I get asked all the time: Which should I buy, a mixer or a bread machine? The answer might surprise you. I say both.
I know I always said a bread machine is one of the things I would never, EVER buy. Friends (and strangers) would always tell me, “You should get a bread machine!” And I’d reply back, “I’m the bread machine! I do the kneading over here!” I had a great Bosch mixer and a bread machine seemed completely unnecessary. What changed?
Well, I had four kids and got too busy to babysit the mixer. I quit making bread.
Then, I ate crow and I bought a bread machine. Now, life is awesome.
I have a Bosch mixer which I absolutely love, but like I said, I quit making bread because I was too busy keeping up with the children to be able to babysit my bread dough! Keeping an eye on the dough in my mixer seemed daunting and overwhelming.
But our health suffered! Fresh wheat and homemade bread sure does help keep us regular around here.
I told Barry that if we bought a bread machine, I’d start making all of our bread at home. Buying a bread machine literally changed our health and our life. We eat sandwiches for lunch often so I bake bread 2-3 times a week.
We used to eat a lot of leftovers, but now most of our food gets eaten at dinner time and we don’t often have any leftovers anymore! I literally cannot keep up with all the food that my people need to eat. I realize that 6 people is not even a huge family. But it’s astounding to me how much we eat; I can barely keep up!
When you ask me, should I buy a bread machine or should I buy a mixer? I say both!
If you plan to do a large amount of baking, I would say buy a Nutrimill first. You can mix up bread by hand. But fresh wheat is LIFE-CHANGING.
Next, buy a bread machine.
Any recipe that calls for 4-1/2 cups of flour or less, (not just bread) you can mix up in your bread machine — even cinnamon rolls! Just put it all in your bread machine, walk away and come back and it turns into dough! Magical dough – its glorious. I don’t actually cook (bake) in the bread machine. I prefer to shape the dough into two smaller loaves that make much better sized slices for toast and sandwiches that the taller one of the bread machine.
If you plan to make mostly bread items, then I would go with the bread machine.
When you save up enough to make a third purchase, then buy a mixer. If you are planning to make cookies, muffins, and plan on doubling batches of recipes, I would go with the mixer (or even just do these by hand!). The bread machine is only able to handle about 4-1/2 cups of flour, so remember that any recipes calling for more than that just won’t work in a bread machine.
Any time I make a recipe that calls for more than 4-1/2 cups of flour, I use my mixer. I made a ginormous batch of English Muffins recently and needed over 9 cups of flour! I definitely used the mixer for that. Or, if I want to make a double batch of something or cookies; I’ll use my mixer.
While I’m talking about mixers y’all, I would not go with a KitchenAid.
I know people will hate me for saying that. But a lot of kitchen-aid and similar style mixers are just not built the same way they used to be 15+ years ago. The motor on most of the newer models is not designed to handle mixing heavy doughs on a regular basis. My Bosch mixer is a work horse. It is made to get the job done. It even had suction cups on the bottom of its feet, so it doesn’t try to walk away anywhere!
To sum it up, the most life-changing addition to your baking life (besides the oven) is a Nutrimill. I cannot say enough how important fresh flour is! After that, I would recommend to purchase a bread machine. You can always mix cookies, cakes, muffins, etc. by hand until you’re ready to go to the next level and buy a mixer.
Hope that was helpful to y’all!