This coming Saturday will be the first of five special bread recipes with specific details relating to the Ankarsrum stand mixer. I'm delighted to report that this sturdy mixer can knead a larger than usual amount of stiff bread dough so my first recipe offering is for a double batch of bagels! There will also be step by step photos of all recipes. Here are a few ideas and tips for using this excellent heavy duty mixer. When using the Ankarsrum for mixing bread, I start on low speed, which is the space between the first and second marking, to mix the dough just until the ingredients are incorporated and all the flour is moistened--1 to 2 minutes. When kneading the dough, I then choose the space between the second and third space. Unless doing a very large amount of dough I use the roller/scraper attachment set at about 1/2 inch from the side of the bowl. The adjustment knob will hold firmly in place so in order to remove the roller easily, all you have to do is move the arm that holds the roller forward very slightly and then the knob will turn easily. People have asked how the Ankarsrum functions for cakes and cookies. We plan to experiment in the near future but in the meantime I asked advice from Ashley McCord whose family is the long time US distributor. The following is her helpful hints: "The Ankarsrum does a wonderful job using the plastic beater bowl with the batter whips for cakes and icing. You MUST always use softened butter or cream cheese though. The black plastic gear that the balloon whisks and the batter/cookie whips attach to on the double whisk bowl are not designed for hard, cold butter, or very stiff batters. I will also use the batter whips for small, light batches of cookie dough. If you are wanting to make a large batch of triple chocolate chunk or oatmeal cranberry cookies with the extras (nuts, dried fruit), then use the stainless steel bowl and roller/scraper to mix that up. For creaming the butter and sugar, I like a higher speed. Then when I start adding my dry ingredients, I like the slowest speed so that the flour doesn't poof out all over my counter."
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