After saving my money from a couple of birthdays and Christmases and anything in between, I finally got a Bosch mixer! My old mixer wasn't great, and with being interested in baking my own bread and making more things from scratch, I really wanted a nice mixer. I've had it for awhile now and have made a few different things with it, so I wanted to share my thoughts.
I debated for a while between getting a KitchenAid mixer or the Bosch mixer. I first read about the Bosch mixer on blogs where people were making their own bread (and often grinding their own wheat as well!). The more I read, I kept running into rave reviews of the Bosch mixer. Looking up reviews on the KitchenAid mixer, I discovered that many people seem to have problems with it leaking oil or the motor burning up, especially when trying to mix larger batches of bread dough. I asked some mom friends on a private message board I belong to and several of them said that yes, their KitchenAid leaked oil (from the top, down into the mixing bowl). I didn't find as many reviews on the Bosch mixer, but the ones I did read were very favorable. The reviews all seemed to agree that the Bosch was a workhorse, lasts forever, and performed well.
This comparison chart (Bosch vs KitchenAid) from Everything Kitchens eventually helped me decide on the Bosch. The Bosch mixer has an 800 watt motor, while the KitchenAid's top mixer is only 575 watts. Bosch has a better warranty, but also weighs less and has a smaller profile which is better for my tiny kitchen. The bowl is a bit bigger, and the Bosch mixer does better at mixing bread dough. The prices are actually similar when you compare KitchenAid's top model to the Bosch mixer. I did discover after some research that the Bosch blender attachment is made of polycarbonate and therefore contains BPA. The blender attachment is optional and I will not be purchasing it unless they make it of some other material. The mixing bowl is polypropylene, a safe plastic, or you can purchase a stainless steel mixing bowl. I think the clear plastic lid may be polycarbonate, but the food doesn't really touch that part.
When I set out to purchase the Bosch mixer, Everything Kitchens ended up sending me the mixer and Nutrimill grain mill at a discount for reviewing them on my blog. Of course I enjoy chatting about things that I've researched and use in my home, and I thought you'd like hearing about my adventures with the mixer and grain mill. I'm definitely not an expert bread baker (or even cookie baker!) yet, but I'm having fun trying.
The mixer is short enough that it fits under my low counters, but I do have to pull it out each time I want to use it. There are suction cups on the bottom of the mixer (because its so powerful it can fling itself right off your counter without these I guess!), so I have to un-suction it every time I want to pull it out for use. I'd love to have more counter space so as to not have to move it every time, but that's just an issue with my small kitchen. I am able to store all of the attachments inside the mixing bowl, which is nice.
The Bosch mixer comes with a dough hook and french whisks. I also purchased the cookie paddles and the batter/ cookie whips, which are similar to the wire whips that come with the mixer, but they are a bit stronger for thicker batters. The whips and whisks are for pourable batters, and the cookie paddles and dough hook are for thicker doughs. All of the pieces, bowl, lid, etc, attach by turning them one direction or another until they click. I still get confused about which way I'm supposed to turn each piece, but overall its not very complicated to set up and use. There are also all kinds of different attachments you can buy for the mixer.
The Bosch is a bit different in the way that it mixes - the paddles or whisks fit down inside of the bowl and spin around, rather than coming up over the top like a KitchenAid. Here is a picture looking down into the mixer. I like this set up because one you put the lid on it completely covers the top and keeps in all of the flour dust when you turn it on.
I'm still working on finding a good bread recipe that we like, but the dough hook really does seem to do a great job at mixing and kneading the dough. I can put in all of the ingredients, leave the mixer to knead the dough for a certain amount of time, let the dough rise, then shape and bake the loaves. I don't find it to be any harder than using my bread machine, and I get better results. My bread machine seemed to make the bread crust a bit too dark for us, and then you get the weird shaped loaf too. With the Bosch mixer I can also make larger batches of bread dough at once. I have to try making bread a few more times with the Bosch, but I'm thinking of sending my bread machine the way of Craigslist, along with my old mixer.
I purchased the Bosch mixer and Nutrimill from Everything Kitchens and was very happy with their customer service. I received my items within just a few days of ordering them. They have a huge selection of all kinds of kitchen products, and have great prices. They told me that the listed prices for the Bosch and Nutrimill are from the manufacturers, but if you call and request a discount, the sales people are authorized to give you one. Another cool thing about Everything Kitchens is that they donate 1% of their proceeds to World Vision, an international humanitarian aid organization. I would definitely recommend purchasing through this website for their great customer service, focus on customer satisfaction, and their best price guarantee. You can read more about Everything Kitchens here, or visit their real live store in Springfield, MO.
The Bosch mixer comes with a great little cookbook and I'm still experimenting with different recipes - overall I'm happy with my new mixer! I'm going to be posting a review of the Nutrimill grain mill in the near future. I was interested in the grain mill not only to be able to grind my own fresh grain, but also to be able to use other lighter whole grains like spelt and white wheat. Check back soon for more about that. Feel free to email Santa Claus a link to this blog post if you're wanting to add these to your Christmas list.