WonderMix Bread Mixer

Bosch Universal Plus Mixer Review

Baking Bread with the Bosch Universal Plus
or KitchenAid 600 Pro?

Bosch Universal Plus mixer review
Bosch Universal Plus Mixer with Blender

Home bakers around the nation are always looking for that perfect appliance to make their hours in the kitchen a little easier. I can’t seem to make a good loaf of bread without a machine to knead it for me. Purchasing a multi-purpose kitchen machine seems like the perfect way to get the job done, but which is the best? I’ve had a Bosch Universal, Bosch Universal Plus and a KitchenAid 600 Pro. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each mixer and see which is the better buy.
 

KitchenAid 600 Pro Specs

I started out with the KitchenAid 600 Pro mixer. Mine came with two, large 6-quart stainless steel bowls. It also came with a spiral dough hook, stainless steel whip, and a flat beater. The motor is all steel construction with 10 gears and 575 watts. The specifications of this machine say it can handle up to 14 cups of all-purpose flour at a time. This machine comes with a one year warranty.
 

Highlights of the KitchenAid 600 Pro

One feature that I especially liked about the KitchenAid was the stainless steel bowl with the sturdy handle to make pouring easy. I enjoyed the fact that it was extremely easy to clean. I also liked having three separate attachments to use for different types of mixing.
 

Cons of the KitchenAid 600 Pro

Although it was stated that the machine could handle up to 14 cups of all-purpose flour, I found it struggling with only 4 cups of whole wheat flour at times. The motor seemed to get hot to the touch and I needed to turn it off before I felt the dough was kneaded enough. I was never able to make a recipe for 4 loaves of bread and have it kneaded well enough to rise correctly. My bread did not come out with a nice, light, airy rise nor was the texture visually appealing.

It did come with a plastic guard to sit on top of the bowl to keep things from flying out, but I found it hard to add ingredients and rarely used this. The kneading action then caused a lot of flour to fly out of the top of the bowl and caused quite a mess to clean up. For most applications, I never used most of the 10 speeds, in fact, I probably used three of them for 90% of all uses. I’ve had to replace the metal gears that stripped out twice, once while whipping cream and the second time while kneading pizza dough. A friend of mine has owned one of these machines and has had to repeatedly send it in for repairs under warranty until finally the warranty expired and she was left with a worthless machine.
 

Bosch Universal Plus Specs

A couple of years later I was able to get a Bosch Universal mixer. It served its purpose of kneading bread very well for me. I regularly made 6 loaf batches 3 days per week and never had a complaint about the machine. Although I really loved this Bosch mixer, as soon as the new Bosch Universal Plus came on the market I wanted the newer version. This newer mixer has a whopping 800 watt motor. It comes with overload and motor start protection. Included attachments are a dough hook, wire whisks, and 6 ½ quart bowl. The bowl is heavy plastic, but a stainless steel bowl can be purchased. The mixer has four gears and a momentary switch, which is similar to a burst setting on a blender. This machine will handle up to 15 pounds of dough at a time. It does have a cover for the bowl, but the center is removed to make adding ingredients easy and holds both liquid and dry ingredients in the bowl where they belong. The motor/transmission comes with a three year warranty.
 

Pros and Cons of the Bosch Universal Plus

The larger motor of the Bosch mixer allows you to never feel you are overworking your machine. I can easily mix enough dough for 6-8 loaves of whole grain bread and have it turn out perfectly every time. When mixing this much dough, I have never even had to use the 4th gear on the Universal Plus. It just handles it without complaint. The dough hook of this machine turns the dough over on itself in a unique way that gives your bread a very smooth, professional appearance with a light and airy loaf. Near the end of the kneading time, the dough occasionally tries to climb out of the top of the bowl, but when the 2-piece lid is in place, it does great. It seems odd that a machine can make such a difference in the final product, but when a side-by-side comparison was done, the Bosch won, hands down in my kitchen.
 

