Monday, April 4, 2011

How I Saved $150.00

It all started on a snowy day.  I was stuck inside with the kids and out of bread.  I had 2 choices... go buy bread or whip some up.  I decided to NOT brave the storm and to try making my own bread.  I stirred, kneaded and let it rise.  It was good.  The kids loved having warm bread.  I loved making them bread knowing what was in it. That was it, I decided I would no longer buy bread, but make my own.  It wasn't hard.  Then the question came, "Did you use a bread maker?"  Hmmm, There's a gadget I didn't have!!!!  I started to search on-line... WOW, they really ran the gamut in prices!  The one I liked was the middle of the road - $150.00  While talking to my kick-butt friend Eileen, she mentioned she had one.  LIGHTBULB!  "Can I borrow it to see if I like it?"  Of course she said yes, because she ROCKS!  This is the bread maker that has been mentioned before in my blog.
Back to the bread.  The machine was super easy to use.  I just layered the ingredients, set the timer and viola.  My only problem was, the beeping kept waking me in the middle of the night.  As my time with Eileen's bread maker comes to a close, I realized I needed to make a decision about this gadget before giving it back.  Did I want to get one, should I go back to store bought bread???  **I like to picture my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with a  hot pink cape with the letters KA in leopard print on it**  In comes my trusty hero, my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and her trusty side kick, dough hook.  Assembling the ingredients took just as little effort as the bread machine.  I let it rise for the amount of time recommended in the recipe.  Once I put in in the bread pan, I kept on eye on it.  I knew I could always punch it down a little bit, if I wanted to wait to put it in the oven or pop it in when it was ready.  The bread came out (almost) perfect!  For some reason, it stuck to the bottom of my glass loaf pan.  Next time, I'll be sure to use my non-stick and to grease it a little better.    I'm glad I had the opportunity to try the machine before running out to get one.  I love my KA mixer and am SO happy I have another reason to have it on my counter!

Here's my new favorite bread recipe:


  • 1 1/8 cup warm water

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • tablespoons olive oil or butter

  • cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal, uncooked

  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten

  • teaspoon salt

  • teaspoons active dry yeast

    1. pour the yeast into the water, let it get good and foamy. 
    2. stir in the honey and oil, pour in mixer
    3. put the mixer to 2 or 4
    4. add salt, oatmeal, gluten and flour a little at a time.
    5. continue to mix on 2 or 4 until all the flour is in.
    6. let the mixer do the work for about 10 minutes
    7. take the dough out of the bowl, oil the bowl, put the dough back in and flip it over.
    8. cover and let rise, until about doubled in size - approximately 1 hour
    9. turn the mixer to 2 or 4 and let the machine punch down your dough
    10. grease your loaf pan ** You can also use a baking sheet and just shape your dough - I use mine to make sandwiches, so I like a loaf**
    11. put the dough in and cover 
    12. let the dough rise until it is the size you want it, at least 1-2 hours
    13. preheat the oven to 400° 
    14. **Optional, brush some eggwash or milk over the bread and sprinkle oatmeal**
    15. Bake about 30-40 minutes, spinning 1/2 way through, if your loaf is getting too dark, cover with foil.
    16. Let cool 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on rack.

    1. I Adapted from this recipe:


    1. Here's another twist on this. Bread in a dutch oven if you have one. I still have to find the slow cooker article:

    2. Thanks Leni - I must say a dutch oven is on my "wish list"... this article has me wanting one more!