When I got my bread machine for free from Freecycle over a year ago, I was delighted. It was practically brand new. The original owner said that she only had used it once. I couldn't help wondering why someone would invest money in an appliance and then only use it one time. What I found out when I made my first loaf even after following the directions to a "T" is that the bread comes out resembling a piece of petrified wood, which is wonderful if you need a new door stop or a paper weight. This is probably what happened to the poor lady who shelled out perfectly good money for the machine. The secret I found was ignoring the recipe that came with the machine. I searched some of my favorite frugal type blogs for information. It turns out that buying wheat gluten and adding extra water are the key. You can buy bread machine flour, but really, it's just flour with wheat gluten added. It will cost you less to buy regular flour and add your own wheat gluten. Another big key to success is buying a bread slicer. Until I found one at a yard sale for 2 dollars, I never knew how easy and uniform it made slicing the bread, I'd never even heard of a bread slicer before. I would probably still be struggling with weird sizes of bread slices if I hadn't come across that particular yard sale. Now I'm able to make really healthy high fiber whole wheat bread with no preservatives for pennies anytime I want to. I recycle produce bags to wrap the bread in and keep it refrigerated. Here is my recipe:
Whole Wheat Bread
(Add to the bread machine in this order)
1 teaspoon if salt
2 tablespoons of sugar (it has to be sugar for the yeast to work)
2 tablespoons of oil
1 1/2 cups of hot water.
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, sifted, then mixed well with-
3 tablespoons of wheat gluten
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
Before adding the yeast, make a little hole in the center of the flour with your finger and pour in the yeast.
Choose the whole wheat settings for a regular loaf of bread according to your machine. Enjoy!
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