October 27, 2022 - 11:54am
I just unboxed, cleaned and setup my new Ankarsrum Assistent, I’m loving the build quality and this gorgeous orange we picked. I can’t wait to try it out. I plan to bake two Hokkaido milk breads tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have a glowing review and I hope I can learn to use this quickly with tomorrow’s bake. In the meantime here are the photos.
If my wife would abide by an orange appliance, I would have gotten that same color. Since the color doesn't affect its performance, I opted for blue and matrimonial harmony. :)
FWIW, I've got a batch of your 75% Hokkaido sandwich loaf going today, and it mixed up in the Ank nicely! :)
Thanks Rich, I can’t wait to try it tomorrow morning. I didn’t have enough starter to make a two loaves so the starter was just fed.
Fortunately my partner and I have the same love of orange so that choice was easy. You have to keep your wife happy and the blue is really nice too.
I’m looking forward to seeing your Hokkaido milk bread! Hopefully I can learn to use this mixer quickly!
Beautiful machine Benny!
You're going to enjoy the open accessibility of the bowl and how you can manipulate the roller arm to work the dough.
Thank you Tony, and thanks for your help in my other thread. I do think I’ll enjoy using this new mixer. At the very least I won’t need to hold it down while mixing like I did with the KA.
A real showpiece! Orange you glad you upgraded to a machine that is well suited for the job and your skills. I hope it works great for you and look forward to the video because I still don’t understand how it actually works. I have never used a mixer that didn’t require some hand kneading to finish the job.
Thank you Don. I seriously considered the Bosch as well, but it actually takes quite a bit more counter space than the Ankarsrum Assistent. Once I figure this out I’ll post a bit about the actual mixer. In the meantime I hope to figure it out fast enough to successfully bake two loaves tomorrow. 🤞
One note about the Ankarsrum Assistent that I learned tonight. I have been making tangzhong directly in the mixer bowl, formerly of the KA mixer. This Ankarsrum Assistent has a very very thick base and instead of taking several minutes to make a tangzhong, it took well over 30 mins! I won’t be using this bowl to make tangzhong, I’ll have to go back to using a saucepan.
Great new addition to the kitchen Benny! I’ve been a hand mixing holdout, but your post about mixers has me rethinking it.
I still mix by hand for certain lean breads such as baguettes and hearth loaves. But for anything enriched such as challah or milk breads I use a mixer. I may try using the Ankarsrum Assistent for lean breads now too to see how it does.
I hope you enjoy it as much as mine. I have the midnight blue and I love it.
I hope so too Ian, the blue would have been my second choice if the orange was out of stock.
Ian and those who bake porridge loaves often using their Ankarsrum Assistent to develop the dough, when do you usually add the porridge? In the past I’ve always added the porridge after my KA mixer has at least moderately developed the gluten. I did the same using the Ankarsrum Assistent today, it went well using the roller but again, it took about 30 mins of mixing to get the porridge well incorporated and the dough to come together. Once possible things I could have done differently is to add the porridge gradually instead of just dumping it all in at once.
Do you folks have any hints?
That’s crazy. I add it in pieces after the autolyse. Is it cold when you add it? If so make sure to bring it up to room temperature. I just made a porridge bread several days ago and had no issues incorporating the porridge. I actually almost forgot to add it 😩.
I mixed and developed the dough today for the milk breads. It took much longer than I expected, I’m guessing this is that learning curve that they talk about. I tried both the hook and the roller and overall I think the roller is better for this type of bread that isn’t super low hydration. I was able to bassinage some extra milk into the dough since it seemed a bit dry. Adding the butter was slower than the KA mixer with the spiral hook. The butter was definitely room temperature and I added one pat at a time. Perhaps someone who has done this with the Ankarsrum Assistent will offer some advice. I do have to say that adding the stiff sweet starter to all the liquids was much easier than with the KA.
Hi Benny. I think most Ank users have learned to get comfortable with improvising. Regarding the butter, I don't like it when there is a thick layer of fat or liquid coating the inside surface of the bowl because I feel like the loss of friction hampers the process. I pat a chunk of butter, not too thickly, on the surface of the dough and pull a flap of dough over it to encase it. Then I turn the mixer back on, starting slowly but steadily increasing the speed as tolerated until the butter is fully incorporated. I don't hesitate to use the speed dial during this process because I don't want to be at it all day. Other Ank users have probably come up with their own hacks, but that's mine.
