Baking for Valentine’s Day with your Bread Machine

These heart-shaped treats will help you make the day special for your favorite Valentine.

4 cinnamon rolls glazed

Valentine’s Day is coming and we all want to do something special. Here are some easy treats and surprises you can make in your bread machine. All of these recipes require the dough or pizza dough course. We’re going to finish the recipes in the oven, but your bread machine is going to make all of that easy.

 

Let’s Get Conceptual

The concept of this approach for Valentine’s Day is to create heart shapes from a variety of recipes using the dough your bread machine can produce. All of the recipes are designed to be finished in the oven. This includes heart-shaped cinnamon roles, heart-shaped pizza and heart-shaped pretzels. This could be a very nice surprise for your favorite person or bunch for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They make good snacks too.

 

Here’s the Tactic

We’re not reinventing the wheel here. We’re going to take basic recipes and shape them into heart shapes. There’s a bit of trick to that and we’ll illustrate with photos and steps, but the foundation recipes have been tested and proven in bread machines.

 

Here’s the Strategy

Surprise your favorite Valentine at breakfast with heart shaped cinnamon rolls. This is our first recipe and all you need to do is to understand how to take a traditional cinnamon roll and reshape it so it bakes up with a heart shape. Let’s get started:

 

Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls Recipe:

(Makes 12 cinnamon rolls)

2 cinnamon rolls ready for oven 3 cinnamon rolls baked

4 cinnamon rolls glazed 5 cinnamon rolls glazed

This is a classic cinnamon roll recipe that has been proven in all bread machines. That’s easy to say because it’s essentially a dough that comes out of the dough course that you finish on the table and in the oven. This recipe also has an extra step: shaping the cinnamon roll into a heart shape. We’ll show you how in steps and photos. After that, you’re on your own.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk (110° F./43° C.)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 13 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cup white sugar
  • 12cups bread flour
  • 12teaspoons bread machine yeast

Filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 12tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 14 cup butter softened
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Glaze:

  • 12 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • cold water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in the bread pan in the order indicated and select the dough course. When done, dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until about a 1/2 inch thick. Let rise while you make the filling.
  2. To make the filling combine the brown sugar, cinnamon salt and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Mix the butter and cream cheese combination until well blended and then carefully spread the mixture over the top of the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the surface and smooth with your hand to distribute. Preheat oven to 375° F./190° C.
  3. Starting at one edge, roll up the sheet of dough into a log and with a very sharp knife cut the log into 12 equal sized circles of dough. Using the back edge of a knife, make an indentation along one edge of the dough rounds and pull towards the center. You’re beginning to make a heart shape. Using the sides of two knives or spatulas press the dough round together at the bottom opposite the indentation to finish the heart shape. Arrange the heart shaped cinnamon rolls on a lighted buttered baking sheet and bake at 375° F./190° C. for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
  4. While the rolls are baking make the glaze out of confectioner’s sugar and water. Add a very little bit of water to the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until you have a creamy consistency. When the cinnamon rolls are done, remove from the oven and place on a platter. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the tops of each roll. Serve

6 cinnamon rolls glazed

 

Let’s Get Savory

Bread machines do a great job of making pizza dough. It’s a simple recipe and one of the fastest courses. We’re going to do a classic Pizza Margherita with a red sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. You can substitute any of your favorite toppings unless you’re growing your own basil leaves, and you know how expensive they can be.

What makes this special is the shape. Our pizza dough is going to be heart-shaped.

We’ll walk you through how to do this and once you’ve got that heart shape you can top the pizza with whatever your heart desires.

 

Heart Shaped Pizza Recipe:

(Makes two 14 inch thin crust pizzas)

1 - heart pizza dough 3 - heart pizza folded and cut

4 - heart pizza unfolded 6 - heart pizza with tomato sauce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 2/3 cups of water (80°F./27°C)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Select Pizza Dough Course or the basic dough course if your machine does not have a pizza dough setting. When cycle is complete place on a lightly floured surface. If making two thin crusts, divided in half. For one thick crust begin to roll out the dough with a flour dusted rolling pin and push and pull dough into shape raising the edges. The easiest way to make a heart shape out of pizza dough is to cut it with a pizza cutter. Remember the old grade school trick for how to make a heart from a piece of paper. To do this, dust the surface of the dough with flour and spread it around with your hand. Fold the dough in half with one side overlapping the other and cut half of a heart shape. Pull away the excess dough and unfold the heart.
  2. Spread a pizza sauce over the top (this could be as simple as a canned tomato sauce) and sprinkle with your toppings.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven set at 425°F/218°C for 20 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.
  4. You can top your pizza with just about anything so experiment and have fun.

7 - heart pizza ready for oven 10 - heart shaped pizza

11 - heart shaped pizza

 

Valentine’s Day Pretzels

Pretzel dough is easy to make in the bread machine but it requires some shaping, glazing and baking in the oven. The heart-shaped pretzels we’re going to make are actually easier to make than traditional pretzels, and you can top them with coarse sea-salt or coarse sugar crystals if you want to do something sweet.

 

Soft Pretzels Recipe:

(Makes 16 pretzels)

1 - pretzel dough cut into strips 2 - beginning the heart loop

3 - flattening the top of the heart loop 5 - the heart loop pinch

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cups of water (80°F./27°C.)
  • 1 egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Select dough course. When dough cycle is complete remove dough to a lightly floured surface and cut dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece with both hands to form a 16-inch rope of dough. Fold the dough into a heart shape.
  2. Place on a greased baking sheet and brush with a glaze of 1 egg white and 1 tbsp of water beaten together. Top with coarse sea salt and/or parmesan cheese, course sugar like “Sugar in the raw,” or whatever toppings you like. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F/190°C for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.

6 - heart pretzels ready for glazing and the oven 7 - heart shaped pretzels

9 - heart shaped pretzels

 

Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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