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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Stand Mixer Motor Power

    Hello,  I was wondering if I can make a good semolina bread with a 1000 watt mixer or do I need to buy a 1400 watt mixer? What is the added value of a high wattage?

    From the nigella team:

    The wattage level of the motor on a stand mixer is usually an indication of the power of the motor. So a 1,000 watt motor should be more powerful than a 300 watt motor and should be able to carry out strenuous tasks more easily.

    To choose a mixer with the correct power you really need to consider what you will be most frequently using the mixer for. If you are mainly doing light tasks such as making cakes and whisking eggs and cream then a lower powered motor will be fine. Kneading dough can be quite hard work on a mixer but if you are only making one loaf of bread at a time, and not too frequently, then again a lower power should be fine, it will just take slightly longer to knead the dough. In a stand mixer with a dough hook the dough should be kneaded on no more than a medium speed and should take 8 to 12 minutes.

    However if you are looking at making larger quanities of dough very regularly then you may find a more powerful motor to be of use. But you will also need to consider other issues, such as the reliability of the gears and other working parts of the mixer, to make a fully informed choice. Some mixers can also vibrate on the work surface if kneading large amounts of dough so if you decide to upgrade then it may be helpful to see one in operation before you buy.

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