I think I'm finally getting the hang of this bread making thing. I little while ago I set the lofty goal of baking my own bread everyday, then proceeded to make some pretty dismal loaves....5kg of flour later and I think I might be getting it right.
I'm using the recipie from Rhonda over at Down to Earth blog, (i'll add the link in later, not sure how to do it on my phone), with some changes. Firstly, I'm using more yeast that Rhonda. I started of with yeast that is not foil packed and in the stated amounts. The dough was heavy, difficult to kneading and slow to rise. The loaves were too dense, even the chooks weren't that into them.
So then I changed the yeast brand. It helped, but the loaves were still far to dense. So I increased the yeast amount to a while sachet, which I think is 7g. At this point I decided to add in a short cut as well. I have a bread maker, but I hate the shape of the loaf. However, my breadmaker has a dough option, so for the 1st kneading and rise I let the breadmaker do the work.
So far so good. My breadmaker also has a time delay option, so i can load the ingredients, pre-set the machine to be ready first thing in the morning and have fresh bread ready for school lunches in the morning.
Cool hey :)
On a cost comparison, bread can cost generally from $1.20 to $3.50 for a store bought loaf. I usually spend about $2.80 as I prefer to buy loaves I know my family will eat and I tend to buy several at a time, so I buy bread I know will freeze and thaw really well.
Home made bread doesn't keep very long, but then it is so scrummptious it tends not to last long anyway. The ingredients cost around $1.20 for a large loaf, that is a loaf that is white with no extra seeds etc. I know i can get flour cheaper, but have been reluctant to buy in bulk quantities until I'm sure I've got the hang of baking bread.
So on a cost basis, based on my normal buying habits, I'm saving $1.60 a loaf. Not much on one loaf but we go through two loaves a day so that is $3.20 a day. Or $22.40 a week. In the course of a year it is a potential saving of $1164.80.
My next experimenting will be in baking to freeze so that I can have a few loaves in reserve for times when we are running short, too just, kids are sick, I'm sick etc. I also want to play around with making rolls too.