Making pastry in a mixer versus a food processor - tips
Posted: 28 December 2009 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Many restaurants due to the quantities required use a cake mixer to prepare pastry.

As a minimalist I would like to do without buying a food processor - Magimix/Kitchenaid to take up more kitchen space. I believe that an excellent knife is the best kitchen tool!  I know one can make pastry by hand but I would like to save time by using either the mixer or a food processor.

What say you experts can I use my Kenwood Chef mixer?

And if you advise buying a food processor for pastry/bread which brand (Magimix/Kitchenaid) and which SIZE would you recommend?
I am currently baking for two but don’t want to buy and find the model is too small for future uses.

(I am a bit wary of Kitchenaid food processors due to Chinese parts and company takeovers. Their quality seems to have taken a dive. Magimix (French) looks like the better quality buy although it’s more expensive??)

I have a feeling from Rose’s videos that she is not using a Kitchenaid food processor??

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Posted: 28 December 2009 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I would use a hand pastry cutter!  A mixer would knead the dough which is what u want to avoid.

For a cookie type crust a mixer is fine, and that is what big bakeries do.  But for flaky crust it is done by hand or with a special roller called a sheeter.

I have the older kitchenaid food processor, it is made in France and I have seen Rose use a yellow and a red on youtube.  It is the one with rounded base and 11 cups.  It makes excellent flaky pie crust for up to a 2 crust pie.  You shouldn’t fill the food processor too much when making flaky crust because kneading will start happening.

The plus on this kitchenaid is that the motor is induction and very quiet and doesn’t heat up.  The cuisinart heats up a bit more, but as long as you are continuosly running it for minutes it is fine.  The bigger the food processor the least it heats up.  I would buy one as big as you can, 7 cup is the absolute minimum, survival, 11 cup is best or larger!

The newer kitchenaids are from China, as well as the Cuisinarts!  I believe the kas still have an induction motor and an improved bowl strenght.

Can you get a food processor attachment to your kenwood?

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Posted: 28 December 2009 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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No luck with a food processor attachment.

Specs here are all in metric litres - 1 litres = 4.22675284 US cups

The only Kitchen Aid on sale here has these specs:

The versatile and convenient 3-bowl set includes:

  * 2.8 litre Work bowl
  * 2.4 litre Chef’s bowl
  * 0.95 litre Mini-bowl with a mini-blade

2 year warranty on household use.

Attachments included:

  * Citrus press
  * Egg whip
  * Multi-purpose blade
  * Dough blade
  * Slicer disk - 2mm
  * Slicer disk - 4mm
  * Shredding disk - 4mm

Specs:

  * Motor power: 650W
  * Voltage: 220-240V
  * Hertz: 50-60Hz
  * Dimensions: 26.7 x 21.1 x 40cm (L x W x H)
  * Net weight: 9.1kg
  * Gross weight: 13.2kg
  * Plastic bowl

All Magimix (which are made in France - no Chinese parts) have induction motors -

The smallest Magimix is the 3200: 2.6 litres (11 cups)

Power: 650 Watts

Capacities:

  * Shortcrust pastry 1.4kg
  * Bread dough 1 kg
  * Brioche dough 850g
  * Soup 1L
  * Meat 1 kg
  * Carrots 1 kg
  * Egg whites 6


The 4200 - 3 litre (12.7 cups)
Power: 950 Watts

Capacities:

  * Shortcrust pastry 1.4kg
  * Bread dough 1 kg
  * Brioche dough 850g
  * Soup 1.3L
  * Meat 1 kg
  * Carrots 1 kg
  * Egg whites 6

The largest Magimix 5200: 3.6 litres—15 cups (my calculation)—(about the same price as Kitchen Aid)

Capacities:

  * Shortcrust pastry 1.7kg
  * Bread dough 1.3kg
  * Brioche dough 1.1kg
  * Soup 1.8L
  * Meat 1.4kg
  * Carrots 1.4 kg
  * Egg whites 8

Power: 1100 Watts

I do have a hand pastry cutter


smile

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Posted: 28 December 2009 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Julia Child, no slouch in the kitchen, was recommending use of the food processor for flaky pie pastry years ago when the machines first came out. She and her colleagues were very excited because you could turn out quality pie dough in less than 10 seconds from start to finish. Her solution to pastry in quantity was simple: Dump out one batch and add another to the machine until your quota is filled.

It’s also possible to process small chunks of frozen butter in the FP with some of the dry ingredients, small batches at a time, but finish the pastry in a large mixer. That’s how we did it in one bakery where I worked, and it turned out lovely pastry. The trick was to mix it only briefly - just enough for it to barely come together. We rolled the pastry out by hand for pies, but used a reverse sheeter to roll out the dough for tart shells in quantity and other purposes.

