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Is it worth it? Do you do it?<br><br>
Okay, really dumb question: What's the easiest and best way to get started baking bread?
 

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is it worth it?<br><br>
financially, if you're trying to replace the cheap supermarket bread, its often not much of a saving. But if you're replacing a high-end organic bread, it is worth it (assuming you dont mind not getting paid for labour)<br><br>
healthwise, its definately worth it; I know exactly what's going into the bread; no artificial anything, no "improvers" preservatives, sugar, flavours, blah blah. and I only buy organic whole flours.<br><br>
I bake all kinds of breads; pita pockets, sourdough, rye, challah, lavash, bread rolls...<br><br>
to get started, well, a good idea is to get yourself a good bread book from the library, and practice on a basic yeast dough.<br>
pretty much, the easiest bread is putting 6 cups of flour with 2 sachets of instant yeast, a pinch of salt, and slowly mix in enough warm water to make it a wet dough. then knead more flour in till its a good dough. (knead for ages) let rise, knock down and knead again, shape, let rise, bake.<br><br>
sourdough is even better, but its a bit more involved.<br><br>
mmmm nothin better than hot bread fresh out of the oven, with butter melting into it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy">
 

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Do you have a bread machine? It's certainly not necessary, but it can make it easier in a busy household. I did this before dd2 was born, but I haven't gotten back into it full time.<br>
I did manage to find a recipe for bread that was called Sandwich bread, and when I made it, I was impressed that it sliced as easy as store-bought bread and made great sandwiches. However, I was disappointed to eat it, because it tasted as bland as store-bought bread as well.<br><br>
It's so nice to be able to control your own ingredients, and come out with a superior loaf.
 

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majikfaerie, your recipe sounds simple enough, but don't you add a little bit of something for the yeast to eat, like honey or potato starch? What about a pinch of salt to keep the yeast in check? Those are things I absolutely cannot leave out of a loaf.
 

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I have tried many times to bake my own bread. I even have a bread machine. The truth is unless it is right from the oven, my family won't eat it. Plus DP doesn't like homemade bread for sandwiches. He prefers wonderbread-yuck! So I just buy that for him at Costco and the whole grain kind for myself and freeze the extra loaves. It works out to be about $7/month. And we actually eat it.<br>
Then again, maybe my family doesn't like homemade bread b/c of the way I make it. It could be all in the recipie/method. I could be doing something wrong.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Pam_and_Abigail</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9821475"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">majikfaerie, your recipe sounds simple enough, but don't you add a little bit of something for the yeast to eat, like honey or potato starch? What about a pinch of salt to keep the yeast in check? Those are things I absolutely cannot leave out of a loaf.</div>
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I think she did say a pinch of salt. I've found that often the yeast don't need anything to eat other than the flour it self. They may rise faster with some honey but it's not nessisary.<br><br>
The "no kneed bread" recipe (google it) calls for flour, water, salt and yeast. That's it.<br><br>
My favorite bread recipe right now is:<br><br>
This makes 3 loaves<br><br>
Mix 4 cups water with 4 cups whole wheat flour and 3 tbsp yeast.<br><br>
Let rise until doubled in size. There should be bubbles on the surface making the dough look like a sponge. (depending on what kind of yeast you have, how warm it is and various other factors this will take between 1/2 hour to 2+ hours)<br><br>
Mix in 1 tsp salt, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or molassis. Each is good in their own way but all are unique. Try them all and find your favorite.<br>
You can also at this point add things like a cup or so of oats, or other grains, sunflower seeds, rasins whatever. But start simple the fist few times you make it.<br><br>
I make a pile of 5 cups flour on my counter with a hole in the middle like a volcano. Pour the batter into the hole (it will be quite runny) Start working it with your hands and mix the flour into the dough. kneed until all the flour in incorperated (about 15 min)<br><br>
coat your bowl with oil and rub oil over you dough ball. Cover and let rise until double.<br><br>
Punch down and form into 3 loaves. Place loaves into greased pans, cover and let rise until double.<br><br>
Pre heat oven to 375. Bake 15 min, turn loaves and bake another 15 min. Bread should be brown and should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
 

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I used to buy whole wheat Wonder bread from the Wonder outlet for .99 a loaf. Now I buy a 50 pound bag of flour, a 5 pound bag of gluten, and a pound of yeast. I don't know whether it's cheaper, but I can tell you that I never run out of bread and I'm not spending gas specfically to go to/stop by the bread store.<br><br>
I have a KitchenAid and I mix my bread in that. I can turn out a fresh loaf in about 3 hours. I usually make two loaves at a time. It's way healthier, too.<br><br>
dm
 

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I find making my own to be cheaper, and no HFCS. Yeast is 2 pounds for $3 at Costco - those little packets are way overpriced - and you can also buy large bags of bread flour there. I made the no-knead bread a lot last winter. In the summer I use my bread machine more, because running the oven uses more energy and it heats up the house... but in the winter the extra heat from the oven is good, and means we use less energy heating the house (we have a tiny house, and when the oven is on the whole house warms up).<br><br>
Dar
 

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nak<br><br>
Making bread is much cheaper for us, especially because I buy wheat ($23 for a 45 lb pail which lasts about 8 months if I make an average of 5 loaves/week) and grind it up to make flour, and buy yeast in bulk. Even if it weren't less expensive, I like knowing what is in the bread and that there are no preservaties, HFCS, etc. Here's the recipe I use:<br><br>
3 c whole wheat flour<br>
3 Tbsp something sweet (sugar, honey, etc.)<br>
2 Tbsp oil or butter<br>
2 tsp yeast<br>
1 tsp salt<br>
1 1/8 c warm water<br><br>
Knead, let rise until doubled, knead, shape into loaves or rolls, let rise, bake at 350 F for 25-30 min.<br><br>
Sometimes I add flax seeds, oats, cinnamon and raisins, or whatever else strikes my fancy that day. You can vary the taste by using a different sweetener and/or oil. Brown sugar and olive oil tastes much different than honey and butter, which tastes much different than molasses and vegetable oil.
 

