Owning a bread machine can be a lifesaver when you have ten errands to run, a house to clean, and a baby to take care of all while getting dinner ready. Just toss in the ingredients, set the timer and forget about it until you hear the ding.
Bread – This is kind of a no-brainer, after all, it is a bread machine. The standard bread machine today has numerous settings for various types of breads, from sourdough and cracked wheat to your standard white bread and rye. Higher-end bread makers have special settings that you can even customize for breads not listed in the manual. Since bread is what bread machines were originally designed to do, it is the easiest set it and forget it setting.
Pizza Dough – When making bread, the bread machine takes all of the ingredients combines them and mixes and kneads them to the perfect consistency. So why not allow your machine to do all of your work for your pizza dough. Bread makers usually have a setting for this and the dough will be mixed and kneaded until it is perfect every time.
Cinnamon Rolls – These gooey, delicious delights are a pain to get mixed correctly, especially if you like to add nuts and raisins to your cinnamon rolls. Many of the bread makers today are specially designed to be strong enough to incorporate larger items into the dough. Once you take the dough out, you should be able to roll it out, make the cinnamon rolls and pop them back in the bread machine for the final cooking. This is about as little hands on as you can get when it comes to cinnamon rolls, other than the break and bake kind you find in the store.
Specialty Breads – Pannetone, Asiago, chocolate sourdough and even Raisin Walnut breads can be made with a bread machine. And that is just naming a few. Bread makers are so durable these days that even the toughest of breads to mix can be easily man-handled by these machines. Pick out your favorite recipe and give it a go.
Jams – Believe it or not, you can even make jam with your bread maker. With the heating and mixing that bread makers do, it is a perfect environment for making jams, jellies, preserves, conserves and marmalades. Just prep your favorite fruit, toss it all in with the needed ingredients and by the time you get home, your fruit will be properly mushed.
Pasta Dough – Making perfect pasta dough can be tough by hand because you don’t want to over work the dough. With a press of a button, your bread maker can crank out the perfect pasta dough, ready to roll out, cut and cook.
Cakes – Your multitasking bread maker can mix and cook the wildest cakes you can imagine. There are plenty of recipes out there, even for Udon, a type of delicate Japanese rice cake.
Bread Pudding – Yes, bread makers can even make pudding. This can be done one of two ways, either with the bread being made first by the machine, then being turned into pudding, or using the day old bread you recently made and adding it back into the machine.
King Cake – A traditional Mardi Gras favorite in the South, king cake is a mix between a bread and a cake, both of which your bread machine should be able to achieve. Why not have the best of both worlds? Just don’t forget to decorate it.
Bagels – Pretty much any breakfast breads can be made in your machine, including bagels. The machine offers the combining, mixing, rising and baking of the perfect bagel. All you have to do is create the round shapes you want and voila, you have the perfect breakfast bagel.
There are tons of other things your bread maker can do. Just be sure to read the manual on how to set up the operation for each. If you have any questions about whether or not your specific machine can achieve any of the tasks, call the manufacturer and they will be able to let you know.