Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why make bread?

So a friend of mine asked the following questions *in regards to making bread*:

  • How does a breadmaker work?
  • What kinds of bread can you make?
  • Why would one want to make bread vs buying it?
After she asked these questions, another friend said:
  • I use my stand mixer with the bread hook.  Is there an advantage to the bread machine?
I'm going to start with the last question *in the first set*.  Why would one want to make bread vs buying it?  First, it's cheaper.  Yes, you can buy bread for 99¢ a loaf, but it doesn't taste very good.  It is also *most likely* made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  My middle kiddo is sensitive to HFCS.  She goes over the deep end acts out of sorts and is very hyper.  You'd be amazed at how many things have HFCS in them.  Also, the bread that doesn't have HFCS in it, costs a lot more *unless you can get it on sale.*  So another reason to make it...I know exactly what's going into it.  There aren't a bunch of preservatives and unnecessary ingredients in it.  Sadly, my hubby only likes my homemade bread for toasting.  He likes the store bought stuff for sandwiches, but since I started getting the Bountiful Basket, I can get 5 loaves of Organic 9 Grain bread for $12 *cheaper than store bought.*  He likes that. :)

How does a breadmaker work?  Most breadmakers have different settings on them.  Mine has:  white, wheat, sweet, 2 express cycles *one makes bread in 58 minutes and the other in 90*, french, dough, and a bake mode.  I've pretty much used all of the cycles on there.  "Oh shucks!  I don't have time to fiddle with making bread right now and I *need* bread for lunch!"  I can throw all of the ingredients in the pan and set it for the express bake 58 minute cycle.  That's basically all you do.  Measure ingredients exactly *room temperature for the regular cycles*, add them to bread pan starting with liquid, dry ingredients next, and after making a 'well' in the top of your flour, you add the yeast.  I use the dough cycle to make our pizza dough.  I *have* made jam in there, but not in a l-o-n-g time.

What kinds of bread can you make?  You can sort of get an idea based on the settings.  I've made cinnamon raisin bread which is evil wonderful.  I don't make it very often because it's that evil good.  In a pinch *the express bake*, I make white.  I made my Kamut bread in there last night.  I also make a multigrain bread in there, but I'm currently out of the cereal that I need to make it.  A lot of times when you get a breadmaker, it comes with recipes.  You can also google "bread recipes for breadmakers".  Just be sure you have a recipe that won't overflow your maker.

Now I'll address the last question.  I use my stand mixer with the bread hook.  Is there an advantage to the bread machine?  I did state one advantage.  The ability to throw the ingredients in the pan, walk away and have fresh bread in 58 minutes!  This could be considered dangerous by some, but if you're making it for sandwiches, you need to resist!!  With my oldest home for the entire week *she's enrolled in a virtual academy* and my littlest one also here, I need bread on hand for lunches.  I still make some bread by hand, in particular, the 4 Grain Batter Bread, but when time is limited, then I go for the breadmaker.

Overall, the breadmaker has been one of my most used 'appliances' that I received as a shower gift 10 years ago *aside from my microwave*.  If you want to have healthier bread, but life is too busy to lend you time to stand and do all of the steps necessary to do it by hand, then this is ideal.

When asked which bread they prefer, my oldest 2 said they prefer the bread that momma makes.  The littlest is too small to give an informed opinion.   How can I not make bread when they both enjoy it so much?


  1. Thanks Katie! I might give it a shot. I always buy the whole wheat HFCS-free kind and it sets me back about $3+ loaf and is gone in 2 days. I like the idea of making my kids cinnamon raisin bread too. They love the stuff!

  2. I've gotten my ingredients from Sam's. This last time, I bought a 25lb bag of flour and thanks to hubby, have a 4 gallon pail that I can stick it in. They also have yeast in a big package and because I use it so much, I bought it *and because it's cheaper than getting the strips of yeast at the regular store.* Those are the main ingredients that can get pricey.