A mixer is fine, as Hector notes, for making cookie crust type doughs. The FP by itself works just fine using Julia’s method, or in conjunction with a mixer as described above. But if you don’t already own an FP, a simple pastry cutter or a couple of knives will do the job nicely. Only you can decide if the time saved and anticipated use for other purposes is worth the cost of an FP.

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Posted: 28 December 2009 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thank You Carolita - Most interesting!

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Posted: 23 January 2010 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I can?t make pie pastry by hand because of tendonitis issues, so at the tea shop where we only have a a 7 cup food processor and I have to make a ?4 cups of flour? recipe for pie dough for quiche (4 cups of flour, 2tsp of salt, 2 tbls sugar, 12 oz butter, 1/4 tsp aluminum free baking powder, about 3/4 c. ice water), I use our 6 qt kitchen aid mixer, and as long as you watch it carefully and pay attention to what you?re doing, it works fine. Mine always turns out tender and flakey, and very ?rollable.?

A few tricks for using a mixer:

1. Sift the flour really well to lighten it up and remove lumps
2. Thoroughly whisk together the dry ingredients by hand before turning the mixer on
3. Cut the butter into small bits and freeze
4. Toss the frozen butter with the dry ingredients really well to coat the butter.
5. With the mixer on the lowest speed, using the paddle attachment, mix in the butter until it?s the size of peas (the paddle actually rubs the butter into the flour rather than cutting it in, so the dough will be more tender this way).

6. Unless I?m doing really huge batches of pie dough (which wouldn?t fit into my 6qt mixer), I take the bowl off the mixer and toss in the ice water by hand (I literally just toss the dough with the water, like a salad, to keep from actually kneading it).

7. The addition of a small amount of aluminum free baking powder will help ensure flakiness in the dough.

Granted, using a mixer isn?t my first choice for pie dough, but it does turn out an acceptable dough.

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Posted: 23 January 2010 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thank you Roxanne. Interesting tips. I shall try this.

My Kenwood recipe book - came with the Chef mixer - has a recipe for pie dough using the mixer.

Incidentally there are so many Amazon posts of people having huge problems with their food processors - top brands -
that I am fairly wary about buying one at this stage. We don’t have Cuisipro here which seems to be the only reliable make in the US at the moment.

A bit of info is that the Krups processor (cheaper than Kitchenaid here) CLAIMS it will handle up to 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of bread dough in a special 4.5 litre (19 cup) metal bowl. With a 1100 watt motor this sounds impressive. But it probably has a Chinese motor!

I think I have put my purchase of a food processor on hold for the moment so your info is most useful.

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Posted: 24 January 2010 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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You?re welcome Paul! Unfortunately, the only 100% reliable processor on the market right now is the professional grade Robocoup, and they cost thousands of dollars (but they sure do last forever and can take quite a beating)!

KitchenAid and Cuisinart make very fine processors. Keep in mind that of the thousands they make and sell every year, there are always going to be a few duds, and of course, those are going to be the people posting reviews on Amazon.

Cook?s Illustrated did an extensive review of food processors a few years ago and rated KitchenAid and Cuisinart as top of the line for home cooks. Which one you get depends on what kind of things you?ll be using it for. People who want a processor for more veggie prep tend to prefer the KitchenAid (different size work bowls, more processing discs, more attachments). People making more pastry type doughs and breads tend to prefer the Cuisinart (it?s pulse function is better designed than the KitchenAid, and the standard Cuisinart food processor is far lighter in weight and doesn?t come with 1 bazillion attachments, which is what I preferred).

I?m still convinced it?s an essential piece of equipment for every kitchen. grin

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Posted: 24 January 2010 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Unfortunately being offshore we can’t return anything. Cusinart (clearly the best for home use) is not available in SA. I am not sure why - we have the other major brands including Kitchenaid/Bosch and Magimix. I sent them an email but no reply! Clearly we are too small a market.

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Posted: 24 January 2010 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I bought a value priced Hamilton Beach a year ago for basic use in the home kitchen, and it’s giving great service. I don’t put it in the dishwasher but otherwise treat it with normal care. For CDN$60 or $70, whatever it was, I didn’t expect much and was pleasantly surprised.

Paul, this info is for others, because I assume the HB brand line-up isn’t available in SA. But while we’re chatting, whatcha been baking lately?

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Posted: 24 January 2010 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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HB is not generally available - one sees the occasional appliance.

Baking - not at the moment. I am re-organising the kitchen (now nearly complete) throwing out what I don’t need and seeing what I need to buy.

Just ordered Thermopen on Rose and Hector’s recommendation wink

Let’s see if it makes it to Africa!

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