Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DIY bread @ home

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"Bread is the staff of life", as they say, but more recently, some experts consider bread not that good for us, in particular white bread. Because white bread is made from refined white flour, a lot of the goodness is removed from the grain plus a lot of preservatives are added to extend the shelf life. I personally prefer wholegrain bread and up until she was 3 years old, my daughter ate it too. Not so much luck now. I'm lucky to have found a local bakery who makes a preservative-free white bread. If she didn't eat sandwiches, she wouldn't eat anything.

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Prior to this, I made my own bread some of the time. I was lucky enough to get my next door neighbour's bread maker for nothing and I give it a good work out, more so in the cooler months. It's great for small loaves (but with big slices), pizza dough, rolls, sweet bread products and you can even make cakes and jam in it. You can pick them up from second hand stores and online for around $20. It's certainly a good way to save money. It does all the hard work for you as in the mixing and kneading and then cooks it as well. Nothing smells nicer in the home than freshly baked bread. Here are the recipes I use for bread, fruit bread and pizza dough, using the bread maker.
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Breadmaker Bread

White:
  • 1 + 1/3 cup water
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar, or honey, or maple syrup, or apple concentrate
  • 1 tbs oil, or butter
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp dry yeast

Wholegrain:

  • 1 + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar, or honey, or maple syrup, or apple concentrate
  • 1 tbs oil, or butter
  • 2 + 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup seed mix (pepitas, seasme, sunflower, linseed, soy grits)
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
Add all ingredients, in order as listed, and follow manufacturer's instructions for cooking times.

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Scrolls:

Make a dough batch for a whole loaf in your breadmaker, up until the cooking stage. Put some flour on your counter and roll it out, approx 40x30cm Then add your topping and roll up again and divide this equally into eight scrolls. Place them onto a small oven tray, cover in cling wrap and place in the fridge until required (they will last in fridge for 3 days).

As you need them, take out of fridge, turn them over and let them rise for 40 minutes. Cook in a 200 deg oven for 18 to 20 minutes. The dough recipe could be doubled to make one batch of sweet scrolls and one savoury.

Suggested fillings:

  • Nutella
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Jam, maple syrup
  • Vegemite and cheese
  • Garlic butter
  • Herb butter
  • Chilli sauce
  • Olives
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Ham and cheese
  • Salami, tomato paste and mozarella cheese
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Fruit Bread:

  • 400ml water
  • 600gm flour
  • 3 tbs milk powder
  • 2 tbs butter/margarine/oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • sultanas/raisins
There are many traditional recipes for bake at home bread on the internet if you're that way inclined.

home made flour tortilla recipe
Homemade tortillas


Many international cuisines have their own version of bread. The Mexicans have tortillas and the above recipe from Picklebums is super easy. (This link also contains a delicious DIY taco seasoning recipe.)




Indians have the most wonderful selection of breads and even without a tandoor oven, they're quite simple to replicate at home. Some of the most popular that I know are Roti or Chapati, Paratha, Naan and Kulcha. Indian breads are some of the most delicious I've ever tasted. They're all very similar but can be made different with beautiful fillings such as garlic, cheese (paneer), spinach, tomatoes or something sweet like raisins.

Turkish pide

Turkish bread or pide is also delightful. They also sometimes fill it and it's just so delicious. Pide is also great as a sandwich, plain or toasted or use as a burger bun.



Lebanese pita bread has nearly taken over the world with being an excellent substitute for what we know as sliced bread. They're are very easy to make and you'll be surprised at how easily they separate so you can stuff them with cold meat and salad, hommous, meatballs or whatever else you like. They also make great wraps.


Don't forget the Italians. Besides pizza, they do lovely breads such as focaccia and ciabatta. You can add all sorts of toppings, similar to pizza but keeping it simple with a couple things like olives and rosemary, sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs or just olive oil and salt is enough. These kind of breads are good enough on their own, just dipped into olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar and as an accompaniment to an antipasto platter or a thick, hearty soup.

With some loaves of bread now costing over $3 per loaf in the supermarket, you might like to try your hand at making it at home, whether it be traditional white sliced or a delicious international flat bread. The lovely Tammy from Tammy's recipes has done all the hard work for me and calculated the costs of making your own bread at home compared to buying it from the store (and there are bargains to be had in buying bread from the supermarket) especially if you want to be in a little more in control of what you're eating.


This post is part of domesblissity's THRiVING - Thrifty Living feature.

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