WonderMix Kitchen Mixer Review

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The WonderMix kitchen mixer is the new kid in the market and ever since we received them in our store we have given our demo WonderMix mixer quite the workout. I have made several loaves of bread, batches of cookies, shredding meat, mashed potatoes, and plenty of other stuff. Throughout all testing, the WonderMix has proven to be a great mixer, especially for making bread.

The WonderMix seemed to mix 2-6 small loaves of bread dough very very well in the testing process, much of which was 100% whole wheat dough since I love to use whole grain flour made in my grain mill. My KitchenAid Pro 600 mixer struggles with larger batches of 100% whole wheat, so the WonderMix far outdoes the KitchenAid Pro 600 at that. My Bosch Universal Plus mixer can do a little bigger batch of bread dough than the WonderMix because of it’s bowl capacity but do you really need to do more than 6 loaves of bread, probably not ever unless you are baking for the whole neighborhood.

My Bosch mixer also seems to struggle with getting small batches of dough to start mixing, like 1-2 loaves of dough. The WonderMix did very well with 2 small loaves of bread dough (see video below). The WonderMix did struggle a little with a single small loaf of bread dough but with a little help at the start it finishes off very well. From my experience of working with people starting to bake bread, they tend to commonly do 2-4 loaves at a time, and this is the range where the WonderMix shines best.

The WonderMix has a Dough Divider which stays stationary while the dough hook spins around. This dough divider keeps small batches of dough from just spinning around with the dough hook and really gets things mixing fast. You can really see how well this system works in the “2 loaf” video above, it only takes it 5 minutes to fully develop the gluten. For larger batches of dough (3-7 loaves) the Dough Divider is not needed, just use the dough hook. See the video below for a demonstration of the dough hook.

The WonderMix bowl comes with a lid that keeps things from flying out while mixing and the middle opens for pouring in ingredients while mixing. This is a great feature of the WonderMix and the Bosch mixer as well but the KitchenAid mixers lack this feature and can make quite a mess with certain kitchen projects. This lid allows you to use the whole capacity of the mixing bowl without worry of making a mess.

For large batches of bread dough the WonderMix mixer seems to do better with just the dough hook and no Dough Divider. The WonderMix develops dough quite quickly with 2-4 loaves of dough but when you are making 5 or more loaves of bread dough at a time, the WonderMix can take a few minutes longer because the dough has to cycle in and out of the dough hook in the tall bowl (as shown in the extra large batch in the video below). The good thing is that the WonderMix does not seem to have a problem mixing for a longer period if needed, unlike the KitchenAid Mixer who recommends turning their mixer off to cool every 6 minutes or so.

As you can see in the video above of the WonderMix mixer mixing at full capacity with bread dough, this mixer has plenty of power to get the job done again and again. It is rated at 900 watts and it acts like it as well.

The bowl of the WonderMix mixer is not so wide as the Bosch bowl and I think that is an advantage when it comes to doing smaller batches of dough in the WonderMix. The WonderMix bowl is deep to make up for its smaller width. The KitchenAid’s bowl is large but can get messy if you try and use more than half capacity full, whereas the WonderMix and Bosch bowls have lids that allow you to use the bowls full capacity.

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The Bowl also has a great handle for holding when pouring out batter or dumping your dough out. The handle is not quite as nice as the Bosch Universal Plus mixer’s bowl handle that goes all the way around the bowl but it is still a nice handle that works well. You never know how nice it is to have a good handle on your mixer bowl until you have used one with out a good handle, trust me it is a nice feature to have.

The WonderMix’s bowl also locks into place with ease and won’t release until you push the release lever, not even if you pick up the mixer by the bowl. Bosch has a quick & easy lock & release bowl that works very well. The KitchenAid bowl’s lock and release functionality always makes me want to cuss, hopefully the kids aren’t around when it finally does.

With the WonderMix and Bosch mixers it doesn’t matter if you put dry ingredients in first or last, they will still mix the dough completely. With the KitchenAid Pro 600, the dough hook does not come as close to the bottom of the bowl and it becomes important to put the wet ingredients in first for bread dough or you will probably have dry ingredients still on the bottom of the bowl when your are done mixing.

