One Simple Thing: No-Brainer Organic Bread (even gluten free!) for Less Than a Buck

| February 7, 2015 | 3 Comments

Time: A trip to the thrift store.
Cost: $7.00 – 10.00 investment maximum.
Benefits: Health, Money, Deliciousness

This is the first in what I hope is a lifelong series on small, super-quick, easy things you can do to live better, eat better, have fun, and green up your life…all at the same time.

 

I like bread.

The people who know me well are all giggling right now. Truth is, I’m crazy about good bread.  I dream about bread.  The smell of it is like crack to me.  Waiters who try to take away the bread plate run the risk of losing their arm at the elbow.

I like various types of bread, from a beautiful moist loaf to encase my sandwich fixins to a hot-from-the-oven baguette ready to be gussied up with roasted garlic or really good cheese.  But what they all have in common is this:  I hate looking at the ingredients in a store-bought loaf and seeing a list of polysyllabic chemicals as long as my arm. I hate not knowing whether the grains used are cheapo GMO-ridden conventional or something I’d actually want to ingest.  And I don’t really enjoy shelling out $4-5.00 for a loaf of organic bread.

So whenever I can, I try to make it myself.

Don’t run away!  Remember, this is a Simple Thing, so we’re going to do this the easy way.  I’ll give you the REALLY easy way, and a slightly harder but still super-easy way that gives you more choices.

WAY #1:  Get a cheap bread machine on Freecycle.org or at the local thrift store, wind it up and let it go.   Or have it make and knead your dough to bake in the oven.

How long it takes (active time): 5 minutes plus machine acquisition (see below)

What you need:  A free/cheap/easily-obtained bread machine, a bread knife and a mouth.

The cost:  About $0.50-0.75 per loaf, depending on the recipe and where you buy your ingredients.

Savings of $3-4.00 per loaf (versus comparable quality store-bought) is common.

The benefits:  Better, better-for-you, less expensive bread made with ingredients YOU control.

Gluten Free?  For Kelli, Kay, and the rest of my gluten-free subscribers, here’s a page with a gang of recipes YOU can enjoy too: http://glutenfreeeasily.com/bountiful-bread-basket-top-20-gluten-free-best-bread-machine-recipes-tips/

GO:

I put out a call on my local Freecycle for a bread machine that was gathering dust somewhere, and I got several responses within a day, basically saying, “PLEASE take this thing; I’ve never used it.”  They can always be found at garage sales, and there has never been a time, when visiting the thrift store run by our animal rescue, when there weren’t at least two of them selling for under $10.  OR, if you have more money than time, go on Amazon or eBay and order one, and wait ’til it lands on your doorstep.  Then proceed.

So, get your hands on a bread machine, and try out this recipe for a luscious, moist whole wheat sandwich loaf:

1-1/8 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 T oil (we use light olive)
1/4 cup molasses or maple syrup
1 T  dry milk powder  (optional, but moister)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
1/4 cup vital gluten flour (look in the flour aisle where they have the Bob’s Red Mill stuff)
optional but yummy too:  1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Put everything in the machine in the above order.  Follow your machine’s instructions and turn it on.  (No instructions? Check out this web page )   Go away for three hours.  Come back.  Enjoy.

Top-rated bread machine reviews on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/top-rated/kitchen/289917

There are lots of different bread machine recipes (Google your favorite or check the library): http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/healthy-bread-machine-recipes


WAY #2: Join The Artisan Bread in Five Minutes Per Day Crowd

I have tried this method, in those times when I was craving getting more up close and personal with my bread, and you really can make really great bread just by spending five minutes a day.   These instructions and videos explain it far better than I can, so if you’re machine-averse, give it a shot.  STILL far cheaper and better tasting than anything you can get in the store.

The Demo and Instructions:
http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2013/10/22/the-new-artisan-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day-is-launched-back-to-basics-updated

The book, for folks (like me) who like paper (worth adding a used copy to your cookbook collection for the recipes):
http://www.amazon.com/Artisan-Bread-Five-Minutes-Revolutionizes/dp/1250018285/

Big splashy pics on Instructables.com:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Artisan-Bread-in-Five-Minutes-a-Day/

 

 

 

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Category: Food, Money Saving, One Simple Thing, Organic, Recipes

Comments (3)

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  1. Kelli says:

    Thank for the thoughtful inclusion in your post! 🙂 Looking forward to reading more of your ideas.

  2. Stacy says:

    Thanks for this buddy! I”m gong to try it this week. I’ve failed miserably in the bread making department.

    • greenhedonist says:

      Send me your recipe and I’ll see if I can identify what might be going wrong. I’m getting good at that (having had lots of failures myself!! 🙂

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