I saw the 30% WW Hokkaido Milk Bread you made today and it looks wonderful. You have lucky friends.
That is a super helpful tip AG thanks so much. I will try that next time for sure. You’re right, the butter smeared in the inside of the bowl and then there was a loss of friction and it was challenging getting the butter incorporated. Your tip should solve that issue. Thanks again.
I recently made a brioche with butter at 50% flour weight and no issues with incorporating using the dough hook which is my preferred method. However I don't think I developed the gluten sufficiently before adding the butter so final results were maybe a 7 out of 10. Next time... Thing about the brioche formula I was using, hydration was fairly low (50% whole egg + 10% milk) since the egg is only 74% liquid. Anyway, I backed off of kneading to avoid overheating before I added all that butter. The 18% liquid component of the butter actually brought dough hydration back closer to the target 60%.
I also regularly mix baguette and ciabatta doughs using the hook, so you might change your mind if you try it out a few times. I can watch gluten strands winding around that hook for many minutes, but then I may have been a cat in a previous life...
As long as I'm at it, I made 2 Basque cheese cakes (yes!), a chocolate-almond Torta Caprese (11 out of 10!) and an apple cake (meh) recently using the whisk/beater attachements. The beaters work great but I'm still getting used to the bowl with a big spike in the middle. Interestingly, I found I needed more bowl scraping than I expected and that spike kind of feels in the way all the time.
Good luck with your new mixer. I'm mostly pleased with mine after 5-6 months.
Thanks for your feedback about the Ankarsrum Assistent Phil. I’ll have more testing to do with the dough hook vs roller for kneading dough. I’m thinking that the dough hook might be better for low hydration doughs and that the roller better for higher hydration? Did you use the roller a lot before deciding that you preferred the dough hook? I know that the dough hook emulates a spiral mixer more so many bakers settle with that because of the similarity.
…of the roller, I moved over to the hook and found it more to my liking. I made 68% hydration baguettes and 80% ciabattas with the roller but felt I was not getting sufficient gluten development at the time. Breads turned out just fine, so maybe I was just impatient??? Bulk, folding and retardation all played their usual roles, so maybe they made up for the lack of structure I perceived.
Anyway, these days it’s the hook for bread doughs pretty much exclusively. Sooner or later I suppose I’ll get back to trying out the roller. Have seen comments from a number of bakers who seem to prefer the roller, so far be it from me…
I’ll be interested in your future (and numerous!) experiments.
Yes I seen posts from bakers who either fall into the “only use the roller” or “only use the dough hook”. I’ll have to figure out if there is a type of dough that does better with either.
Today’s dough developed in the Ankarsrum Assistent was probably the best thus far. I’m starting to get a hang of it I think. I’m concentrating on using the roller since it is supposed to be good for all kinds of dough. I am working on a kamut semolina SD Hokkaido milk bread today and adding butter finally worked well using the roller. What I wasn’t doing was getting the butter very very soft. This morning I cut the butter into pats and placed it into proofing box at 82°F. When added to the moderately developed dough, it was worked in much more easily than previously. I will need to continue to use the Ankarsrum Assistent but I’m more confident now of its benefits and utility.
Here’s the Ankarsrum Assistent at work on a sourdough Vanocka dough for two loaves.
I’ve just had a very strange thing happen with the clear plastic bowl for my Ankarsrum Assistent. This bowl is used when using the paddles for cookie dough or whisks for frosting or meringue. Since closed cabinet space is at a premium in our condo, things that won’t be used very often will go into a wall in closet. The clear plastic bowl with it accessories are examples of this. Since I had washed and dried the accessories and bowl, I decided to place the accessories inside the bowl and cover it with cling wrap, Kirkland brand. Well it had been stored in a cool place for almost two months or so. When I went to remove the cling wrap today a lot of the wrap that was in direct contact with the sides of the bowl were attached to the bowl and extremely hard to remove. It was as if the cling wrap had become one with the plastic bowl. No amount of picking at it would remove more than a flake of cling wrap each time. In the end after using the bowl for frosting, I spent more than 30 mins with hot water and detergent scrap gin at it with my fingernails. I have almost removed all of it, but there are areas of the outside of the bowl where you can feel the persistence of cling wrap. Those areas are rough and barely raised. I’ve never seen anything like this happen with any type of bowl ever before. Fortunately most of it is off the bowl now and you cannot really see the cling wrap, but you can feel it in a few spots but I can live with that. I’ve now placed the accessories in a ziplock bag and put them into the bowl. The bowl is now upside down on a shelf in the closet to avoid dust.
