Do you believe that your bread machine can only bake bread? Consider again. Here are 12 additional items, ranging from cake to jam, that can be cooked in a bread machine.
When you think about it, a bread maker is simply an oven and mixer combined, with some pre-programmed modes, to eliminate the guesswork. Upon perusing the menus of your bread machine, you’ve likely discovered a few programs that extend beyond the standard white/wheat/sweet loaves. Here, I put these programs to the test and make discoveries to enhance your cooking abilities.
How does a bread machine function?
A bread machine allows a person to pour all liquid and dry ingredients for bread into the appliance at once, select the proper settings, and press START. Three and a half hours later, it would help if you had baked and ready to eat bread.
This is a straightforward explanation, but there is so much more.
Features you might find in a bread machine
Bread makers provide consumers with a vast array of cycles and options:
- The DOUGH cycle combines and kneads the dough before allowing it to rise twice. After that, you assume control. This cycle is appropriate for pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, and other non-pan-shaped bread. It is my favorite cycle, and I use it almost exclusively—more on that to come.
- A delayed timer allows the machine to be programmed to begin mixing later. This feature is useful when you want your bread to finish baking while unavailable. A few models allow you to set the timer for the DOUGH cycle, which, in my opinion, justifies the cost of the machine.
- Before beginning, a pre-heat phase brings all the raw ingredients in your bread recipe to the same temperature. This phrase is only valid if you bake bread with the machine. It is not required when utilizing the DOUGH cycle.
- Most bread machines have settings for various types of bread with varying degrees of crust browning, such as whole wheat bread, sweet bread recipes, dark and light crusts, etc.
- Numerous devices provide an “add-in” notification. When the machine beeps, you know it is time to add non-pulverized ingredients, such as nuts or raisins. Typically, the beeps occur during the final five minutes of the kneading phase.
- A SOURDOUGH STARTER cycle allows you to create a specific type of sourdough starter in the machine and let it ferment to perfection over several days. You cannot use your bread machine for anything else during this time. This cycle cannot be used to make sourdough bread. Refer to the FAQ section for additional details.
- Cycles of GLUTEN-FREE BREAD are gaining popularity. Refer to the FAQ section for additional information on gluten-free bread and bread machines.
- A CAKE cycle produces quick bread, such as banana bread and cornbread, and desserts, like chocolate cake. Remember that the final product will conform to the bread pan’s shape. Creating a three-layer cake would require exceptional ingenuity.
- Additionally, some machines offer a JAM or YOGURT cycle (designed for yogurt incubation).
- A select number of bread machines feature HOMEMADE or CUSTOM cycles that enable you to create a unique combination of mixing, kneading, rising, and baking. Or you can create a custom cycle that is solely for baking, allowing you to prepare dishes such as meatloaf. Unfortunately, I’m unaware of a bread machine that will enable you to select the baking temperature, so you’re stuck with the bread-baking temperature set by the manufacturer.
Is a bread machine superior to hand-making bread?
Most likely not. If you prefer to bake bread by hand, I bow to you. The purported therapeutic benefits of working dough with one’s own hands are wasted on me. Please invite me over to help you eat your freshly baked bread.
Compared: bread maker and stand mixer
Sometimes, my readers ask me if they need a bread machine if they already have a stand mixer. Or perhaps they can only accommodate one or the other. Which item should they buy?
Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:
1. The best dough kneaders in town are bread machines.
All types of dough can be thoroughly kneaded by bread machines, especially those with two paddles. Use it for basic pizza dough, bread, whole grain loaves, and even sticky ciabatta, brioche, and rye dough.
No-knead and refrigerator doughs are bread recipes that should not be made in a bread machine. In both instances, gluten formation is facilitated by a high proportion of liquid, so there is no need for a bread machine.
2. Other than making bread dough, mixers can perform various other baking tasks.
With a stand mixer, the possibilities are limitless. If you don’t have a mixer and plan to do a lot of baking, I recommend purchasing one first.
