Kneading Dough: Processor vs. Stand Mixer

I like baking bread. I also like kneading dough, but that sort of culinary joy can fade after a while. This leads me to want some kind of mechanical aid for the heavy work, and I’m considering either a food processor or a stand mixer.

First, I know they have to be powerful for dough, which means either option is expensive. That said, does either provide a reliable method to prepare and knead good-sized batches of a broad variety of doughs on a regular basis? Does one have an advantage over the other? What would be a good model, and what kind of lifespan could I expect? What about very sticky dough, or even very hard dough, such as for noodles?

Any input or suggestions, even on additional useful items for bread baking would be appreciated.

Kitchen Aid stand mixer. IMHO, no other choice! :slight_smile:

It comes with a dough hook, which is something you definitely need (knead?) if you’re making bread. They’re tough, durable, and you’ll have it for ages to come. Their parent company, Hobart, is one of the leading manufacturers of commercial baking appliances :wink:

The only dough I’ve ever made in a processor is short crust. Even then, depending on the richness of the dough, I found that sometimes a processor doesn’t have enough power to give you the results you’re looking for…

~Kiz, who bakes for a living

I don’t bake for a living, but I have to second the stand mixer recommendation. Look around for a good sale and you can find the Ultra Power KitchenAid mixer for around $150-160. (At least I did a year or so ago.)

I have made dough in a food processor, and for one thing, you need a huge one to make anything but the smallest loaf. For another thing, it doesn’t work nearly as well as the dough hook. On the other hand, the food processor is useful for a lot more kitchen tasks than just making dough.

What the other posters have said. Go with the Kitchen Aid. I also work as a baker, and the Hobart mixers(see kiz’s post) are the best. They’re like vampires, hard to kill. To even hurt one you would have to work at it. Lokk at the expense as an investment. If you treat a Kitchen Aid right you may not ever have to get another.

I only bake on occasion but I live my Kitchen-Aid. Not only is it useful for mixing but you can buy all sorts of extra attachments. Does anyone know if they have a food processor attachment?


Get the biggest KitchenAide you can - they’re making a 6 quart one now for around $350 on sale. You can get the smaller ones for $150-160, but they aren’t going to have the capacity to do more than one loaf of bread.

I have a 5.5 quart KitchenAide, and it does 2 loaves at a time (6 cups flour) with no problem. I’ve doubled that recipe, and although it does work, it’s at the far end of the mixer’s capacity. I think the 6 quart version would have no problem with it, though.

I don’t think they’d make noodle dough very well. Like you said, it’s pretty hard. I do my noodles by hand, and use the hand-cranked Atlas pasta maker to do a lot of the kneading. Sticky dough is no problem. I do sweet breads for Christmas and suck - sticky, soft, sugary dough - and it works great.

What Athena said. I have the 6 quart and it can do anything. Mine is a few years old now so their could be a better model out now. The main thing you need to look for after the biggest bowl is the biggest motor. I forget how big mine is, 350 or 450 watts, but the bigger the better. A good load of bread can burn up a small motor. Been there.

Another vote for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I do everything from pancakes to cookies to bread to pizza crust in it. We bought it as a wedding present to ourselves 11 years ago and it still runs like new. My Mom has had her Kitchen Aid for over 20 years with nary a complaint.

If you have the dough (har har!), I’d recommend getting one of the bigger models. I have the entry-level 250 watt one (about $160 bucks right now I think) and it’s great, but it’s hard to do double batches of dough in it.

Kneading dough burned up a gear in my KitchenAid, but luckily we were able to find a replacement part and my husband was able to fix it for around $30 (I think, it might have been $70…still less than a new mixer.) My favorite attachment is the grater, which I use to grate my homemade soaps down into laundry soap. (Also good for carrots if you need a ton for carrot cake or something.) Not sure what the attachment costs new but I was estatic to find it (with all blades, still in the box) at a thrift store for under $5.

Mmm…mixers. I love looking at mixers. Right now, if I could have any mixer I wanted, I’d go with a Kenwood Mixer 7-qt 800 watt.

Actually, I’d really love a Magic Mill . This is a Swedish mixer, and supposed to be wonderful. 8 qt. only 450 watts, but because it’s motor is on the bottom, that boosts power.

My current mixer is a Bosch. 450 watts. It’ll knead the dough for 2 loaves of bread. It’s not great, but it’s what I can afford and it doesn’t take up as much counter space.


FWIW, I’ve used a kitchen aid to make pasta dough once and it worked okay. It was a pretty small batch though. And for all the attachments you can get with them, they’re well worth the investment. They have ones for shaping the pasta, grinding meats and grains, shredding, slicing and straining veggies, even for stuffing sausages. On top of that, the motor is just as powerful (if not more so) than any food processor I’ve used. Definitely the better choice.

Thanks for all the replies. Looks like I’m off for the biggest Kitchenaid I can get…

I love my 6 qt. KitchenAid. It is my precious.

complete dork,