Got a bread machine / bread-maker as part of your preparedness? You might think it’s cheating to use a bread machine (rather than making it from scratch). But it’s a valuable prep item for the survival kitchen!
What do I mean by that?
Well, the other day I wrote an article titled, “Food to Survive a Pandemic | At Least 90 Days”.
In it I mentioned the importance of staying out of grocery stores (any place like that) to minimize risk of exposure (if it gets that bad). Buying enough food and supplies to make it at home for 90 days (just an example) without having to go to the store.
As a result, you won’t be buying fresh foods like bread (because you’re staying out of the grocery store on purpose). So, how are you going to get your hands on some bread?
Well, make your own! A bread machine makes it ridiculously easy. All you need is the machine itself, and of course the ingredients.
How Much Flour Do I Need?
Tip: “Bread machine bread flour” is the same thing as bread flour. Both contain more gluten than all-purpose flour. If using all-purpose flour, consider adding a product called vital wheat gluten (see on amzn). The rule of thumb is to add 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten for every cup of low gluten flour.
How much flour for a loaf of bread? Bread machine recipes vary. So check your manual. Recipes often refer to weight rather than cups. The weight of flour varies. The best way to measure for a given recipe is to use a digital kitchen scale for exact measurements – after you ‘zero out’ the weight of the container (we use this one).
However a good rule of thumb is about 2.5 cups flour for a normal loaf.
A 5 pound bag of all purpose flour contains about 18 cups by volume. So figure about 6 loaves per bag if recipe calls for 3 cups (a slightly larger loaf).
Given the example above, lets say you want to make 2 loaves of bread each week for 3 months. That’s 24 loaves. How much flour do you need?
Well, roughly, 17 pounds of flour. Round it up to 20 pounds (4) 5-lb bags.
24 loaves x 2.5 cups/loaf = 60 cups of flour
60 / 18 = 3.3 (5-lb bags)
So if you bought (4) 5-lb bags, you’re good to go…
Yeast and Other Ingredients
You will also need yeast. You can get the packets (1) 0.25 oz per loaf, or buy it in bulk.
Bread machine yeast and rapid-rise yeast are specially formulated for the bread machine. They also become active more quickly than active dry yeast. Active dry yeast should be dissolved in water before being used, but bread machine yeast can be mixed in with other dry ingredients. This is particularly important when using the timed mixing function on your machine.
Other ingredients may include salt, oil, milk or water, sugar, butter, eggs. Recipes and tastes vary.
Important Note on Liquids
Yeast needs a warm (but not hot) environment to grow in, and for this reason, all liquids added to the bread machine (including eggs) should be at room temperature (as opposed to right out of the fridge).
A typical bread machine recipe may call for warm water approximately 110 degrees-F (for example). I use a quick-read thermometer to measure the temperature as water runs from the tap in this regard (here’s one).
Tip: If using butter, slice into thin pads rather than a big hunk.
Which Bread Machine Should I Buy
Take your pick. But one of the most popular today is this one (which we own) (we actually have two… this one for our 5th-wheel, and a different one at home)
Hamilton Beach Bread Maker
(view on amzn)
Continue reading: The Best Bread Machine | the Zojirushi