“Make my own bread? I don’t think so! I can just about cope with beans on toast!”
Well don’t be so hard on yourself; it’s much easier than you think. And it’s the one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to impress a new friend.
With so many types of flour and potential ingredients available, you can let your imagination run wild.
If you think it’s all elbow grease and endless washing up, then you’re wrong. Why not invest in a bread maker? Many students this year will be bringing all manner of trendy new appliances and gadgets with them, but if you want to stay one step ahead – why not add one of these to your essentials list? I’ve had mine for 6 months, and it has honestly changed my life. Not only can you wake up to the smell of fresh bread every day, but is healthier, there is no washing up (honestly), it is a fraction of the price – and you can call yourself an artisan!
From within a week of turning out my first basic white loaf, I was making brioche, spelt and gluten-free loaves - and now it has got to the point where I’m even feeding my neighbours and workmates almost every day.
Here’s why I love it – throw a few cheap ingredients in to the pan. Press a button. Come back a while later to a fresh loaf. Bask in the glory while the deliciousness is consumed by your appreciative flat mates. Wipe out the pan with a damp cloth and repeat.
So, six months in to bread maker ownership and a typical week for me involves producing a couple of loaves for home – normally a plain white and a wholemeal – a quick batch of cheese rolls for the freezer, a sweet treat for the office (the last couple of weeks it has been experimental “Rocky Road brioche”, made with rich tea biscuits and Nutella), and a show-stopping Challah loaf for visitors, made with honey that starts in the bread maker and then lovingly plaited before being transferred to the oven for half an hour.
I am a huge fan of my Panasonic SD-2500, but bread makers can be bought from as little as £30 from most supermarkets – and they will produce fabulous loaves for you time after time. You’ll also need the following:
- Flour (I use strong bread flour from Lidl, 65p for 1.5kg – so will make 3-4 loaves)
- Yeast (I use quick yeast from Lidl again, in easy sachets)
- Water (Available from any tap….)
- Sugar (Whatever you have lying around)
- Salt (16p a box from Lidl – will last you ages)
- Butter (or cooking oil)
So, if you’re moving in to a new Roost this year, why not give a bread maker a try? I guarantee you’ll soon be waking up to delicious croissants and complimenting your spag bol with a nice focaccia!
- Phil Luckett