Batter Breads from your Bread Machine

3 great recipes for breads that are a cross between cake and bread.

4a - alternate spiced pumpkin bread in baking dish - hero shot

 

Batter breads from your bread machine are very different than what you’re used to seeing. For one, you won’t see a dough ball swirling around on your paddle. What you’ll see is more of soft, slurry and that’s okay. Don’t be tempted to add flour like you might usually do. Let the batter form and mix.

On the other hand, some batter breads come out with a bit of a thick batter consistency, but still don’t have that dough-ball consistency. One of the breads we’ll explore is a corn-batter bread made with cornmeal. It’s thick and needs to rise. But that’s another exception. While some batter breads include yeast as an ingredient, many call for baking powder and/or the addition of baking soda. This is the primary reason that most batter breads resemble a slurry rather than a dough ball.

Something else to watch is which dough setting to use. The first recipe for the Corn-Batter bread uses the dough cycle, while the other two recipes use the pizza dough cycle. This doesn’t mean you’ll end up with pizza dough. The dough cycle usually runs 90 minutes while the pizza dough cycle runs 50 minutes. Both are kneading cycles, but the dough cycle adds time for rising.

Some batter bread recipes are finished in the bread pan in the machine but the three recipes we’re featuring here are poured into a baking dish and finished in the oven. All feature robust and unique ingredients and result in a very dense and moist bread or cake-like texture.

If you’re only using baking soda or baking powder, don’t worry about a batter bread rising. Some need a little time, but others don’t. If in doubt you can always let it rise a bit before baking, but unless yeast is in the recipe you typically can skip the rising step. You’ll also find that many batter breads call for the addition of eggs or milk plus sugar. This also works to create the batter like consistency in the dough and the dense, cake-like consistency of the finished loaf.

All of these recipes either make two 1-pound loaves or one 2-pound loaf. It depends on the size of your bread pan or baking pan. One of the variations you can try is to pour the batter breads into smaller, foil pans or even foil cupcake cups. This would give everyone a small, personalized loaf as a side dish or dessert. If you are making the smaller loaves keep an eye on doneness. A small loaf in a small pan will bake through faster than a large 2-pound loaf.

We’re going to start with one of the more robust and dense batter breads. A corn-batter bread made with cornmeal. This recipe calls for two bread pans but you could pour all of the batter into one large 12 x 12 inch baking dish. It’s also a recipe with yeast that requires rising and the full, dough-cycle.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Batter Bread Recipe:

(Makes 2 loaves)

1 - spiced pumpkin bread batter in bread pan

2 - spiced pumpkin bread batter in baking dish

3 - spiced pumpkin bread baked in dish (1) 5 - spiced pumpkin bread sliced in half to reveal texture

This recipe results in more of a medium, liquid batter and is also intended to be finished in the oven in a baking dish or loaf pan. The batter can also be poured into smaller, foil pie tins or foil cupcake cups for individual servings. It makes a great dessert served with butter, or as a side dish with chicken or turkey.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s)
  • 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Add the ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe and select the pizza dough cycle. This cycle is about half as long as the regular dough cycle but because of the thinner, batter consistency it should give you a well blended batter. If it needs more kneading, rerun the pizza dough cycle until it is well blended. Lightly butter two bread loaf pans and divide the batter. If you want a single large loaf pour it into a lightly buttered 12 x 12 inch pan or you can divide the batter into smaller pans or foil tins.

Preheat the oven to 325° F./160° C. and bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick can be inserted into the middle and emerge clean and dry. If you are baking in smaller pans you will want to check for doneness after about 30 to 45 minutes. The smaller tins will bake faster. When done, let rest for 10 minutes and then carefully turn loaves or loaf out onto platter or plates.

7 - sliced and spiced pumkin bread on plate - hero shot

 

Corn-Batter Bread Recipe:

(Makes 2 loaves)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (120°F./50° C.)
  • 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, margarine, or other shortening
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 packages active dry yeast

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon each milk and cornmeal

DIRECTIONS:

Add the ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe and select the dough course. When done, pour into 2 lightly oiled loaf pans and cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour. Glaze the top of the loaves with the milk and sprinkle the cornmeal over the top. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°/C. and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick emerges from the center of the loaves clean and dry. Let rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes and slice and serve.

 

Banana Nut Batter Bread Recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 2 cups of soft, overripe bananas
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts or your choice. You could also use mixed nuts, but remember to chop them to the size and shape you want in your finished slice.

DIRECTIONS:

Add the ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated and select the pizza dough cycle. Once again, if you find the batter has not fully blended, rerun the pizza dough cycle until the batter is well blended. Lightly butter two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans or one large 12 x 12 baking dish. You also have the small, foil loaf pan option or foil cupcake cups. Preheat the oven for 350°F./175° C. and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the loaves pass the doneness test with a wooden skewer or toothpick. Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cutting board or platter, slice and serve.

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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