As gas prices continue to rise, so does the cost of everything else. One thing I've noticed in the store is the price of bread! I used to always make homemade bread, but as our lives got busy with our oldest son training for the Jr. Olympics and acquiring custody of an infant(now toddler!) grandchild, I started making short cuts in our lives including store bought bread. But at $4.99 and up for a decent loaf of whole grain bread, it's back to the grain mill for us!!
With the modern convenience of the bread machine, just about anybody can make a decent loaf of bread in little time at all. While I do use my machine often to make the dough, I rarely bake in it. The loaves come out shaped in such a way they aren't very usable for sandwiches. So what I do is either use my bread machine or my Kitchen Aid Mixer(one of my favorite appliances coming in 2nd only to my crock pot!) to mix and knead the dough, then I shape myself and bake in the oven.
I have found(thanks to great advice from my friends over at the Sonlight Forums!) that adding in extra gluten helps the breads texture for sandwich use as well.
Lately I have been experimenting with different shapes for hamburger buns, sandwich rolls, etc.. These are great for your Boca Burgers or Veggie Meatless Balls for Meatless Ball sandwiches, top with a little homemade spaghetti sauce and YUMMY!!
There is nothing better than a good homemade foccacia bread topped with tomatoes and served with a salad!
You can practically create a whole meal around a good loaf of bread. I prefer whole grains, but even if you use white flour, you are still making a far healthier loaf than what you could buy in the store(see my other blog for details of corn in our bread and other food products!)
While I really love soup and bread in the winter, it is also great in the summer if you utilize your bread machine for the baking, and crock pot for the soup, keeps the house from getting too warm!
You can experiment with different grains, or slowly switch grains until your family gets used to the taste and texture of whole grains. Most of the time, after they get used to the difference, they prefer it!
So, if you too are becoming alarmed and overwhelmed at the food prices these days, get out and dust off some of your appliances and experiment and see what you can make for yourself, that you have been buying up to this point. Not only will you find it more cost effective, it will be far more healthy guaranteed! Not to mention much tastier!