Having a food processor with a dough feature is definitely a plus because it allows you to mix and blend dough in a fraction of the time of doing it by hand.
However, not all food processors are designed to make dough. So when you go shopping for one, or request one for Christmas, your birthday or other occasion, you will need to be a little specific.
1. Do they use a Dough Hook or a Blade?
This is important because a hook will not blend as evenly as a blade. This is one reason why many reviewers prefer using a food processor with blades over a hook attachment for a stand mixer. Both Cuisinart and KitchenAid use dough blades.
2. Cup Size Matters
Smaller models will not have the dough feature. The size of a food processor is usually described by the number of cups of dry ingredients that can fit in the mixing bowl. Processors which are large enough to accommodate mixing abilities for dough start at 9 cups. Anything smaller than that will not have a dough feature – at least from my own research of various brands. If you’ve seen different let me know.
Regardless, when making dough, you want to ensure that there is enough space for the ball of dough to form. If it is too tight, it will not move freely which is important. I personally recommend an 11 Cup food processor.
3. Blending Tests
According to Americas Test Kitchen, they had done a test on some of the various processors. The Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus and KitchenAid came out very close – almost to where it was a tie. Except for one thing – the Cuisinart produced a dough with a little more even consistency throughout.
They attributed this to the special patented blending technology Cuisinart has which allows the machine to adjust the speed of blades automatically depending on the consistency of the dough. This helps prevent the dough does from getting over worked or alternatively, under blended.
For any serious baker, or pasta maker at home – this is pretty cool.
4. Food Processors are not Dough Mixers
A dough mixer is basically when a hand mixer or stand mixer uses a dough hook. There is no official, “dough mixer” machine. Either you get a mixer with a dough hook, or a food processor with the dough feature.
Just to let you know, prices for these food processors can range from the mid $100’s to the $300’s. A lot depends on the power of the processor, size, any additional features and the model.
Good luck and happy hunting!