Yes it is worth a big
Have you ever watched people absolutely foam up on a product and wondered, “what’s the big deal? It was me with the KitchenAid. Everyone praised it, but one glance at the price and I was like “it can’t be this Well”.
I mean, these stand mixers usually sell for $ 800 and up. If you’re lucky, you can find them on special for as little as $ 500 for one of the smaller models. The new limited edition Light and Shadow model costs $ 999. A big ! Sure, it’s very pretty, but it’s a lot of money.
Meanwhile, I burned out cheap hand mixers while making cookie dough and almost gave myself RSI knead bread (before giving up entirely and sticking to the no-knead recipes). So I probably should have listened to KitchenAid fans and their rave reviews.
And on that note, the folks at KitchenAid lent me a Light and Shadow stand mixer to try it out for myself. This baby comes complete with a 10-speed motor direct drive, heavy-duty stainless steel attachments – a flat beater, dough hook and wire whisk – and a super luxurious 4.8L black ceramic bowl in a matte finish and studded. It is beautiful and very heavy.
I took her for a walk with those pretzels.
Soft buttered pretzels with a KitchenAid
What you will need:
- 1 ½ cup (354 mL) water
- 1 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons (8g) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon (6g) of salt
- 4 cups (480g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (58 g) baking soda
- ½ cup (113g) butter (melted)
- Base salt pretzels: coarse kosher salt or pretzel salt
- Cinnamon sugar pretzels: white sugar and cinnamon to taste (about ¼ cup of sugar for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon)
- All Pretzels: Combine dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, sesame seeds, kosher salt to taste (about 1 tbsp each) and poppy seeds (about 1 tsp)
- Preheat the oven to 232° C. Prepare your baking sheets by lining each with baking paper. Put aside.
- Add the brown sugar to the water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Whisk gently to incorporate, then set aside and let the yeast bloom for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl of your KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer to speed 4. With the mixer rotating, pour the risen water into the bowl. Knead dough for 4 to 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and hits against sides of bowl.
- Spray a large glass bowl with a little spray oil. Remove the dough from the blender, form a smooth ball and place it in the glass bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Spray your worktop very lightly with oil spray. Remove the dough from the bowl and cut it into eight equal pieces. Working one piece at a time, roll each piece of dough into a long rope. Once all the pieces are in ropes, place a rope in front of you. Hold one end in each hand and twist the dough twice. Press the ends into the sides to form the traditional pretzel shape. Place the pretzels on your prepared baking sheet and prepare a baking soda bath.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat then add the baking soda and whisk vigorously.
- Gently place 2-3 pretzels in the baking soda bath. Soak the pretzels for 30 seconds, then use a large skimmer to remove each pretzel from the water, allow excess water to drip off, and place the pretzels back on the prepared baking sheet (s). Repeat with the remaining pretzels. Lightly brush pretzels with egg mixture. (If making salt or any other pretzels, sprinkle toppings after washing the eggs and before baking. If making cinnamon sugar pretzels, wash only the eggs before baking.)
- Bake pretzels for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Take them out of the oven immediately and brush generously with butter on all sides. (If making cinnamon sugar pretzels, place the buttered pretzel in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and turn until completely coated.) Serve chilled out of the oven.
Look at these beauties! Of course, I made three flavors. Everything is delicious but the cinnamon sugar is a real treat.
I’ve made pretzels by hand before, but this batch came out so much softer, and the sesame seeds and salt keep pretty well in the freezer too.
I also made rustic fruit bread and pizza dough, just to really put this KitchenAid stand mixer to the test. The pizza dough was so much better than the one I made by hand (probably because I’m usually tired of hand kneading and give up long before the dough is actually ready).
Verdict: I liked it so much that I bought one for myself. Worth every penny.
The KitchenAid 4.8L Light and Shadow Limited Edition costs $ 999 and is available here.