Have you thought about baking your own bread but are put off by the time and maybe lack of skills? Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house. But it’s so convenient to buy bread from the supermarket or bakery that many people don’t get to experience that home baked bread smell.
We used to bake our own bread until we moved to our farm. We lived in a shed with minimal cooking facilities so baking bread was out of the question. When we moved into our new house we continued buying bread because we had been out of the bread baking routine for too long. That was until I got sick of buying bread I didn’t really enjoy. I personally love a chewy sourdough bread and can easily buy a good quality one from a local baker but the rest of my family are not big fans. They prefer a softer loaf and like “square” bread like you get from the shops.
So I decided it was time to get back into baking our own so it could satisfy my need for a nice tasting loaf and be soft enough and square enough for the other members of my family. In order for us to make bread consistently, it needed to be quick and easy. I looked into using a bread maker and thought how easy it would be to put the ingredients in and leave it to do its thing. I borrowed my mum’s bread maker to test it out first so we didn’t buy one and find we didn’t like it. And that was a smart move because although I loved that the bread maker mixed, kneaded and proved the bread really easily we didn’t love the shape of the loaf. It was short in length and the slices were larger than a regular bread loaf.
So we combined using the bread maker to knead and do the first prove and then used a good quality bread tin (which we already had) to do the second prove and then bake it in the oven. This worked really well and I liked the fact that I could dump the ingredients into the bread maker and leave it until it beeped and then do the second part the more traditional way.
Here are my tips for baking bread at home with minimal effort:
- Use a bread maker to mix, knead and do the first prove. I put the tin onto kitchen scales and weigh out the water, bread mix and yeast and then turn the bread maker onto the dough only setting.
- You can pick up second hand bread makers cheap on eBay or your local buy swap and sell group online. That’s what we are going to do.
- Buy a good quality bread tin (with a lid if you want a square loaf). We made the mistake of buying a cheap bread tin online initially which was really small and very flimsy. Our bread tin we use is from Simply No Knead (not sponsored).
- Use a ready made bread mix. We buy ours in bulk and it makes 17 loaves. Buy the smaller mixes to begin with until you find one you like. Then find it in bulk as it will work out cheaper. We like the Laucke Rye bread mix (not sponsored).
What are your bread making tips? This method works well for us and making it easier means we bake bread regularly and haven’t bought bread from the shop for months. If you have more time you might want to bake a traditional sough dough or buy the ingredients separately and make a bread using your own 2 hands. But there’s no shame in taking some short cuts and having the smell of delicious bread wafting through the house and the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself (even if you did have some help from a bread maker!).