If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll recall late last year when I decided to try making homemade bread.
I’m glad I tried but the results weren’t what I would call a success and even if they were – IT TOOK FOREVER.
Honestly, the kneading, then the resting, then more kneading…by the time the homemade bread was done, I was sick of looking at it.
Nevertheless, the slices I was able to salvage from the two homemade loaves I made at the time were delicious and I liked that I controlled the ingredients that went into them.
Most of the bread you buy at the grocery store today contain a lot of preservatives (which is why they can last on the shelf for several days) and many also contain animal by-products, like milk, eggs and dough “conditioners” (this gives the bread its elasticity).
Unless you are able to visit a proper bakery frequently, it’s difficult to get freshly homemade bread that contain only a few, simple ingredients.
Shortly after my from-scratch bread-making adventure, Christmas rolled around and my husband bought me a breadmaker that we’ve been using ever since.
The make/model he bought is Hamilton Beach and it comes with several recipes to get you started.
It makes a variety of homemade bread, such as whole wheat, white, and rye, and it’s also great for making dinner rolls and pizza dough.
Once you add the ingredients and set the cycle, you press start and forget about it until it’s finished.
What I’ve also come to appreciate about a bread maker is that once you get into the habit of making it and keeping a supply of the ingredients on hand, it’s cheaper than buying store-bought bread every week.
If you decide to buy a bread maker, my suggestion is to find a permanent home for it on a counter or table.
You will be much more inclined to use it when it’s out in the open and not stored away in a cupboard somewhere.
Also, because homemade bread does not contain preservatives, it’s a good idea to slice the entire loaf once it’s cooled and store in the freezer, taking the slices out as needed.
Fresh homemade bread goes stale much faster than store-bought and freezing it ensures that it keeps the fresh taste and texture each time you use it.
The recipe I’ve included below is really only useful if you have this exact bread maker (each make is different and the recipes are specific to them).
The reason I’m including it is to show you just how simple the ingredients are and how easy the machine is to use.
If a recipe called for butter , milk, or eggs, I simply substituted the milk with almond or soy beverage, butter with a vegan spread and eggs with unsweetened applesauce.
One final note: the key to bread makers is that the ingredients must be added in the order they appear on the recipe (wet followed by dry) and they must be exact measurements.
Be sure to take the time to read the manual before using.
If you decide to invest in a bread maker, I wish you as much fun as I’ve had!