Back to the Basics – Baking Your Own Bread!

Filed under :Bread Machine, Small Kitchen Applicances

 

I have found that I save so much time (and effort) in the kitchen with a few small “appliances” that I have purchased.  These appliances help me because not only do they save time (that I can spend doing something else), but because they make tasks easier – so much easier that I don’t mind doing what I need to do!  Let me explain….

I have a bread machine – actually, this is the 3rd bread machine that I’ve owned in the last 17 years.  Yes, I wear them out to say the least.  I definitely get my money’s worth out of my bread machine so I don’t mind spending the money to purchase a quality machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do I like about using my bread machine?  Here’s my list:

  • It’s SUPER EASY to use – and it saves me SO MUCH TIME!
  • I can provide FRESH bread for my family every day if I want to
  • The ingredients for fresh bread are so much better (and LESS) than the pre-baked, packaged bread at the grocery store
  • I can make fresh bread for less money
  • I can make use of the staples when rotating my LONG TERM food storage
  • There are so many other “meals” and recipes that I can put together using baked bread

Do you bake bread?  Do you own a bread machine?  How often do you use your bread machine?

If you don’t currently own a bread machine, they are quite easy to find at garage sales and flea markets for a good price.  I would suggest buying one “used” first (if you are wanting to try one) or maybe even borrowing a family member’s machine that they are not using.  Try making just a traditional white bread the first time you use it.   See how well your family members like fresh-baked bread….

Now for the EXTRA information about bread machines!  A little about the mechanics of the machine.  All of the bread machines that I’ve owned have a “kneader” in the bottom of the baking pan that spins around, mixes the ingredients and kneads the dough.   The only other part of the bread machine that requires any cleaning at all is the baking pan.  And, these items can be removed from the machine and washed very easily in the sink.  All of the bread machines that I’ve owned have all had a “non-stick” interior that makes removing the baked bread from the pan very easy.  Just always be careful NOT TO SCRATCH the interior.  As far as the outside of the machine, I just use a damp dishcloth to keep it wiped down.

Next, I want to talk about how easy it is to use the bread machine and how much time it can save you.  The only items you will need from your utensils is a measuring cup, a teaspoon and a tablespoon.  That’s the only items that I have to wash in preparing my ingredients for the bread machine — no rolling pin, no rolling mat, and the best thing is that I don’t get flour all over the counter LOL   This is because all of the ingredients go directly into the machine and the machine does all the work for me.   I measure the ingredients and place them (in order) into the bread machine.  Then select the settings and hit the START button.  The machine does the rest – all of the mixing, the kneading, the rising and the baking.  I probably spend the most amount of time using the bread machine in just getting out and putting up the ingredients!

FRESH bread for my family every day if I want — yes, it’s that easy!  And it’s really fast because I can place the ingredients in the machine, select the settings and forget about it until I hear the BEEP BEEP BEEP that signals the bread is ready.

The ingredients — well, let me just put it this way…. less is better!  If you have a loaf of store-bought bread in your pantry, then read the ingredient list.  Now, compare it to the ingredient list for my traditional white bread:  flour, water, sugar, salt, yeast, butter, dry milk    Impressive, eh?  Yes, most of the ingredients are items that you have every day in your kitchen!

The price?  Well, the price of bread at the supermarket has really jumped in the last year.    And since I buy my staples in bulk (flour, sugar, dry milk) I get lower prices for my ingredients – this makes the price of my homemade, fresh-baked bread even less!    Do a price comparison of store-bought bread versus your homemade bread to see how much you would save per loaf.

LONG TERM food storage…. yes, most of the ingredients for fresh, homemade bread come straight from your long-term food storage pantry.  For example, these ingredients come from your long-term storage:

  • flour (10 year food storage when packaged in mylar bags with oxygen absorber),
  • sugar (30 year food storage when packaged in mylar bags with oxygen absorber),
  • salt,
  • dry milk (30 year food storage when packaged in mylar bags with oxygen absorber)

Only the yeast and butter will come from your refrigerator…

What other meals, food items or recipes can you make with your bread machine?  Oh my, the list is long… for this I will write several blog posts!  So stay tuned :-)