Friday, August 19, 2016

Bread

Over thirty years ago I was given a bread maker for some holiday, Christmas or birthday, I can't remember which, but I've used it very little. The bread it makes is okay tasting but weird looking. The loaf comes out square and not the right size for anything. Nowadays I buy my bread at the Publix bakery, sometimes sour dough, sometimes sunflower seed and they are very good and make excellent toast. I usually get it sliced and freeze it, taking out a piece as I want. Publix loaves run between $3.50 and $3.95 per loaf...which got me thinking about my bread machine.

I pulled it out of the cabinet last Monday where it's been stored along with its instruction booklet and began to read. I found I could make dough and shape and bake the final product myself. Of course, I read this long ago, it just didn't sink in or may have seemed like too much bother...for someone who needed a bread machine. I had all the ingredients on hand except for fresh yeast so when I was out on another errand I picked up some new Fleischman's, and Monday afternoon I made bread.




After I put in all the ingredients and set the timer on "dough", it took around 80 minutes from start to finish. I have to say it called for dry milk but since I had only a can of evaporated, I mixed that with an equal amount of water and used it to replace the water called for in the recipe. Who likes dry milk anyway? I always use evaporated milk for cooking because almond milk is my daily fare and its flavor does not lend itself to macaroni and cheese for instance.

Once the machine beeped indicating I could dump the dough I expected a sticky mess but wonder of wonders, it dumped out fairly clean. I had my spot prepared with a sprinkle of extra flour. I punched down the puffy ball and shaped it into a new one, letting it rest a few minutes before rolling it out to an 8 x 12 rectangle and then rolling it up from the short end, jelly-roll fashion to form it into a loaf that would fit in my already sprayed bread pan. I covered it with sprayed Saranwrap and set it in a warmed oven. It doubled in size in around 30-35 minutes and then I baked it at 350 degrees till brown and crusty on top. The smell was "devine."



I dumped it immediately onto a wire cooling rack and when it was completely cool, I sliced it (I made 20 thin slices), slid it into an old bread wrapper, smoothed out the air and put a twist tie on the end and popped it into the freezer. Okay, I confess. I ate a piece and it was yummy.

So, then I tallied up my cost...50 cents! What a savings.

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