My ode to my breadmaker

In my confession of my inability to be a vegan I mentioned my love of my bread maker. I think that the bread maker is totally under-appreciated. Have you seen the price of bread these days? Even crap bread cost about $1, and that's on sale. Then when you make your selection how many ingredients does that wonderbread have? My bread has 10ish depending on spices and it didn't travel far to find me and I can pronounce all the names of the ingredients.

Seriously, how many couples do you think own them and don't use them or were given them for their wedding only to return it right back to Target? Probably way too many. Well, If you are one of those that have one around here and it's currently a door stop for my laundry room or in your gift closet just waiting for your next set of friends to get married, as soon as you are done reading this go get it out, dust it off, and give it a try. I guarantee if you do you will fall in love with it. If you are leery of bread making have no fear I am here to help. Most everything you need you will likely have at home with the exception of 2 ingredients: bread flour and yeast. Now theoretically you can make sourdough without yeast and make bread with other types of flour. BUT, let me tell you from one cheapo to another, just go buy these ingredients. Go to walmart (eeek, I know, but they are the cheapest. I have checked around and don't wait for a coupon. You are just holding your breath for nothing.) and pick them up. After you feel comfortable you can buy yeast and flour in bulk at Costco saving you LOTS of money but since this is an experiment don't go for bulk until you're sure you are ready for it.

So, here is a simple and yummy recipe to start with. I got the idea from the Better Homes and Gardens bread machine cookbook I checked out of the library but have tweaked it some.  This is so easy. All you do is put the ingredients in your bread maker in the order listed, press start and be patient for 4 hours.

A few tips,

1. You have to put the ingredients in the right order. If you don't it won't rise and then your loved ones will be like Mr. C and pretend that they love it but mysteriously won't touch it after the initial day.

2. Peek after the first 15-30 to make sure your consistency is right. If it's not a ball of dough add water. If its runny add flour.

3. Don't peek too much after that first time. It'll make your bread fall.

4. Don't tell people how easy making bread is. Pretend like you a bakery genius and let them hero worship you (naw, just kidding but really follow the first 3 steps.)

Now try my Potato Bread:

3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of milk (I have used cows, soy, and almond and all work fine)
1 egg
3 tablespoons of oil, butter, or margarine. I have tried them all and they all work fine.*
4 cups of bread flour
1 1/4 tsp of instant yeast
3/4 cup of instant potatoes (not prepared, just the flakes)
4 tsp of sugar (any kind will work. I use regular white sugar)
1 tsp of garlic salt
1 tsp of rosemary, oregano,  or any other spices you love.

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