Changes Made in the Bosch Universal Plus

The older Bosch Universal mixers had a 700 watt motor. This seemed more than adequate even when mixing 12 or more cups of whole wheat flour into bread dough. The old machine was often known to bounce around on the table while kneading, but the newer Universal Plus mixer now comes with suction cups to hold it to your counter or table. This is a huge benefit in that you don’t have to stand over the machine while it kneads to make sure it doesn’t “walk” off of the counter. Other improvements made are that the bowl now has a rim to hold onto while pouring and the center shaft of the bowl is removable for ease of cleaning. I would prefer a handle on the side of the bowl to make tipping it easier, but this bowl is easier than the older one.
 

Final Decision

When making a final decision on which machine to buy, the choice should be made by deciding what the major function of the mixer will be. If the major use is to make a batch of cookies once in while, or mash some potatoes for supper, the KitchenAid is more than adequate. If the goal is to start baking wholesome, whole grain bread for your family, the Bosch Universal Plus is the the best choice, since the Bosch Universal is no longer being made. As the costs are very similar, the Bosch gives you more for your money. It won’t be bogged down by the task of kneading and will always be ready to perform those hardest of kitchen tasks.

      – – Review done by Jodi Hein

 

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  • Thank you for your honest review. My Kitchen Aid Pro 5 walked off the counter when I was trying to mix 3 loaves of whole wheat bread dough and I turned my back on it. (Dumb.) My husband’s sister and her husband own a kitchen store and sell Bosch appliances. They’ve been trying to convince me to get a Bosch since before we got married over 7 years ago! But stubborn me, I wanted a KA like my mom had… After our KA mishap, I’m seriously considering the Bosch, and after reading just a couple of reviews, it seems like the way to go. Now to find the money… :)

    brookieanne
  • I love the new suction cup feet on my new bosch universal plus mixer, i can walk away and let it do its thing, even with big loads in it. This new bosch mixer is great for so many reasons.

    The bosch attachment I would really like to get for my bosch mixer it the ice cream maker attachment.

    has anyone used the bosch ice cream maker attachment?

    Joan
  • Thank you for your review, I have just burned out my second KitchenAid. The last one a 600 Pro was only 60 days old and couldn’t make it through the holidays. So I am in the market for a new mixer which will not be a KitchenAid. I have an old Magic Mill mixer that I am using now, which is a dream compared to the KA. I would really like be able to see a Bosch in person as there are not many stores that carry the mixers. If there is a list of physical stores in New England that carry the Bosch that would be great.

    Laura
  • Laura, you will not burn out a bosch mixer. i highly recommend them. I have seen people mix 8 loaves of bread at the same time with out straining the bosch much. the bosch mixer also sounds like a luxury car compared to a kitchenaid 600, at least the one’s i’ve heard. the bosch mixer will last forever like your old magic mill mixer. my mom has had the old bosch mixer for over 16 years and I have had the new bosch for about 2 years and they are both winners in durability and performance.

    Joan
  • found this youtube video of a dealer mixing dough for 9 loaves of whole wheat bread at once in the new bosch mixer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjI8hKO74J4

    Joan
  • thank you so much for this very balanced review. I currently own a kitchenaid 5qt, 300 watt mixer and continually have the bread dough climbing up into the gears … yuck! My baba (who is 98 and still producing bread weekly) has had her Bosch for over 30 years with zero problems. Thank you for reassuring my husband that he is purchasing an excellent product in the Bosch ….. anyone want a Kitchenaid ????

    aimy t
  • Laura, i can’t imagine why you would want something other than an Assistent aka Magic Mill. I love mine and no climbing into gears with a Assistent. Part of the reason I picked it over the Bosch was the open top. And have seen the hassle friends have when cleaning the Bosch, mine is a bowl, roller and scraper thats it. Had to hunt to find one especially in Canada but http://www.jalyns.ca has them on line in Canada now. Time to go bake something.