Weight wise, the WonderMix kitchen mixer is by far the lightest, and because it has a locking bowl you can carry it by the bowl handle with ease. The WonderMix weighs 10.5 lbs and the Bosch Universal Plus weighs 12.6 lbs, not a huge difference but noticeable when carrying from counter to pantry storage. The KitchenAid Pro 600 weighs a whopping 25 POUNDS, there is a reason people leave it on their counter because it is a workout to put it away.

The FOOT PRINT of the WonderMix mixer is smaller than both the KitchenAid Pro 600 and the Bosch Universal Plus mixer. The KitchenAid is really tall, though it fits under your counter still, and is quite deep. The Bosch is slightly shorter than the WonderMix but it is wider and much deeper than the WonderMix. The WonderMix will save you a lot of room when stored away compared to most bread mixers.

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The WonderMix and Bosch mixers both have a no walking base design, if you have ever seen a Kitchenaid rock and wobble under a heavy load, then you know why this is a great feature. The Bosch even has suction cup feet to hold it in place, although I have never felt that it needed them.

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The WonderMix mixer has a few attachments available for it such as a slicer shredder, meat grinder & processor, grain & seed mill, and grain flaker. I use the slicer shredder quite often and have not used the other attachments that much. From my conversation with the company, they have plans for more in the future and I would like to see a pasta attachment option like the KitchenAid has.

The WonderMix & the Bosch mixers have a blender option as well, this is something that KitchenAid mixers lack the option to do. The blender is better performing than many of the low price blenders we commonly find in stores but I would never compare it to the high-end performance of a Blendtec or Vitamix blender.

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Conclusion:
I would highly recommend the WonderMix kitchen mixer to anyone, it does a great job and is a great value. I also really like my Bosch mixer but since the WonderMix mixer is quite comparable for nearly $100 less it is a no brainer to me recommend the WonderMix over it.

As for the KitchenAid, I just have a hard time getting excited about using it. I know it is the most popular mixer with its elegant looks and celebrity approval but it just doesn’t do it for me. I do feel like they have fixed some of their major problems they used to have years ago when they sounded like a jet plane and broke gears all the time, so don’t let those old reviews discourage you from it. If you do buy the KitchenAid Pro 600, I would get it from Amazon.com to get the free shipping on this 25 lbs mixer.

Buy a Mixer:
Buy a WonderMix Mixer
Buy a Bosch Universal Plus Mixer
Buy a KitchenAid Pro 600 Mixer

Simple French Bread with KAMUT

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I am a whole grain guy but there are some breads that just have to have the white bread taste, for example a whole wheat french bread is really a baguette bread not french bread. For breads like these I use a KAMUT mixed in with a quality white flour, such as King Arthur, that is un-bleached and un-abominated.

I usually only use 1/3 KAMUT flour and the rest white four for recipes that I want to taste like white flour, this ratio with KAMUT leaves it tasting like white bread. For some reason KAMUT does not have that whole grainy taste like most whole grain flours do. So it is white bread but it still has that whole grain goodness hidden in there, no one ever knows that there is whole grain in it unless I tell them. I highly recommend using KAMUT in your white breads.

Now on to the KAMUT french bread, it is so easy (as you can see in the video below). French bread is an oily dough but the WonderMix mixer did great with mixing it.


Simple French Bread with KAMUT
 
Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1½ cups KAMUT flour
  • 4⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
Instructions
  1. Add water, sugar, yeast, and olive oil to mixer bowl.
  2. Turn the mixer on to speed 1
  3. Add KAMUT flour.
  4. Add half of the all purpose flour and salt.
  5. Add the remaining all purpose flour and let it combine.
  6. Turn the mixer up to speed 2 and let it mix for 6-7 minutes.
  7. Turn dough out and cover and let it rise for 1 hour.
  8. Cut dough in half and shape 2 french bread loaves
  9. Cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
  10. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Cut angled slits in the top of the loaf (optional).
  12. Bake for 35 minutes so that it is nicely browned on top.
  13. Let cool and enjoy

 

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quick photo is courtesy of my wife ( who runs Vanilla Tree Photography)

Banana Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

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My wife’s family shared this recipe with me and I just love them. Bananas, oatmeal, sugar, and chocolate chips! Whats not to love.

