How many times have you watched your grandmother use a mixer and considered the day you would own your own? Well, today is the day and the only thing left for you to do is to find out how to use a stand mixer. Now you can make your own bread just like nana used to and whip up a plethora of other great homemade goods.
You will find that stand mixers are super easy to use and allow you the opportunity to walk away while it is still mixing, stirring or kneading. You will find that the modern day stand mixer comes with multiple attachments and tools, and therefore these devices are great multi-tasking tools for use in your kitchen. Each mixer will come with its own set of attachments and tools and its own manual. You always want to ensure you read the manual prior to setting up your stand mixer for the first time. When you have set up your mixer, then it is on to the good stuff – the exploration.
Once your stand mixer is all set up, you want to take a look at the blades that come with it. Each of these will be used for one specific task. The blades included will differ from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typical blades included with the average stand mixer are:
- The flat beater – this blade is ideal for making cookies, mashed potatoes, pie crusts, cakes and biscuits, among other things.
- The Wire Whisk – this is ideal for making items that need to be airy, such as egg whites, sponge cakes, mayonnaise and frothy frostings. The design of the whisk incorporates air into the mixture, making the final product lighter.
- Dough hook – this blade is useful for creating your bread, rolls, buns, pizza crust and heavier cakes.
Which Attachments Are Necessary?
Now if you are a serious baker you may want a stand mixer that can work with more blades than the mentioned above. If that is the case you want to ensure the mixer you choose has a plethora of attachments available for purchase so that your mixer can truly be the multitasking appliance that you need it to be. Less expensive stand mixers may only come with a standard beater attachment but you will find that most stand mixers nowadays come with at least three major ones. They will also come with a large mixing bowl and sometimes with smaller bowls too for smaller batches of work.
How to Use Stand Mixer – General Guidelines
Before you use your mixer you want to ensure that your items are all washed and clean. Ensure that the speed control is set to the off position prior to plugging in the machine. You also want to ensure that your bowl is securely in place prior to plugging in and starting the machine.
What about Speed?
Some mixers will only have three-speed settings while others may have more. The only way to think of speed settings is in terms of ranges. There is a range for slow speeds, medium speeds and fast speeds as well. The speed you choose to use will be dependent on your recipe but speed standards tend to be the same across the board when it comes to stand mixers.
Why Choose a Stand Mixer?
Stand mixers are a better option over portable mixers if you will be using your mixer a lot. With the ability to be operated without your presence, you can set your mixer and leave it to do the work while you work on something else in your kitchen. Since they are fully automated, the mixing is a lot more even than it would be if you decided to use your hands.
This is especially true when doing tasks such as whisking eggs to make a sponge cake or for a meringue. You can allow your stand mixer to do all the work and you will not have to worry about fatiguing your hands. Having the machine in one fixed place also reduces the risk of accidental spills.
All in all, the answer to the question “how to use stand mixer” depends on the recipe that you are attempting to accomplish. The recipe is what tells you exactly what you will be doing and what speeds to use. Once you follow your recipe and the instructions specified by the manufacturer of your stand mixer you will be sure to get it right.