    Grampa Knuckles
  • Our 500 watt KA lasted one year and two months and the repair estimate is $247. My husband phone KA and was basically told “too bad so sad for you” when he commented that when you spend $400 you expect the machine to last more than the $8.00 hand mixer you had been using. We will NEVER buy another KA product

    Vicki
  • I used to have Kitchenaid Pro series with the spiral dough hook. It made two loaves of my whole wheat bread really well, but I was always frustrated that I couldn’t make more than the two loaves at a time. So, I recently got a new Bosch Universal Plus and have been making 4-5 loaves of whole wheat bread. However, my bread doesn’t seem to rise as well as it did when I was using the KitchenAid, and the only thing I can figure is that the Bosch isn’t kneading it as well as the Kitchenaid did; the dough seems to mostly just wrap around the center shaft and spin around, rather than being effectively kneaded like the Kitchenaid spiral dough hook did. Has anyone else had this experience? Is there anything I can do to remedy this, or am I doing something wrong?

    Liz G.
  • I don’t have a Bosch, but I have three mixers, a 35 yr old Kitchen Aid K45, a Pro 600 that is a few years old, and an Assistent N28 that I received about 6 weeks ago. The old K45 is still a great machine and fully functional and I will keep it to run my Kitchen Aid attachments (meat grinder and shreader). I bought the Pro 600 when I was unable to get a new bowl hold-down fixture for the K45 – which I later found for $16. I bought a “reconditioned” Pro 600 expecting a unit with some cosmetic defects. What I got was a machine that was tearing itself apart as it dropped metal particles onto the top of the dough hook from the drive shaft bushing. They cheerfully replaced it with a new one, which when I turned it on went immediately to speed 10 – irrespective of what the setting was. I returned that one and got one that was just noisy – enough so that I have to wear my shooting ear protectors when using the mixer. My theory is that they don’t actually recondition anything, so “refurbished” is a flat out lie. They just ship the rejects around until they find somebody who lives with it. I agree with the comments about getting hot – that seems to be a design problem with the fan attached to the motor shaft and not big enough to reject the heat produced at low speeds. Thus the caution in the manual to not run the dough hook at anything above speed 2 and not for more than 5 min at a time. Totally useless in my view. I have been trying to wear it out by kneading bread at higher speed with the paddle attachment (4 min at speed 4 for a 1 Kg batch of 75% hydration dough). It keeps getting louder (partly a result of a plastic gear housing I think). In any case, I finally got tired of it and decided to get something new. I selected the Assistent over the Bosch or the Hobart N50. I agree with Grampa Knuckles comments. I am routinely making 3 Kg batches of ciabatta and running with the dough hook at speed 6 (out of 8) for 25 or 30 min to fully develop the gluten. No complaints, and it doesn’t walk around on the counter unless you are mixing a smaller batch of stiff dough at high speed with the roller and have either flour or oil on the counter. I have found that the roller works best for batch sizes below 2 Kg and the dough hook is preferred for batches that have more than 1 Kg of liquid. In between you have a choice.

    Doc
  • I had a Kitchen aid pro 600 and it was a piece of junk! I owned it for 5 years and threw it away. Reason being, I paid 425 dollars for it and spent
    130 dollars in repairs on motor gears and the planetary gear and shaft had to be replaced, because the shaft that held the dough hook sheared in half. I Never used more than 10 cups of flour in the machine for bread making and there was no noticeable strain on the machine. When I first bought the machine, the motor mount bolts had came loose because there was no lock washers to prevent the nuts on the mount bolts from coming off, thus it caused 2 gears teeth to break off. The gear housing cover was plastic and had been cracked, leaking grease. The replacement cover how ever was metal. This mixer was made in China. The machine was poor quality

    Raymond Ogle
  • I’m in the process of looking for a good machine and narrowed it down to these two.

    I’m 99% sold on the Bosch because of one (in 3 parts) video on making 9 loaves of whole wheat bread at once.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjI8hKO74J4

    Truly amazing. I currently have a cusinart food processor that I make my ONE loaf in at a time (and I have to be careful as to how ingredients are added). This Bosch is a no brainer in my opinion.

