I Don't Buy Bread!
Ever since I found myself as the weekday meal maker , I've taken on the cause of making from scratch as much of the food my kids consume as possible. Although I've not taken on making ice cream yet ( actually I have since writing this - ed.), I did commit to making my family's bread 'from scratch'.
I'm not really sure why I chose bread as one of my 'from the ground up' foods, maybe it was the smell of the bread as it bakes or the fact that I knew exactly what was going into the damn stuff that moved me to spend indespnsible 'me' time producing it. Never the less, about one to two times a week I find myself in the kitchen taking the temperature of hot water, activating yeast, measuring flour, adding those special ingredients that only a home baker could, kneeding the dough as my arms ache... WAIT! I don't kneed the dough, I have my bread machine do it!
That, my friends, is why I even consider making bread on a regular basis. I did try making bread without the help of technology and it was too involved for me to consider it as part of my regular cooking regimen. What I have found though, is that I only use the bread maker to do the tortuous mixing/kneeding. I set the bread maker to 'dough' mode and in 90 minutes I have dough that is almost ready to hit the heat. All I have left to do is take the dough out of the bread machine's bin, remove the paddle that makes that stupid hole in the middle of the crust, kneed it a couple of times, place it in a bread pan lined with parchment paper, let it sit for and hour, bake it at 325F for 25-30 minutes and there ya' go - FRESH HOMEMADE BREAD.
My kids love the stuff and I get to experiment with different recipes. My last 'success' was a hybrid combination of a bread machine white bread and a honey whole wheat bread. It's good!
So, I guess what I'm saying is - take the plunge! If you can mix ingredients and take the temperature of water, then you are all good to go with making your own bread for you and your kids.