Have you been considering buying a bread maker, but you're not convinced enough to risk the money incase it doesn't work?
Do you dream about the smell of fresh bread filling your kitchen, but look at the $300+ price tags and think... nope!
I was in exactly the same boat for months! Maybe even a couple of years. But... after finding a good deal on TradeMe I took the plunge and bought one.
My verdict.... I LOVE it!
Nothing tastes as good as freshly baked bread. With simple ingredients, and so fresh that it's still warm. The butter glides on beautifully and then... mmmmmmmmm. Delicious!
(Yes, it's so delicious, the first loaf of bread you make will NOT make it to becoming an actual sandwich.)
Home baked bread has just a few simple ingredients. Yeast, flour, salt, sugar, butter, milk and water.
Shop bought bread has added preservatives, also known as E-numbers) to keep the bread fresher for longer.
Whether you prefer white or brown bread, or maybe a 35-65% mix. Or maybe you like added fruit, nuts and seeds. Or gluten intolerance means that you need gluten free bread. A bread maker gives you ALL of those choices and more!
These is a very noticeable difference in the reduced amount of packaging when you switch from shop bought to home baked. Say goodbye to all of those bread bags and tags! The ingredients to make bread usually comes in paper or recyclable containers. Or you can even go one step further and get everything package free from a bulk bin store.
Gasp! Say what?!
Bread makers are truly a great piece of kitchen equipment. They can make bread rolls, pizza dough, brioche, cake and even..... jam!
So bread makers are an initial investment. I highly recommend a second hand one to keep that initial cost as low as possible.
We love numbers, so we calculated the cost of our ingredients (per loaf) compared to buying a $1 value loaf of bread. And the price was surprisingly comparable. This doesn't account for the use of buying the bread maker in the first place, or the cost of electricity per use, but for a basic loaf of bread we were pleasantly surprised.
If you usually buy branded bread or speciality bread then you're definitely going to saving money.
Our bread maker also makes amazing pizza dough, so our pizza nights have moved away from take-aways to home made pizzas, saving us so much money!
So... if you've gotten this far, chances are you're convinced about getting yourself a bread maker. So, before you go and spend your hard earned cash, let me give you a balanced view of what's involved in using a bread maker on a regular basis.
1.You need to wash out the bread bucket every time you use it.
It's no big deal really. Takes about 5 mins to wash and dry, but if you're anything like me, you'll be very disappointed that it can't go into the dishwasher.
2. You'll need an organised pantry.
Getting out the ingredients needs to be quick and easy for you to want to keep making your own bread. I love organising things so we have a pretty tidy pantry, but if you don't, now might be a good time to get it sorted.
3. You also need to invest in a sharp bread knife.
Fresh bread is soft and needs a good sharp knife to cut it smoothly. I fully recommend this bread knife from woodzone.co.nz. We bought one and it has been truly amazing to use.
Using a standard bread knife I tend to cut uneven door-stop style wedges! But this knife makes it all too easy to cut consistent even slices, every time. It looks a bit fancy and quirky, but in all honesty it helps you to slice bread like a pro!
4. You need to think ahead.
Our bread maker takes four hours to mix, rise and bake. So you need to think ahead in order to have fresh bread for when you need it. We tend to put the bread maker on before we go to bed so that we wake up to the smell of fresh bread in the morning. It's then perfect to use for lunches.
5. You'll need something to store your bread in.
To be honest the bread wont last long, it's too delicious. And loaves from bread makers are smaller in size than store bought loaves anyway. But you're still need something to keep your bread in and away from flies. We recommend this bread bag. It's made from 100% cotton, can be washed in the washing machine AND looks gorgeous on the bench top!
We love our bread maker and are so pleased we bought one. It's really helped us to change the way we eat in terms of less preservatives and has massively helped reduce our waste. We've also seen savings with money, especially with Friday night pizzas! Who knew bread makers help make such tasty pizza?! (And the dough only takes 45mins, in case you're interested.)
So, if this is something that's been on your mind for a while, just get one! Get a good one and it'll last you for decades!
I think it's important to mention the following recycling schemes. Because after all, none of us are perfect and we all buy packaged goods at some point.
So...if/when you do buy store bought bread, please keep in mind that you can recycle the bags, if you're lucky enough to have a soft plastics recycling scheme running locally to you. You can find out if you do here.
You can also recycle the tags! There's an organisation called Bread tag for wheelchairs. They collect and sell bread tags to a business in Africa who then uses them to make plant pots. All money raised is then used to fund wheelchairs. The drop off points are harder to find but certainly worth the effort.