>> Thursday, April 22, 2010
A little over a month ago, I decided that it was silly for me to buy bread from the grocery store. My reasons are numerous and simple.
- I have a great bread maker that does all of the work for me. Just dump in the ingredients and press start - the machine takes care of the rest!
- Around here everyone likes fresh baked bread so much more than store bought bread. In fact, they like it so much that I thought it might be a problem. Fortunately, the "must eat it all now!" feeling that came with homemade bread is wearing off. Now it's just the way it is.
- I can control the ingredients. The breads I make have simple ingredients - nothing in the way of fancy dough conditioners or preservatives. I like that.
- It's cheaper. We weren't buying the super cheap bread at the grocery store (because the super cheap bread usually amounts to super cheap ingredients that give me the heebie-jeebies). It would be even cheaper if I had a warehouse store around and could buy bulk flour.
The next problem was storage. For a while, we would wrap our loaves in aluminum foil, but that method was messy and wasteful. A lot of the bread bags and boxes sold aren't designed to hold the tall loaves made in a bread machine. A couple of weeks ago I ordered this breadbox, and I've been very happy with it. It holds my loaves perfectly. (A note here, I like to make 1.5 lb loaves. A 2 lb loaf from my bread machine might still be a problem with this bread box.) And this bread box has done a great job keeping my bread from going stale. It even has a little cutting board in the bottom for slicing bread. My only complaint would be that it's a little cumbersome getting at the bread because you have to physically pull the box apart. On the flip side, because of the way it's constructed, I can adjust the interior volume to fit my loaf size.
My go-to sandwich bread of the moment is a simple white whole wheat bread from the King Arther Flour Company featured in the book. It makes a very tender 100% whole wheat bread that is great for toast or sandwiches. We also have a favorite cracked wheat bread for sandwiches, but I'll let you get a copy of the book from your library, a friend, or the bookstore to take a look at that recipe and all of the others!
White Whole Wheat Bread
from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
makes a 1 1/2 lb loaf
1 1/4 cups water
2 TBSP nut oil or olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 TBSP gluten
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
Place all ingredients in the pan according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set crust on dark (I actually like a medium crust) and program for Basic or Whole Wheat cycle. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.