Countertop with KitchenAid® food processor containing flour and butter next to a loaf of bread.

Food Processor vs Stand Mixer for Dough

Food processors and stand mixers can help you make delicious breads, pastas, pizza crusts and pastries – and both make dough prep easier. Choosing a food processor vs a stand mixer for dough mostly comes down to personal preference. You’ll find that a few nuances give each of these versatile appliances slight edges when it comes to different types of dough making.

Food processors have been described as a “knife and a blender,” the perfect tool for chopping, grating and puréeing, while the stand mixer is ideal for whipping, mixing and mashing. But with so many attachments, accessories and new sizes available for both kitchen workhorses, the way these two appliances can be used has expanded. Discover more about the differences between food processors and stand mixers and read on to see how they compare when it comes to making dough.

KitchenAid® stand mixer on countertop with dough hook, bread dough and homemade bread.

FOOD PROCESSOR VS STAND MIXER FOR KNEADING DOUGH

Certain doughs require kneading in order to incorporate air and develop gluten, the protein that helps give some bread and pizza doughs structure. Food processors and stand mixers help minimize the mess and speed up the kneading process.

Food processors for dough making come with a plastic blade, but some makers prefer using the metal blade for kneading because it slices through the dough quickly. This helps keep the dough from overheating. Also, the rapid action of a food processor’s blade helps distribute wet and dry ingredients evenly. Because food processors spin at high speeds, it only takes a minute or two for dough to come together.

A stand mixer is another great time saver for dough making that uses a hook to knead dough. When making dough in this powerful appliance, knead it until it clears the sides of the bowl; if it starts to “climb” up the dough hook, you’ve over kneaded your dough.

KitchenAid® food processor in silver

KNEADING DOUGH: WHO GETS THE EDGE?

Both types of appliances offer powerful help with bread. If speed is your thing, using a food processor for kneading dough edges out the stand mixer ever so slightly because of its lightning-quick speed. If you’re making pizza dough for dinner, the food processor is a great go-to. However, if you’re making several loaves of bread, a stand mixer delivers the capacity you need for a job this big.

Learn more about what a food processor is used for to amplify the creative possibilities in your kitchen.

Try these classic Parker House Rolls that only require a few simple ingredients and a food processor to pull them off – or use your stand mixer to make this show stopping Braided Challah Bread.

DOUGH TIP: HOW TO TELL IF YOU’VE KNEADED ENOUGH

Properly kneaded dough should have a smooth, almost shiny surface. If your dough clears the sides of your bowl and is elastic – in other words, it doesn’t break when you pull it apart – it’s time to stop kneading.

KitchenAid® stand mixer with pasta cutter attachment cutting pasta dough into thin strips.

FOOD PROCESSOR VS STAND MIXER FOR PASTA DOUGH

Making fresh pasta is easy and fast using either a stand mixer or food processor for dough, since they both do the mixing and kneading mechanically. Most pasta doughs start with a simple combination of flour and eggs, which can be turned into a soft and supple dough in just a matter of minutes in either appliance.

KitchenAid® stand mixer with pasta cutter attachment.

PASTA DOUGH: WHO GETS THE EDGE?

You can make mouthwatering pasta dough with a food processor or a stand mixer but dough is only the beginning when it comes to pasta. KitchenAid® stand mixers have a variety of KitchenAid® pasta attachments available that take pasta-making to the next level. Or, take a look at our full list of attachments.

These attachments make creating, cutting and pressing different pasta shapes out of your homemade dough fast and fun. The creative possibilities that these attachments bring to pasta making give the stand mixer an edge when it comes to making pasta dough.

This recipe for Fresh Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce uses the KitchenAid® 3-Piece Pasta Roller & Cutter Set to make the silky noodles for this dish. Or make this Basic Egg Pasta Dough with your food processor and top it with your favorite sauce.

DOUGH TIP: MAKING PERFECT PASTA DOUGH

Allow yourself a little time to experiment to achieve the best dough consistency. Good pasta dough should be firm and leathery to the touch, but also pliable. It shouldn’t stick to your fingers or crumble. Keep in mind that humidity, the type of flour you use and the size of eggs are some factors that may affect your pasta dough’s consistency.

Woman making pastry dough in KitchenAid® food processor.

FOOD PROCESSOR VS STAND MIXER FOR PASTRY DOUGH

Making pastry dough for foods like pies, scones, empanadas and crostadas is quick and efficient in both a food processor and a stand mixer. This is because their metal blades and paddles are better than hands at cutting fats into flour and keeping ingredients cold. The palms of our hands tend to be very warm and can melt the butter. Both food processors and stand mixers are faster than human hands at mixing dough, so the butter remains cold – the key to flaky pastry.

Some makers prefer using a stand mixer to make these kinds of doughs because the multiple speeds provide more control and because the bowl isn’t covered, making it easier to see what’s happening inside the mixing bowl. Others love the speed of using a food processor because it keeps the dough cool and easy to handle.

Looking for food processor replacement parts? KitchenAid has you covered.

PASTRY DOUGH: WHO GETS THE EDGE?

Batch size is always a consideration when choosing between a food processor and a stand mixer. If you’re making several pies at a time, the stand mixer provides great capacity. You can achieve a tender, flaky pastry with either appliance. But food processors are considered by some to be a more efficient way of cutting butter into flour/dry ingredients, making them ideal for galette doughs and crumble toppings. Experiment to see which you prefer for pastry with this recipe that uses a food processor for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, or this recipe for Blueberry Scones that uses a stand mixer.

KitchenAid® stand mixer on countertop with plate of homemade cookies.

1. Using the flat beater; 28g dough each

KitchenAid® bowl-lift stand mixer.

COOKIE DOUGH: WHO GETS THE EDGE?

You can get a great, tasty cookie with either appliance. But, If you want to make lots of cookie dough, there’s no match for a stand mixer.

This recipe for Lavender Shortbread Cookies uses a food processor to make a lavender infused sugar and a stand mixer for the buttery shortbread cookie dough.

FOOD PROCESSOR VS STAND MIXER WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?

Attachments aside, when you’re deciding between a stand mixer and a food processor you can be confident that both are capable of making great dough “out of the box.” Each appliance offers slight advantages over the other when it comes to creating specific types of dough. The decision then becomes – do you have a greater need for an appliance that, in addition to dough making, does more chopping, slicing and pureeing (food processor) or more whipping, mixing and mashing (stand mixer)? Either way, you’ll discover new possibilities and new ways to create.

EXPLORE FOOD PROCESSORS FROM KITCHENAID

KitchenAid® food processors come in a variety of colors, including white, red and blue food processors.

EXPLORE STAND MIXERS FROM KITCHENAID

MORE HELPFUL INFO ON FOOD PROCESSORS AND STAND MIXERS