Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do you make your bread or buy it from the store?

<-On the left my successful bread.

I love my bread-maker. It is convenient to make dough. In less than 2 hours after I dump all ingredients in it, the bread-maker mixes them, knead and raise the dough while I am doing something else. After testing various recipes and making hard or dry bread several times and, I now can make edible tender fresh and tasty bread. Recently I often bake my own bread to save money and save trip to the store. The bread from large bakery doesn’t taste good as home-made except some expensive healthy and artesian bread and one from small bakeries. I found a package of days old store bought bread. It is 12 Grain bread from major bakery. I looked closely at the package. On the package the letters says, No cholesterol, Low in fat, the good bread. I guess it doesn’t say delicious or tasty.
This bread was left on the counter top in my kitchen more than a week and there are no sign of mold or being old. My home made bread would be hard or moldy in 2-3 days after it was baked. Let’s look at the ingredients on the package. There are so many ingredients listed. They are many kinds of flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin mononitrate, Riboflavin, folic acid, water, High fructose corn syrup, …. , dough conditioner(sodium stearoyl lactyate monoglycerydes, calcium sulfate, enzymes, ammonium sulfate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide),….calcium propionate(mold inhibitor), soy flour, nonfat and dry milk. The bread doesn’t get mold because it include mold inhibitor. Does it change the taste of bread? How about dough conditioner? What is dough conditioner?
I agree this bread includes some healthy ingredients such as soy flower and brown rice among many unknown ingredients. I am not sure all these ingredients are natural and healthy though.
My plain home-made bread usually made of, flour (Un-breached enriched white, bread flower, wheat, barley, or such.), milk or water, oil or/and butter, sugar, salt, and active yeast. Some times I add sour cream or yogurt. Comparing with 38 ingredients listed above( see phtos) my bread only contains 6-10 ingredients. Pizza dough can be made of only bread flour, olive oil, salt, water, and active yeast. Making my bread is time consuming even using bread-maker. It will take 3-4 hours. When I need to include bread in the menu and didn’t have time to bake one, I buy bread. I often look at the label to find out the ingredients of the bread.Some bread from stores doesn’t contain suspicious ingredients or some chemical compounds and are natural, healthy, and delicious. I buy some bread from Costco bakery. I sometimes buy bread from a local Italian bakery which bakes their bread with traditional way although their bread doesn’t taste as good and gets dry the next day. Healthy bread such as artesian bread or Italian bread made of only natural ingredients are available but they are costly, Inexpensive way to serve healthy delicious bread is to find a failsafe recipe and bake my own bread. Also I feel safe to know what are in the bread.


FumikoB’s wheat bread using bread-maker

1 1/8 cup Milk or water
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil
3 cups of flour (any variety of flour will do but more bread flour does better. Ex: 2 cups Bread flour and 1 cup of wheat flour.)
2 tsp Active yeast
2 TBSP sour cream(Optional but this will make bread moist.)
Cooking instruction
Add all ingredients to bread pan in bread maker.
Set dough setting and make dough.
Take dough and punch down.
Divide the dough into equal two pieces.
Roll the dough into large balls and place into the loaf pan.
Raise it the warm place until double in the volume.
Preheat oven 375 degree.
Bake bread until top browned for about 30 minutes.


gilda92 said...

Fumiko: Do you use a Zojirushi bread maker? I've been thinking of buying one.
I usually buy artisan breads, but they are Very Expensive! on the other hand, if I buy regular store bread no one eats it!!

fumikob said...

I bought a used Bread maker. It is Hitachi Home Bakery II. I loved it so much and bought another used one exactly the same to make two loaves of bread for my all relatives. My American in-laws and Japanese relatives all loved my bread.
I am not sure you can find it new since google search only found information about used ones. You may search Zojirushi bread maker and see what the users of the products said about it. Or check out consumer's guide?