You’ve heard me on here complaining about the high cost of just about everything these days, so I decided to look into making my own bread. A friend loaned me a bread making machine and here’s how he advised me to use it: first, his wife puts the ingredients in the bread machine and lets it do its thing. After that she lets it sit so the bread can rise, but before the machine can bake it she pulls it out and puts it in the oven, otherwise it comes out very dense.
He hasn’t bought store bread in a couple of years now and that got me thinking I’d like a piece of that action. True, I get my bread at a day-old shop for $1 a loaf, but he thinks that it might even be a little cheaper this way, not to mention healthier. Now, I wouldn’t quibble over a few cents and I suspect that in the long run it would about even out with the electricity used when making it, but it seems to make a lot of sense to have a large supply of ingredients on-hand to make your own bread if something happens. Whereas I might have enough bread in my freezer for a couple of weeks if supplies suddenly get tight a big bag of flour or wheat and the other ingredients on-hand would probably supply my family for a few months. We’re not big bread eaters in my family, but when I want to make a sandwich it’s nice to know the bread is going to be there.
I made my first loaf this weekend and I’m happy to say that it worked out pretty well. The bread was dense, nutty, and quite flavorful. The machine takes the ingredients and mixes them up amazingly well and then lets the dough sit inside where it rises. At that point I followed my friend’s advice and pulled the dough out and cooked it in the oven. Later my wife and I had hot bread with butter (one of my favorite things to eat since I was a kid) and a few days later we still have about a half loaf still on the counter.
I know you can use many different ingredients when making bread and Chefbear wrote a post about that here.
My question to you is do you make your own bread? If so how many weeks/months of supplies do you have laid in? Do you do it by hand or do you use a machine?
All comments welcome.
BTW: Here’s the bread machine I’m looking at. It’s a little pricey, but if you’re going to have something you’re going to use a lot it makes sense to get what you want.