A bread machine has simplified and automated the bread-making process by doing the kneading, rising, and bread baking process for homeowners. This kitchen appliance is typically made up of a motor, heating element, lid, control panel, display, tin, and kneading paddle. Similar to a compact oven, the heating element inside the bread machine, which heats up to 350°F (175°C), can be used to:
- Make bread
- Scramble eggs
- Cook rice
- Bake cinnamon rolls
Bread machines will usually have a 1-pound loaf to 3-pound loaf capacity. This kitchen appliance is available in 1-pound, 1 ½-pound, 2-pound, 2 ½-pound, and 3-pound loaf capacities. Typically single and couple homeowners can use a 1-pound bread maker while a family of 2 people to 4 people will benefit from a 1 ½-pound to 2-pound capacity bread machine.
A mid-range bread machine will cost $100 to $150 and will have 2 to 3 loaf size settings, a viewing window, a timer, keep warm settings, and a quick bake mode. For instance, a bread machine that costs $120 to $200 will benefit from a stainless steel appliance. For a bread maker that is $150, there are gluten-free bread-making options and fast baking cycles. On the other hand, high-end models will cost you at least $300 but will have crust settings, an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, additional mixing paddles, a sourdough starter program, and other cooking programs.
Running on 500 watts to 1500 watts, a standard bread machine baking one loaf of bread will cost $0.05. Compared to purchasing a loaf of white bread at the local grocery store which can cost $2.99 to $5.99, baking the same bread at home taking the ingredients and electricity consumption into consideration will cost $1.33 to $3.36. A bread maker is more energy-efficient than an electric oven as the total cost of baking a loaf of bread in an electric oven costs $1.52 to $3.56. However, these prices will vary and depend on the model, program, setting, and food that will be cooked or baked in the appliance.
This is because a bread machine can be used to cook meatloaf or whip up sauces and dips. Another way to use this appliance is to make fruit jam overnight or knead and bake bagel dough. The other use cases of a bread machine include:
1. Chocolate Cake
A bread machine can be used to bake a chocolate cake. To make the chocolate cake batter, soften butter in a microwave-safe container. In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk in flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When the batter is homogenous, fold in chocolate chips. Pour the cake batter into the bread machine pan and put it into the appliance. Close the lid and use the Cake or Quick Bread settings. If you can choose a crust setting, select Light Color and choose a weight of 2 lb. Change the mixing and baking time to 1:40 hours or 1:55 hours.
When the cycle has run, remove the bread pan from the bread maker and let it cool for 10 minutes. Afterward, transfer the chocolate cake onto a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely for 1 hour to 2 hours.
Another way to use a bread maker is to cook meatloaf with it. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs. In a big mixing bowl, add your ground beef, onions, mushroom, and egg. Stir in seasoning with a wooden spoon or spatula.
To prepare the bread machine for the meatloaf, remove the kneading blades. Pour the meatloaf mixture into the bread machine pan and press it down using a spatula. Set the appliance to Bake and let the cycle run for 40 minutes. When the meatloaf is done cooking, transfer it to a dish and let it rest for 10 minutes. While the meatloaf is cooling down, whisk together with your favorite pasta sauce, mustard powder, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Pour the tomato sauce on your meatloaf and serve.
Also, a bread maker can be used to knead batter and make scones. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and spray a light layer of non-stick cooking oil onto a baking sheet. In the bread machine pan, add milk, butter, egg, baking powder, salt, sugar, and flour. Placing the bread pan into the bread machine, securely shut the lid and choose the pizza, cookie dough, or pasta setting if possible. These programs do not have a rising cycle and are best for scones.
However, if you do not have any of these programs, select the dough setting and take out the scone batter before the rising cycle starts. After the dough has been mixed by the bread machine, sprinkle flour onto a flat surface and roll it out until the dough has a thickness of ½ an inch. Cut into wedges and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes before transferring to a plate and dusting with powdered sugar.
A bread machine is an appliance that can be used as a jam maker. To make strawberry jam, chop up strawberries and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Transfer the strawberries into the bread pan along with sugar, pectin, and lemon juice. Select the Jam setting and let the cycle run. When the cycle has finished, pour the strawberry jam into a bowl or let it cool before pouring it into a blender. Use the Pulse button to get rid of any strawberry chunks before pouring the jam into sterilized jam jars. Let the strawberry jam cool and let it cool and thicken in the refrigerator.
