Stand mixers are an opulent piece of equipment that is a personal favourite of mine. Its power, strength, and stamina are unmatched in the kitchen. When I switched from a whisk to a stand mixer, it seemed freeing (especially for my arms), but it is a machine, and you must understand what it can and cannot do in order to use it effectively.
A stand mixer’s primary disadvantage is its lack of control. While whisking by hand, you experience the batter’s various stages. This may seem insignificant, but the batter or dough speaks to you how they are feeling and whether they will turn out tasty. When working with a stand mixer, all you have are your eyes. Now, this is not to argue that a whisk will always produce superior baking results simply because it feels better. However, you must keep a constant check on your batter or dough to avoid over-mixing, which can result in all sorts of irreversible complications!
Here are four things you must do to make the most of your stand mixer:
INGREDIENTS ARE NOT EVENLY MIXED
When combining by hand, you may constantly adjust your whisk to ensure that every stray ingredient is permanently incorporated! A stand mixer is not as concerned as you are; there will always be lonely chunks of butter clinging to the sides of the mixing bowl, hoping they could join the fun.
Tip 1 for correctly utilising your stand mixer: combine your ingredients manually every now and then. This includes pausing the mixer between mixes to scrape down the edges of the bowl and folding your batter until the final few components are mixed.
ARE YOU AWARE OF THE SPEED CONTROLS ON YOUR STAND MIXER?
My Kitchen Aid mixer has ten speeds. Which one should I use and for what purpose? As a general guideline, I follow the following:
1: Kneading and Folding
2-5: Mixing and Stirring in General
6–10: Whipping, Creaming
What are the implications of these mixing techniques?
Concerning the precise speed, there is an optimal speed: it is the speed at which there is sufficient strength to mix but not so much that the materials fly away. I realise it sounds circular and perplexing, but give it a try and you’ll see what I mean!
FOR WHAT PURPOSE ARE THE DIFFERENT ATTACHMENTS?
A stand mixer is often equipped with three basic attachments: a whisk, a paddle, and a hook. The following are some of its primary applications:
Whisk: Used to incorporate air into liquid components.
Paddle: Used to incorporate and beat air into solid components (i.e. creaming)
Hook: Used to create doughs and primarily for kneading!
A MINIMUM AMOUNT IS REQUIRED FOR YOUR STAND MIXER
When combining by hand, there are no limits to the amount of ingredients you can add to the mixing bowl; you can add as little as a teaspoon. However, a teaspoon of components would be ineffective in a stand mixer; it would combine indefinitely and provide no result. Simply said, there is insufficient flour in the mixing bowl! Due to the sheer size of a stand mixer, it requires a substantial amount of material to adequately mix.
How much should you add to the mixer? That will vary depending on the stand mixer you choose, but as a general rule, enough to allow the contents to be blended.