Q: When do I use the paddle beater for my stand mixer?
A: I thought we could take a look at the three main attachments (or accessories as they are sometimes called) to explain their different uses.
The paddle beater is used, basically, whenever you need to mix, beat or cream a mixture. It is most useful when you want to cream butter and sugar and to make buttercakes, combine a number of ingredients all at once like in one-bowl recipes, and beat in eggs. You can also buy paddle beaters with a silicone edge which saves you having to scrape down the side of the bowl during beating as it does it for you!
Then you have the whisk attachment that is used for whisking light mixtures, eggs and cream to incorporate air, and for combining mixtures gently. It is not used for beating and creaming and if you have ever made something like a buttercake using a whisk attachment you would have found it had a really open uneven crumb texture, and most likely with tunnel-like holes running through it.
The final main attachment is the dough hook which makes light work of kneading bread and pizza doughs. One bit of advice though: when you are using your dough hook, use your mixer on low speed as you can burn the motor out over time if consistently using a higher speed, especially if kneading stiff doughs.