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A commercial dough mixer is a piece of bakery equipment that allows bakers to produce dough for baking in large quantities. These mixers are similar to smaller food mixers that are readily available for home kitchens, except they are much larger. The commercial dough mixer is an important part of any commercial bakery, as it allows the baker or bakers to add large quantities of dough ingredients such as flour, eggs, and water to produce a great deal of dough in a single batch. Such dough is usually used to make fresh donuts, bread, and pastry.
Smaller stand mixers available for home kitchens usually sit on a counter, table, or cabinet and allow a home baker to achieve results similar to a commercial dough mixer. These home mixers typically have a much lower bowl capacity, with high-end models usually capable of holding about 6 quarts (5.67 l) in the bowl. The commercial mixers typically sit on the ground and are easily 6 feet (1.82 meters) to more than 8 feet (2.43 meters) tall. A commercial dough mixer can hold hundreds of quarts (hundreds of liters) in its bowl.
The larger commercial dough mixers also cost a great deal more than even the nicest home stand mixer. High-end home mixers usually cost around $400-$500 US Dollars (USD) with more moderate home models available for only $100-$200 USD. A commercial mixer, however, can typically cost thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. While this may seem like a great deal of money, the investment is offset by the time it saves a bakery to have such a machine producing dough while the bakers can be working on other tasks simultaneously. Though a baker still has to form the worked dough into loaves or other forms, this process can be automated and is made faster in any situation by a baker not having to mix the dough by hand.
A commercial dough mixer also typically has a number of attachments available for use with the mixer. These can be dough hooks that help reproduce the motion of pulling and stretching yeast dough, which is especially useful for making dough for pizza, or meat grinders that allow a mixer to be used to grind large pieces of meat down for other uses. Such attachments are especially useful in a bakery that might want to serve savory pastries such as meat-filled pasties.