Saving on Dough

Our family is on a quest: a quest to cut our expenses. As we look at our spending we see the main culprit. GROCERIES. Since we have transitioned into eating more whole, allergy-free food we are seeing a huge increase in our grocery spending. I know that making more homemade and “from-scratch” dishes are essential in order for these numbers to go down. Now I must find some time management skills to get this done.

The Quest Begins:

I started this journey of grocery budget slashing thinking of the items that are the most expensive to buy at grocery stores, specifically for whole/allergy-free foods. One of these big ticket items in the allergy-free world is bread. Gluten-free bread can cost (on the low end) anywhere from 3.99 a loaf (and the loaves are not large, my friends) to $9.00 a loaf! No, I am not kidding. And keep in mind many of these $9.00 loaves are half the size of normal packages, making some of these the equivalent of an $18 loaf. Then there is organic wheat bread which is costly as well. Go look through the store aisles at allergy-free bread and you will quickly re-evaluate your love for bread.

The Quest Continues:

A few months ago I bought the flours I need to make my own, but haven’t found the time to make the bread in addition to all my other homemade cooking. The kick in the booty to get my apron on was looking at our bank account. Yikes….how much did I spend at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s last week? AHHH! This mama is taking control. No more breaking the bank on bread. This is a three-step process, why have I put this off so long?

Step 1—Find a Recipe that works with the specialty flours. They are expensive and you want to get it right. Measurements must be exact and wasting a batch hurts the piggy bank.

Bread machines make bread making super easy. And the types of breads you can make in these little gadgets are endless. I inherited two great bread machine cookbooks from my grandma called, The Bread Machine Cookbook and The Bread Machine Cookbook V by Donna Rathmell German. There are many cookbooks for bread machines out there and usually a book of recipes comes with your bread machine. For those of you that don’t have a bread machine, Christmas is right around the corner.

Step 2—Get the machinery

Here are some ways to find a deal on a bread machine—they can get expensive but don’t fall into the trap of buying a top-of-the line machine . Here are some ideas on how to get started inexpensively.

Craigslist
Black Friday sales
Cyber Monday sales
Ebay
Goodwill
Garage Sales

Some machines, mostly the newer ones, have a gluten-free setting on them. This makes what seems like a very overwhelming process a lot more manageable.
Here is the gluten free bread recipe that I am attempting to try today tomorrow.
http://www.glutenfreecookingschool.com/archives/finally-really-good-sandwich-bread/

Since the flours used to make gluten-free bread are expensive I am not going to double the recipe until I know it is good in our family’s opinion.

Step 3—dump the ingredients into the machine and turn it on!

You can still make bread without a machine it will just take a little longer. And of course if are making many loaves of bread to store in the freezer, the bread machine is not your answer. Making a large amount of dough and separating into loaf pans to bake in the oven is how you would do this. Joquena has done this for years. I have memories of helping her with this process. She is the queen of batch cooking.

If you have had success with gluten free bread recipes please post your story and recipe here for others to try. Also do you like your bread machine?

Once I get myself organized (ha!) it would be nice to have a price comparison to show what my loaf costs versus the price of a loaf at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.



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5 Comments on “Saving on Dough

  1. I friggin’ LOVE my bread machine. I use it multiple times a week. I can get the kids to eat what I put in front of them when they know there is a fresh piece of bread with butter as their reward. It always comes out perfect. The aroma filling the house is an added bonus. I want to try some gluten free recipes. We probably eat too much bread here at our house. And yes Joquena is the batch cooking queen. 😉
    I use the Breadman TR875 2-Pound Breadmaker (Stainless Steel) bread machine.

  2. How did your bread turn out?? When you say that some machines have a gluten free setting what exactly does this mean and what does the machine do differently?

    • Well, not as good as I hoped. It was a nice crispy on the outside and a little gummy like in the inside. My guess is that I need newer yeast (it didn’t bubble like it was supposed to) and it needed to bake a little longer. It wasn’t bad, just not right. I will keep you posted. As for the gluten free settings..bread without gluten doesn’t need as much time to rise…therefore the cycle is shorter. Instead of a gluten free setting/cycle you can also select the rapid rise setting/cycle.

      • If you have to go buy new yeast anyway, make sure it’s gluten free and vegan. I think redstar is the only brand that has that!

      • I made handmade rolls for Thanksgiving and they turned out awesome! I didnt use a bread maker but baked them in the oven. Making bread is a long process but very rewarding in the end.

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