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If you find yourself baking bread on a regular basis, especially if you’re baking large batches, a mixer to help you out with all of that kneading can be enormously helpful. As great as bread machines are, they often aren’t equipped to handle large batches and give the baker less control over the product.
With a powerful mixer, you control what ingredients are added when, how long the dough is kneaded for, and can make adjustments during the process. Kneading batch after batch of bread dough by hand, however, can be a serious workout and incredibly time consuming, especially if you’re making whole wheat breads.
When choosing a mixer for a bread baker, there are several things to consider. Not all stand mixers are created equal, even models offered from trusted brands.
Thick dough, like that for bread, can be really hard on mixers, so it’s important to choose a product known for its durability and with a very powerful motor. Although perhaps less well known, the Ankarsrum Original has been a favorite among bread bakers for quite some time.
The Ankarsrum Original/ Verona/Magic Mill DLX Mixer/Electrolux Assistant available on Amazon
Users attest that these machines will last decades even with heavy use. Ankarsrum advertises this machine as being made to handle bread dough, making it a truly perfect choice for the baker.
Folks, as a fine of mixer as this machine is and as of long of a history it has in pleasing its users, it’s an appliance with an identity crisis; at various times it has been branded as the Verona, Magic Mill DLX Mixer, Electrolux Assistent, and in its current incarnation, it is known as the Ankarsrum Original. Confusing at that all seems, it is one fine machine regardless of what the label states.
The Ankarsrum Original is the yardstick by which all stand mixers should be measured
The Ankarsrum Original is built to handle nearly as much dough as any one person could ever hope to bake. The bowl can handle 15 pounds, making it one of the largest capacity options available.
The bowl also features a sleek stainless steel design and vintage feel and will look fantastic sitting out on your countertop. Rather than the traditional design with spinning attachments, the bowl rotates while the attachments remain stationary.
Although this is certainly one of the more expensive mixers available, it’s made from all high-quality parts. You won’t find flimsy pieces of plastic falling off your machine and into the cake batter with this model.
A favorite design element among users of the mixer formerly known as the Electrolux Assistent (queue “Purple Rain”) is that the motor sits below the bowl instead of above it, leaving your way clear to add ingredients. For those making big batches of dough, you can imagine how much easier it is to be able to dump in cup after cup of flour without the head of the mixer getting in the way!
The Ultra Powerful Motor was derived from an NHRA Top Fuel Drag Car
Well, not really. I fib. However, with a conservative 600 watts of power claimed by the manufacturer, this mixer is among the most powerful around for home bakers. It has more power than the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine and KitchenAid 6 Quart Professional 600 Series and is in the same league as the KitchenAid Pro Line (perhaps even better). Don’t let the 600 watt figure fool you.
In the days when most manufacturers attempt to cheapen the parts found in their products and maintain sales by “boosting” their metrics (such as the worthless wattage measurement), Magic Mill/Electrolux/ Ankarsrum has never adjusted theirs and they still use the same quality European manufactured motor that they did 40 years ago.
With a motor like this, you can fill the bowl to capacity without worrying about the machine groaning with the effort. In fact, one Amazon reviewer said she uses this machine to make 18 loaves of whole-wheat challah bread every week and she’s had it for 12 years.
Even if you do manage to somehow over fill the bowl (concrete perhaps? I don’t any other way that’d be possible), it has you covered. Thanks to overload protection, the machine will automatically release if the motor is put under too much strain.
It’s many attachments included in the box make this a perfect pizza, bread & cake baking assistant
In addition to the bowl, the Ankarsrum Original includes a roller, scraper, dough hook, poly beater bowl, whips, and whisks.
The scraper is one of the more brilliant attachments I’ve seen. It sits along the side of the bowl and scrapes as the bowl turns, meaning you don’t have to stop the machine every minute to scrape the bowl yourself.
The Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine does have a similar attachment avialble but it is made by a third party (probably based on the original Verona/Magic Mill design) and is an extra expenditure.
The included roller is designed to mimic the effect of kneading dough by hand.
A rose by any other name is just as sweet
When researching on the net for the machine itself or its various attachments or other information, you may have to search under its current name and all of its former names – Ankarsrum Original, Verona, Magic Mill DLX Mixer, and Electrolux Assistent.
Accessories are better built than those of the competition
Like other mixers, Ankarsrum offers a line of accessory products for their machine, including the classic pasta attachments and juicers. This manufacturer really went all out to make sure that users could get the most from the machine without it taking up inordinate amounts of space: to use attachments like the sausage stuffer and pasta maker, you actually turn the machine on its side!
This is a much different from more traditional mixers (but is the same as other European designed units such as the Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine), but makes sense. This way, you don’t need several ports coming off the mixer and it has a smaller footprint.
Two of my favorite attachments are the Meat Grinder and the Fruit and Berry Press.
The meat grinder is one of the more powerful that I’ve seen as a standing mixer attachment. In just two minutes, it can grind 3 pounds of meat. The grind is sold in two versions – a basic set and a “complete” set.
Included with the complete set is the grinder and a 2.5 mm disk, 4.5 mm disk, 6 mm disk, feeder tray, splash guard, sausage horn, strainer, grater, pasta discs, cookie attachment, and food plunger.
