Making Bread With A Bread Maker

I thought I’d take a break from the survival scenario this week and write about something else.

Awhile back I bought a Zojirushi Bread maker that I’ve been using to make bread.  I’ve learned the hard way that you get what you pay for, so I bought a pretty decent one that a friend tried and highly recommended.breadmaker

This thing rocks the house.

I’ve never made bread before, but Mrs. Jarhead and my mom told me stories of kneading bread and how much time it took and so forth and so on.  Mrs. Jarhead was a little skeptical when I ordered this machine, but she kept an open mind as I unpacked it and set it up.

Actually, there’s no effort to using this bread maker.  You simply dump the ingredients in the pan and let the device do the rest.  It’s so easy to use that even your favorite Jarhead Survivor can create an awesome loaf of bread!   You can picture me in the kitchen with an apron and a streak of white across my forehead if you want to.

There’s a book of recipes that comes with the instructions that are easy to understand and follow, and if you’re still a little unsure there’s even a DVD you can watch that shows how to do everything from start to finish.  (Yes, I watched it.)

My first loaf of bread was a simple white bread and it came out awesome.  Then I tried a loaf of whole wheat and I had similar results with the bread coming out super tasty.  Mrs Jarhead is now a believer and has even used it to make pizza dough, which was amazing.

What’s the downside of this bread maker?  The instructions are all for a two pound loaf of bread and it comes out a little big for making sandwiches or storing in regular bread bags.  That’s something I’m willing to work with though.   With this machine in the house I don’t think we’ve bought bread in the last few months.

The other day I was walking through Hannafords here in Maine and out of curiosity I stopped to see how much a loaf of whole wheat bread cost.  It was almost five dollars!!  I’m making bread in this bread maker for less than a $1 a loaf!!

I know that with inflation creeping up the price of bread is simply going to keep going higher and higher and that’s why I’ve got a pile of flour and other fixings stored up.  I’m also considering ordering a grinder so that I can grind my own wheat, which lasts a lot longer.

Any thoughts on grinders?

-Jarhead Survivor

18 comments… add one
  • Schatzie Ohio September 9, 2011, 8:10 am

    Get a Wondermill Jr. We are very happy with ours.

    Reply
  • Calamity Jane September 9, 2011, 9:29 am

    Hahahah, I looked at grinders, and right now can’t afford any of them, but I do have a massive mortar and pestle that is my SHTF plan for grinding wheat and corn. I figured grinding by hand worked for a long time, and I understand the downsides, but expect it to work for what my family needs.

    Many of the cheap grinders wont’ get grain fine enough for a loaf of bread.

    Reply
  • Michelle September 9, 2011, 9:31 am

    I used to be a Realtor. One of the great tricks I used was to have a breakmaker running in homes when I showed them or had open houses. Nothing will make a home more inviting than the smell of bread baking.

    Reply
  • Carolyn McBride September 9, 2011, 9:34 am

    Hey Jarhead!
    Welcome to the wonderful world of home made bread!
    We’ve been making ours in a sturdy Black &Decker bought several years ago in WallyWorld, of all places. We dump all our ingredients in the pan and let the machine do the mixing. We let it rise once, take it out and separate, put it into two loaf pans and allow for a second rising. Once it’s done, we brush liberally with butter and fight over who gets the first piece. We find this makes two fair sized loaves. I honestly thought the kids wouldn’t eat it (being used to store-bought bread), but I couldn’t have been more wrong!
    When I make the bread this way, I like to use honey as a sweetener, just to make things different. If you like Pumpernickel bread, try it in the machine too. It is beyond tasty!

    Reply
  • Odd Questioner September 9, 2011, 10:29 am

    I like having homemade bread around the house, and the missus loves making it. :)

    Funny thing is, we got our bread maker from the local Goodwill store. They seem to have a lot of them (the bread makers) around here. I suspect that if you checked your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other thrift shop (in Utah they also have the DI/Deseret Industries), you’d also find ’em. They’re dirt-cheap there, and you can inspect ’em before you take ’em home.

    Reply
  • Chef Bear58 September 9, 2011, 11:07 am

    Grinders- I like the hand-crank versions myself. I use one that my grandfather used to grind wheat and other grains, to make bread for my mother and her siblings when they were kids. Don’t know the brand, I don’t think it even has a number/manufacturer marking on it, but it can certainly rip-through grinding some grain! I also like Calamity Jane’s pesil/mortar idea, I have used that method but it seems to take quite a bit more effort than the hand-crank grinders (mine looks/operates like an old bolt-on meat-grinder).