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Obviously, the best way to save money making bread is to make it by hand.<br><br>
That said, I'd just never have time to keep up, and wouldn't do it. But I've run the numbers and even considering the purchase of a bread machine, we save money baking our own.<br><br>
We make whole-wheat or part whole-wheat breads, several loaves a week. We also make all our own pizzas with our bread machine.<br><br>
If you compare the cost per loaf of our good, whole-grain, preservative- and trans-fat-free bread to the equivalent bakery product, it costs a fraction of the price of storebought. If you're going to compare it to very very cheap white bread, it probably doesn't save as much.<br><br>
You also save much more if you buy in bulk - bulk flour, yeast, gluten, etc.<br><br>
If you go the bread machine route, though, I think you really need a decent one. Our first one was a gift, and we loved it and wore it out. We bought a cheap replacement at Target -and none of our bread turned out. It was awful, and I can see that machine *not* saving us money, because the bread was often inedible. When we gave that one away, bit the bullet and got a Zojirushi two-paddle machine, we were back in bread business.<br><br>
My kids actually like our bread better than storebought (except for expensive crusty-french-storebought), and don't like Wonder.
 

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<b>noneb</b>, how many loaves does your recipie make? How long does it typically need to rise? Do you punch your dough down or just knead it. Your recipie sounds doable to me and I'd like to try.
 

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Mmmmmm, I love making bread homemade.<br><br>
I usually run mine through the breadmachine's dough cycle, then let it rise in bread pans and pop into the oven, I just prefer the shape and texture better baked in a regular oven rather than in the machine, but it works in a pinch.<br><br>
I love to make dill bread, potato bread, oatmeal bread... and there's nothing better than french toast made with thick slices of homemade bread. Mmmmm!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Pam_and_Abigail</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9821475"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">majikfaerie, your recipe sounds simple enough, but don't you add a little bit of something for the yeast to eat, like honey or potato starch? What about a pinch of salt to keep the yeast in check? Those are things I absolutely cannot leave out of a loaf.</div>
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I did say add a pinch of salt, if you look carefully.<br><br>
when I bake bread, it can get a little complicated (I used to be a professional baker, and I tend to do somewhat elaborate things that can't be called "frugal")<br>
but for a really basic bread; flour, 1 pinch salt per cup flour, according amount of yeast, warm water. mix, knead, knock knead shape, bake.<br>
No sugar involved, a lot of the time (though many recipes do use a small amount of sugar or similar to feed the yeast, and generally you can call the finished product "sugar free".<br>
what I really love to do is a rye sourdouch with fresh thyme and black olives <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy">
 

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Note: if you buy a NEW bread machine, you'll probably take a while to make up for the cost.<br><br>
If you're in the market for a bread machine, I'd really suggest looking at getting a KitchenAid stand mixer instead, as you can use it for other things than just making bread. Also, there are refurbished ones available.
 

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It's absolutely worth it for us. We were spend lots of money buying the $3+ loaves of bread every few days. I bought a bread machine about a year ago. I think my machine has paid for itself, and I even bought it new. I can do it all by hand, but it's so convenient to have the bread machine that I actually do it all the time. I've also started making all our other breads (rolls, buns, pitas, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, etc) too.
 

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Well, for me, when I bake my own bread, I eat it muuuuch quicker. Cause it's delicious. So....probably more expensive (and fattening) for me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> It's so satisfying to bake your own bread. You must try it at least once.
 

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We use a bread machine we've had for about eight years now - we got it as a gift. I make about a loaf every-other day.<br><br>
I could bake (and my husband can and does) without the bread machine. I don't enjoy it, and I like being able to throw in the ingredients, no mess, and have bread in three hours (or overnight, or when we get home from co-op, it has a timer).<br><br>
My kids eat a lot of bread and natural peanut butter, we have a lot of crockpot soups and bread machine bread. This is because I'm frugal, and also because I don't like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen - I'm not one of those that enjoys cooking.<br><br>
I found a recipe we like, it calls for honey, WW flour, yeast, salt, a bit of oil, water. I buy all my ingredients in bulk and that's our basic, everyday bread (though I do make other kinds on occasion).<br><br>
Since I have to stand in front of the bread aisle forever trying to find ONE or TWO kinds that don't have high fructose corn syrup, and since those cost around $3/loaf when I do find them, I do believe that my 8-year-old bread machine and bulk ingredients save us time and money. YMMV, of course.
 

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Even cheap bread rarely goes on sale for less than $1.20 here adn I can buy 25 lb. bags of whole wheat flour on sale for $4.99 and make many, many loaves of bread form taht. I have a recipe that takes about 3 days from beginning to end (lots of different rising times, but not much actual work time) and it makes 4-6 loaves.<br><br>
I am not sure how we would swing the food budget without homemade bread - it is more filling than store bought bread and so much more nutritious.
 

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My apologies majikfaerie, for not reading close enough. So no sugar, really? I might have to try that some time.<br><br>
I bought a bread machine for under $100 about 7 years ago, and I have used it hundreds of times. I consider it having paid for itself.<br><br>
I usually buy a loaf from my grocery store bakery that is an oval shaped loaf, as in, not made in a loaf pan, and whenever I try to make one, it goes horribly flat. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? i suspect it might be too much liquid, which I use to compensate for the whole wheat flour, so the loaf is not hard and dry.<br>
What might I do?
 
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