Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Make the bread

This is my first blog post. I get a lot of my recipes from blogs and I want to share one of my recipes with you. I have never read the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, but I can appreciate the premise and I follow the title's advice. If you are gluten free and trying to live the thrift life you MUST make your bread. Well, I suppose you could buy the less expensive tapioca based breads, but a life well lived DOES NOT include that cardboard!

One of the most annoying parts about recipes on blogs is that you have to go through the whole blog before you get the recipe, so I will lay out the recipe simple for you right here at the top of the post while my bread bakes. Then we shall go through some of my technique on how to get these ingredients for less cost. I plan to price them out at some point to see how much a loaf actually costs.

My Big Bad Besan Bread (Gluten free and for the bread machine!)
Measure and pour into bread machine in order:
3 eggs, beaten
1 t cider vinegar
3 T oil
1 1/3 C whey leftover from cheese or yogurt making/water
1 C Besan/garbanzo bean flour
1 C Brown Rice Flour
1/2 C Tapioca flour
1/2 C cornstarch
4 t xanthan gum
3 T brown sugar
1 1 /2 t salt
2 1/4 t active dry yeast
2-3 T gound flax, chia, or any other
Then turn on your machine and let it work. I don't have a gluten free setting
so I just use the regular and it seems fine

How I make this delicious yet on the cheap:

Eggs: I love using apps that get me cash back on my groceries, especially with basics like eggs. You can even buy organic/free range eggs and get cash back. The offers change but I have received money back on eggs using the Ibotta  app, Groupon's SNAP app,  and Checkout 51.
If organic is not of importance to you, Kwik Trip and other gas stations often have deals on eggs or coupons for a dozen at a decent price. (and while you are at Kwik Trip don't forget to stock up on bananas, potatoes and onions!)

Would you look at those Mothers!
Cider Vinegar: One of the many things I buy in bulk. Cider is so acidic it can't really go bad. I was about to throw my jug out but my good friend Angela informed me that brown webs floating in your vinegar is a GOOD thing. Indeed these are called "mothers" and are full of good for you gunk, so look away and pour it on in! Since it won't go bad, buy vinegar in the largest (cheapest per ounce) container available.
Oil: Oil should also be bought in bulk, but not in so large a container that it will go bad before you use it. I prefer coconut, olive or canola.  
 Whey: Of course, you can use water if you don't have whey on hand. However, if you do dabble in cheese or yogurt making PUH-LEASE do not be throwing this down the drain. It is up the with webs of "mothers" in the good-for-you category. My cousin, Michael, solved my confusion about whey with the simple direction "Use as you would buttermilk." I freeze my whey in 1 1/3 cup servings in mason jars in the fridge door and thaw it out every time I bake a loaf. I usually leave some fresh in the fridge to throw in pancake batter, oatmeal, and sauces. I, of course, have a turkey, bought cheap with a Thanksgiving Day sale waiting in the freezer that I just might try a buttermilk (WHEY!) brine on. Yum!
Besan and Tapioca Flour: Besan is garbanzo bean flour. Besan and tapioca flour may be found in the ethnic section of your grocery store along with other goodies such as bean and rice noodles, spices, ground coconut and other various flours and grains. Again, buy in bulk. The starchy flours like tapioca last longer then the heavy flours, which you may want to store in the freezer and/or find friends to divvy up the loot with. 

Rice flour, xanthan gum, yeast, flax, etc: I buy these oft used basics on Amazon's subscribe and save. If the container is larger than I can use I post on facebook and find others to divide with me. I can be found salivating over 25 lb bags of millet flour and 50 lb bags of brown rice. Packages of that quantity don't tend to work as my network of buyers isn't that large, but 4 and 6 packs of Bob's Red Mill grains and flours are easy to find homes for. The xanthan gum I purchased regularly was out the last time I put in an order so I went out on a limb with a cheap off brand. The packaging was tacky and turned me off a bit, but this ended up being the best xanthan gum yet!


A couple more notes on doing this on the cheap:
Don't go buying a bread maker unless you really plan to make a lot of bread. There is a reason there are so many breadmakers in thrift stores. They are a good idea that few use. I was baking my bread in the oven for over a year before I broke down and allowed my husband to gift me one from a thrift store. If you get one from Macy's I don't even want to hear about it. Sure you may want one that doesn't leave a big hole from the paddle or that has a gluten free and/or quick bread setting. I want that too, but not enough to work more hours to get it, and every extra dollar you spend is another bit of time you have to spend working. So if you want all those extras just look harder, someone is bound to bring just the breadmaker you covet to a thrift store eventually.

 How to do it even cheaper/better:
Raise your own chickens! I really want to do this in my next house, so somebody hold me to it.
Add more extras! I didn't throw much flax in this loaf but I typically pour it in until I am sure I put in way too much. It always ends up tasting great. Sometimes I throw in sunflower seeds as an homage to that grainy bread my dad used to buy.
Substitute! Play around! Don't run to the store if you are one ingredient short. I was out of brown sugar with this loaf, but upon googling "brown sugar substitute" I came up with a substitute using ingredients I already had. If I ran to the store I probably would have bought more items and the item I wanted may not have been on sale. You may be thing, "Yes, but that molasses cost much more than brown sugar" so another day I will have to tell you how I got that molasses for free ;)
You could probably improve the health (and perhaps the glycemic load) of this bread by using agave nectar or go local with maple syrup or honey. Let me know what works for you.
A note, I have tried about 5 substitutes for that xanthan gum and have yet to find a suitable alternative, but would love to hear if you figure one out.

Don't forget to enjoy, especially if you have some leftover Thanksgiving turkey!


  1. I'm SO excited that you're blogging! I can't wait to glean more info from you, one of my most favorite of all women!

    1. Thanks Crista! I posted about the broth for you now. Going to post about the soup we made with it tomorrow

  2. "If you get one from Macy's I don't even want to hear about it. "
    That's where I laughed.