    Also there are some good recipes for bread that require minimal kneading, and come out REALLY good. There are also a few additives (like powdered buttermilk, soy-lecithin, malt extract/syrup, ect.) which can completely change the flavor/texture of the bread you make. For example, malt extract works especially well with wheat or whole-grain breads; and soy-lecithin will give you a more tender bread, while also keeping it from staling longer.

    Reply
  • FernWise September 9, 2011, 3:37 pm

    I love my Lehman’s Best grinder.

    I use my Big Ol’ Kitchaide mixer for kneading bread. I don’t like buying unitaskers for my kitchen (or for any where else!). I can do all sorts of things with this, and paid about 1/4 the cost of a new one by getting it at a garage sale.

    Reply
  • Joe September 9, 2011, 6:19 pm

    I’ll check with Laura. Months ago we bought a grinder (probably from Lehman’s but I’m not sure). I’d love to give you a review of it, but unfortunately I have set it up for her yet. I’ve GOT to get that done soon!!!

    Joe

    Reply
  • Gobbedyjook September 9, 2011, 7:00 pm

    Forgive my digression, but who was it who was laughing at me when I said there might be a 100 years storm? There is a 100 years flood in New York and Pennsylvania as I write this.

    I am, unfortunately, vindicated. The flood, fortunately, is mostly just a big pain in the ass… but I do live on an island now. The thugs, also as predicted, are getting restless. The water supply was apparently contaminated as well. I’d say it’s a good thing that I stacked up all that water, food and whatever else, AND the tactical 870 doesn’t seem at all like a waste of money at the moment.

    Reply
  • Gobbedyjook September 9, 2011, 7:07 pm

    I do have a breadmaker, by the way. I don’t use it.

    I spend about 30 seconds mixing the dough in the evening, knead the dough for about 30 seconds in the morning, throw it in the oven for 25 minutes, and have bread for the day that’s much better than anything I ever got out of a breadmaker.

    Keep life simple, says I.

    Reply
  • millenniumfly September 9, 2011, 8:46 pm

    I miss our bread maker. Probably ought to get a new one with the price of bread as you pointed out. Don’t get too attached to yours, though, unless you have the capacity to use it post-SHTF, that is, without grid electricity.

    Reply
  • Merlin in Montana September 10, 2011, 9:15 am

    I have used a Country Living Mill for years and highly recommend it. If you get one get the Power Bar attachment. You can adapt a motor or bycycle to power it if you want.

    Reply
  • Briar Rabbitt September 10, 2011, 3:23 pm

    I got me a corona mill on ebay for $50! (dented box).

    It’s a cornona “corn” mill, and it make’s pretty good flour.

    Mortar and pestle is only good for medical grinding. To grind grains you can also use ROCKS. = Small mortar rock + .big base rock. That’s what the original americans did… Just be sure your rocks ain’t toxic!

    I’ve used one-year expired yeast and it worked fine…

    Reply
  • Jen September 10, 2011, 9:38 pm

    I second the Country Living Mill. You can motorize for now but still use it in a power outage.

    I mix my bread by hand in about 8 minutes without the aid of power. I use an old-fashioned bread bucket. You dump all of your stuff in and crank the handle. It is quick, clean, and cheap. No electricity required.

    Reply
  • Doug in Arkansas September 11, 2011, 2:12 pm

    We use the Wondermill Jr. It grinds great flour from cracked wheat all the way to very fine cake flour. We only hand-crank it, but you can drive it with a drill motor or put a big pulley on it and use an electric motor – although doing so will void the warranty.

    Reply
  • TOR September 13, 2011, 12:26 pm

    Never really gotten the whole breadmaker thing. Wifey just makes ours herself.

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 13, 2011, 9:59 pm

    Wonder Mill electric and hand crank both great grinders!

    Reply
  • Jack September 15, 2011, 11:03 pm

    Awesome post! I regularly order my survival food from eFoods Global, and they have bread, biscuits, pancake mix, muffin mix, etc. I used my breadmaker to make a loaf of bread with the mix I got, and it turned out really well. This is the site I order from where you can get free samples to try first:

    http://samples.efoodsglobal.com

    Reply

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