Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Kitchen Gadget 3. Bread Maker

We eat quite a lot of bread, lovely fresh bread. For a while we made it all by hand (with a little help from our trusty Kenwood Chef), but then one day we were offered a bread machine that was gathering dust in a friends kitchen and we've never looked back. We're now onto our second having worn out that first gift.

While we do regularly use it's normal cycles, we also love it's range of dough cycles. This gives us the flexibility to make more unusual loaves and achieve a range of bakes but saves us having to do any of the hard work! The machine will mix, knead and hold the dough at the right temperature to get a good rise all with the push of a button. All that leaves us to do is to turn it out, pop it in a tin or on a tray with any added flavours and put it in the oven. We can have the satisfaction of making bread ourselves, without having to pay much attention to the process.

One thing we find it very useful for is pizza dough. The shortest dough cycle on our machine is 45mins long so we can get this on when we get home from work without having to wait hours for our dinner. While we don't claim to have done anything particularly original here we thought we'd share what we do when homemade pizza is on the cards.

Homemade Pizza (with doughball starter)
Serves 4

500g White Bread Flour
6g (bread machine friendly) Yeast
6g Salt
15g Sunflower Oil
300ml Water

1 500g carton Passata
A large handful of Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 ball Mozzarella

Plus toppings of your choice. We went for:
2 Mushrooms
1 Red Pepper
1 slice of chunky Ham

1. Put the flour, yeast, salt, oil and water into your bread machine and put it on a short dough cycle (ours happens to be labelled "pizza dough" - but we use it whenever we just need a quick turnaround).

2. While the bread machine is running, empty the passata into a saucepan and leave on a low heat to simmer in order to thicken it a little. A whole carton of passata is too much but we cook the whole lot down and then pop the spare in the fridge to add to whatever our next tomato needing meal is.

Once the bread machine has finished and the passata has thickened:
3. Preheat the oven to 220C.

4. Empty the dough out of the bread machine onto a floured surface. Bring it into a ball and then split into three fairly equal sized pieces.

5. Split the first piece of dough into 8 small balls and place on a lightly oiled tray. Put these in the oven. They will bake for approximately 10mins.

6. Roll out the remaining two pieces of dough as thin as you can that will fit on your baking trays. We use non-stick silicon baking sheets between our baking trays and our pizza at this stage - but if you don't have them then just remember to grease your baking trays to make things easier later.

7. Spread a thin layer of the passata over the rolled out dough. Add a thin layer of grated cheese followed by torn mozzarella pieces to the tomato. Finish with your choice of toppings.

8. Hopefully your doughballs will now be cooked and looking a good golden brown colour. Take them out of the oven and put your pizza in.

Enjoy your doughballs with a little butter. 

9. After 10 mins check your pizza. Hopefully it should be starting to look cooked by now. If the dough is starting to feel stable at this point we slide it off the baking tray onto the oven shelf and leave it for another 3-4 mins. This helps to produce a crispier base.

10. Once the pizza crust is looking golden, the cheese bubbly and the toppings cooked then your pizza is done. Remove it from the oven and enjoy.


  1. It looks delicious. I've never made pizza from scratch, I wonder if my bread maker has a dough setting.

  2. Mike will love this, I've sent him the link to print off. Thanks Jenny!

  3. Reading this has left me with a yearning for home made pizza and dough!!!! xxx

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post - maybe pizza is on the menu for next week?


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