Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bread day!! Day 4

Today's menu has Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches on it. I remember as a kid having a PB sandwich almost every day. At one point I was so tired of them I stashed one under the bed so my mom thought I ate it. I don't know how long after that she found it - it had dried up though.
That was back in the gluten days though and since going gf I haven't had a pb&j except maybe on a corn tortilla (which is yummy toasted).

So, I made gf bread (from Pamela's bread mix). The shopping list seems to intend that you buy pre-made but the mix makes 2x as much for the same price as a frozen Udi's loaf, so I decided to do that instead. The recipe calls for 2 eggs, some oil & water and stirring for 3 minutes in a mixer. I would recommend getting a bread machine if you plan to have bread often. I saw a pretty decent one for $99 it would pay for itself in a few months.

I did it all by hand! I'm actually pretty happy with it though, gf bread doesn't require kneading and shaping - just a really strong arm for the last 2 of 3 mixing minutes if you don't have a heavy duty mixer (like I don't). Ooofta! by minute 3 I was more just stabbing at the dough with the spoon than mixing it - thick and sticky stuff! But - the whole process took about 5 minutes and it was in the pan to rest for an hour, then to bake for 70 minutes.
When it was cool, I sliced it and it sliced much easier than regular bread too!

This particular loaf had a really nice crusty outside and soft, chewy inside. It was kind of heavy - not fluffy - but not unlike other bakery breads I have had.
I'm guessing the Udi's loaf would have been the fluffier type - it looked fluffy but it was frozen, so who knows?

My Conclusion:
Gluten Free bread is easier and better than wheat bread. Everyone should eat it instead.*

My past experience with baking gf bread was a Bob's Redmill brand Cinnamon Raisin mix. It was a very similar process and tasted really good too.

My time saving tip:
Cook multiple packages of bacon, like I did today (3) when breakfast called for it. Ever notice how much better the bacon starts cooking toward the end of the package? I take advantage of that by keeping it rolling as long as possible and freezing what I'll use later. I think it has to do with the grease being the right temperature or something.

My Conundrum:
Personally, I think bacon is the biggest waste of $ if you're grocerying on a budget, all fat and salt. But oh it is SO GOOD! I can eat a pound of it alone in one sitting if it's a good brand. The best thing is there's no such thing as a bacon hangover. You can eat and eat and just feel fine.
Reason #2 I needed to freeze it - so I don't cheat it all up!!

*I'm not putting bread maker on my wish list because I found out through this experiment the bread doesn't like me - probably the high yeast content so I'll stick to my corn tortilla sandwiches.

Oh and don't forget to save your bacon grease!

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