Cooking, Uncategorized

Bread Machines: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

[Alternative title: Why I Want to Marry My Bread Machine]

The other week, I was dropping off a load of donations at my local Goodwill, when I unexpectedly found my new soulmate: a bread machine.  I’ve had my eye out for one on and off for a while, but hadn’t been able to justify the splurge.  Now you might be wondering why anyone would want a bread machine when there are these things called “grocery stores” (or “supermarkets”, choose your verbiage) that have bread already made. Well friend, let’s take a mental trip. You know that overwhelming sensation of joy when first walk in to a great Italian restaurant or bakery and are overcome with the heavenly aroma of freshly-baked carbohydrates? You can have that in your own kitchen, whenever tickles your fancy. (And believe me, when it comes to bread, my fancy is tickled quite often.)

But I digress– back to the matter at hand.  I found my bread machine, pictured below, for the all-too-reasonable price of $8.  In layman’s terms, that’s about 3 Dunkin Donuts iced coffees.  I figured that, even if I didn’t love it, it would be worth the investment to give it a shot. I’ve always loved baking, but the time and precision needed to bake a successful loaf of sandwich bread wasn’t always worth it.  The finished product didn’t always rise properly, or would be undercooked in the middle, or got burned on the top.  Ugh.

Behold, the glory.

Long story short, this mechanical wonder has revolutionized my bread game.  My mom now has bread-machine envy and is considering getting her own after one-too-many borderline sensual bread-related text messages. My sister and her fiance dusted theirs off from storage because I’m a trend-setter. If you’re on the fence about making your own carbohydrates at home, here are five reasons to take the plunge:

1. It’s waaaaaay more economical than store-bought bread.

Sure, the machine itself is an investment ranging anywhere from $8 to upwards of $100.  But, if you find a good deal, the return on investment is amazing.  Purchase your preferred flour and yeast in bulk, and you’re all set to make an absurd amount of bread products.

2. You can control the ingredients– no more weird preservatives or corn syrup!

The only reason bread should have sugar is as a food source for your yeast.  Skip the creepy list of preservatives and make your own.

3. Bread machines aren’t just for sandwich loaves!

English muffins, pizza dough, baguettes– oh my! The majority of modern bread machines have a variety of settings for different types of dough or products.  Just the other night, I used the dough setting on mine to make whole wheat English muffin dough.  All I had to do was roll it out and toast em up! The possibilities are endless.

4. Gluten-free? No sweat!

Many machines have a “gluten free” setting on them.  Even if yours doesn’t, it’s still easy to modify a recipe (or search one of hundreds of gluten-free recipes) and create an affordable version of your store-bought goodies.

5. It’s convenient and pretty fun!

Most machines are a set-and-forget deal; just dump the ingredients into the pan per your machine’s instructions, push a button or two, and walk away.  You don’t have to leave your house, drive anywhere, or even put on real pants.  That’s right—you can enjoy bread in whatever state of pants you love best.

 

Have you dabbled in DIY dough?  Tell me about it!

 

Until next time,

Janice

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