Long story short, I won’t be using clingwrap for longer than a few minutes on that bowl if ever again.
That is disturbing Benny.
Thanks for letting us know about this issue, hopefully it will prevent someone else from the same experience.
Have you contacted the store you purchased from and or Ankarsrum? Maybe they will update their manual and warn others. You could also request the stainless steel bowl as compensation and reward for alerting them ;-).
Thanks Tony, I haven’t yet contacted the store since it’s Sunday. I may contact them tomorrow. I did get most of it off, it is weird that this should happen. I think clingfilm is pretty common stuff and I can’t imagine that I’m the only owner of an Ankarsrum Assistent who has used Kirkland cling wrap on their plastic bowl.
Interesting in an unfortunate sort of way, Benny. It looks like there's been a chemical reaction between the cling wrap (PVC) and the bowl plastic (Tritan). I guess close contact and warm temperatures - who would have thought it?
I'm sure if the supplier does not respond well, then Ankarsrum will be interested to know of this potentially serious problem.
Not that it helps you, but PVC cling film (as we call it here) got a bad health rep in the UK a few years ago and most products are now PVC free and likely made of polyethylene, which is much more inert than PVC and wouldn't have reacted the same. As a downside, it doesn't cling as well!
Well the Kirkland cling wrap is the stickiest and most effective cling wrap that I have used in a long time. I could not find any information on its chemical composition but based on what you’ve said it likely has PVC in it. Yes I agree there was some kind of chemical reaction between the plastic of the bowl and the cling wrap. I will never use any cling wrap on that bowl ever again.
I have contacted the Canadian distributor of the Ankarsrum Assistent to bring this to their attention. I very much doubt that they’d offer to replace my bowl, and in fact if you didn’t look for the bonded cling wrap you’d not be able to find it. I’m sure they’d want to see photos of it before replacing it and in fact, it is more something you might feel now. If I have the energy I might have another go at it this week to see if I can remove any remnants of the cling wrap. It is unfortunate that it happened, it was the very first time I was using it. If I had a closed cabinet to store it in, I would never have used cling wrap, but I just don’t have enough cabinet storage in our place.
Join this group. One of the administrators works for the company and may be able to help. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1432370830135640/?ref=share
Good idea Ian, thanks. I’ve applied to join and will see what they say.
I’ve just sent an email to the Canadian distributor and will await their response.
Here are the photos, keep in mind I spent quite a lot of time trying to get the cling wrap removed and what is left now I cannot remove.
I know from hearing other people’s accounts on FB the company is very receptive to fixing problems. I would be surprised if they didn’t replace it for you.
The only wrinkle is that I am not dealing with Ankarsrum USA but the Canadian distributor Jalyn’s Market. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they get back to me soon since I leave for Fort Lauderdale at the end of the month. I also need that bowl to make frosting again next week so I hope they don’t need it back before doing the exchange if that is what they offer.
Well that was quick, I received an email from the Canadian distributor of the Ankarsrum Assistent and they will send me a replacement bowl in the next few days or so. In fact the woman said in her email that she uses Kirkland cling wrap without any problems, albeit she has never left it on for as long as I had so perhaps the contact time is the issue that caused the bonding. In any even, once I receive the replacement bowl I’ll be a happy camper again. Thanks everyone for your help and comments.
I now have the accessories in a ziplock bag under the bowl which is upside down on a shelf in a closet for long term storage. This way I can reduce dust accumulating while avoiding using cling wrap.
I cannot complain about the after sales service from the Canadian distributor of the Ankarsrum Assistent Jalyn’s Market. I received the new replacement bowl today. Considering that it was coming from the Praries, I’d say that was more than quick.
No cling wrap will ever come into contact with this bowl even for a few minutes LOL.