5. Soup and Stew
Also, a bread machine can be used to make soup and stew. To make a tomato soup with cream, add the kneading paddles into the bread pan before adding melted butter, oil, flour, and chopped onions into the pan. Use the Jam cycle for 15 minutes for the machine to mix and sauté the ingredients.
After 15 minutes, add a can of tomato purée, thyme, basil, salt, black pepper, sugar, baking soda, and chicken broth into the bread machine pan. Let the Jam cycle run for another 45 minutes. In a small pot, heat up light cream and evaporated milk on Low heat. When the cycle has run, use an immersion blender to break up any chunks then pour in the cream. Transfer to bowls and serve.
6. Scrambled Eggs
Alternatively, a bread maker can cook scrambled eggs. Coat the bread pan with a thin layer of non-stick cooking oil. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Pour the eggs into the bread pan and choose the Jam setting. Let the cycle run for 15 minutes before stirring the eggs and transferring them to a plate.
A bread machine can double as a rice maker. Simply pour in the rice, water, and salt if preferred, and set the machine to the Bake function. After one hour, scoop rice onto plates and serve.
For rice pudding, add the rice, milk, sugar, butter, egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and cinnamon into the bread pan with the kneading paddles in place. Select the Jam program and let the program run. When the rice pudding is done, transfer to bowls and consume immediately or let the rice pudding chill in the refrigerator before serving.
An alternate use for the bread machine is to utilize its yogurt-making capability. Place both kneading paddles into the bread pan and pour in 1 liter of fresh milk and 3 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons of yogurt or yogurt culture powder. Lightly stir the mixture before closing the lid of your bread machine. Select the Yogurt cycle and let it run. When the cycle is complete, scoop out your homemade yogurt into a sterilized jar and tightly secure the lid. Keep refrigerated and consume within 1 week to weeks.
9. Sauce and Dip
The bread machine is an appliance that can be used to make sauces and dips at home. To make tomato sauce, thoroughly rinse plump tomatoes before tossing them into the bread pan. Add garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, sugar, and a dash of red wine vinegar into the bread machine pan as well. Select the Jam setting and let the cycle run. When the cycle has run, use an immersion blender to make a smoother tomato sauce if you do not want a chunky sauce.
A bread maker is alternatively a pasta machine. To make pasta dough in the bread machine, add flour, salt, oil, and eggs into the bread pan with the kneading paddles inside. Select the Dough setting and let the cycle run. After 10 minutes or so, take out the pasta dough and divide it into 8 pieces to 10 pieces. Feed each chunk of pasta dough through your pasta maker.
In a pot, bring salted water to a boil. Toss the pasta into the boiling water and let it cook for 3 minutes before draining the pasta. Serve with the preferred sauce and serve.
Also, noodles can be made in the bread machine. To make udon noodles, add salt to ice water in a small bowl. Insert the kneading paddles into the bread pan. In a mixing bowl, sift the whole wheat flour before transferring it to the bread pan. Add the salted water into the bread machine pan. Shutting the lid, use the Dough program, and let it run. After about an hour, remove the udon noodle dough from the bread pan. Shape the udon dough into a ball and let it rest in a ziplock bag for 2 hours.
After the udon dough has rested, dust a flat surface with cornflour and place the udon dough onto it. Sprinkle the udon dough with cornflour and roll it out into a thin rectangular layer. Cut the dough into strips and dust the noodles with more cornflour to prevent them from sticking together. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the udon noodles for 6 minutes to 8 minutes. Afterward, drain the noodles and rinse them under running water. Serve with dashi soup and top with seaweed or egg.
Another food you can make in the bread machine is pretzels. Add the water, butter, sugar, salt, flour, and dry yeast to the bread pan then select the Dough setting. When the Dough cycle is complete, transfer the pretzel dough onto a floured surface. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray a light layer of non-stick cooking oil onto the baking pan as well.
Divide the pretzel dough into 6 pieces to 8 pieces and roll them out into 18-inch to 20-inch ropes. Shape the dough into a U and cross the ends over 1 time to 2 times. Bring down the end towards you, and fold downwards. Press down on the intersection to get the traditional pretzel shape. In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to boil. Slowly add baking soda into the water and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Place 1 pretzel to 2 pretzels into the water and cook for 30 seconds. Flip over the pretzels and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer pretzels to the lined and greased baking sheet.
