Saturday, June 27, 2009

craigslist is a wonderful thing!

I've been wanting to try making my own bread for some time now, and since I'm not much of a baker at all, I thought a bread machine might be a fun thing. Then I looked around at the prices of bread makers that had the features I wanted, and I was surprised to see that many were well over $100. That was definitely more than I wanted to spend. Craigslist to the rescue! I found the exact bread machine that I wanted (about $120 new) on Craigslist in like-new condition for $35. Sold!!

So this afternoon, I baked my first loaf of bread. I took the picture while it was cooling - and right now, I'm munching on a slice while typing this post. Yum!! I haven't figured out the cost of the ingredients that went into my little loaf here yet, but I'm pretty sure from what I've read elsewhere that even using organic flour like I did, the cost per loaf is much less than what we've been paying at the bakery where we normally get our bread. And since I don't need to pay for gas to get to the bakery, I imagine it won't take too many afternoons of baking before I make up the cost of the used machine. All good!

Now, I just need to find a good source for local flour... any ideas?


Virginia said...

Oh yum! Check my blog for bread machine recipes! I've made jam in mine as well. I didn't blog about it, but I also made granola!

livinginalocalzone said...

Your bread looks delicious. And isn't it amazing the difference in taste and price for making ones own rather than buying bread at a store? I am bread-machine challenged (goop ends up everywhere, sadly) but I love baking bread the "manual" way.

I'm not sure where you live, but you might try Wild Hive Farm and see if they are in your "zone". They are really nice and you can just give them a call, tell them what you want, and they'll ship you the flour. The flour is grown right there, so if you are near Clinton Corners, NY, its worth a look.

Caroline in NH said...

I have no source for local wheat, but I've heard rumors of wheat being grown in both Vermont and Maine. Good luck finding a source.

One small improvement over baked-in-the-machine bread is to allow the bread machine (on dough cycle) to do the knead-rise-knead cycle, then take the dough out and do the second rise and bake in a bread pan in the oven. Improves (in my opinion) both the shape and to a smaller extent the texture ... and you don't get that paddle-shaped hole in the middle! I let mine rise in my (gas) oven (maintains about 100 deg w/the pilot light) and bake for 35-40 min at 350.

Life Looms Large said...

Craigslist is a wonderful thing!! Congrats on your new bread machine!!

I use mine to make pizza dough pretty often. Sometimes more often than I use it to make bread!!

The King Arthur Flour website has a lot of great recipes - some that can be baked right in the bread machine and some that you shape and bake in your own oven.

Have fun!


Colleen said...

Thanks everyone for the tips, ideas, and info! I can't wait to try more baking and recipes!! Pizza dough might have to be next - especially with tomatoes starting to come into season... yum!