If you work with dough regularly, you might be ready to give your hands a break. The best food processors for dough are speedier than kneading by hand or with a stand mixer, cutting minutes down to seconds. You just need to choose one that’s big and powerful enough for the job.
Look for food processors with a power output of 700 watts or higher that can handle the tougher work of kneading dough. These more capable appliances are a bit of an investment — with the most affordable pick on this list still being rather pricey — but they're built to tackle tougher ingredients without straining the motor or getting stuck. By paying more upfront, you'll get an appliance that's built to last.
Though some processors come with special dough blades, you probably won't need them. A food processor's standard metal blade is best for kneading dough, according to America's Test Kitchen. Instead of shopping by blade, look instead for a food processor with a pulse button to easily work the dough in short bursts. Here's why: Food processor blades work quickly, but that power can overwork the dough, resulting in tight gluten and, ultimately, a dense loaf. The pulse function will allow for more control, and comes in handy for other non-dough recipes as well.
It’s also helpful to pay attention to the size of the bowl. Most food processors have a capacity of 10 to 12 cups, allowing for about two to three cups of flour. For larger batch recipes, you may want to consider a larger capacity option.
With that in mind, it's time to shop for the best food processor for you. Each of my picks below makes quick work of kneading dough and is highly rated on Amazon with hundreds or thousands of reviews.
1. The Best Value: Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor
With its $172 price tag, this food processor from Cuisinart is not exactly a budget pick, but it is a good value — all things considered. It has a generous 14-cup work bowl, a 4.5-inch wide feed chute, and a 720-watt output that easily handles dough, plus a pulse button for control. It also comes with a standard stainless steel slicing blade, a stainless steel shredding disc, two food pushers, and a chopping/mixing blade, spatula, and a recipe book.
Backed by an impressive 4.5-star rating with more than 3,000 reviews, shoppers noted that it's easy to use, easy to clean, and heavy duty enough for any task.
A helpful review: “[...]The motor is powerful and Cuisinart has improved the functionality of the bowl. It is easier to clean and lock than in my somewhat older model. [...] America's Test Kitchen recommended this because it can prepare bread dough without straining the motor, unlike all the other models tested, including one costing far more than the DFP-14. I have absolutely no regrets with my purchase.”
2. An Upgrade Pick: Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor
Though the bowl isn't quite as big as the pick above, with a 12-cup capacity, this heavy-duty food processor from Breville has a more powerful induction motor, with a maximum output of 1,000 watts. The motor has overload protection, so it'll never falter, allowing you to knead even dense dough in this food processor. Plus, the rubber feet on the base add stability.
There's a pulse function, and the feed chute is 5 inches wide (and it comes with two smaller chutes), as well as an adjustable slicing disc with 24 settings, a universal micro-serrated S-blade, reversible shredder for fine and coarse grating, and a dough blade. This pick also has a safety brake, meaning the blade will stop spinning if the lid is opened.
A helpful review: “This processor is hands down the best one I have ever owned. (and I have used a 'good' processor since the 80's) The base is heavy enough to stay in place on the counter. The motor is strong enough to handle dough without loading down. The adjustable slicing blade is a wonderful convenience. It slices perfect slices neatly without mushing or ripping. [...]"
3. The Best For Serious Bakers: A 2-in-1 Breville Sous Chef
If you make bread or any dough frequently, consider investing in the most powerful food processor on this list. This pick from Breville has 1,200 maximum watt output, and it comes with an extra large capacity 16-cup bowl and a 2.5-cup bowl, to handle both big and small kitchen tasks. You're getting two for one here.
In addition to the all important pulse function, other features to love include an extra-wide, 5.5-inch chute (which means less chopping beforehand), two food pushers in varying sizes, a unique countdown timer (that also counts up), non-skid rubber feet for added stability, and a silicone seal that reduces leaking when you're mixing a lot of liquid ingredients.
Reviewers report making dough for pasta, bread, biscuits, pastries, and cookies; one shopper noted it did “some of the best kneading I have seen.” Another shopper commented that this model was expensive but “rock solid" and performed better than a previously owned model they discarded when it couldn't handle dough to their liking.
A helpful review: “This food processor is a beast. The large feed throat makes it easy to put large vegetables into it whole. The slicer can make the thinnest slices out of even the most delicate vegetables like tomatoes. It handles doughs with ease. The bowl is large enough to do the job of a full recipe without trouble. And if that isn't enough it does all of this quietly. This slices and shreds through everything at barely above a whisper.”
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