The 4.5 mm disk is the standard size for grinding meat. The 6 mm size is ideal for grinding meat for sausages. The 2.5 mm will give you a finer mince if that’s what you prefer! With this kind of variety, you can make several different ground meat-based dishes.
The basic set just includes the grinder, tray, plunger and the 4.5mm disk (although it is priced a lot lower).
The Fruit and Berry Press actually attaches to the Meat Grinder. It’s the perfect tool for making applesauce, smooth mashed potatoes, or fruit purees. One of my favorite ways to use it is to puree berries, freeze the puree in an ice cube tray, and add the ice cubes to my iced tea in the summer. Such an easy and refreshing drink!
Almost Every Part is Dishwasher Safe
All of the parts, except for anything constructed of aluminum, are dishwasher safe! For the most part, I try to hand wash my more expensive purchases, but after a long day of baking, sometimes I just want to take the easy way out and toss everything into the dishwasher. Of course, the base is not dishwasher safe. If the base does get dirty, just wipe it down with a damp washcloth. Never fully submerge it in water.
The Total Package Makes this Machine the Top Rated Mixer that we’ve reviewed
The Ankarsrum Original includes a 3-year warranty, so if you do have some concerns about making such a big purchase, rest assured that you are also buying a cushion in case something goes wrong.
Users report that another bonus is that the dough doesn’t “crawl” up the post like it can in KitchenAid or Bosch options. This means you won’t have to spend quite as much time babysitting your dough.
The Ankarsrum Original comes with a second, plastic bowl that’s designed to be used for whipping and mixing thinner batters like cake batter.
This mixer is really built for bread dough and some users find it easier to stick to their KitchenAids for lighter-weight materials. This isn’t to say that you can’t whip egg whites or make anything that isn’t bread, the construction is just a bit different than the standard mixer and it can take a bit longer to get the hang of using it properly. There are plenty of videos to help, though!
If you’ve previously used more traditional standing mixers that have the motor over the bowl, don’t be intimidated by the unfamiliar construction of the Assistent. It’s built the way it is to make mixing large batches of dough easier and with just a little reading and video watching you’ll have the hang of it very quickly.
This machine runs very quietly, unlike many of the mixers from KitchenAid. Although this seems like a somewhat trivial feature, it can be very nice if you spend a lot of time working over this appliance!
Wide Color Selection Available
The Ankarsum Orginal/Electrolux Assistant is available in a plethora of colors. Although it doesn’t have quite as many to choose from as the KitchenAid Artisan, there are more than enough to match your Kitchen’s existing color scheme.
A few users report that although they did eventually get a response, reaching customer service was a slow process and they found themselves being transferred several times before getting the answer they needed. Luckily, this is a heavy-duty machine and most people don’t end up needing to contact customer service.
- Available Accessories
- Build Quality
Power – Don’t let the 600 watts full you when comparing the Ankarsrum Original against other stand mixers claimed “1000 watts.” Wattage is NOT in any way indicative of how much power is produced at the mixer’s head. Folks, short of Hobart N50 (and I’m not even so certain of that) at 3x the price, it doesn’t get any better than this. Attach some helicopter blades and you may reach lift off (please don’t try this at home – I’m not responsible for any accidents).
Performance – The manufacture says this machine can produce 15 lbs of dough in one go. They aren’t fibbing. 15 lbs of dough with NO strain on the motor, no reduction of the RPMs, no funny noises coming out of the internals, no plastic bits breaking when it is at the factory limits – folks, this is the real deal. You want to bake bread? This is THE machine to buy.
Available Accessories – Although the range of accessories isn’t as large as KitchenAid’s, they are better built – just like the mixer base itself.
Build Quality – This thing is a tank. All metal, no “we’ll try to substitute some plastic parts and hope it holds together and nobody notices” (looking at you KitchenAid). Construction quality does not get any better! Want a mixer that will survive decades? A nuclear holocaust? An asteroid impact? The Ankarsrum IS IT!
Warranty – Three years of warranty is about two years longer than most other manufactures/models. Folks, if this machine lasts three years, it’ll last 30 years (well, perhaps 20 if you’re literally baking for an army).
Value – A very Solid 5 stars. Is it expensive? Sure. Is it stupidly expensive? Absolutely not for what you are getting. Like my dad used to say, “life is too short for cheap tools.” Tired of junk Chinese made plastic products and want quality? The Ankarsrum Original is Foodal’s number one pick and is our highest rated stand mixer of any on the market.
If you are someone that makes heavier dough, like whole wheat, on a regular basis, the Assistent is an excellent choice for you! Even if you aren’t necessarily baking a lot of bread dough but just using a mixer frequently, consider the Ankarsrum Original/ Verona/Magic Mill DLX Mixer/Electrolux Assistant.
Although it comes with a larger price tag than many of its competitors, you’re likely to save money in the long run as you won’t be burning through other mixers every couple of years. This machine is designed to last pretty much as long as you need it for. “Buy once, cry once.” Sometimes quality is worth paying up for.
You’ll be ready to take on the world with both this mixer and these invaluable baking tips and tricks to improve your routine!
About Chelsea Miller
Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.