It’s convenient if you don’t have access to a conventional oven, don’t want to use it (summer? ), or want to take your bread machine camping.
However, the posts at the bottom of the pan and the inability to control the baking temperature can be problematic. Everything solid will bake in the shape of the bread pan.
In addition, cleaning up after using a bread machine is more complicated. Every manufacturer I am aware of advises against placing a bread machine pan in the dishwasher. Scrubbing around the posts is laborious, especially if a paddle is stuck to one of them.
3. Bread machines restrict the recipe size that can be used.
A few bread machines can produce a three-pound loaf, whereas most 2-pound bread machines have a flour limit of 412 cups. If baking for a large group, you must use multiple bread machines or make multiple batches of dough sequentially. I do not recommend doubling a bread recipe when using a bread machine.
4. A stand mixer has superior power.
This additional strength is helpful for larger batches of dough. Depending on the size of your stand mixer, the majority can easily handle 6-7 cups of flour.
However, this strength can make it simple to over-knead dough when using a stand mixer. Because you are in charge, you must recognize when the dough has been properly mixed and kneaded. This choice can be challenging for novices.
I have never witnessed bread machine dough that was over-kneaded. This is handled by the timer, which is helpful for beginners.
5. Keep an eye on mixers, but don’t neglect your bread machine.
Most yeast bread recipes for stand mixers start with the mixing attachment, then instruct you to switch to the kneading branch to develop gluten.
Theoretically, a bread machine requires only adding ingredients and pressing the “go” button. This is what most individuals envision when purchasing a bread machine.
After dumping the ingredients into a bread machine and pressing “START,” circle back once more and lift the lid to ensure that the moisture level in your dough is correct. This will increase your chances of success with a bread machine exponentially.
Five reasons why a bread machine may be necessary
- Simple construction and cleanup. First, combine all ingredients without dissolving the yeast. Then, close the lid to contain the flour mess. The outcome? Only one pan and one or two paddles are required to be cleaned.
- Hands-on time is reduced compared to kneading by hand.
- When using a bread machine instead of hand-kneading, bread rises more and has a more delicate texture.
- Minimal attention is required during the dough-making process. After mixing and kneading, but before rising, the dough requires no manual contact. I prefer a bread machine for this reason alone, although a stand mixer will perform admirably once you get the hang of it. Changing the mixing speeds and blades of a bread machine is unnecessary. You will no longer require a greased bowl, a cover, or a warm location for the proofing phase.
- The timers on bread machines are helpful.
- Pizza dough is created to perfection using the DOUGH cycle of a bread machine. The DOUGH cycle’s warming feature aids in properly proofing bread during the first rise phase. Unless your kitchen is excessively hot or cold, the warming function works well, especially if you want to start your bread and leave the house for a while. The built-in heater will keep the dough at the correct temperature until the end of the DOUGH cycle when the lid is closed. When using a mixer, the dough is covered after mixing, and the kneading is complete. Then, before shaping the dough, transfer it to a safe and warm location for the initial rise.
Have you ever consumed bread produced by a bread machine? Were you awestruck? What about the bottom’s holes and the cardboard topping?
While the baking process in a bread machine may produce bread suitable for toast or satiating teenage boys’ hunger, the final appearance and flavor can be unpredictable.
Why? Because making an exceptional loaf of bread is more complex and less forgiving than making a standard pan of brownies. Many more variables exist:
Even if you have high standards for your bread, there are ways to use a bread machine to make it worthwhile.
Consider the possibility of utilizing a bread machine differently. In this case, you can avoid the complaints associated with following the manufacturer’s instructions and recipe manuals in the letter.
What can you make in a bread maker?
Do you have questions about what a bread machine does and why you may need one? Possibly you are deciding between a bread machine and a stand mixer. If you already have a mixer, is a bread machine necessary? Read this initial!
1. Beef Stew
No need to spend hours simmering your favorite beef stew recipe in a hot kitchen. On the “Jam” cycle, your bread machine will heat and stir your stew for you, and you can even bake some biscuit dough right in the mix if that’s how you like your stew.
