Thoughts on Bread Makers….
I use my bread maker every week. I got this huge piece of equipment as a wedding present 16 years ago. Interestingly though, I never use it for making an actual loaf of bread but turn it to the dough setting and use the dough for making cinnamon buns and pizza crust. For all you die hard bakers out there, I know this sounds preposterous, but as a non baker in the “it never turns out” sense of the word, I need this little crutch to help me past what I consider to be the most difficult part. Have I made my own pizza dough and cinnamon bread dough? Yes, but if I made it from scratch every time, I would be loath to make pizza dough every week and it would feel like a tiresome task. I know pizza dough is easy but do you know what is even easier?? The bread maker dough. Seriously, you add 5 ingredients, press a button that says “dough” and in 1 hour and 20 min…the sweet smell of rising dough is filling your kitchen and all you have to do is sculpt it.
Before you go out and buy a bread machine though, make sure to ask around to find out if someone you know has this old relic lying around. I can almost guarantee, that in one of your friend’s garages there is a bread machine just sitting there, waiting to be used. If you cannot find one from a friend, check at garage sales, these things are a dime a dozen and you will mostly likely find one for $5-$20 bucks. There are also a ton of deep fryers out there too but hold off on that one…I have been down that path and it doesn’t end well. Deep fryers have a game they play called musical deep fryer and move from house to house snickering all the while at the human capacity for buying useless junk on an impulse. I have such a deep fryer and is yours for the taking if you want. Give the one I have some excitement, or just join in their malicious game.
Below I will post two no fail (that term usually ends up being a curse) recipes for pizza crust and cinnamon buns. Make sure you put the ingredients in the order that appears on the recipe, bread machines like that for some reason.
Pizza Crust Dough (print here)
(makes 2 thick or 4 thin crusts…I make 4 pizza with medium crusts I guess)
1-½ cups plus 3 Tbs of very warm water
2 Tbs of oil
2 Tbs of sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs of dry milk powder
4 ½ cups of flour
1 ¼ tsp of dry yeast
Turn your bread maker to the dough setting. The timer should go off in about 1 hour and 3o min; it should say the length of time on the machine.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press into pizza pans or on cookie sheets etc, make large, small or medium pizza. I can make 4 big ones with this amount of dough.
Go nutters with sauce and pizza fixins’ bake at 425 F for around 20 min. Get that nice golden crust
Cinnamon Bun Dough -makes 18-24 rolls (print here)
12-14 ounces of very warm water
1 ¾ tsp of salt
2 Tbs of butter (not melted)
2 Tbs of sugar
2 Tbs of dry milk powder
4 cups of flour
2 tsp of yeast
Put bread machine on dough setting and wait for dough, it should take about and hour and a half. The bread machine will probably tell you.
When you have made your cinnamon buns (use whatever recipe for cinnamon buns you want-I will post mine next) then put them in the oven at 200C for 20 min to let them rise. Leave the oven door open as you do this. When the buns have risen to about double, bake at 375C for another 25-30 min.
Prepare dough in bread maker-or make it from scratch.
Cinnamon Buns-gooey and yummy-(print here)
1 ¾ cup of butter
1 ½ cup of brown sugar
1 cups chopped pecans** optional
1 Tbs of cinnamon
Melt 3/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar, mix until smooth. Pour into a pre-greased 9×13 inch baking pan or a few round pans if you choose. Sprinkle bottom of pan with 1/2 cup pecans; set aside. Melt remaining butter; set aside. Combine remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, and cinnamon; set aside.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, roll into an 18×14 inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter, leaving 1/2 inch border uncovered; sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Starting at long side, tightly roll up, pinching seam to seal. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. With serrated knife, cut into 15 pieces, place cut side down, in prepared pan. Put in 200C degree oven for 20 min with the oven door open. Buns will have doubled in size.
Turn oven heat up to 375C oven for 25 to 30 minutes, bake until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes, then invert onto serving platter. Scrape remaining filling from the pan onto the rolls.