These soft and chewy bread sticks remind me of the ones at Olive Garden with one big difference. They will be hot and fresh when I eat them because I can bake them myself. But I wouldn’t go to the trouble very often if I didn’t have a bread machine. By now, I hope you have been convinced to try mixing and kneading bread dough in a bread machine. If you have purchased or somehow obtained a machine, it’s time to master a few simple recipes. With the holidays approaching, you may be wondering how to mix up Granny’s roll recipe or Aunt Mabel’s famous bread in your bread machine.
Converting most recipes is rather simple if you keep in mind a few rules.
- If the original recipe contains more than 3-4 cups of flour, you must reduce the entire recipe to the amount your machine can handle (average is 3 to 3-1/2 cups). Check the manual if you aren’t sure.
- For every 3-4 cups of flour, you will need 1-1/8 to 1-1/4 cups liquid. This comes out to roughly 3/8 cup liquid per 1 cup flour. If eggs are included in the recipe, one large egg is equal to a scant 1/4 cup liquid. If other wet ingredients are called for such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, sour cream, etc, regard them as half liquid.
- Put all wet ingredients in the pan first, followed by the flour, and then yeast.
- The first few times you try a recipe, hold back at least 1/4 to 1/3 of the liquid and add it only as needed. The dough should make a tacky ball that sticks to the side briefly, then pulls away. Make a note of how much liquid you actually used for future reference. This can/may change slightly according to level of humidity in your kitchen. If you have already added too much liquid, add flour one tablespoon at a time until dough reaches proper consistency.
EXCEPTION: Refrigerator rolls or bread where you mix the dough and put it in the refrigerator to rise don’t seem to work so well in a bread machine. The dough is extremely sticky and is “kneaded” or mixed better in a stand mixer such as a Kitchen Aid. If you have had good luck with this type of recipe in your bread machine, PLEASE tell me about it. A few weeks ago, I saw a recipe for Soft Garlic Rolls on Annie’s Eats. A commenter asked Annie if they could be made in a bread machine. I knew instantly it would be an easy recipe to adapt so I tried it. Worked perfectly. This is the original ingredient list given by Annie as adapted from a recipe from King Arthur Flour.
Soft Garlic Knots
Ingredients 3 cups bread flour 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons instant yeast 1-1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup milk 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water Glaze 2 cloves garlic 3 tablespoons melted butter 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (To see Annie’s instructions for making in a stand mixer and her excellent photo tutorial for forming dough into knots, click here. I am usually in too big of a hurry for the fancy rolls and prefer these quicker bread sticks for everyday eating.) HOW I ADAPTED THE RECIPE:
- Reverse order of ingredients so water is first. Flour will be next to last with yeast being the final ingredient added.
- No need to reduce this recipe–my machine will handle 3 cups of flour just fine. Yours probably will too.
- Add up the liquid in the original recipe and you get 1-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons. That’s likely too much for a bread machine. I cut the milk in half and subtracted 2 tablespoons water leaving me with 1-1/8 cup liquid-theoretically perfect according to principle #2. (Oil and butter are not included in liquid measurement)
Warning: This is a beginner’s guide–a good place to start. Substituting different kinds of flour makes the game more interesting but also more complicated with less predictable results until you have some experience.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 clove of garlic (reduced from original recipe)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Place ingredients in order listed into bread machine pan saving ¼ cup of liquid. Select dough cycle. After about 5 minutes, lift the lid as machine continues to knead and add water 1 tablespoon at a time, as necessary, until dough forms into a ball but remains tacky. When cycle is completed and dough has risen, remove from bread pan.
- Divide dough in half and shape into two balls. Roll out each ball into a 7 x 9-inch rectangle. Use a pizza cutter or large sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 8 strips. See picture above. Twist each strip to disguise imperfections and place side-by-side on greased baking sheet or one covered with baking paper or silicone mat. Allow to rise until almost double.
- Brush with glaze, sprinkle with sea salt and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.