Picking the right dough mixer for a bakery is a decision reliant on a handful of factors – the types of dough you’re looking to mix, the volumes in which you need them throughout the day, the size of your establishment. For small-scale bakeries or coffee houses specializing in novelty caffeinated beverages with some baked goodies on the side, a decent sized, good quality planetary mixer might suffice, their versatility an attractive feature to have on board. With a dough hook attachment, planetary mixers can work through doughs for breads, buns and rolls, while switching them out for other mixing elements let you mix batters and cookie dough, whip together icing and meringues, and in some cases process veggies and meat too.
On the other hand, for high volume bakeries producing large amounts of dough, spiral mixers are better for their gentler but more efficient approach to dough mixing, kneading dough for different types and consistencies of bread without overworking the dough and producing the desired gluten structure, all with the speed and efficiency needed to meet a high traffic of demand. In the interest of variety and covering all our bases, we’ve selected our top picks of both spiral and planetary mixers, suited to different sizes of bakery operations – take a look at our round-up.
Hobart HSL220-1 220 Lb Spiral Dough Mixer
The heavy-duty giant of the list, this dough mixer takes the top spot as the ultimate candidate for large scale bakeries and restaurants under constant high volume production requirements for anything from soft and fluffy ciabatta breads and French loaves to tougher doughs for bagels and pizza. The two-speed mixer gives you maximum control, the lower speed perfect for smoothly and consistently incorporating all the ingredients together while the higher speed lets you achieve the desired gluten structure. A 20-minute timer also gives you the option for continuous or timed mixing, to follow recipes to the T for the perfect doughs and breads.
The 220 lb unit comes with a stainless steel mixing bowl (note that the capacity will vary depending on the type of dough you’re making – for instance, the mixer can work with 232 lb of whole wheat dough, or 130 lb of bagel dough, the absorption ratio (AR) and toughness of the dough necessitating adjustments), and a spiral dough hook for thorough folding. The mixing bowl fits in under a stainless steel bowl guard, a safety measure to keep you away from sharp blades as well as preventing anything accidentally falling into the bowl as the dough mixes. An interlock system ensures that the mixer doesn’t run until the guard is fully in position. The belt-driven unit is powered with a 1-HP bowl motor, and 3.5/6.4-HP spiral arm motor, high torque transmission allowing for heavy-duty and hitch-free performance. Ball bearing constructed stability and a powder-coat finish make for a durable unit promising longevity and consistent quality, while casters make for easier maneuverability.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Eurodib LM50T Spiral Mixer
Conscious about your budget? Don’t worry – you can nab a full-functioning heavy-duty spiral mixer at a steal of a price with this unit. With a single mixing speed (at 185 rotations per minute) and a 44 lb kneading capacity, the unit effortlessly handles anything from tough bagel dough to high hydration, airier doughs like ciabatta, along with various other non-bread doughs like scones, cookies and pie dough.
A rugged 50 quart stainless steel bowl and spiral dough hook handle the business of mixing, while a rugged bowl guard ensures safety and sanitation standards are thoroughly met. Additional safety features include emergency stop and bowl guard switches, while an in-built timer gives you better control over mixing time for perfectly kneaded dough.
Vollrath (40759) 40 qt Floor Mixer
For cafés, restaurants and other establishments where bread-baking is only a part of the kitchen’s operations as opposed to the central function, a versatile planetary mixer might be a better cost-effective investment compared to a function-specific spiral mixer. With this 40 quart planetary mixer, you can not only whip together smaller batches of bread dough with the unit’s dough hook attachment, but also process whipped cream, icing, cake batter, cookie dough and even ground meat and sliced veggies, thanks to the #12 attachment hub compatible with the respective mixer elements.
Better suited for small bread batches, this unit is ideal for smaller scale bakeries and coffee shops, which don’t exclusively sell bread or require continuous production – for such outlets, investing in a spiral mixer exclusively for bread dough is likely to be disproportionate to returns. Programmed with three speeds to give you access to a diverse range of mixing (or grinding, slicing and other) activities, the unit also features a 30-minute timer letting you opt for either fixed time or continuous operation to put together doughs of the perfect consistency. The unit is powered by a 1.5-HP motor, with direct drive gear transmission. Although the unit has to be switched off to change speeds, it has an in-built emergency stop mechanism to safely allow the transition to occur without damaging or pressuring the unit, upholding its durability.
Globe SP30, 30 Quart Floor Mixer
Another multifunctional unit perfect for smaller volume bread production or small scale operations where you may need a mixer for more than just mixing bread dough, this unit features a 30 quart stainless steel bowl and spiral dough hook, powered by a 1-HP gear-driven motor and high torque transmission for thorough and consistent dough mixing. With a #12 attachment hub, it is also compatible with other mixing elements included with the unit, including the flat beater and wire whip, making this an all-round win for establishments serving desserts and cakes as part of their menu.
A durable floor mixer, the cast iron body and heat-treated hardened steel constructed gears and shafts make this a heavy-duty, smooth-functioning and rugged unit promising to give you years of meticulous performance, while a stainless steel bowl guard and interlock mechanism ensures safety of use, preventing the unit from starting up unless the bowl and bowl guard are both locked into position.
The unit is programmed with last batch recall, 3 mixing speeds, an in-built chute to incorporate ingredients as you mix and a 60-minute timer enabling both continuous and timed operation.