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For many years, I thought a bread machine was a waste of money. I thought bread machines were a joke, just the latest kitchen gadget to lure in consumer America. Why did I think this? I remember going to friends’ houses and seeing bread machines sitting on the kitchen counter collecting dust, only used once or twice and then forgotten.
Then don’t even get me started on how many bread machines you can find at yard sales and second hand shops! That just solidified my case against them. Then my husband bought me one for my birthday a couple years ago. My opinion changed. Drastically. Now I am madly in love with my bread machine and don’t know what we’d do without it! Investing in a bread machine is totally worth it and I’m going to tell you why.
First off let me just explain why we choose to make our own homemade bread. My number one reason is to be able to control what goes into the bread that we eat. Store bought breads are often full of preservatives and other additives that are not healthy. Making homemade bread from scratch allows me to use all natural, organic and GMO free ingredients.
Have you ever noticed that a loaf of store bought bread takes forever to mold if left to sit out? I remember years ago having a loaf of store bought bread sitting in its bag on the counter, forgotten about, for well over a month. I figured it would be moldy and gross, but when I peeked into the bag before throwing it out I was shocked to see no mold present. Then I turned over the bag and read the ingredient list. I was appalled at all the ingredients I couldn’t pronounce and had no idea what they were. No wonder that bread didn’t mold, it was like Frankenstein bread! That experience was the start of my journey towards making homemade bread instead of buying it.
So now that I explained why I’m committed to making homemade bread for our family, you may be wondering why I love my bread machine so much. There are several reasons and I’m here to convince you that you need one too!
Here are three reasons why I think a bread machine is totally worth the investment:
1. Easy Bread Making in a bread machine
It makes baking homemade bread so much easier! I used to make homemade bread by hand but then after Little A was born this became a challenge. Partly because my new-mama-forgetful brain kept forgetting to get the bread started early enough in the day to let it rise, punch it down and let it rise again before baking. Plus, caring for a newborn and changing and cleaning cloth diapers seemed to take up the majority of my time.
My birthday a few months after Little A was born was when my husband surprised me with this bread machine. All I have to do is put the ingredients in, push a few buttons and it will do every step of the bread making for me. It will knead the dough, warm up a bit and let the dough rise, beat it back down, let it rise again and then bake it. There is even a trap door on top to add small ingredients later in the process like raisins, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc. The standard setting takes six hours from start to finish to make a loaf of bread. There is even a setting for quick rise bread that only takes four hours from start to finish for days I forget to get the bread started earlier in the day.
2. Bread Machines Save Money
To figure out if our bread making was worth the effort compared to store bought, we calculated out how much it cost to make a loaf of homemade bread. We buy our bread making ingredients in bulk quantities to help lower the cost of each loaf of bread. For example, we use Montana raised flour in bulk 50lb bags we buy at the Amish store (this is the kind we use) to get the lowest price per pound we can.
We calculated the price per loaf of bread, including the cost of ingredients and power used to run the bread machine. This cost came out to be around 50 cents per loaf. We compared that to the price we were paying for a loaf of organic bread at the store which is $4.99 per loaf. That’s a remarkable cost savings when it comes to making homemade bread!
In addition to figuring out that making our homemade bread was cheaper than buying it, we also figured out that it only took us a few months of making homemade bread in the bread machine every week for the investment in the bread machine to have paid off! Now here we are two years later and I still use it all the time. The savings is well worth it!
3. A bread machine can also make dough
I use our bread machine to make homemade pizza dough, dough for foccacia bread, dough for homemade noodles, and dough for homemade rolls and buns. I use my favorite recipes and just throw the ingredients in the bowl, push a button and it will make the dough for me. I don’t have to worry about taking the time to mix and knead the dough. Instead I can be busy doing other chores around the house while it mixes.
The loaf of bread that comes out of a bread machine is shaped like the bread machine pan. It doesn’t look like the traditional loaf of bread but it sure tastes delicious! We find that slicing the loaf on its side and then cutting that in half gives us the perfect size piece of bread.
I don’t know what I would do without my bread machine. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my bread machine, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with making homemade bread for our family. I sometimes think that my great grandmothers might cringe at the thought of making homemade bread in a machine with no hands in the process, but then again they might be totally envious of how much time and mess I’m saving by using such a gadget!