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Archive for August 30th, 2008

Yes, I admit it.  I am in full-fledged rebellion over the price of a loaf of bread at the store.  Along with just about everything else, bread has gone up to around $3 or more a loaf (to get anything decent).  I checked at Sam’s Club, and you can get a 25# bag of flour for less than $9.  Now, I’m no financial expert, but it doesn’t take much number crunching to realize making bread on your own is much easier on the pocketbook, not to mention it tastes better and you can actually pronounce all of the ingredients in it.

I’ve been making bread off and on for years, but got serious about it about a month ago after walking out of the grocery store breadless because of the cost.  We’re all extremely satisfied with the results of my bread machine adventures.  Even kiddo is eating the crust (something he never does on store bought loaves).  My bread machine has been a workhorse these past few years, and it’s definitely been flexing its mechanical muscles lately.  On average, I’ve been baking 3 loaves a week, and trying to bake an extra loaf to stick in the freezer for days I’m crunched for time (or just get sidetracked and forget to throw the ingredients into the machine).  If there’s any bread that goes stale before it’s used, I make French toast with it or turn it into croutons.

The bread we like best, hands down, is Golden Egg Bread.  I’ve modified it slightly to make it stay softer a bit longer – those notes will follow.

The orginal recipe:

2 eggs
6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup warm water

3 cups bread flour (I use regular flour)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1 package yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast)

Bake on regular white bread setting with the crust of your choice (we prefer light on this one).  It makes a wonderfully tender loaf that is great for sandwiches or just about anything else.

MY MODIFICATIONS:  I use 2 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons sugar, and also 2 tablespoons butter (yes, the real stuff) with 4 tablespoons olive oil.  This has seemed to really make a big difference on the loaf staying softer for a longer period of time.

Be forewarned – I think I am becoming a bread snob….homemade bread throws rocks at the store bought stuff.  😛

G’night!

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My pressure canner just came in, and I have a stack of recipes to try.  I’ve been water-bath canning for several years now (jelly, spaghetti sauce, etc.), but wanted to try preserving some other things as well.  I need to make some grape jelly before I get too carried away, but I have pear honey on my “to do” list, and also cheese sauce.

I found the instructions for canning cheese at:  http://jordansfarm.wordpress.com/recipes/ – scroll down towards the bottom of the page.  She has tons of great information on her blog! I bought a #10 can of aged cheese sauce and am going to attempt to break it down into smaller quantities.

There is just something about seeing rows of filled canning jars on the shelf that makes me smile!  😀

I’ll try to get my spaghetti sauce recipe posted one day soon.  It’s a multi-tasker in my kitchen – I use it over pasta, on pizza, and also as a dipping sauce for breadsticks.

Have a wonderful day!

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