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You know how I used to make bread or buns? I’d get the frozen stuff from the grocery store. For bread, I just shoved it into a loaf pan. For buns, I let it defrost to where I could cut through it with a sharp knife then bunch them together like buns!

Cuisinart CBK-200 2-Pound Convection Automatic Breadmaker

Both outcomes were great and yummy but not exactly the healthiest. Even in that version there are still some additives and stuff I don’t put in my homemade recipes.

So for Christmas a couple of years ago, I used my Christmas money to purchase what turned out to be the BEST small appliance in my kitchen – a bread machine (my Crock Pot runs a very a close second).

My newest machine is a Cuisinart with Convection that I absolute love. I don’t know how many of you have tried one of these babies out but the idea of the machine is to mix, knead, rise and bake your loaf all in the same machine!

Yeah, yeah…I know there are some foodies out there who think if you aren’t interacting with the ingredients and the dough that it isn’t really baking. I can do it both ways this just saves me time, mess (which takes time to clean) and lets me do a bunch of other things while it’s doing all the work for me!

Plus all the kiddos around here–from Soph all the way to Jaimie–can help put the ingredients in there!

The machine has a digital display that shows you the number of your bread setting, crust color, loaf size and minute-by-minute countdown! And there’s a button for each of those displays too (loaf size, crust color and menu) so you can customize your bread. We use the ‘Dough’ setting most often. And our favorite dough to make is pizza dough!

Make Pizza in Your Bread Machine

Every Friday around here is pizza night. Up until we started our new ‘addititive-free’ way of eating, we bought one of those Quick-Rise frozen pizzas. I don’t think I have to tell you how shocked I was to see all the crap that goes into those!

So began my quest of making the perfect pizza dough and sauce that our kiddos would eat that was ‘as good as’ the frozen stuff. After many, many trial versions, I finally created ‘Mama’s Perfect Pizza’ for the breadmaker. I’ll share my recipe with you but…shhhhh….don’t tell anyone.

Okay, I actually stole…er…borrowed…the recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie at Home ” cookbook and tweaked it to make it my own. I don’t think he’d mind.

Make Pizza in Your Bread Machine
Bread Machine Pizza
Make Your Pizza Dough in Your Machine!
2 1/2 cups warm water not hot
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 big sprinkle sea salt
7 cups flour we use 5whole wheat and 2 all-purpose and sometimes add in flaxseed flour but you could use any flour like rice, corn or your fav. Make it your own!
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast they have brands specifically for bread makers
US Imperial

Combine all of the ingredients listed above in order in the bread mixer.
After you get everything in there, close the lid, find your 'Dough' setting and let it go to work. Once the cycle is over, dump the dough out on a floured surface and squish it a few times to beat it down, getting out all those air bubbles.

Then let it rise again for about 10 minutes--just cover it up with a big mixing bowl. Once it's risen back up again your only limited by your own imagination! We've made regular pizzas (this recipe can probably make about 5 or 6 medium pizzas), calzones, pizza sticks and other yummy things. I like to divide the dough into four blobs, using two fresh then freezing the other two.

For the sauce, I use fresh tomatoes in the summer and canned crushed tomatoes and tomato paste in the winter (once the tomatoes we've frozen are all gone!) All you do is heat up a pot on medium heat then pour a couple of rounds of EVOO in the bottom. Once your oil is heated up (when you see ripples in the oil) put a couple of cloves of minced garlic in there (I like using my fine grater so the garlic blends in a little better and the kids don't find those little chunkies of garlic).

After a few minutes dump a large can of crushed tomatoes (796 ml) and a larger can of tomato paste (369 ml) in with the garlic. Stir that up, add in your favorite herbs (I like an Italian blend with TONS of oregano and basil), a bit of sugar, salt and pepper and you're laughing.
Recipe Notes
For a crispier crust, you can try a pizza stone or a cast iron or carbon steel pizza pan.

For the fussy eaters in my house, this is a favorite…they don’t even like the fast-food stuff anymore!!

So give it a try and see what you can come up with. (BTW: Chef Oliver would probably tell you that making it with your hands is much better and more fun. I prefer this way because, like my Jaimie, I don’t always like getting my hands dirty.)

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