The key to successful baking is this Ankarsrum stand mixer
By Michael Hiller
Photos courtesy of Ankarsrum
We’re in that quiet period before the holidays shift into high gear when a late autumn chill draws us back into the kitchen in the mood to bake.
With just a few simple ingredients like butter, flour and sugar, you’re in the holiday spirit. The key to success is a sturdy stand mixer.
Most serious stand mixers place the motor in the head to spin attachments like dough hooks and beaters around a stationary work bowl. The Ankarsrum mixer, on the other hand, positions the motor in the base to spin a stainless steel bowl around the attachments.
It’s a radically different approach from the familiar KitchenAid- style mixer, but after a short, steep learning curve, we found using the Ankarsrum is quite easy. It aced simple tests like whipping a dozen egg whites into tall peaks, creaming butter and stirring cake batters. Where it excelled, though, was with difficult chores like mixing double batches of cookie dough and kneading bulky ingredients into bread, bagels and pizzas. That’s because the Ankarsrum’s unique roller-and-scraper design mimics mixing and kneading by hand, which gradually hydrates the dough to develop its strength. As the steel bowl turns, the Ankarsrum’s fluted roller works the dough, and a bowl scraper keeps everything in motion. That technique means you don’t end up with unincorporated blobs of flour at the bottom of the bowl like traditional stand mixers often have.
The Ankarsrum comes with a traditional dough hook for those who prefer a more familiar technique, but we didn’t find much difference in the bread we made using either attachment.
We love using the Ankarsrum. Its wide, open mixing bowl and powerful motor make it easy to add ingredients while the machine is spinning, or you can reach in to feel the dough as the gluten develops. An optional pasta roller and cutter we added to our set-up makes from-scratch fettucine on a weeknight a realistic possibility (we have our eye on Ankarsrum’s add-on ice cream bowl for next summer).
If you’re a frequent bread maker or like to make double batches of cookies, then the Ankarsrum is a good fit. If you’re willing to watch a few YouTube explainers to teach you how to get started, then clear some kitchen counter space for this exceptional appliance.