did read the instruction booklet for this mixer since it was quite a bit more powerful than the KitchenAid mixer I have been using. This KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer will mix everything faster and more efficiently than some other mixers, so you need to be aware of this and adjust mixing or beating times accordingly. In fact, it may take about half the amount of time to do the job, so you need to be careful not to overbeat your cake batters, cookie doughs or other ingredients.
You also need to make adjustments when kneading yeast dough. Many recipes will give you suggested times for kneading with the dough hook on a stand mixer. However, the manual for this KitchenAid mixer tells you to use only “Speed 2” with the Power Knead Spiral Dough Hook. It also says that most yeast doughs will be kneaded sufficiently within 4 minutes. One of my bread recipes calls for a total of 10 minutes of kneading at 2 different speeds, so I knew I would have to experiment with some of these recipes to see how to make the proper adjustments.
I played it safe with the first bread recipe and used KitchenAid’s recipe that was already adapted for this mixer for Basic White Bread. If you have never made homemade white bread, you need to! It is so easy to make and sooo good. For me, it is reminiscent of earlier years when we did not have all the whole grain breads that we do now. Of course, we eat whole grains for health reasons, but there is still something really wonderful about the yeasty taste of freshly baked white bread.
This recipe worked beautifully and we were amazed at how quiet the mixer was, especially considering the horsepower.