Whisk together an egg and 1 tsp of water in a small bowl. Brush the pretzels with the egg wash and sprinkle salt on top. Bake the pretzels for 10 minutes to 12 minutes. Afterward, let them cool and brush with melted butter.
Alternatively, a bread machine can be used to make pizza. To make the pizza dough, add flour, softened butter, sugar, yeast, salt, and warm water (105°F to 110°F or 40.5°C to 43.3°C) into the bread pan. Use the Dough setting and let the cycle run. Check on your pizza dough halfway and add water if it is too dry and flour if it is too sticky using 1 tsp increments.
When the cycle is done, take the pizza dough out and transfer it onto a floured surface. Roll out the dough and transfer it onto a greased or lined pizza pan. Brush the dough with olive oil, add tomato sauce, cheese, meat, or vegetables, and bake it in the oven at 400°F (204°C) to 425°F (218.3°C) for 18 minutes to 25 minutes.
14. Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon rolls are another dessert that can be made in the bread machine. Place warm milk, 2 eggs, ⅓ cup of melted margarine, 4 ½ cups of bread flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of white sugar, and 2 ½ teaspoons of yeast into the bread pan with the kneading paddles in place. Select the Dough cycle and let it run. After the dough has been mixed and kneaded, let it rest on a floured surface, covered, for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll out the dough into a 21-inch by 16-inch rectangle and brush with butter. Sprinkle an even layer of brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Roll up the dough and cut it into 10 rolls to 12 rolls. Grease a baking pan and place the cinnamon rolls in it. Let the cinnamon rolls rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). After ½ an hour, place the cinnamon rolls into the oven and let them bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, beat together butter, confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla extract. When the cinnamon rolls are done baking, top with frosting and serve.
The bread machine can double as a doughnut maker. Place the following ingredients in specified order into the bread pan: milk, water, butter, egg, sugar, salt, flour, and yeast. Close the bread machine’s lid and select the Dough program. When the cycle has run, transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out the doughnut dough until it is about ½ an inch thick. Dust the doughnut batter with flour and cut out 10 doughnuts to 12 doughnuts. Transfer the donuts onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and cover them with a tea towel.
After letting the doughnuts rise for 30 minutes to 40 minutes, heat up a pot or deep fryer of vegetable oil to 375°F (190.5°C). Fry 2 doughnuts to 3 doughnuts at a time for 3 minutes, flipping halfway through frying. Transfer cooked doughnuts onto a rack or plate lined with paper towels. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
Cheesecake is another dessert that can be made by the bread maker. With the kneading paddles attached to the bread pan, add the eggs, cream cheese (softened), sour cream, vanilla extract, and sugar. Closing the lid, select the Cake program, and choose either the Regular or Medium crust setting.
While the cheesecake is baking, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted margarine in a small bowl. When the bread machine’s display reads that there is an hour left before the program is complete, open up the machine and spoon the graham cracker mixture on top of the cheesecake in an even layer. Gently press in the crust, close the lid, and let the Cake cycle finish. After the cycle has finished, transfer the cake onto a cooling rack. After the cake has cooled completely, turn over the bread pan onto a plate to take the cheesecake out. Let the cheesecake chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with strawberry or blueberry sauce.
The most common way to use a bread machine is to make a loaf of bread with it. TO make a loaf of white bread, add water, sugar, salt, olive oil, bread flour, and yeast into the bread pan with the kneading paddles in place. Use the White Bread program and let the cycle run. When the bread is done mixing and baking, transfer the loaf onto a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve.
Also, the bread maker can be used to make bagels. For the bagel dough, add water, sugar, salt, flour, and yeast into the bread machine pan. Choose the Dough setting and let the program run. After the dough has been mixed and kneaded, transfer the dough onto a floured surface and let it rest. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. There should be 3 quarts to 4 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons of sugar.
Cut the dough into 8 pieces to 10 pieces and roll each piece into a small ball. Flatten the balls and poke a hole through the middle. Enlarge the dough’s hole by twirling it and covering the bagels with a tea towel. Let it rest for 10 minutes before boiling them in the pot for 1 minute. Make sure to turn the bagels over halfway before draining them on a wire rack. Arrange boiled bagels onto a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Brush the bagels with an egg white wash Bake the bagels in the oven at 375°F (190.5°C) for 20 minutes to 20 minutes.
