Monday, 12 August 2013

Are you a Maker or a Buyer? Today's Frugal Daily Bread Experiment

Managing the Dough



Update to say that Approved Food* is offering customers the chance to buy 3kg bags of Hovis white bread flour for only 59p or two bags for £1.00 Huge savings to be made here, maximum four bags per customer while stocks last.

Today, despite many infuriating interruptions to my broadband connection, I'm making a few changes to the frugal forum and weeding out what is and what isn't needed. (2 x BT vans just drove past the house - good! They must have located the fault.)

In the current economic climate, I feel the Frugal Food section is essential. Within this, the bread-making section is very much needed, especially since those of us who live in the more rural locations can't just nip out to a shop and buy a cheap loaf. What do you do for your daily bread?

Correct me if I am wrong, but my belief is that the cheapest loaf now costs around 50p from big supermarkets, 80p from Co-ops and well over £1.00 in village stores, so it is has to be well worth considering the costs involved in baking your own by hand or even, if time or space doesn't permit, investing in a breadmaker. I would love to know many of you bake your own bread, so please check out this simple poll and let me know if you are a baker or a buyer. It's much appreciated.

I currently have a Lidl's bread maker with twin pans that I was given by someone who didn't like it and had used it only a couple of times. This has been in regular use here for the past couple of years.




Although I do still prefer my old (second-hand from a friend who originally paid £5 for it via eBay) Morphy Richards that makes one large loaf, the machine with the twin pans is able to bake two different loaves at the same time. Despite this, I have yet to perfect my technique, so if anyone has one of these, let me know your thoughts on them - politely. :)



In the meantime, I still hold on to my old bread making machine, which must now be quite a few years old. It's kept in storage until such times as I source and buy a new pan and paddle for it. These were the parts that eventually gave up through wear and tear, just at the point where the paddle spindle attaches to the base. It was fixable for a while, but then finally the tiny pieces crumbled into even tinier pieces. This morning, I have had another attempt at fixing it to see if it will still work to any degree. The main machine works fine, it's just the unreliability of the mixing that stopped me from using it.
 

Rather than risk wasting a batch of wholemeal flour and associated ingredient, I have used 1lb of the heavily discounted, past best-before-date, 'Soft Bap Mix' to test if the machine works its way right through the programme. It has been set on 'Fast Bake I', which is the fastest, at 1 hour 10 minutes, so I should be back soon to let you all know if this was a success or a total flop. I'm not too sure what the difference is between soft bap mix and bread & roll mix, so it could go either way - a lesson learned or a late, frugal lunch.

Until then,
NYK in Frugaldom

Edited in - IT WORKED! This is the 1lb loaf baked in the old bread machine using the soft bap mix.


The spindle stayed in place, the paddle folded and came out of the loaf, although it took a small chunk with it, and the loaf hasn't sunk in the middle, so it must have mixed OK. I am so happy to see my old bread machine back in use and, better still, I haven't had to buy any spare parts for it. What's more, it tastes delicious!
 
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14 comments:

  1. Hi, I have been doing a differing variation to that I used to do.

    1¾ cups water
    2 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter
    200g all purpose flour
    500g strong white bread flour
    2 tsp fast action yeast

    this all goes into my BM pan on the dough cycle, it is then once finished tipped out shaped and the paddles removed from the pan, spindles are oiled a touch (veg oil), and the dough is put back in, I then use the "Bake" programme with an extra 10 minutes added to alloow the dough to sort itself.
    Out comes a loaf with 2 very small spindle holes rather than paddle ones.

    Doing it this way takes 3 hours in the BM with a little extra for before and during.

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    1. Thanks, Maisie, I just recently tried your method of removing the dough from the pans to remove the paddles and it was a big help, although I found it a bit messy and not handy at all if you're working in the garden. Getting scrubbed up and pulling on the disposable gloves hindered me and then my loaves, once baked, sank in the middle. I think perhaps the 'bleep, bleep, bleep' on the machine meant something different from 'mixing complete. LOL

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  2. I have to confess I have a Panasonic bread maker, its my second and it does a great job, makes white, Wholemeal and fruit breads, I have even made a pannetone in it. It adds fuirt and nuts automatically at the right time. I can also make french bread and pizza dough along with a couple of other types.

    I alternate between a wholemeal and white loaved, I make a large loaf, medium is too small and the extra large is too big to slice on the slicer.

    I am still using up some soft bap mix I got from AF last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the AF bargain flour I used today and just checked back to see it was 89p per pack (I was counting it as 99p) so am really pleased with how this turned out - tastes delicious with the homemade blackcurrant and gooseberry jam I made a couple of weeks ago. Could hardly believe it when this old machine kept it together long enough for a quick loaf, that must be the secret. :) It's the machine passed on to me by friend the year daughter got married, so I've had it for a few years.

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    2. Panetonne my favorite do you have a recipe? as yet not had one turn out right.

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    3. WP, add your request to the Bread making category in the frugal food section of the forum and username csarina should be there to tell you about pannetone recipe. Perhaps she could add the recipe to the forum? :)

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  3. I have been making no knead bread for a few months now and am very happy with the results. Starting day one with a quick mix, and very little yeast, let it sit for approx 15 hours then place on parchment, cover for 2 hours, lift up the parchment with the bread and place in a preheated dutch oven and bake for 30 min at high heat. So little fuss, very little to clean up and minimum usage of electricity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by to comment, I really appreciate it. Dutch ovens are something I've looked at in the past but never did get around to trying. Are you cooking over a stove, an open fire or in a conventional oven?

      The reason I prefer my bread maker nowadays is down to dusty renovation work going on in the house. (Bought a fixy-up and living in it as we renovate it.) A Dutch oven does look good, though, especially as Wilbur, my logburner, will probably be lit all winter. That's where the cooking gets done during power cuts.

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  4. I used to do all my bread by hand, from start to finish. Now I use my food processor to mix it then finish the last bit of kneading by hand, shaping etc. I make 2 loaves each week then slice them by machine (a worthwhile investment as I can't slice straight). Each loaf gives 16-18 slices including the crusts (heels). Once risen for the second time, they are baked at 220C for 30 minutes throwing a little water in at the start to create steam. Although cheaper to make than buy, we make for the taste and texture. Bought bread always seems light as air and cotton wool in texture.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Visiting friends brought a loaf of bread with them - a well known and expensive brand - and despite it lasting much longer than a homebaked loaf, it was so light that I needed twice as many sandwiches at lunch time. My bread-baking days began during the strikes of the 80s but I never owned a bread making machine until 2009, so it was major novelty factor. Since then, I could probably count how many shop loaves I have bought, mostly when we had no electricity when we first bought this house. I used to leave a bowl of water on the bottom of the oven for the steam factor. :)

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  5. A bread maker is on my wish list at the moment. I keep my eyes on freegle and Ebay but not won anything yet. Fingers crossed its soon though. Jam and bread is one of my fave things.

    x x x

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    1. I'll keep an eye out for you, too, F_R. Nothing tastes better than a slice of freshly baked bread still warm and spread with homemade jam. I know people who would laugh at the prospect of bread and jam for lunch but I don't care - I love it! :)

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  6. I am also using up the soft bap mix no breadmaker here had 2 in my time and both stopped working may in the future get another one for now it is my own fair hands.

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    1. After making today's loaf, I suspect there won't be many more rolls or baps made here, the bread just tastes too good. LOL

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