Tag Archives: bread machine

Homemade Pizza

19 Feb

Homemade Pizza

I like pizza. A lot. There’s something about freshly baked dough covered with melted cheese that makes my heart happy. A few years ago, I started experimenting with making my own pizza. I started simple — with the prepared dough that you can buy from Trader Joe’s. And after many frustrating attempts at rolling out sticky, gooey dough — I was eventually able to create a circle-ish shaped dish that pretty closely resembled pizza. Once I mastered handling TJ’s dough, I started thinking that maybe I should try making my own. So I did. And the pizza got better. Then, I realized that pizza sauce wasn’t much more than tomatoes and spices/herbs, so I looked around and found a recipe for homemade pizza sauce that I liked. And then the pizza started to get really, really good.

I’ve included my favorite recipes for pizza crust and sauce below. Obviously, there are numerous combinations of toppings that you can add to a pizza. Our favorite kind to make is a simple Margherita Pizza, which includes chopped basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Feel free to experiment with the toppings of your choice, but if you ask me — mozzarella is a must! Also, be careful not to overload the pizza with toppings or your crust will be soggy.

Notes about the crust:
In our household, we like our pizza crust somewhat thin, so the recipe makes two 12-inch pizzas. However, if you like a thicker, more doughy crust, feel free to combine the dough to make one large pizza crust.

Also, if you have the time (aka you’re not like me and you plan your meals more than just 2 hours before you want to eat), I’ve found that I like the crust even better when the dough has a chance to rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours. When you remove the dough from the fridge, separate it into two balls, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let it come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before rolling it out.


1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and liquid discarded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Prepare the dough: Add dough ingredients to bread machine in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough cycle, and press start.  (The rising time will vary depending on your machine. Be sure your dough rests for at least 30 minutes to allow it to rise fully.) After cycle is completed you can place dough in an airtight container and refrigerate it overnight (see notes above).
  2. Prepare the sauce: Process all ingredients for the sauce in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to medium bowl or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Bake the pizza: About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to second-highest position, about 4-5 inches from heating element, place pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees F. Separate dough into two balls. On a well-floured surface, roll out one ball into a 13-inch round. Top the pizza with sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Transfer pizza to pizza stone heating in the oven and bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes (rotating pizza halfway through).  Remove pizza from oven and let it cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Repeat steps for second ball of dough.

Recipes adapted from America’s Test Kitchen and Allrecipes


Homemade Hamburger Buns

29 Jan

Hamburger Buns

I made hamburger buns! I know that hamburger buns are easily found in stores, but everything tastes better with fresh bread. And for some reason, I get pretty excited about watching magical yeast transform a sticky paste of mostly water and flour into a soft, fluffy dough. Yes, making bread makes me happy. Very happy.

These were really good but a little small. Next time, I’ll try to flatten my dough balls a little more. Also, they were just a tad bit too dense, so I might try decreasing the flour some.

To double the recipe, double all of the ingredients except the yeast. When I double the recipe, I take the dough out of the bread machine after it’s done kneading and place it in a large bowl, so that the dough has more room to rise. If you remove it from the machine, cover the bowl with a greased sheet of plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

1/2 cup (4 oz) warm water
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active-dry yeast

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Place the  water, milk, egg, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and flour, and yeast into the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and press Start.
  2. Dust your work surface with a little flour and turn out the risen dough on top. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each into a tight ball by pulling the dough tightly around and pinching it at the bottom. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. After the rolls sit for a minute and relax, flatten each ball with the palm of your hand until it is about 4 inches wide. Let rise until they have doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Position 2 oven racks so they are not too close to the top or bottom of the oven. Mix together the egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Brush onto the tops of the rolls and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Rotate baking sheets, and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until nicely browned on the top and bottom. Let buns cool before slicing in half. Buns can be stored for 1-2 days in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from theKitchn

Here are some other hamburger bun recipes that I’m interested in trying out:
Soft Onion Sandwich Rolls
Belle’s Hamburger Buns
Seven-Grain Hamburger Buns

Cinnamon Bread

27 Aug
Like so many other yummy kitchen creations, this was the result of a lazy Saturday afternoon. It all started when my husband, oh-so casually, started off by saying, “You know what would be good…” He starts lots of trouble this way.

Cinnamon Bread

1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons softened butter, divided
Egg and milk, for brushing
  1. Place milk, eggs, 1/4 cup butter, bread flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer, select the dough setting, and start the machine. Let dough rise in the machine for an additional 30 minutes after the cycle is finished. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and punch down. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix walnuts (if using), 1/3 cup sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a rectangle about 9×14 inches. Spread 2 tablespoons of softened butter over the top of each dough rectangle and evenly sprinkle dough with half the walnut mixture. Roll dough rectangles, starting from the short ends, and pinch seams closed.
  4. Grease 2 9×5-inch loaf pans with butter. Fit the rolled loaves into the loaf pans with seam sides down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  6. Mix an egg with milk, and brush over the top of each loaf. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven. Let bread cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to finish cooling on wire racks.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Cinnamon Bread

Rosemary Focaccia

28 Jun

Rosemary Focaccia

Before I get to this recipe, I have a confession to make: I use a bread machine.

And I know you’re probably thinking: “How lame. What kind of real cook uses a bread machine?”

But before things get out of hand, let me explain. I started off feeling that way too — like using a bread machine was cheating.  However, no matter how much I tried to fight it, thoughts of bread machines kept creeping into my head. Because although I love fresh bread, I tend to be intimidated by most bread recipes. But I heard rumors that these mysterious bread machines would produce warm, carbo-loaded goodness with minimal effort effort on my part.  And in the end, I couldn’t fight the craving for fresh bread. So I broke down;  dropped a hint to my husband and he got me one for Christmas.

Now let me tell you, this bulky, not very cool-looking machine is a game changer. The most obvious reason is that I can put in  a few ingredients, set the timer, go to work, and come home to an apartment smelling of delicious bread.

But beyond that, here are some other reasons bread machines are awesome.

  1. Stand Mixer Alternative — Most dough related recipes require a stand mixer, but I don’t have one. So instead, I throw my ingredients in the bread machine, select the dough setting, and let the machine do the work. (I actually use my bread machine more often for mixing dough than for actually cooking the bread.)
  2. Less Waiting Around — A lot of bread recipes require that you knead the dough, let it rise for a while, then knead it some more (repeat a few times). So even though you’re not actively doing something the whole time, you’re still somewhat tied to your house for a few hours. The bread machine takes care of all those repeated kneadings for you.
  3. More bread, all the time — ‘nuf said

OK, now that my bread machine rant is done, back to the recipe. I’m not sure if this officially qualifies as focaccia, but I poked the little holes on top so that seems close enough. Try this quick and easy recipe, for a yummy side with dinner or as an appetizer with dipping oils.

Rosemary Focaccia

1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon flakey sea salt

  1. Place water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, garlic, 1 tablespoon rosemary, flours and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle; press Start.
  2. Remove dough from bread machine when cycle is complete. Pat dough into either a 9×13 inch greased baking pan or 12 inch pizza pan. Stretch dough so that it reaches the edges of the pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (200 degrees C). Cover foccacia with plastic wrap while oven preheats.
  4. Use your fingers to dimple the dough every inch or so. Drizzle the dough with remaining the olive oil and sprinkle with remaining rosemary and salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Adapted from allrecipes