Cake is likely the most common non-bread item prepared in a bread machine. Typically, the program will be named “Bake,” “Bake only,” or simply “Cake.” In this mode, the kneading blade is removed, and the bread maker is used as an oven. Before placing the ingredients in the bread machine, add baking powder or another raising agent besides yeast to ensure the cake rises.
This program can also create savory baked goods and non-yeast breads, such as soda.
Pay attention to any maximum capacity warnings and baking recommendations in the manual for your bread maker. Before pouring in the cake batter, it is sometimes suggested that you line your pan with baking paper and/or grease it, just as you would when baking a cake in a conventional tin in the oven.
This Japanese confection is made with sweet rice flour and typically requires multiple steps and countless hours to prepare, but your bread machine specializes in flour and can whip up a batch of mochi (such as this Zojirushi recipe for butter coconut mochi) in a few hours.
Meatloaf baking is a less conventional way to use your “Bake” or “Cake” program. Remember to remove the kneading blade from your bread machine, just as you would with a cake recipe. The following recipe, which originated in a Zojirushi bread maker manual, was utilized.
The meatloaf turned out well and was thoroughly cooked, but the top could have been crispier – something that can only be accomplished in the oven and with adequate drainage.
As the meatloaf bakes in a loaf pan, the fat has nowhere to go and accumulates on top. I recommend pouring out the grease after removing the bread from the bread machine but be careful not to lose all the glazes!
5. Chocolate Pudding
Using a bread machine, you can make “instant” pudding from scratch that does not come in a box. Add (in this order) 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 12 cups of whole milk, 4 large egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 14 teaspoons of salt, 34 cups of sugar, 8 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 14 cups of dark cocoa powder to the bread pan and set it to “Jam.”
The Jam setting on most bread machines heats and stirs the bread pan contents for several hours. Your manual should include a basic recipe, but there are numerous online.
I opted for this Panasonic blueberry jam recipe, which involves cooking 700g of blueberries with 400g of sugar for 1 hour and fifty minutes. I followed the instructions and added half of the berries and half of the sugar, followed by the remaining ingredients in the same order.
As I prefer a thick jam, I added 87ml of liquid pectin, a jam thickener. Some recipes suggest adding this ingredient, especially in holes made with stone fruit and certain berries.
The resulting jam was less sweet than wide store-bought varieties and pairs well with pancakes. Refrigerate homemade jam in a clean jar and consume it within one month.
7. Sauces and soups
From jam, it is simple to produce sauces and soups. You may need to puree the final contents at the end of the process for a smooth consistency, but you would likely have to do the same with a sauce or soup cooked on the stove.
Add all the ingredients to the bread pan and bake at the Jam setting for one hour. Since the shortest jam program time on my bread machine was 1hr 30mins, I set a separate timer for an hour to monitor the sauce.
As you are not baking bread and there is no fermentation process, you may use the Jam setting to monitor the progress of your food. Use caution when opening the lid, as it may become somewhat steamy.
8. Rice dishes
You can use your bread machine as a rice cooker by adding rice and water to the bread pan and cooking on the “Bake” or “Cake” for approximately one hour. Moreover, in the Jam setting, you can prepare rice pudding or risotto.
These two dishes require constant stirring during the cooking process, where the jam setting on a bread machine comes in handy. Just remember to set a timer – a jam program typically takes at least 1 hr 30 minutes, whereas making dessert or risotto will likely take less time.
9. Spaghetti and Meatballs
The only thing your bread machine can’t do for this recipe is boiling the noodles to al dente. However, pour in some crushed tomatoes, salt, fresh herbs, and homemade meatballs and let the mixture simmer for several hours before pouring it over fresh pasta (which you can also make in some bread machines).
10. Scrambled eggs
You can also cook eggs using the Jam setting on your bread machine. Mix all the ingredients, adding milk and any desired seasonings; the machine’s stirring will not be strong enough to beat the eggs properly. Also recommended is brushing the bread pan with oil to prevent the egg from sticking excessively.
