It’s been probably twenty years since in-store bakeries became the rage in grocery stores. I remember walking into the store and smelling the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread. I grabbed a bag of warm rolls and brought them home with anticipation.
But as good as they looked, they really didn’t have much taste. I tried that grocery store’s baked goods a few more times and finally decided that there was something they sprayed around the store that smelled like fresh bread, because the bread and rolls weren’t what was giving off such a great aroma.
Since then I’ve preferred my own baked goods. Several years ago, I got a bread machine as a gift. I hadn’t really wanted one, preferring to make my own bread the old-fashioned way, but once I tried the bread machine, I was hooked.
I especially liked the dough cycle: you could have the fun of shaping and baking the bread without the work of kneading the dough. And as far as I’m concerned, nothing smells as good as freshly baked homemade bread that tastes good, too.
At the grocery the other day, I saw a bag of dinner rolls for $2.49 in the bakery section. They didn’t look fresh, and in fact felt a bit hard. I thought $2.49 was a pretty steep price for day-old rolls. Those sad-looking rolls made me so glad to have my bread machine. I throw in a few ingredients in the morning, set the timer, and have lovely dough or even a baked loaf of bread when I want it at dinnertime.
I’ve had good luck with the recipes that came with my machine. But if you buy one secondhand, or are gifted with a used bread machine, you might want to visit this site for some good recipes.
BTW, I don’t use bread flour because it’s so expensive. I’ve had good luck with plain old (cheap) flour from Aldi’s. But if you’re picky about your bread, give bread flour a try.
Also, buying yeast in those tiny envelopes gets really expensive. Over at Sam’s Club, they sell two very large packages of yeast for less than $4. I freeze one and put the other in a Mason jar in the fridge, and it takes me quite a while to go through both. Definitely a money saver!