Common Mistakes for Bread Machine Usage
There are a few mistakes that people make when they are learning how to use a bread machine. These common errors include:
- Not checking on the dough or other food that you are using the bread machine for. It is important to check on dough or other food that you are making in the bread machine so that you can make adjustments as needed. For instance, you can add flour to dough that is too wet.
- Putting ingredients into the bread maker in the wrong order. While bread machines are used to mix, knead, and bake bread, it is recommended by manufacturers to add ingredients to the bread pan in a certain order. This is so that yeast is activated properly and the bread will rise and bake well. The rule of thumb is that you add liquid and wet ingredients first before adding the dry ingredients into the bread pan.
- Using inaccurate measurements. Using the exact measurements as outlined in recipes is important. Weigh out ingredients on a digital scale for more accuracy.
- Disregarding the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. The dough can take longer to proof in a cool kitchen. Ultimately, this will result in flavorless bread because the bread machine’s cycle will continue with its regular program but the yeast in your dough has not activated well.
- Leaving the kneading paddles in the appliance. It is recommended to take out the kneading paddles after the Kneading part of a cycle so that the bread does not have holes at the bottom after baking.
- Not cleaning the bread machine properly. When the kneading paddles or bread machine pan has not been cleaned properly, ingredients that are stuck on these parts can go bad and affect the taste of the bread you are baking or other food you are cooking in the appliance.
- Attaching the kneading paddles incorrectly. Make sure to securely attach the kneading paddles for every use case. This way, the bread maker will work properly every time.
- Substituting ingredients without adjusting the rest of the recipe. While it is possible to substitute certain ingredients for gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar-free recipes, you will need to make sure that the entire recipe is adjusted accordingly. As long as the liquid to dry ingredient ratio is balanced, your bread should bake well.
Avoid these mistakes when using the bread machine for different types of bread or the use cases above.
History of Usage of Bread Machines
To understand what a bread machine is today, let us look into the appliance’s history. Before the first bread machine, Joseph Lee invented the machine that handled bread. This machine would crumble bread that was at least a day old so that it could be used for coatings instead of cracker crumbs. Lee’s machine tore, crumbled, and ground bread into breadcrumbs. This machine was used by catering establishments as well as hotels in the 1900s in America.
Then in 1902, Lee patented a more advanced bread machine so that bakers were more time-efficient and baked bread in a more hygienic manner. This bread machine mixed and kneaded the dough for bakers. By the 1950s, this bread machine was a staple in a majority of the bakers. Homeowners would only adopt this machine in 1986. Lee’s invention is the basis of the bread machine’s on the market today with models made out of different materials, have various settings, and sizes.
Does the Use Cases of a Bread Machine Change Based on Type
Yes, the use cases of a bread machine change based on the type of bread machine purchased. There are non-stick, alarm, whole wheat, adjustable, programmable, delayed start, auto shut off, direct motor, jam-maker, rapid bake, and gluten-free bread machines available.
What Bread Machine is Best for Gluten-Free Bread
The best bread machine for gluten-free bread is a gluten-free bread machine. This type of bread machine has specific temperatures, time settings, and conditions that cater to gluten-free ingredients.
What Has More Use Cases an Oven or a Bread Machine
Comparing both appliances, bread machine vs. oven, an oven has more use cases. While a bread maker can mix and knead ingredients which an oven is not designed to do, an oven can be used to crisp, defrost, dry, reheat, roast, slow cook, steam, and toast food.
Other Kitchen Tools with Various Used Cases Similar to Bread Machine
Other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to a bread machine are:
Stand Mixer: A stand mixer has a bowl and motor which has various attachments that can be used to mix, whisk, and knead ingredients.
Pizza Oven: While primarily used for pizza, a pizza oven can also be used to bake desserts, pastries, and bread.
Multi-cooker: This appliance has different programs and settings to bake, boil, roast, steam, grill, and sauté different food.
Dutch Oven: Made up of a heavy pot and lid, this kitchen tool is typically used for artisan loaves and will bake or cook bread at high temperatures.
Air Fryer: This appliance is made up of a chamber and uses air heated at high temperatures to bake, fry, heat up, and cook food.
These kitchen appliances have similar uses to a bread machine but have use cases specific to themselves. You can learn more about the 5 other uses of these 5 kitchen tools here.