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The $3.00 Bread Machine that Changed my Life

We have a friend that has been baking his own bread for as long as we’ve known him.  We’ve always admired his baking skills and complimented him frequently on them.  One day, several months ago, he showed-up on our doorstep with a bread machine that he’d found at a thrift store for $3.00.  He makes all of his dough in the machine and finishes baking everything in the oven.  What a fantastic idea!  I went to the library and found a bread machine cookbook and we were off and running.
So far we’ve baked bread, made pizza dough, breadsticks, cinnamon rolls, calzones, croutons and a few other things.  Not only is it a revolutionary idea to me to never run out of bread again, but the fact that I’m controlling what goes into my bread is awesome.  No preservatives or chemicals and it tastes a lot better.
My son has been asking for these cinnamon rolls again and again.
These calzones were delicious.  J was solely responsible for these bad boys.DSC00096
I’ve been baking a standard white loaf of bread for school lunches and morning toast.  It also makes a mean grilled cheese.
One thing I noticed is that the lack of preservatives means a home-baked loaf of bread has a very short shelf-life.  I did some research and found a bread keeper that has adjustable humidity control for dry or humid climates.  Ohio has both depending on the season and I needed a way to keep my bread as optimally fresh as possible.  This Progressive International Adjustable Bread Keeper seems to be doing the trick and at $12.95, will quickly pay for itself.
So far, of all the bread machine cookbooks I’ve check-out at the library, The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Jennie Shapter is my favorite.
There are a lot of fantastic recipes in this book and I think we may end-up buying  a copy when I finally have to return it to the library.  So far, we’ve really enjoyed our foray into all things bread related.   Obviously we can’t keep up this pace of bread consumption or we’ll become a bit doughy ourselves.  However, it’s still so much fun we just can’t seem to stop making more.  I’m sure it will wear-off a bit after the initial excitement of creating our own bread products wanes.

So what about you?  Do you bake your own bread?  Any good recipes you’d like to share?

About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

9 responses »

  1. Mmmmm Jenny!! it looks so good!!! ;-D
    Lot of kisses!!

  2. We made bread growing up but as an adult my family and I aren’t too into breads in general. We’ll get the pre-sliced loaf but that’s about it. It looks like you’ve been quite successful at it though! I love knowing exactly what goes into my foods especially the ones I feed to my little one : ]

  3. Wow Jenny, I didn’t know there was this kind of machine, sounds amazing to me! I would be baking day and night!

  4. We had a bread machine waaaaay back when we first got married, but it eventually broke and we never replaced it. Of course, they have come a LONG way since then (our pan was a rectangle, but stood upright…if that makes since. The loaves didn’t really look like loaves), and I’ve been thinking about getting a newer model. Now that we’ve got kids that can gobble up what comes out of it faster than just the two of us could. At $3 I totally would have taken the plunge. I’m thinking this *may* just go on my Christmas wish list…along with that book 🙂

    • Yes, this bread machine has an upright rectangular pan, too. Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you want to look at it) this machine doesn’t bake the bread. We tried and I think the heating element is broken or something. I just use it to make the dough. I punch the dough down and do the second rise outside the machine in regular bread pans. Then I bake it in the oven which gives the bread a better texture I think. I know you have more kids than I do but a loaf in our house lasts a few days. Using the machine to mix your dough and do the initial rise takes away a lot of the work of bread-making though. I’d say there’s less than 15 minutes of actual hands-on time in producing a loaf of bread so you could bake a loaf nearly every day in your spare time. (Ha – I know you don’t have any spare time – I read your blog 😉 )

  5. Pingback: Apple Strudel | sugarshellandbutterknife

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