Put That Bread Machine to Work

BlogHer Original Post

Bread machine breadDid you or someone in your family get a bread machine for Christmas? Bread machines can be a great tool for whipping up fresh, homemade bread and beyond in your kitchen this winter. Here are some ideas for ways to put that new tool to work.

Wende of The Rickett Chronicles began baking bread at home using a bread machine after she realized how long it took mold to grow on commercial bread she bought at the grocery store.

It took over two weeks for a speck of mold to grow on our commercially made bread. While that sounds great, if you stop to think about it, maybe not so much. It means that the bread has so many chemicals to prevent mold. Do I really want that many chemicals in the babies? I don't think so! So, I made it my personal quest to find a bread that was quick, soft and tasty and would be a great replacement. After several attempts, I believe I have accomplished the mission. This bread is so simple to make and after it bakes it is so soft. The perfect sandwich bread, toast bread or whatever bread. The texture is light and the crust is soft. My family loves the taste which I consider a win-win.

But bread recipes aren't the only use for a bread machine. Jenn of Frugal Upstate uses hers to make pretzel dough, which satifies her kids' cravings for pretzels from a particular vendor.

Occasionally I cave and buy that $3 pretzel, but mostly I promise to make this homemade version that is just as tasty yet much less expensive. Since I let the kids form their own pretzels it is also much more fun. It just tastes better when you’ve made it yourself!"

Jenn uses her bread machine to make the dough for these homemade treats, which could easily be topped with butter and salt, garlic, cinnamon and sugar, or any of your favorite flavors from your local pretzel shop.

Mara of Kosher on a Budget uses a bread machine to whip up dough for challah, which is then braided by hand and baked.

When we moved back to the United States in 2008, I had serious sticker shock at the price of challah at the grocery store. We’re talking over $5 a loaf! We quickly calculated that at a minimum for lechem mishneh, we’d need three challot – which would be $60 a month in challah alone. $60!!!!

Clearly, we were going to need to make our own. But I seriously could not imagine taking on the task. My husband graciously stepped up to the plate and did some experimenting before settling in on this amazing recipe.

He gets compliments on it all the time. It is sweet and doughy, rich and moist … and mmmm, just delectable!

If you or someone in your family eats a gluten-free diet, you can still put your bread machine to work turning out gluten-free treats. Deneice Athurton of Outofstress.com provides five recipes that fit the bill, including a basic bread, muffins, and pizza dough.

Here are some more bread machine recipes to try:

How do you use your bread machine? Share your recipes and ideas in the comments.

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories.

Photo credit: Photo by avlxyz, shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License

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