My wife has always been afraid of using a kitchen mixer, like it is complicated or something, so she always does it with a mixing spoon or hand mixer. I watched her make these last well week in her way and it looked like too much work for me. So I made them this week with my mixer and video taped it to show just how easy it is with the right kitchen tool.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 ripe crushed bananas (3 if large)
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 4 cups flour (I use 2 cups white flour 1 cup pearled barley flour)
  • ½ salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ pkgs chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer bowl.
  2. Add oatmeal, crushed bananas, milk and eggs into mixer bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Add dry ingredients to mixer bowl and mix together.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes.

 

Using a kitchen mixer is so easy and makes your life easier. Don’t be afraid of using one, they are really quite simple once you try one. I also hope you enjoy this cookie recipe and don’t make them the hard way if you can avoid it.

I also ground some pearl barley in my grain mill for this recipe, I love to add whole grains to recipes and this is definitely one you can get away with it.

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Egg-less Eggnog

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I am an eggnog junkie, one of my friends nicked named me Augnog because I love it so much. It is really not that good for you but you got to treat yourself some times.

This is a recipe my wife uses and it always comes out great. Her’s is not so thick as the store eggnog, it is fluffier.

Egg-less Eggnog
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg (3.5oz) instant vanilla pudding
  • 5 cups milk (or sub in a few cups vanilla almond milk)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup heavy cream (whipped)
Instructions
  1. In blender combine all ingredients except whipped cream, or beat by hand for 2 minutes.
  2. Blend mixture into whipped cream and chill.
  3. Stir well before serving.

 

100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread

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I use lots of whole grain flours, as you can tell from many of my blog posts, but I still buy white bread from time to time. When I do buy white bread it is usually potato bread, I just love the soft texture and flavor. I found a few recipes on the internet and modified them to a potato bread recipe I like that uses 100% whole wheat flour, and it is now my favorite bread.

bread-with-butterThis was also a great recipe to break in the new WonderMix kitchen mixer, which I love especially for the price. I recently learned how to make butter from heavy cream in the mixer, which tasted awesome on the home made potato whole wheat bread.

Remember that fresh milled flour (milled within the last week) is the best for flavor, commercial whole wheat flour from the store will have a slightly bitter taste to it and less flavor.

100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread (WonderMix)
 
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makes 2 large loaves (9x5 bread pans) or 3 small loaves (8x4 bread pans).
Author:
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes (loose, not packed)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups hot water
  • ⅓ cup oil (i like avocado oil from Costco)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1½ Tablespoons yeast (or 4½ teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
Instructions
  1. Add potato flakes, liquids, oil, sugar, eggs, 2½ cups of whole wheat flour, and yeast to the mixing bowl and mix on speed 1 until just combined.
  2. Add 1 cup flour and pour salt on top of the flour.
  3. Turn mixer on to speed 1 and slowly add the remaining flour.
  4. Continue to mix on speed 1 for 7 minutes.
  5. Let rest dough for 30 seconds before removing.
  6. Place dough into a large oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 50 minutes.
  7. Place dough on a oiled counter top and punch down the dough.
  8. Cut dough in half (or 3rds if making 3 small loaves) and form into loaves.
  9. Place into oiled bread pans, cover and let rise for 25-30 minutes.
  10. Bake at 350° for 35-37 minutes (I usually go 36 minutes) until bread top is dark brown.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 1-2 hours.
  12. Enjoy fresh bread, this is the most important step.

 

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(main photos were taken by Vanilla Tree Photography, my wife)

Pizza Stones

pizzacraft-pizza-stoneI own a very large, thick, and durable pizza stone made by Pizzacraft. It can be used in the kitchen oven or on your BBQ grill, not that my BBQ grill is large enough for my pizza stone but smaller sizes are available. This makes it very versatile if you need to use it for baking on your BBQ grill if you have to.

I will never buy a cheap or thin pizza stone again, they always end up cracking even under proper use. They just are not worth it. After going through a few cheap stones you would have saved money just getting a thick premium pizza stone.

Instead of using pizza peel and the cornmeal process to place the pizza on the stone, I use parchment paper and a flat edged cookie sheet. I roll out the dough on parchment paper that has been lightly oiled with olive oil, let it rise, top the pizza, slide the cookie sheet under the parchment paper, transfer it to the oven and slide the parchment paper with pizza off the cookie sheet onto the hot pizza stone, bake pizza, and finally slide the cookie sheet under the parchment paper to remove the pizza from the stone. This process works like a dream for me, anyone else use parchment paper for their pizza baking?

