Bread Machine Love

Oh how I love my bread machine!  A few simple ingredients, a press of a button and four hours later (if not sooner) I have fresh homemade bread with no preservatives, no additives, and it is considerably less expensive than what I would pay in the grocery store.

Perhaps you are intimidated by thought of learning to use a bread machine, or perhaps you have tried it out and ended up with bread that more resembled bricks than bread at the end of the process, so you have “retired” your machine to the deepest recesses of your cupboards…..or perhaps you have even became so disillusioned that you kicked it to the curb.  I would encourage you to give it another chance. 

Here are some tips that have helped me.

To save time:

Instead of taking the temperature with a thermometer, try using your wrist.  Place the inside of your wrist under running warm water and if the water feels neither, hotter or colder than your wrist, it is a good temperature for making bread.  In other words, the water on your wrist should not have a hot or cold feeling…..just wet.

Bread Machine Mixes

Make your own mixes.  Find a recipe that you know you or your family like and measure out several batches at the same time into zip-lock bags or plastic reusable containers.  To do this……just add all the dry ingredients together.  Don’t worry about the salt and the yeast touching, after all, that is how it is done with bread mixes you buy in the supermarket.  Once measured, shake the ingredients to combine them together.  When it is time to make the bread……just add your liquid ingredients to the bottom of the bread pan.  If you don’t think you will make it that often…..store your mixes in the refrigerator or freezer, just don’t forget to let them come to room temperature before you make your bread otherwise the yeast may not rise  properly.  When done, store your bags in your freezer until you want to make a batch of mixes again.  You could wash the bags first, but I find that to be unnecessary unless you don’t make it very often.

Avoiding the squish factor:

For those of us who make bread machine bread on a regular basis, one of the biggest complaints is squashing the loaf of bread when you use a regular bread knife.  There is no real way around this problem unless you use an electric bread knife.  It only takes a minute and it helps you cut the slices into more uniform pieces.  Just make sure you let the bread cool for about an hour first.    Electric knives also allow you to cut your slices thinner for those who are concerned about the calorie count of your bread.

Finding an inexpensive bread machine:

So you have decided you want to try making your own bread in a bread machine but don’t want to spend a lot of money to do it.  My suggestion is to try garage sales.  I bought my bread machine at a garage sale for $5.00 and I received one for free at a sale that I gave to a friend.  If you are not a garage sale person, try putting in a request at www.freecycle.com  or www.kijiji.com.   Both of these websites list good useable items free for whoever wants one.  Another option is asking your friends, family, or coworkers, if they have one taking up space in their cupboards.  Perhaps they will pass it on to you for a reasonable price or for free.

Now that I have shown you some of the benefits of using a bread machine…here is a recipe I developed that I hope you will enjoy.

Kathleen’s Flax Seed Bread

Makes a 1 1/2 lb. Loaf

Ingredients:                                                                                                       Cost:

1 1/3 cups water……………………………………………………………….  free

2 tbsp. Oil……………………………………………………………………….   .o6

3 tbsp sugar…………………………………………………………………….   .06

1 ½ cups white flour*………………………………………………………..   .20

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour*……………………………………………….   .19

½ cup ground flax-seed………………………………………………………  .11

1 tsp salt…………………………………………………………………………..  .01

1 3/4 tsp yeast**………………………………………………………………..  .15

Total Cost per Loaf:  .78 cents

*If you are a non Canadian and wish to try this recipe, consider adding a tablespoon of gluten.  Canadian flour typically adds gluten in it.

**I buy my yeast at Costco which is considerably cheaper than buying it individually packaged at the grocery store.

Directions,

Add wet ingredients to your machine as well as the salt, unless you are making mixes…then add the salt in with the mix.

Grinding Flax Seed

If necessary, grind the flax-seed.  Tip: Ground flax-seed is usually more expensive than whole flax-seed and the nutritional value declines rapidly once it is ground.  Fresh is best!  To make it easily at home, use a coffee grinder.

 Add the dry ingredients in the order given.  Follow the directions given by your bread machine manufacturer…or select the cycle for basic white bread.

Once your bread is baked, remove it from the bread machine, wrap it in a fresh dish drying cloth and allow it to cool on a rack for one hour before slicing.

On a final note….so is it worth it?  To buy an equivalent loaf of bread in the grocery store will cost from $2.99 to $3.99 per loaf or more.  If your family eats two loaves of bread per week in a year it will cost you $310.96 to $414.96 or more.  To make the bread yourself will cost $81.10.  You will save anywhere from $229.84 to $333.84.  It’s worth it too me!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and please come back soon to see how you can save money by eating centsibly.

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4 responses to “Bread Machine Love

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of savings. I’d better get myself one of those handy bread machines!

  2. Having a grain mill would be wonderful too, then we can have whole grain that is healthier than what you get at the stores….as they lose value after a while.

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