out A few months ago my electric baker friend Shannon sent me a photo of a failed baking project. Instead of taking a photo of a plate of pretzels, she sent three pictures in a row of the peeling gears in a high-end stand mixer that was falling apart.
“Am I just biting the bullet and shelling out $3000 for a Hobart n50,” she asked, referring to professional model It looks like it could drive a small tractor through rocks, “At this price, it should rub your feet and tell you you’re pretty?”
I sent Shannon’s photo to another electric baker friend, Tara, as a joke, like “Look at the weird stuff people send me!” Instead, she had a suggestion.
“Tell her to get Ankaslam.”
“This anchor house. From Sweden. “
As a product reviewer, it’s always a little exciting to say “I’ve never heard of anything like this” knowing that it’s pre-approved by someone who knows what’s in the kitchen.
I looked it up, this unique Swedish gem – $700 studio assistant– Originally launched in 1940, it did not disappoint.
In the US, the reference brand is KitchenAid, and we’re used to placing mixers with their motors and moving parts above the bowl, and whose main attachments – the dough hook, paddle and whisk – all spin the bowl in the mixer.
In Ank, as enthusiasts say, the main bowl rotates, driven by a motor at the bottom of the machine. Once I start testing it, I tell my friends about it, usually with a short video I shoot, and it always elicits a “what the hell is this?” response.
The Ank’s motor is controlled by a pair of dials: one is the speed and the other is an on/off switch, which also allows it to run on a timer for up to 12 minutes, which is handy when you want to multitask, but don’t Overmixed. The metal bowl is a huge seven-quart, and the company’s website touts it can make five kilograms of dough (11 pounds!) at a time. In the back corner of the machine is a tower with arms that swing over the bowl and attach to the kneading drum.
In what you might call a classic setup, the dough roller is attached to the arm and the dough knife is inserted into the tower to keep the side walls clean.
Turn it on, your dough comes together, the bowl spins, the roller presses it against the side walls, and the dough knife keeps the side walls clean. It is also possible to use a large dough hook instead of a roller, I did this to gently (cleanly) mix together a large batch of meatballs. Confusingly, there is also a fixed bowl for other baking methods. This smaller plastic bowl is pan-shaped and has a pair of balloon beaters for light work and a thicker wired “cookie beater” for coarser doughs.
I started the test with the classic bread, making sure to adjust the recipe to add the liquid first – which is Ank’s request – and was immediately amazed at all the work the rub did. Yes, the bowl rotates thanks to the motor, but the roller rolls thanks to the grooved rubber ring around the top of it that fits snugly against the bowl’s lip. The dough knife pushes naturally against the sides of the bowl. It quickly gives you the pleasing feeling that there is nothing to break.
Once the dough has come together, you can rotate your arms and roller towards the center of the bowl while the bowl is running, so you can adjust the kneading pressure on the dough, occasionally allowing you to do this in the direction you stopped scraping along the bowl side.
Staying in a similar bread vein, I made toast, making four chunky loaves that filled half a sheet pan following the recipe in the book that came with the mixer. I used some lovely Moroccan olives for a more rustic bread. I also tried two different focaccia recipes, and one that many people recommend I make: challah. For each of them, Ank has impressed and has stood his ground.