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.
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!