Adam and I are always trying to improve our diets to be as healthy as possible. Two main ways we’ve done this is by eliminating as much processed food as possible and by going vegan. When we started making improvements one of the first things we changed was the bread we were buying and consuming.
First we started buying a better quality bread, one with less ingredients. Shortly after we switched again to an even better bread called Dave’s Killer Bread which is organic and non-gmo (our favorites are Rockn’ Rye and Good Seed). Eventually, we upped our bread-eating-game even more by making our own bread from scratch. Adam made most of the bread himself, usually on a weekend afternoon, which would take about four hours from start to finish. At the time we were eating a lot of bread so the time it took quickly stacked up and we were ready for a quicker, but still healthy, solution.
We looked around at different bread machines and debated whether or not to get one - and if we did, would it be new or used? In the end we decided we wanted to try one without the commitment of buying a brand new one so we went to The Salvation Army and we were in luck, they had three! I highly recommend getting a secondhand one if you haven’t used a bread machine before. You can usually find ones that have only been used a few times. If you do like the one you find, like we did, you’ll have gotten it for a great price with many years of use still ahead. However, if you find that you don’t like it, be it for the shape of the bread pan or if you love using a bread machine but want, say, more features like gluten-free bread baking simply donate the bread machine again (yay charity!) and get one you know you’ll love because you’ve test-driven another.
Out of the three available we ended up buying a Trillium Breadman bread machine for only $3! We brought it home, cleaned it up, and took it for a test drive. After some trial and error (but still good) batches, Adam fine tuned the bread recipe into the one listed below.
The best thing about using a bread machine is you just put the ingredients in, turn it on, and walk away. Two-ish hours later it beeps, letting you know you have bread waiting for you. Beeps aside, you know your bread is almost ready because the smell of fresh baked bread fills your house about half an hour before it’s done. What could be better than that? All that’s left is to cut it, store it, and then simply rinse out the bread pan and put it back in the machine, ready for your next batch. We cut our slices with a slicing guide now, but before that Adam would just eyeball the size of each cut. To store it we take the sliced bread and put it in one large rubbermaid container.
Another bonus for the bread machine route, aside from the ease of use and cleaning, is the money you save on fresh baked simple-ingredient bread, versus if you bought bread of the same quality at the store. This is especially true if you’re gluten-free and get a bread machine that has a gluten-free setting.
Not to mention, all of the bread machines I’ve seen include a dough setting which makes perfect homemade dough for things like pizza, hand pies, cinnamon rolls, bread rolls, and more. This has made making pizzas so much faster than it used to be when I would make the dough from scratch. Instead of making dough for a few hours, at 3:00 pm I start the bread machine on the dough setting and walk away until 4:30 pm. Then it’s time to roll out the dough and either let it rise a little or just assemble the pizza and bake it. If you have a bread machine that has a delayed start option you can set it up so that the dough is ready for you right when you get home. Then simply throw together the pizza and bam, fresh pizza for dinner.
Although our bread machine is second hand we’ve had it for about 3 years now and haven’t had any problems with it. In the future when we do need a new bread machine, aside from price, we’ll be considering a few main factors:
Bread Machine Pan Shape and Size: They come in different shapes and sizes, some are open-topped loaves - like if you baked it in the oven, ours is rectangular - creating square slices when cut, and I’ve even seen cylinder loaf shaped bread machines. There is also the matter of size, do you want bread little and often? Try a 1lb loaf bread machine. Maybe you have a big household with bread in high demand and would be better off with a larger bread loaf capacity like a 2lb - 2.5lb loaf.
Features Important to You: Bread machines range from simple to full of features. You can get bread machines with gluten-free bread baking settings, light to dark crust options, automatic fruit/nut/seed dispensers, delayed start settings (fresh baked bread waiting for you when you come home/wake up), bread viewing windows (to see the bread while it’s baking), and other options you may be interested in. The more features you want the more expensive the machine will be.
We’ll probably go for something like this. It might look a little over the top but for as much as we use our bread machine and the features included, it would be worth it. For example it has the ability to cook either two different 1 pound loaves at the same time or one 2.5lb loaf, as well as a 15 hour delayed start option, fruit and seed dispenser, gluten-free setting, and collapsible kneading paddles for when the bread is baking.
Alright! Let’s move on to the recipe. It was included in the Magical Vegan Pizza post but I wanted to do a stand alone post about bread machines and this recipe.
Vegan White Bread
Suitable for a 2lb bread machine
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp White Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Warm/Hot Water
- 3 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Yeast
Add each ingredient, in order, to your bread machine’s bread pan. Select white bread or something of that nature if you have the settings. On ours you just select the crust option light, medium, or dark and it starts baking. We cook this recipe on medium which takes about 2 ½ hours from start to finish. Once your bread machine tells you it’s ready, take it out of the pan and allow to cool on a cutting board or wire rack. Allow it to cool completely before cutting.
Have you ever tried making your own bread? The smell is amazing! Would you consider a bread machine? We're so glad we got ours! I hope you have a great weekend - and if you are on the lookout for a secondhand bread machine I hope you find just what you're looking for!