Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gimmee Bread, Man

Yesterday was ladies' lunch at Silver City Brewery.  All my girls have their birthday in March and I take them all out for lunch and we have a great time.  This year I even got presents!!  In the picture, Miss MaggieMay on the left, Miss KnowItAll in the center, and my daughter-in-law, Miss PeggyRae, on the right.

I want to expound on my ideas about bread today.  Remember back in the late 80s when everybody went gaga over bread machines??  After about six months to a year, most machines went to live out their life on a shelf out in the garage.  Not mine.  I'm on my third one and I bought it in 2000, and it is still going strong.  It is a Breadman Pro and definitely worth the money, although it is getting scruffed up.  It always lives on the counter with the doggie bone cookie jar.

When did store bought bread get so expensive??  A loaf of good bread (like Killer Dave) will set you back about $5 at my store, and the rest of the bunch are pretty spendy, also.  And have you read the label recently??  I found this in the very back of my fridge and was freaked out when I read the label because I had eaten most of the loaf:

This is the list of ingredients to make this humble loaf of bread:

  1. Wheat flour
  2. Malted barley flour
  3. Niacin
  4. Reduced iron
  5. Thiamin monointrate
  6. Riboflavin
  7. Folic acid
  8. Water
  9. Oats
  10. Triticale
  11. Barley
  12. Rye
  13. Wheat germ
  14. Flax seeds
  15. Sunflower seeds
  16. Cornmeal
  17. Yeast
  18. Sugar
  19. Vital wheat gluten
  20. Brown sugar
  21. Vegetable oil
  22. Raisin paste
  23. Cultured wheat flour
  24. Distilled vinegar
  25. Xanthan gum
  26. Salt
  27. Dough conditioner
  28. Calcium sulfate
  29. Enzymes
  30. Nonfat dry milk
  31. Soy flour
Pretty scary, isn't it??  No wonder bread has gotten so expensive.  This particular loaf expired in February and is still going strong with no mold.  I don't know about this.  I prefer to make my own.  It is easy, inexpensive, and I know exactly what is in it.

I buy my yeast at Costco and store it in the bottom drawer of the fridge.  It is a cinch to measure or weigh it out and the whole bag cost about the same as a three stripper from the market.  Miss CutiePie told me about King Arthur flour about a year ago.  It makes a better loaf than regular bread flour.  I have no idea why, it just does.

I tinkered with my recipe for quite some time before I got it just right.
  • 2 1/4 t yeast, or one pack
  • 11/8 c warm water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T molasses
  • 11/2 c unbleached flour
  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c whole oats
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds
Proof the yeast in the warm water.  When it blooms, pour it into the breadmaker pan.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sunflower seeds, which are added towards the end of the kneading.  Close the lid and turn on the machine.

As you can see, this makes a tall loaf.  If I want a perfectly shaped loaf, I put it in a loaf pan when the kneading is done and bake it.  This loaf will last me at least two weeks in the fridge and makes fabulous toast.

So dig out that old breadmaker and give it a go.  It just takes a few minutes to measure the ingredients.  You can load most breadmakers in the evening and set it to be done baking by the time you get up the next morning.  This wasn't a huge success at the MoneyPenny house because the wonderful smell of baking bread jerked us right out of a sound sleep before we were ready to get up.


  1. Thanks for the great food and beer

  2. King Arthur Flour is the best! I have been baking with it for years now and everything comes out better using it. Yes it's pricey but totally worth it! I watch for it to go on sale (which isn't very often) and then stock up and get as much as my budget will allow.