Friday, July 04, 2008

Getting to know you...

Like Katie, who has been busy introducing blog readers to all of her new friends, I too have a new addition to my household that I would like you to meet.

We got it on Monday, the last day of the financial year, when most shops were having major sales (also, coincidentally, a public holiday thanks to the Townsville Show, so we didn’t feel bad about skipping uni to go shopping).

Here it is, in all its glory... our new breadmaker.

We decided to get one after shopping on Saturday and finding that all the bread--in addition to costing more than $2 a loaf--contained milk solids. I’m sure all my vegan readers know the frustration that is milk solids, but suffice it to say that I wanted to throw the loaves of milky bread at someone. Plus, the grocery store within walking distance from us has a very poor bakery section, so we have to go out of our way to buy bread in bulk at evening markdown sales from a bit further afield. When we do that, our freezer is consumed with loaves, rolls and baguettes. With all of this hassle, we wondered why we shouldn’t just make our own.

So that’s what we’re doing from now on.

Our inaugural loaf was plain white bread. In a bit over 3 hours we had this warm, homemade loaf to dig into.

We used regular flour and threw in a bit of gluten, but the texture was still a bit... homemade. It was good, don't get me wrong. But we knew that proper bread flour was a necessity.

Our next experiment went to the opposite end of the spectrum. This time we used a bread machine pre-mix for multigrain bread. It costs about $1 a loaf to use pre-mix, and it's not all that much easier than making from scratch, so we probably won't rely on this method too heavily in the future. But, the benefit of pre-mix was the texture was perfectly chewy and delicious.Now the possibilities are practically endless. We can make any kind of bread, cakes and quickbreads, and even jam inside of our new breadmaker. It was a bit expensive, but this is one of those investments that will pay for itself in convenience (no milk solids!), health (no preservatives!), and pure economics (no $2.50 per loaf!). Expect to see a lot more of this new family member around this blog.

16 comments:

Vegetation said...

Mmmm is there anything better than warm homemade bread? I should really dig my breadmaker out (well technically I borrowed it off my mum in law and *cough* forgot to give it back).

If you get Black and Gold Brand white flour the protein content is as high as some of the bread mixes/bread flours (and much much cheaper ;))

Have fun! I look forward to much bready goodness!

Vaala said...

Breadmakers are awesome. Mine is possibly my favourite kitchen friend. Once I had a loaf going overnight and one of my flatmates said he had weird dreams about bread before he woke up to the smell (the beautiful smell of bread is wonderful in itself).

Romina said...

Wow your bread looks so appetizing!! I must get me a bread maker.

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, a bread-maker!! Fabulous!!

Melissa said...

ohhh...i've been thinking about getting a few new kitchen appliances...including a bread maker! your fresh bread is very much inspiring me to go out and get one! and i agree with it being a long-time investment...and the health benefits will be so great!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Your breads look great! I love my bread maker. I use it to make dough sometimes-just put the ingredients in, and let it do the mixing, rising, etc., then take the finished dough and make pizza or focaccia. There's nothing like homemade bread!

Nikki Douglas said...

I had one but I didn't like how the bread looked - perhaps because it was a Suzanne Somers version! Oh, the breadmaker I mean, not the bread! I might get a new one if I could find one I like. I'm giving away other appliances that I will not use anymore like my Slow Cooker and my panini grill. Since I am watching my dairy I don't see me making too many paninis in the future. I actually need a food processor and I am very close to taking the plunge on a vita-mix.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Even if it was expensive, you'll end up saving money on the long term. I would totally buy one if I ate bread, but I only eat it from time to time, and I usually end up having to throw it away...

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Score on your bread machine! I've been wanting one for years! The smell of fresh baked bread is beyond intoxicating. Yours look totally fab & I can't wait to see what you come up with here, Theresa.

Groover said...

We got really fat when I got our bread maker ... :-)

Sam said...

I love my bread maker! I bought it on a whim before I went vegan and it sat on a shelf for quite awhile before I realized it's potential. There is nothing better than fresh bread!

Vivacious Vegan said...

I don't use it very often due to my busy work schedule but that's all about to change come August 1st when I'll be home. I'm looking forward to lazy days making goodies in the breadmaker and crockpot.

Urban Vegan said...

I can smell those loeaves all the way here in Philly!

Oh, it's my dream to have a bread machine...One day, when I have more counter space.

Amy said...

Aw, at first I thought you had adopted another cat! But a breadmaker is almost as good. I like savory loaves with a little bit of finely minced onion and dill. My parents used their bread machine every other day for about a decade, when it finally wore out.

Erin said...

Bread Machines are wonderful! I like the whole homemade dense bread feel it gives.

Veggie said...

Have fun with your new breadmaker, I super-love mine. It's the greatest thing ever!!!