Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No More Wonder-ing!

Bread Machine #1. Yep, I put the recipe right on the machine!

So, you might be pondering the post title. No? Well, I'm-a gonna tell ya any way! I have broken my bonds with Wonder Bread, Mr. Friehoffer and all other commercial breads out there! We are now a strictly homemade bread eatin' only family now and have been for about 2 weeks. It is simply wonderful to have scratched bread off of my shopping list, instead replacing it with King Arthur All-Purpose flour and a jar of store brand bread machine yeast.

Commercial bread has been a real stumbling block for my family. I have 3 die-hard bread addicts in my family; my Darling Husband, Teddy Bear and Wheelz. Every evening at dinner there was a loaf of bread on the table, even when we had a carb heavy meal such as pasta. Princess and I are not quite so enthused about bread, me especially since I just don't care to eat what amounts to a slice of sugar, flour, additives and preservatives. There just seemed as if there was no way to wrest that bag of chemical and corn syrup laden bread off the table and out of the reach of my bread loving boys.

I know the obvious answer is to make my own bread. The problem with that, (well actually, there are several) is that when I make homemade bread on Saturday, my baking day, it was wolfed down by Sunday evening. There is also the fact, that despite my best efforts, I just could not find the time during the week to make bread. Add in my current health problems, numerous responsibilities and herniated disc, making homemade bread by hand and oven was just not a good solution for this season of my and my families lives.

Finally it occurred to me that a bread machine would be the rescue! Homemade bread every day with little effort on my part. No "knead" (get it? ;D) to kill my back standing at the counter measuring, mixing, kneading, waiting for bread to rise and bake. The only hurdle to this was sticker shock. Even a cheap bread machine is nearly $60, not really in our budget, but I asked for one for Mother's Day anyway. Then I did what any self-respecting woman on the hunt for an expensive appliance would do. I told my mother what I wanted! Well, actually, I asked her that when she was on her rounds at the thrift stores and tag sales that if she saw a bread maker in decent shape for a reasonable price, to get for me. Long story short, my Mom was able to purchase bread machine #1 from my aunt who holds a tag sale every spring and fall. It cost all of $2 and came with the instruction manual. Unfortunately the manual lacked any recipes, so I quickly went on line to find a recipe for basic white bread that sounded simple, and I even read the reviews on the recipes. The following day I fired that baby up and in 2 hours I hand a lovely loaf of homemade bread! The kids were ecstatic and my husbands eyes glazed over at dinner that night. Whoo-hoo!

The following weekend our local Christian school was having their annual tag sale, so my Mom headed into town and came back to my house with bread machine #2! This one was pricier at $15, but it can do much more than make basic bread. You can make quick breads, french bread, whole wheat bread and even make jam to spread on your bread! The loaf pan is also rectangular, whereas BM #1 is round, resulting in a loaf that looks like a giant muffin. I seem to have more consistent results with it as well, because with BM#1, the dough was starting to rise very high and stick to the roof of the machine, even though I cut back on the sugar and yeast that the recipe calls for.

So, now I use my bread machine everyday to make bread. My DH and Wheelz take sandwiches for lunch everyday, I now don't feel bad about having toast with my eggs for breakfast, and we have fresh bread every evening on the dinner table. I will go into more about the economics and health benefits of homemade bread in a future post. Right no I have to switch over my laundry. If only they made a machine that folded and put away the stuff!


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