If it's warm, we want to be outside, on the patio or deck. We want to eat outside, be with family or friends outside.
Today, we'll give you some suggestions for for patio meals using bread machine mixes. The advantage of bread machine mixes is that you can push a button and go. You don't have to spend much time in the kitchen. You can in move your bread machine to the patio.
If you're making hamburger buns or pigs in a blanket, you can do the prep work on the patio. If you have a grill with a lid and a temperature gauge, you can do your baking on the patio.
Pigs in a Blanket Using Favorite Bread Machine Mixes
Pigs in a blanket make great summertime food, either on the deck or on a picnic. You can bake them in the oven or cook them on the deck. You can eat them hot or cold. (We usually think of pigs hot, but they work cold as long as you bake them first.) You can even reheat them in the microwave.
I’m talking about hot dogs or brats baked in bread dough though you can make pigs with cocktail sausages, with refrigerator dough, or biscuit dough.
And before you start, let me share with you our favorite breads for pigs:
By the way, these bread machine mixes also make scrumptious hamburger buns. The directions are in the second section of this article.
Baking Pigs on the Grill
You’re missing some summer fun if you’re not baking on your grill. It’s not hard if you have a cover on your grill (although you can rig a large pan or bucket to place over the food and act as a cover). Some grills have a thermometer. Different grills bake differently. You just have to learn your grill.
The biggest challenge with many grills is the heat more intense closest to the flame. The lid captures the heat to mimic an oven. The heat naturally rises and few grills have a fan to circulate the heat.
If your grill is too hot on the rack closest to the flame, and most are, there are several remedies you can try to see what works best on your grill:
• Turn the heat down low so there is just a flicker of a flame. The lid will still capture the heat enough to bake.
• Take two large baking sheets and stack them together. Then place the bread pan, pizza pan, or other pan on the double sheets. The large baking pans force the heat to travel around the sheets and the double pans provide insulation between the sheets even though the edges are open. If you slip something between the sheets to hold them, say one inch, apart, you will create more insulation.
• Put something under the pizza pan to hold the food further from the heat. A couple of bricks will do.
It sounds like a lot of trouble. It’s not. And it’s worth it. You only have to figure it out once.
Now that you have it figured out, you can bake your pigs just like you do in the kitchen.
The Basic Pig Recipe
Making and prepping the dough is not quick because you must let the bread rise. But if you have a bread machine, it doesn’t take much—you can do something else while the bread is rising.
If you don’t have a bread machine, use your stand-type mixer and the dough hook.
Choose the dough setting; it’s program 8 on most machines. It only takes a few minutes, but the machine needs about an hour and half to knead and let the dough rise in the machine.
After you get the dough from the machine, roll it out, slice it, wrap the pigs, and let the dough rise. Again, it’s not quick but you don’t have to invest much of your time.
- Any bread mix of your choice
- 18 hot dogs (can be halved for smaller pigs) or 36 sausages
- 2 tablespoons dough relaxer (optional for more manageable dough)
- Mustard (or preferred dip or spread)
- Sliced cheese (optional)
- Mix the bread dough according to package instructions in a stand mixer with a dough hook for about five minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and stretchy. Or use your bread machine.
- Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Let it relax for ten minutes and roll it again if needed. Cut it into circles or rectangles sized to wrap around your hot dogs.
- Cut a slit in each hot dog lengthwise and put the sliced cheese into the slit.
- If you want to use a condiment, such as mustard, spread it onto each dough piece, leaving a clean border along the long edges to squeeze the dough together. Place the hot dog in the center.
- Wrap the dough around the hot dog, pressing the edges together where they overlap, and repeat until each pig has a blanket. Let it rise for about 30-45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until the dough just start to brown.