This method takes longer than stovetop cooking and is recommended for larger quantities of eggs. Because my bread machine’s stirring does not begin until 15 minutes into the Jam setting, it was able to cook three eggs nearly to an omelet before scrambling them.
However, the eggs were completely edible, albeit slightly overcooked. It is an acceptable option if you don’t have a pan or stove handy or need to cook eggs for a large group.
Some bread machines include a yogurt-making program. Since yogurt-making programs are typically at least five or six hours long, it is unlikely that any other setting on your bread maker would suffice.
Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when making yogurt. 500 ml of pasteurized whole milk and a few tablespoons of natural bio-live yogurt are sufficient to initiate the fermentation process. You don’t want any other bacteria to grow in your bread pan or other containers, or jars.
Using a bread machine, you can make a gorgeously rich, creamy cheesecake with a graham cracker crust in a matter of minutes. After one hour of baking on the “Cake” cycle, you will add the graham cracker crust to this Zojirushi recipe for strawberry cheesecake.
Is it valuable?
Some of those above, such as making delicious jam with the push of a few buttons and rice pudding with minimal effort, were genuine revelations for me. Others, such as meatloaf, cake, and scrambled eggs, seemed unnecessary; they could have been prepared traditionally in the oven or, in the case of scrambled eggs, on the stovetop.
But if your oven is unavailable, you don’t have the right kind of pan, or you want to try something new, these recipes will help you discover how versatile your bread machine can be.
A bread maker is a kitchen appliance that combines mixing and baking functions. Bread machines simplify the bread-making process by requiring only the addition of ingredients and then mixing, kneading, and cooking on their own. Bread-making is the primary function of a bread machine, but it can also be used to make jam, sauces, soups, cakes, etc.
You should get a bread machine if you need to make many loaves or need the extra convenience. Maybe you are tired of making bread by hand and have a busy schedule or have a physical disability. It could very well be a budget issue, or you are just new to bread baking.
It’s considerably cheaper to make your own bread than to buy it, if you’re comparing similar types of loaves. In a recent comparison*, the ingredients for a loaf of homemade classic sandwich bread cost $2.06, or 13 cents per slice.
Is the Dense Compacted Bread Just as Good? Yes, because it is made with the same ingredients and in some cases, it may be better, since you can create your own bread varying ingredients and using your favorite whole grains. Some people prefer bread machine bread than oven-baked or store-bought loaves.
By 1999, one in five American households owned a bread machine. But in 2017, nearly two decades later, bread machines are basically nonexistent, having fallen into oblivion along with Walkmans and the Pogo Ball.
Can I leave bread in bread maker overnight? Yes. In fact, many bread machines also have a delayed cycle so you can add your ingredients and it will mix, knead, raise and bake in the middle of the night so it’s hot and fresh for you in the morning.
Most bread makers are fairly efficient and according to expert reviews use about 0.41kWh of electricity when making a standard loaf of white bread, which works out as about 6p per loaf.
Some people state that the difference between a bread machine and a bread maker is that a bread maker generally only has one function: bake bread. On the other hand, a bread machine often has additional functions, such as making pizza dough or jam. The truth is that these terms are interchangeable.
Since oven bread has more room to rise and more space to bake, it has a different texture. Its texture is often lighter, airer, and fluffier than bread from a bread machine. If you like your bread light and airy, you should consider using an oven to bake it.
Plus, bread you purchase from the store may taste fresh, but many types are loaded with preservatives to extend their shelf life. The verdict: homemade is typically healthier.
Bread makers can also make pizza dough, rolls, cookies, etc., but for these types of recipes, the bread maker can only prepare the dough, leaving you and your oven responsible for shaping and baking. We cannot say that a bread machine is a viable alternative for these recipes. Even some foods listed above, such as scrambled eggs and yogurt, are easier to prepare on the stove or in the oven. However, the usefulness of bread machines, particularly for foods that require stirring while cooking, cannot be denied.
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