I think I'm a little late arriving to the breadmaker scene but I'm finally here and this post is mainly intended for those of you out there who either have one and aren't using it or don't have one and don't know what you're missing.
When I found that my family was cranking through sandwich bread faster than I could buy it, I wondered if there was a better way to get my hands on a fresh loaf than packing up the 3 1/2 year old and heading to the store. I posted on my personal Facebook wall that I was looking for a breadmaker and several people spoke up saying I could have theirs.
I took my sister in law up on her offer of a Breadman Plus.
I found the owner's manual online somewhere and printed it out. It included instructions for use and a handful of basic recipes. I read through it and learned that using a breadmaker is even easier than I ever expected.
For those who don't know, all you have to do is dump in the liquids from the recipe then the solids then the yeast last:
Next you lock the pan into the machine, shut the lid pick your cycle and hit start. Depending on what kind of bread you're making, in around 2 1/2 hours, you'll have fresh bread containing ingredients you can pronounce.
The loaves are shorter than the ones we used to buy at the store but without any preservatives, they also don't last quite as long so the size works out just fine for us. I calculated it out and figure we now spend about $.30 per loaf of regular white sandwich bread.
Here is the basic white bread recipe I've been using:
1 cup water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
Place all the ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (for ours, it is as listed). Select the basic regular loaf cycle. Press start. In about 2 1/2 hours, you'll have a loaf of fresh bread
One minor drawback is that with shorter loaves comes more heels which we don't particularly like but I've been tossing them in a basket at the back of our counter to let them dry out. Once they're good and dry, I run them through the food processor and add them to my container of breadcrumbs.
Thank you for reading,