Break bread with me
Let’s talk bread. It’s delicious, obvs, and my family probably eats too much of it. Ever since I learned about Glyphosate being used on a disturbingly large amount of America’s wheat, and by default most commercially available breads, I have been *very* watchful about the sources of grains that go into my family’s mouths. To be 100% sure what my daughter is eating at nearly every lunch time, we switched to making our own bread.
Now I wish that I was some super awesome homesteader type that made my own artisan loaves from a homemade starter…. but I’m not. I barely keep my shit, I mean house, together as it is. So I rely on my trustee Cuisinart Bread Machine.
One way you can lead a more sustainable lifestyle is to buy things secondhand versus new. That’s exactly how I got my bread machine. I found this practically new Cuisinart CBK-200 for $80 on the facebook marketplace. Not only is it way more sustainable and earth friendly, but I paid nearly half what it would have cost new. I find that niche household appliances are amazing things to buy used. So often people swear they will “make ice cream/waffles/paninis every day!” and then use them once to collect dust ever after. Pretty sure that the bread machine had suffered the same fate.
The other reason I wanted to start making my own bread was to avoid the plastic bags that bread is sold in. Once you get in the habit of really reducing your waste and outgoing recycling, you start to see where you are really producing. We were going through a minimum of one, and sometimes two store bought loaves of bread a week. That’s 2 plastics bags per week times 52 weeks =104 bags a year! Granted we always recycled these bread bags but the end goal is not to recycle more, it’s to reduce as much as possible.
The recipe we use calls for bread flour, salt, sugar, water, milk, butter, and yeast. That’s 6 ingredients if you don’t include water. I love knowing *exactly* what is in our bread. We use strictly King Arthur bread flour which is non GMO, and they are a B Corp which always gets my support. In addition, the bags of flour come in paper which can be composted. We have actually switched to making our bread completely Vegan with no difference in taste (dare I say perhaps even better?) by using Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks and Oatly Oatmilk. It is important to use a higher fat content vegan butter like the buttery sticks as several other vegan spreads I tested did not work.
In addition to being a greener choice I have to mention that this bread is SOOOOO delicious and just infinitely more tasty than any pre-cut stuff you can buy. There is no comparison and there’s really no way we could go back to eating the store bought stuff. Over this past Christmas we had to supplement with bagged bread and it really drove home how much we have come to prefer freshly baked bread. It takes me maybe 4 minutes to dump the ingredients in and press the button. Three hours later you have an amazing loaf of bread and your house smells fantastic. Soon I will begin the search for my new go-to bread machine recipe as I have stop eating gluten for good. Luckily this bread machine has a setting for gluten free bread.
Our go-to recipe thus far, King Arthur Easy as Can Be Bread Machine Bread. We set our machine to light crust and 1.5 pound loaf, we always use bread flour but it says you can use AP flour as well.
- Put all of the ingredients into your machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. (water, milk, butter, sugar, salt, flour, yeast)
- Program the machine for basic white bread, and press Start.
- When the loaf is done, remove the pan from the machine. After about 5 minutes, gently shake the pan to dislodge the loaf, and turn it out onto a rack to cool.
- Store, well-wrapped, on the counter for 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Do you use a bread machine? Do you have a good gluten free bread recipe? If so, let me know!