Bread is an obvious choice for making from scratch. It really is easy and with a bread machine it is super-easy. We had a Breadman machine that we got a decade ago and last Autumn it started to make some very loud, not so nice noises. Committed to the bread-making I debated with which machine to replace it and finally settled on the investment of the Zojirushi.
I’ve had the best luck with the bread recipes that come in the manual with my machine — both the Breadman and the Zojirushi. We tweak them, of course, to meet our tastes but they have the right proportions of everything so they get the best results. If you are looking for recipes try this or this recent post or this excellent recipe and tip sheet. So instead of a recipe today I have some helpful hints for making bread:
- Don’t wholly substitute whole wheat flour for white flour unless you are also adding wheat gluten. White flour has enough gluten to achieve a nicely risen loaf, whole wheat flour alone does not. So, if you don’t want to add wheat gluten use a mix of white and whole wheat flour.
- Measure your dry ingredients by weight, you will be so much more successful if you do this.
- Store your yeast in the freezer, it will last much longer this way.
- While making bread machine bread is easy I still find myself avoiding it because I have to measure all those ingredients. Next time you make bread, measure the dry ingredients for two loaves (don’t include the yeast). Put one set of dry ingredients in the machine, the other in a zip-top bag or canister. Then when you want to make bread again you can just put the liquid(s) in the machine, dump in your dry ingredients, and add your yeast. Talk about quick.
Purchased Loaf of Organic Whole Wheat Bread* = $2.99
Homemade Organic Whole Wheat Bread** = $1.95
*purchased at my local Whole Foods
**price figured using this basic recipe ($0.35 per cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour, $0.09 per tablespoon Vital Wheat Gluten, $0.06 per loaf Instant Yeast, $0.75 for the oil, salt, and honey)