51tWcdxElTL[1]I have also seen a few steel pizza stones that look like they could a great option as well. They are said to be virtually indestructible and can double as a stove top grill or be used on the BBQ grill as well. I would love to try one, have any of you had experiences with a Baking Steel?

Barley Flour Chocolate Cake

So I was browsing for something new to try with my WonderMill grain mill and I found this recipe for chocolate cake using 100% barley flour? Ya, barley flour. I had to try it and now that I have tasted it I have to share it with you.

She bought the barley flour at the store but I decided to make my own. I bought pearled barley at WinCo in the bulk food bins for just 48 cents a pound and milled it into flour in the WonderMill on the pastry setting, it came out super fine and fluffy.

Barley Flour Cake

I have to say that the cake came out very tasty, I think I am going to love Barley Flour and I can’t wait to experiment some more with it. I also topped it with my wife’s recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting.

Barley Flour Chocolate Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup avocado oil (or any oil you want)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups pearled barley flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup powdered buttermilk
  • 2 cups cold water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or 2 round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla for 2 minutes until it is creamy.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and ⅓ of the water at a time to the sugar mixture and whisk until just combined before adding another ⅓ until all ingredients have been added and combined, don't over whisk mixture.
  5. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  6. Let cake cool in the pans.
  7. Top with your favorite frosting and enjoy your whole grain cake.

 
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients, except the powdered sugar, to a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk with a hand mixer on medium speed and add powdered sugar in slowly until all sugar is added.
  3. Turn up to high speed to cream it together well.
  4. Top your cake and enjoy.

 

I also found this website that has several other great recipes for whole barley flour http://gobarley.com/

 

Corn-Free “Corn” Bread

Whole Grain Corn Bread, corn-free

That’s right, corn bread without the corn! Just use Kamut flour and Millet flour to get the same cornbread texture effect and taste. Bread Beckers posted a recipe for Kamut “Corn” Bread on their Facebook page yesterday and I had to try it.

My WonderMill grain mill can grind both Kamut and Millet into fresh flour and luckily I had both of them on hand today, just pour the millet into the WonderMill slowly like you would any other small grain. The end result of this recipe was superb, my new favorite cornbread, thanks Bread Beckers.

Corn-Free "Corn" Bread (100% Whole Grain)
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Kamut flour
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1½ cup buttermilk (I use powdered buttermilk and water)
  • 2 large eggs
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and whisk for 40 seconds.
  4. Pour batter into greased cake pan and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Best served while still warm (leftovers heat up nice and moist in the microwave).
Notes
Recipe source: Bread Beckers Facebook page.

 

I warmed up some pumpkin turkey chili for lunch to eat with this wonderful “Corn” Bread. Another great thing about this corn bread is that it contains millet which counteracts the gas effect you get from eating beans.

Corn-Free Cornbread and Pumpkin Chili

Both Kamut and Millet whole grains can be purchased from BreadBeckers.com if you can’t find those grains locally.

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Big Fish on Tenkara Fly Rods

I hear people say all the time that “Tenkara fly rods are just for small fish”, I would have to disagree. There are some very super light weight rods that might not strong enough for large trout trout on a regular basis (such as Tenkara-Fishing rods, which I have one of and like on small rivers and have a very high sensitivity) but there are rods out there that can handle large trout on a regular basis. You might even be surprised how well a Tenkara rod handles and controls big trout.

This year I have caught a 20 inch rainbow and a 19 inch rainbow trout and my rod has handled them very easily.

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I am also getting much better at tying Tenkara flies also, here are some of my most recent creations:

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Fishing Tight Spots with Tenkara

One of the things that I think makes Tenkara a great fishing setup for survivalists is how it can easily fish tight spots, even 2 foot wide streams if needed, with a lot of control. That and the fact that it is super light weight, compacts down, and simple. Here is a video, from one of my recent fish outings, of a tight spot I was fishing and easily cast right to where I thought the fish were (caught the fish on only the second cast, and had a bit on the first cast).

Most Tenkara flies are really simple and they work great but with a little added detail the flies can work even better. I am still newer at tying my own flies and I am getting better but my friend at MoonlitFlyFishing.com shares some of his wonderful creations with me from time to time and they are great. Check out some of the flies he gave me the other day, I can’t wait to try them out.

Tenkara Fly Coachman style Kebari

Tenkara Fly

Tenkara Fly