There’s More to Your Bread Machine than Baking Bread

 bread-muffins

Most of us have had good success with our bread machines and have explored other types and styles of baked breads. We’ve dabbled with gluten-free, mastered the art of 100% whole-wheat, and have made breads with fruits and nuts. But for some reason we don’t always explore some of the recipes at the back of the bread machine cookbook.

You might be amazed what you’ll find back there, and the variety of things your bread machine can make. Here’s the list and we’ll cover them briefly while you ponder your next level of cooking:

  • pizza dough
  • cookie dough
  • pie crust
  • pasta dough
  • dumplings
  • bagels
  • pretzels
  • pound cake
  • corn bread
  • pita bread
  • coffee cake
  • Challah bread
  • jams and jellies

Many of these recipes require you to finish the dish either in an oven, pan or in the case of dumplings – atop a soup or stew. What’s important to remember is that the bread machine will do the hard work and the finishing steps are usually fairly simple. In fact, you finish jams and jellies in the machine and either store the finished product in jars or serve in a bowl on the table.

 

Let’s Start with Pizza Dough

I’ll often make enough pizza dough for 2 or 3 pizzas. It’s easy to store the dough in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap. It will keep up a week refrigerated and up to 3 months frozen. When you’re ready to make a pizza all you have to do is let the dough return to room temperature, roll it out and top with your favorite toppings. There are cookbooks that cover a wide range of possibilities once you have this source of freshly made pizza dough. Your bread machine cookbook should tell you what setting to use for pizza dough and other recipes like this.

 

Cookie Dough is Easier Than Pizza Dough

Just follow the directions in your bread machine cookbook or you can buy a book of cookie recipes written specifically for bread machines. Once your dough is mixed you simply drop it from a spoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven. Once again, your bread machine cookbook should have some of the recipes you could try, and the proper settings to finish your cookie dough.

 

Pie Crusts The Easy Way

You may need to add the chilled butter and the ice water in steps to make your pie crust, but the machine is still doing a lot of the work for you. Make sure you use the proper setting because any heat will compromise the pie crust given the large amount of butter in the recipe. This is another recipe that I will make in bulk to refrigerate or freeze for a later date. All you have to do once the dough is done is roll it out.

 

Pasta Dough for a Pasta Machine

You don’t have to own a pasta machine to make your own pasta. You can roll out the past dough and cut it with a knife to create your own noodles. A pasta machine has settings that let you make small diameter pastas, but once again – making the pasta dough is the hard part and your bread machine makes that easy.

 

Dumplings for your Favorite Soups or Stews

From simple bread dumplings to matzo balls, your bread machine can mix up the dough to the perfect consistency. To finish simply add the dumplings to your soup or top your stew and cover to finish them. Once again, you can make more than you need for one meal and either refrigerate or freeze the excess for a quick dumpling with any meal.

 

Bagels Require a Bit of Work

While your bread machine can make short work of making bagel dough, you still have to shape them and do the usual quick immersion into boiling water before baking. You can make any variety of bagel you like from plain egg bagels to fruit and whole-grain bagels.

 

Pretzels are Fun to Make But Also Require Some Extra Steps

Much like bagels, you have to tie a pretzel knot with the dough and might have to do a quick dip in a boiling water bath. You’ll also need to sprinkle with salt before baking if you want a salted pretzel. What may surprise you is that you can make a variety of pretzels from traditional salted to a cinnamon sugar variation.

 

From Pound Cake to Coffee Cake

You can actually finish some of these variations in the machine although you always have the option to finish in a conventional oven. If adding fruit or nuts make sure you add them at the proper time as indicated by the recipe unless your machine has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser.

 

Challah Bread, But You Still Need to do the Braids

challah

The dough is easy to make but Challah requires a certain braiding pattern and requires a brush of egg-whites as a glaze. It’s tradition to do this braiding regardless of how you make the dough. Given its popularity during holidays and Sabbath you can make extra dough ahead of time and either refrigerate it or freeze it for when you need it next. Just remember to let it rise both before and after braiding.

 

Pita Bread Finished in The Oven or Stove Top

pitta

I usually make a lot of pita bread and freeze or refrigerate the dough, or will even finish the pitas and store them in the fridge or the freezer. It’s good for up to a week in the fridge. Follow the instructions in your cookbook and determine the proper setting. You’ll find that it’s a very simple recipe from an ingredient standpoint. Pita in the oven tends to be puffier and milder. Pita on the stovetop picks up some browning and is a bit crispier.

 

Jams and Jellies for Your Fresh Baked Bread

Bread machines make it very easy to create jams and jellies from just about any fruit or fruit combination. Follow the directions carefully and you may need to slice the fruit a certain way before you begin. Also, be careful when you’re removing the jelly from the bread pan. Hot jams and jellies can cause serious burns given the high sugar content of the recipes.

 

Yes, There’s More

From gravies to corn bread there’s more you can do with your bread machine. The more you explore the more you’ll discover. Just make sure you follow the recipe and determine the proper setting. Often this is simply a number on your control panel so trust the number. In time you may find yourself using your bread machine more than you ever imagined.

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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