So I have a new kitchen toy. It is a bread maker. Yes, I know, I could be a bread maker myself, but this machine is great! We have been buying so much bread doing sandwiches and sometimes D and I having toast in the mornings, we thought it might be good to get a bread machine to make some loaves.
So far, of course, it has not been an economy for us. It is just too much fun making all that bread that you don't have to kneed, raise, kneed again, raise again all by yourself! I have made maybe 5 loaves so far, Cinnamon Raisin being my latest, and they all get eaten up so quickly. But I have been buying different kinds of flour now and some other "special" ingredients that will start us off correctly.
The kids aren't too sure about it for sandwiches, but I am still (still... of course, I mean we just got it!) tinkering with the recipes. I guess you need higher protein flour or more gluten to produce the higher rising, lighter sandwich type breads we are used to from the store? If anyone knows any more about this, please feel free to comment here!! Bread machine or other!
Even though this bread adventure hasn't brought us any savings on the bread purchases yet (after purchasing special yeast and flours, etc., and of course the machine itself from WallyWorld) it has been wonderful to have that fresh bread smell and the bread that you know for sure what all of the ingredients are and where they came from. I know I could (and have before) make it "on my own", but with these three kids running around, it is so much easier for me to dump the ingredients in once and come back in three hours and slice bread!
Still working on pricing out different flours and additional ingredients. Do I buy bulk from Costco (hmmm... where would I put a 50 lb bag of flour?) Saar's Marketplace has a wonderful collection of Bob's Red Mill products (lots of great additions for the breads) and lots of organic options at reasonable prices. I saw organic wheat flour, but not sure if it was "for bread machines" or not. I would love to get a 100% whole wheat bread loaf to come out like sandwich bread, but so far, it is better for toast or french toast. (D and I like it fine for sandwiches, but it definitely has a different texture than store bought.)
Anyway, hide the bread when it comes out of the machine because it gets gobbled up so quickly!!! A fun adventure in the kitchen for me (and if any of you really know me, you would know that something that gets me into the kitchen for pleasure must be good because it doesn't happen that often... sorry Honey!)
ps - I still haven't picked out the fabric for the kitchen curtains. That project got put on hold while making decisions on other projects. ...I might be getting a laundry sink! Woo Hoo! ;-)