    Len
  • My mother had a Bosch since the early 1960s that I inherited, although used virtually daily it has only gone through two motors; that sucker could walk right off the counter as does my newer Universal. I also own a 30 year old Kitchenaid K5SS which I bought to replace the Bosch but we found that the KA could not knead the bread dough as well as the Bosch which is why the Bosch got it’s second motor. Somehow I think those 220 Volt European motors were likely more durable because i think they run cooler. In all other aspects the KA is adequate to very good but we still had most of the additional parts for the Bosch so when they were selling off the Universal I bought another one. Overall the American made KItchenaid is very good but for bread the Bosch Universal is the best.
    The suction cup feet sound like a really good idea.; I think I’ll go find some and glue them on.

    orlo Adlerblut
  • I agree with most of the comments here about the KA 600 Pro. I bake 3 loaves of bread a week (usually 8 cups of flour recipies) and I have only been doing this for three months. I have had the KA for 15 months now and it is dying. KA used to be about quality, now its china crap. Note that I believe mine has a metal gearbox, but now its’ the motor thats crap. I am going to get the Bosch and we will see how that works.

    Jim Chester
  • As an update, the Bosch is not good for make small batches. I’ve tried using 6 cups flour and it just pushes the dough around the bottom without kneading at all. I go back to my food processor/plastic blade for small batches. Disappointed in that but it is what it is.

    Three loaves and up and it’s my go-to mixer.

    P.S.I’ve read elsewhere that the “attachment” for small batches doesn’t really do the job either.

    Len
  • Has anyone had a problem keeping the gear area dry? Mine rusted out and I dried it out all the time, and now Bosch will not warranty it and it is $189 to repair. My old machine is 20 years old and I have never had a problem with it. I am disgusted with the customer service Bosch refused to give. They do not care one bit!

    Jennifer Thompson
  • I get my first Bosch universal tomorrow, so excited! I’ve used their compact for a long while, and need a bigger machine. SO I’ll have TWO Bosch machines..yay!

    But I really wanted to comment about Kitchenaid. If you bake a lot, with any heavy-ish doughs(including more than one batch of cookie dough), save yourself frustration and don’t buy a Kitchenaid. For the price, they are just not worth it, as they have basically become a ‘throw-away’ machine.

    I’ve used them for many years. I have the remains of all of them up in the attic, except for one older version I bought long ago. It never got much use, so it still works. HOWEVER, I don’t use it for mixing at all, only to drive my beloved pasta rollers.

    My last KA Professional 6 qt had troubles from the get-go. Had to replace it once(under warranty). After the warranty on that machine expired, parts seemed to fail right and left. The Mending Shed (a great parts store!) got lots of my $$ for replacement parts. It’d work for a while, then under any stress at all, another gear would strip, or the shaft would break. The final straw was needing to replace the whole bottom housing, because it no longer held the shaft in place properly(it would wiggle up and down). My mechanic hubby spent many hours up to his elbows in KA’s expensive grease fixing that sucker, only to have it get all petulant under the first slightly heavy load it experienced.

    He said that if you really want to fix it when a gear breaks, just go ahead and replace all the inner workings to save yourself some time(including that important bottom housing…if it is loose, your new gears will not work for long!!).

    Kitchenaids are real pretty machines. But I need a mixer to WORK. I think a lot of folk(who don’t bake much, maybe a cake mix now and then) will be very happy with the KA displayed on their counters. But in a working kitchen, it simply is not the right tool.

    Mary
  • I just took our Bosch Universal Mixer in for its THIRD SWITCH REPAIR. The person at the front desk agreed to have the repairman replace the switch (at my cost, of course), but was unsympathetic to my complaint about so many switch failures. It turns out the switch is extraordinarily poorly designed and is made of soft plastic internally. A few too many turns and the plastic breaks off inside. What happened to that impeccable German engineering I thought I was paying so much money for?

    Vaughn Emett

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