If you’re a fan of healthy lifestyle blogs and YouTubers, you’re possibly under the impression that life would be near-impossible without food mixers. If you follow ultra-modern healthy eating fads, you’ll now that no recipe can be made without using the food mixer. From exotic maca and sprouted almond smoothies and carrot curry bisque with coconut milk soup, to madeira with elderberry and lavender sauces, the blender is the go-to kitchen tool for any self-respecting nouveau health cuisine aficionado.
That being said, the kitchen mixer is actually a classic, long-serving kitchen appliance which can be used to help make almost any kind of dish. They have traditionally been used to beat eggs, whip cream, mix batter and dough and a large number of other tasks. And while you might not be rushing to bake yourself a butterscotch cake or make your own battered sausages, there are traditional uses of food mixers that will undoubtedly come in handy, once you have learned about them.
Let’s say, for example, your gravy always seems to turn out lumpy. What can you do? The first option might be to pour it into a blender and let it remove the lumps. If you don’t have a blender, you can always use your food mixer to do the same job. This involves more effort than simply pouring your lumpy gravy into a blender, but on the other hand, it allows you to work with more precision and care. In order to get the smoothest gravy, you can pour your lumpy effort through a sieve, separating the lumps from the smooth sauce. Rather than throwing away the lumps (which may constitute throwing away the majority of the gravy for some), simply separate them into another container and use your food mixer to smooth them out. Once the lumps have been smoothened out, add them to the rest of the sauce and mix once again to ensure consistency.
Nothing quite shrieks ‘ostentatious waste’ as much as making one’s own suburban bread. Obviously, the first thing you need to do is surf on over to Mixer Picks and choose yourself the best blender there is, to be delivered before you get your hands on all the ingredients you need.
Once you’ve chosen your blender, you’re going to need your ingredients. As an amateur, it is best to follow standard recipes with less complicated ingredients at first. Don’t worry – your friends won’t mind that you haven’t used a combination of Peruvian quinoa and Andalusian sesame in your loaf – they will still too grudgingly amazed that you baked your own bread to care. Once they start to copy you to try to keep up, you will already have a head start in terms of your technique – that would be an appropriate time to step up your game by making fancy and exotic doughs which keep you ahead of your friends. So, for the moment, let’s just stick to white flour, yeast, fine salt and, of course, water.
Use a kitchen scale to measure out your ingredients separately and carefully. Getting the amounts right is key to making a good dough – this is often something that beginners struggle with, so don’t bother with your usually half guesses – assuming half a cup means half of any cup that happens to be in the cupboard. Get yourself some proper kitchen scales and use them to measure out your ingredients carefully.
To mix the dough, add the flour to the water – not the other way around, and mix it thoroughly, even if it appears to be too dry. This, mixing stage is the time to bloom your yeast. The resulting dough will probably look quite messy, and so it should – don’t worry about it, just make sure that all of the flour is evenly incorporated into the dough. Once you’ve done this, leave it to stand for half an hour, the use the mixer to blend in the salt and the yeast. As soon as the dough starts to become sturdier, transfer it to a lightly-oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for the fermentation process.
Once this is done, follow the instructions in your recipe to bake your bread. Once done, it should be golden brown and almost crunchy at the crust, yet soft, white and fluffy inside. Serve it up, freshly baked with a variety of tapas – perhaps anchovies marinated in garlic and vinegar; olive oil, balsamic vinegar and capers; and perhaps hot brie and raspberry homemade dips to impress the friends you invite over and let them know that you did it all with your simple food mixer.