Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Put Your Bread Machine to Work

I keep having this recurring conversation where someone compliments me on my bread, then asks if its homemade. I answer, "Yes, I made it in the bread machine" and they reply "I have one of those, but I never use it."

The first few times this happened, I had to retrieve my jaw from the floor. But now that it's happened a ka-jillion times I've grown used to it. Well, I'm still a little curious why anyone would leave a $100 item sitting around unused. I mean, I get it if its "not your thing" but sell it already and get some cash!

Anyway, I'm writing this post for everyone out there who has a bread machine but rarely or never uses it because it takes too much effort and for those contemplating buying one. I thought I'd share how I keep the process simple. Bread has been getting more and more expensive in the last few years and although store bread usually has a good texture, its hard to find something with a good texture and great taste.

1. Unearth your machine and place it somewhere convenient and usable. If its buried you're never going to dig that bad boy out of a cabinet and find counter space for it. I keep mine on top of the deep freezer in the corner of the kitchen.

2. Get one or two recipes and use them repeatedly so you don't have to over think the process. Most machine manuals come with recipes that fit the size of your machine. I'd recommend a white bread recipe and a pizza dough recipe. When you're comfortable with these, you can swap some flour to make 1/2 wheat bread, cinnamon bread, or garlic Parmesan pizza dough. The possibilities are limitless.

3. Get all your ingredients in a convenient location so you don't have to spend a ton of time searching for them.

I keep my refrigerated items (yeast and butter) just inside the door and even cut some butter into the 2T. that I need so I don't have to dirty a knife.

I put the dry ingredients into smaller containers and even keep a measuring spoon and cups I need just to be used for bread. Then I keep all this in one container so its easy to grab and use.

I buy bread flour in bulk (25lbs) at S@ams Club and keep it in an airtight container. It actually was from cat litter we bought a lifetime ago but it fits the whole bag and the lid is super sturdy. And I got a smaller container from my mom that fits 5 lbs of whole wheat flour perfectly.

All my dry ingredients are kept just inside the pantry, which is right beside the machine, so I don't have to drag it far.

So when I need to use my bread machine I can do it quickly. And I know that whatever I make will turn out yummy. Lately I've found out how quick it it to make dough and then shape them into rolls, let them rise in the oven and then bake them! i can have hot rolls on the table in less than 2 hours. I'll admit, if you've worked all day away from home and just walked in the door, its not gonna happen. But, you can find time on the weekend and even get the kids involved in shaping rolls and then freeze some for during the week.

But, my favorite will always been fresh pizza! Here's one topped with onion, green bell pepper, pulled pork, feta and Swiss cheese!

Happy baking :)


  1. that pizza looks amazing!
    miss y'all :)

  2. Ooh, it was!
    We'll have to meet up with you at the park sometime. The kids are growing up so fast!

  3. Yay! Thank you so much for the inspiration, Molly! It's just the encouragement (& logistics/structure) that I needed to get going. I'm gonna take the plunge!

  4. Sweet! Let me know how it goes! I'm hoping to plunge into the world of Sweet Breads before too long :)

  5. I love my bread machine and mourned when it broke, luckily someone who had fallen out of love with theirs passed it on to me, but i had already gotten out of the habit of using it. I am determined to get back into the habit. One thing you didn't mention is how nice it is to know exactly the six ingredients that I put into my bread, versus the common long list from the bags in the store!!

  6. Thank you for the reminder! I've gotten so accustomed to buying things without preservatives, I forget that others may not even realize how much "junk" is in some foods!