Sunday, 20 May 2012

Bread machine versus Thermomix

OK, so I have made the jump from bread machine to Thermomix, in the role of pizza dough maker, mostly so I could make a comparison between the two. After all, I've lost count of how many other machines in my kitchen are gathering dust since my Thermomix landed! There is my coffee grinder, food processor, Kenwood mixer, blender . . . but surely not my trusty bread machine too?! Well, I am certainly having fun using the Thermomix to make both delicious and nutritious gourmet breads, but until it can push out a loaf of bread without me having to transfer dough from TM bowl to pan . . .  I'm afraid I am going to be lazy and stick with my bread machine for our everyday loaves of bread . . . but don't hold me to this :)

So, on Friday night I whipped up my spelt pizza dough in the Thermie, the same recipe I use in my bread machine. It worked just as well, but involved a little more fuss with removing the dough from the TM bowl into another bowl to prove. Timing wise, it was much the same, approximately 45 minutes to make. The Thermomix really is outstanding for bread making, it mixes the ingredients in a matter of seconds and kneads the dough (on interval speed) in just a few minutes. So the time at your Thermomix is minimal. It's the proving when you allow the dough to double in size that always takes the time, but of course there's no need to stand over your dough as it proves :) You just need to plan ahead if you're making your own pizza base. 

So which machine would I rather use? Well, realistically, it will probably depend on what other jobs I have lined up for my Thermomix. If it's available I'll use it. But if you don't have a bread machine, I definitely wouldn't be buying one to make any kind of bread or pizza dough when you have a Thermomix to handle the job!

This recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas or four smaller ones. I shaped one dough ball into a large pizza round and placed it on a pizza tray in the fridge to top later with my Thermomix prepared pizza sauce plus sliced lean ham, fresh pineapple pieces and a mix of grated parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella cheese . . . a Friday night treat for my girls. You can't go past a Hawaiian-style pizza now and then, I remember them being my favourite pizza growing up. Mum would make us her homemade version using a scone dough pizza base, but this was before the days of bread machines and of course the Thermomix TM31!

How much better do I feel serving up a wholesome Hawaiian-style pizza for my children, made with a wholemeal spelt pizza base & fresh pizza sauce! Below is my recipe for both. This is a quick tomato pizza sauce which utilises a can of tomatoes (be sure to use a good-quality one). In Hong Kong, I like to use Muir Glen Fire roasted stewed tomatoes. But hey, even better if you can stew your own fresh tomatoes, especially if you have the luxury of organic home grown ones! This recipe makes enough to generously coat the base of one large pizza with a small jar-full leftover to use for your next pizza night :)

Wholesome spelt pizza dough

330g tepid water (or use half milk of choice)
1 tsp dry yeast
40g extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
2 tsp raw caster sugar
250g white spelt bread flour
250 wholemeal spelt bread flour
1/4 mixed seeds and/or grains of choice (optional)

  1. Place the water, yeast, sugar, salt and oil into the TM bowl. Mix for 5-10 seconds on speed 4 until well mixed. 
  2. Add the flour (and seeds if using) and mix for 6 seconds on speed 8 to just combine. 
  3. Set dial to closed position. Knead the dough for 2 minutes on Interval speed.
  4. Transfer the pizza dough to your Thermomat or a floured bowl and allow to rest to double in size. I use a stainless steel bowl and place the mixture in a preheated oven at 45°C for 30-40 minutes with a damp tea towel placed over the top. Allow the dough to double in size.
  5. Divide the dough into two (approx 460g) pieces and shape into a ball. Allow to rest for a further 15 minutes on a floured tray. Shape dough balls into two large pizza bases. 
  6. Top pizza base with your favourite topping and cook in a preheated hot oven 220°C. The cooking time will depend on your topping. My oven has a setting which is supposed to be as good as a pizza oven (intense heat at 330°C) and my pizzas cook in about 8 minutes.
NOTE: If you can't find spelt bread flour, strong bread making flour will of course work too. Freeze any extra dough for another day, just wrap in plastic and seal within a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. 

Wholesome quick & easy tomato pizza sauce 

half an onion
1 garlic clove
20g extra virgin olive oil
1 x 400g can good quality crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper & sea salt to taste


  1. Chop the onion and garlic on speed 7 for 5 seconds. 
  2. Add olive oil and sauté for 2 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 1.
  3. Add tomatoes, vinegar, herbs, salt & pepper and cook for 8 minutes at 100 degrees, speed 1 or until it reaches your desired thickness. This will vary with canned tomato varieties. Place simmering basket over lid and allow sauce to thicken. 
  4. For a chunky sauce leave as is or for a smoother sauce blend on speed 5 for 10 seconds.
  5. Store extra sauce in a sterilised jar in the fridge or freeze in an ice cube tray.
no thermomix?
Sauté your finely dice onion and crushed garlic in a saucepan on the stovetop. Add all other ingredients and simmer until the sauce thickens. 

variation ideas:
For a richer sauce, add 40g semi-dried tomatoes, drained
Use fresh oregano and/or basil if you have available (1 tsp dried = 1 tbsp fresh herbs)
Add a fresh date for extra sweetness (instead of sugar)

Some yummy pizza topping ideas . . . .

  • Roasted vegetable, semi-dried tomato, fetta & rocket pizza: top your pizza with tomato pizza sauce and your choice of roasted vegetables such as red capsicum (pepper), marinated artichokes, eggplant plus semi-dried tomatoes, olives and crumbled fetta. Scatter pizza with fresh rocket leaves to serve. 
  • Smoked salmon, fetta & artichoke pizza: my sister-in-law raves about this topping combination, use the tomato pizza sauce as your base, then top with spinach leaves, smoked salmon, marinated artichokes, thinly sliced zucchini, and lastly crumbled fetta and slices of fresh bocconcini
  • Pesto & tomato: make basil pesto in your Thermomix and spread over the pizza base, top with slice tomato and (basic but gorgeous!). Sliced fresh bocconcini also goes great with this pizza!

 Find me on Facebook at Mixing it up in HK


  1. My friends have been asking me if the Thermomix is just as great for home cooks as it is for pro chefs, I would always tell them it depends on how often you cook. It’s a little pricy but if you make use of it properly and most of the time then the price shouldn’t be a problem.

  2. I would agree, it's been my experience that once you start using it, you can't stop! As I have mentioned before in my blog, it simply outperforms so many other appliances. I'm so addicted that when I find myself separated from my machine, I can't bare to do things the 'old way' . . . although I love to cook and get over it of course :)

  3. love your blog, my first trial will be english muffin! Thanks. do you have an instagram too that we can follow?

  4. Just found your blog - agree, wouldn't be without my Thermomix. In your wholesome Spelt pizza Dough - mixed seeds / grains - I'm assuming 1/4 cup - that would seem to be a suitable amount.

  5. G'day! As a new owner, I don't know HOW I lived without it ans the machine has already paid for itself in savings of time, groceries etc
    YUMre the pizza and sauce today too! :)
    Cheers! Joanne