Having a bread machine gives you the tools you need to give your family freshly baked, wholesome bread, even if you live a fast-paced and busy lifestyle. The bread machine has actually allowed a lot of busy people to take more control over their food choices as they can make their own healthy, whole-grain breads with minimal effort. A lot of these machines you just add ingredients, set it, and forget it. The machine really does all the work for you.
A bread machine has a lot more to offer than just the ability to produce a fine loaf of warm, tasty, homemade bread. Depending on the type of machine you have, you can make a whole range of food products using said machine. In addition to the many different specialty breads, many bread machines also have settings that allow you to make other things like dough for bagels and pasta, and yes, even jam.
The versatility of the bread machine
Bread machines often do not get the credit they deserve or their versatility. With this one machine, you can make a range of different types of breads—whole-wheat bread, Italian bread, flavored breads, sweet breads, and more. No matter what type of cuisine you are preparing, chances are that your bread machine will have the ability to make a tasty bread option for any meal.
A lot of people will purchase additional paddles for their bread machine so that they can take advantage of the versatility and make dough for other recipes. The bulk of the work to make homemade breads and pastas is in the kneading that is required to get the dough to the desired texture. A bread machine eliminates this hassle, doing the work of kneading for you. This takes a lot of the hassle out of making food from scratch.
You can get paddles that are designed to make pasta dough. Using your bread machine, you can take a lot of the work out of making homemade noodles of a wide range of types.
You can also make seemingly unrelated things with a bread machine as well, like jam. This comes as a surprise to many people, but it is common to see a jam setting on even a basic bread machine. Taking advantage of this feature lets you make homemade, tasty, healthy jams with ease.
What you’ll need
The great thing about making jam in your bread machine is the simplicity of the “recipe.” It is hard to call something that has so few ingredients a recipe, but for the sake of ease, that’s what we’ll call it.
First, you will (obviously) need fruit. For a basic recipe, start out with 3 cups of the fruit of your choice. Get creative—try strawberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, or even a mix and match of a number of different kinds of fruit. Basically, you can just choose your favorite type of fruit to see how tasty a jam it can make. Favorites are, of course, strawberries and raspberry, but there are even recipes for spicy jam, like jalapeño.
Additionally, you will also need sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. Pectin is often found in powdered form and is what is needed to help the jam set to the desired consistency. You can play around with the amount of sugar you want to use as everyone has slightly different tastes; some people like things sweeter than others and the sweetness of fruit can also vary, perhaps requiring more or less sugar than at other times.
You will also need jars, lids, or another means of storing the jam when you have finished making it and letting it cool. This really is all you need to make healthy, tasty, homemade jam.
Making jam in a bread machine
You will first need to prepare the fruit you have chosen. After thoroughly washing the fruit, you will want to peel it (if they have skin), and cut the fruit up into smaller pieces if necessary. Then, using a fork or a potato masher, squish the fruit. The ultimate texture is up to you. If you like more chunks of fruit in your jam, you can leave larger pieces of whole fruit, or you can really squash it if you like a smoother jam.
Once the fruit is prepared, put all the ingredients in the bread machine. Not all recipes require pectin, but it is often recommended as a way to get the texture and consistency that most people like. While the jam will set a bit more in the refrigerator, most people use pectin when making jam and you add it to the recipe at this stage in the process.
Then, select the jam setting on the machine and let it do its thing. Once the jam cycle is complete, you will want to use an oven mitt to remove the well containing the jam. You can then portion it into jars or whatever storage solution you choose. After letting the jars cool completely, cap and then put them in the refrigerator.
A bread machine is a very versatile kitchen tool that opens the door to a whole array of homemade food options with a lot of the work removed. One of the biggest perks of the bread machine is that it takes the effort, time, and work out of making homemade bread. All you have to do is put the ingredients in the machine, select a few settings, and it does the rest. This has made delicious homemade bread available to even the busiest kitchen newbie.
You can also make lots of other things in your bread machine, including tasty jam. The flavor possibilities are endless and you can mix and match, and try out unique combinations until you find your favorite. Regardless of what type of jam you make, with a bread machine, it is as simple as adding a few ingredients to the machine and hitting the right setting.