I recently spent a day refilling the empty bags of bread machine mixes that I've used up.
Years ago I noticed that I was much more likely to grab a bread machine mix out of the cupboard than to make a recipe from scratch, but the mixes were SO expensive, not to mention the preservatives and additives that are in commercial bread mixes and other products. That's when I figured out that I could make my own by pre-measuring the dry ingredients. When I want to make a loaf of bread I just add the water, the mix, and any other needed ingredients.
I pour the dry ingredients for a recipe into my one-quart-sized glass measuring cup with a handle. This makes it much easier to pour into the zipper bag.
Then I put the zipper bag inside a large mixing bowl, and top it with a canning funnel. I pour the dry ingredients through the canning funnel into the bag. If I spill any (I can be messy at times), it can easily be poured from the bowl into the bag.
The bags have labels listing the items in the amounts that need to be added to the bread machine, such as water, oil and yeast. I save the labeled, empty bags to use again.
During this session I put together bags of Italian Herb bread mix and Honey Oat bread mix. (At the same time I also made bags of Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake mix and 2-Minute Fruit Crisp topping mix.)
The honey oat bread is my favorite. Many years ago we used to frequent a sandwich shop in town that had the yummiest bread. I absolutely loved their turkey sandwich on thick slices of honey-oat bread. After the store closed, I tried for years to replicate that sweet bread. This is the closest I've come.
HONEY OAT BREADI've photocopied each of the recipes I use, cut them to 4"x6" size, and keep them in the basket where I store the bagged mixes. It's much easier than gathering all my cookbooks and looking up each recipe when I refill the bags.
1.5 lb loaf
Add the ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer:
1 cup water
3 cups bread flour
1.5 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp honey (I usually use molasses instead)
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1.5 tsp yeast
It's easy to adapt your own favorite recipes to a make-ahead mix and save money, plus avoid preservatives and additives. Depending on the recipe you use, you might need to store it in the refrigerator instead of on a shelf. If you're making one mix, why not make two or more? You already have all the ingredients out, as well as the measuring utensils. You'll be saving time as well as money.
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