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Topic: Making Bread?  (Read 3114 times)
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« on: February 04, 2006 03:42:48 AM »

  I would like to cut down on our processed food intake, and I have always been interested in making my own bread for regular consumption.  I was thinking about getting a bread machine at the local thrift and making use to it.  But I do have a few questions before I really decide.

  First of all, I don't have any freezer place.  Seriously.  We only have a mini fridge.  So, is making bread worth the time?  I work part time, so I would have time to make a loaf or two on my days off.  The truth is the boy and I only go through two to three loaves of bread every two weeks or so. 

 Secondly, I've heard that making homemade is cheaper.  I spend less than a dollar per loaf.  Obviously, I bet that bread would be healthier and tastier when homemade.  I would like to put a bread machine on my to buy list anyway, but I was wondering if using it for our regular bread intake would be worth it in the long run.
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2006 04:08:28 AM »

I make bread all the time.  It's really cheap. 
I don't have a bread machine...I just do it all by hand.  to me, it doesn't seem like that much work, but it is slightly time-consuming.  I also make croissants, buiscuts, rolls, etc.  I would say it's definitely worth it, because there's nothing quite like fresh baked bread, and it is healthier because you can control what goes into your bread.
If you don't have a freezer, I suggest making small recipes (ones that only make one loaf).  You can store your bread in a bread box or in the fridge and it will keep for a few days. 
Hope that helps!

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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2006 05:43:08 AM »

I have done it both ways by hand and machine. If you have trouble with your hands or arms, use the machine. To save time you can use the bread machine. It takes about 3-3half hours for one loaf (reg) they can be made in two diff sizes (my does 2 sizes) you can other breads, doughs , rolls , etc with it, Did you get a manual? You should have a bread pan in side it, and a maybe depends on machines. a little attachment at the bottom of the pan. You can mixes for the machine or use the recipes and make it from scatch.  yeast, add flour etc.  What is the name of your machine? Do you have a manual ? let me know if you need help on finding a manual or how to do something? good luck
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2006 06:04:14 AM »

You could go another route by making soda bread. Very versatile, and all you have to do is mix, shape, and bake. No rising, it's very tasty, and you can make small batches and get a lot of different flavors.

« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2006 08:40:57 AM »

If you start making your own bread, you might start to go through more bread than you do now, bacause it will be so much better Wink  Seriously, homemade bread is totally worth the time, since it tastes better and is better for you (no preservatives or "dough conditioners", and you can use more whole grains).  I love making bread by hand, but it does take a while, so if you're pressed for time a bread machine is a good idea.
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2006 10:32:09 AM »

I second what chamaecyparis said.  If you start making bread, you will start eating it much faster than you do now. 

Regarding bread by hand vs bread machine:  I prefer bread by hand.  I think the taste/texture of bread by hand is far superior to bread by machine.  Bread by hand doesn't have to be a time consuming project.  Most of the time is spent letting is rise, and I always do something else while that is going on. 

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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006 10:36:24 AM »

I've never made bread by hand, but I bought my bread machine (Regal Kitchen Pro) at the thrift store for $8.  Then I just ran to the store and bought everything I needed to make a cranberry w/apple juice, cinnamon, and walnut bread (sweet bread- hoorah!).  I probably spent about $8 on supplies and I make 1 loaf each week and this was over two months ago that I purchased my stuff.  I still have supplies.
But the thing I love most about my bread machine is I just throw all this goop into the bucket, press a button, and walk away and 4 hours later the magical bread faeries have done their hard work for me.
Most of all, it's absolutely delicious.
You can make pizza dough, sandwich bread, etc.  I couldn't live without it.  It's become a crutch for me and my baking needs.   Cheesy

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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2006 01:21:56 PM »

Making bread is much easier than we're led to believe. a few hints:

Make sure you use bread flour.
Make sure your yeast is fresh. You can store it in the freezer or the cabinet.
Measure well!
Water should be room temp or very slightly warmer. too cold and your yeast won't activate, too warm and you'll kill it.
Make and Keep a sourdough starter in your fridge!

I've done it by hand, but I love my bread machine too. There's something primal about kneading dough, and it feels really nice in your hands. I use the dough setting on my machine alot, and re-form it into bagettes or, my fave, Crack buns. (mini rolls that I tuck cream cheese into before baking.)


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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2006 01:30:11 PM »

i have to chime in here b/c i've been making bread for years. it is SO much better than store stuff. you'll be spoiled on homemade bread! 

i make two loaves at a time and freeze the halves (not an option for you i realize). i've found i can make perfectly lovely bread with or without bread flour (there is lots of debate about this). if you make whole wheat bread, cut the whole wheat flour with regular flour and use 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil.

i do not use a bread machine. after the first few times i made bread myself, i found i don't need the machine. half the fun for me is making it myself. i do, however, have a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook which works just fine. much less hands-on time so you can go do other stuff while it's kneading. there IS something fun about kneading your own dough though.

also, if i'm pressed for time, i'll let the kneaded dough rise in the fridge overnight.


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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2006 02:17:00 PM »

If you have a nice big food processor with a strong motor, you can knead with that, too.

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