To save money, make and knead your own homemade bread, sans bread machine. Your costs will go down from $5 a loaf, to $1-$2.
I grew up surrounded by bread. The best grilled cheeses, toast for almost any meal, and French toast far preferred to any stack of pancakes except buckwheat. It was good bread too, often bought from Breadsmith and absolutely delicious. I could down a loaf in four days.
In college I stopped eating bread. What was provided was disgusting by my standards. If you can squeeze a slice down into the size of a quarter, that’s not bread! It is calorie filled air! Out of college and on my own, I used a bread machine for 3 years. The bread I made was thick and chewy and good, but the simplest recipe in my bread machine book (and DO NOT go off recipe for bread machines. BAD THINGS HAPPEN) involved a ton of ingredients, from four tablespoons of honey to several tablespoons of powdered buttermilk. How did something like bread get to be so complicated? And costly too! My own loaf of bread cost me about $5 to make, the same price of Breadsmith, or the local Dave’s Killer Bread (also delicious). Thus, disheartened, I have switched to oatmeal for the last year. Costing about $1-$2 for a week’s supply, oatmeal helped me shave a much needed few dollars off my grocery budget.
But what about sandwiches?
Sandwiches are the epitome of travel food. This past year I have hurt for lack of travel food. I’ve gone quite hungry on long plane flights, and during very busy days when I’m not at home.
The solution? Kneading the bread myself to make a delicious homemade bread loaf. For some reason, when you don’t use a bread machine, bread becomes the simple chemistry of sugar, yeast, flour, and salt. That’s it. Nothing complicated, no added ingredients. My favorite recipe is from Cravings of a Lunatic, and costs about $1.50 to make. Now that is a savings of over 50%!
Thus, now I am making my own homemade bread. I’ve even begun experimenting with new flours, such as spelt and buckwheat. Can you guess below which loaf is which? Jesse learned how to knead bread dough on his last weekend, resulting in that beautiful spelt loaf.
You can learn how to knead easily from youtube. Here is a good video! Don’t forget to knead by hand from 8-10 minutes. Makes a huge difference.
Sandwiches are delicious, and with your own bread, just a few dollars away. What will you create with your own homemade bread? A few of my more self explanatory adventures are below, then a healthy, delicious take on egg salad for this week’s recipe!
This Week in Updates:
It has been a lonely week without Jesse, punctured by the occasional delicious sandwich. I am getting more sleep, and my work out routine is back on, so I am very, very sore but happy with how my body is looking. I’m excitedly planning for the weekend, with baking plans including Pad Thai and some experiments with French Toast. Hey, I have all this extra bread now, right? I might even get to my sowing machine, and start taking an online Russian class. I am almost ready to take my motorcycle on the highway, and once I’m comfortable with that, the Russian meetup group I’ve been wanting to go to will actually be possible. The co-op was a miracle for produce, their ugly produce section producing 5 organic and local avocado for $1.50, and a whole container of organic California mushrooms for $2!
A little money windfall meant that I got to get a made in USA tank top from my very favorite juice and smoothie store, Sun and Soil.
The Recipe: Easy Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
I’m usually not a fan of egg salad, since I don’t like mayo, but a little avocado? I can get behind that!
Ingredients for two sandwiches:
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 avocado, mashed
1/2 tablespoon of your favorite mustard
2 tablespoons cream cheese (if desired)
Black pepper to taste
a few leaves of a leafy green, like chard
2 slices of bread
Mix all ingredients together except the bread, greens, and cream cheese. Slather cream cheese on bread. Layer in egg salad with the greens on the bread. Make a sandwich and enjoy!