homemaking hack: bread kits "from scratch"


Okay, so I've loved the idea of having a big family ever since we started having kids, and I always knew lots of food would be involved, but I honestly had no idea how much food they would eat! :D

So far, I only have children 10 and under, but we're all big eaters here at our house. I think some of it is because we generally don't eat lots of snacks or huge breakfasts, so when we eat a meal, we are all hungry when it's time to eat. :D

Rob and the kids eat sandwiches at lunch because they're easy to make and clean up in the middle of homeschooling, but these days we are going through an entire loaf of bread every meal! And if we shop at Sam's Club, the larger loaves run between $1.75- $2.50 per 24 ounce loaf, which makes eating sandwiches expensive. Even at the day-old bread store we pay about $1 per loaf.

Now that the baby is getting a little older, I'm trying to find every way we can to save on food- which means I'd like to make our own bread as often as possible, and save our family $5-$7 each week. A 1.5 lb. loaf of homemade bread from scratch costs me approximately 85 cents because I'm using olive oil and flour from Sam's Club.

The artisan bread I make is actually cheaper and better tasting in my opinion, but the breadmaker is more convenient for homeschooling mornings and for making sandwich bread. :)

Thankfully, instead of having to pull out all of the ingredients every morning {not convenient}, I have a very old homemaking hack I'm bringing back to make my goal of having homemade bread every day possible! 

It's the bread kit:


To make a bread kit, I just pre-measure all my dry goods so that I can dump them into my breadmaker one-handed. :) I modified my favorite recipe to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil and added about 3 cups of flour, 2 tbs. of sugar, 1-1.5 tsp. of salt, and 2.5 tsp. of yeast to each bag.

I flattened each package out and wrote a little reminder of what I needed to add when I pour it in:

the recipe I'm using this time, adapted from here:
3 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt + a pinch more, 2.5 tsp. of yeast, and 2 tbs. sugar in each bag,
when using- add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 cup warm water to the machine {plus a tbs extra if needed during mixing}
Since they have yeast in them, I store the kits in the fridge to use through the week, but if I wanted to leave the yeast out, I could store them in the pantry {and have done that in the past!}. When I'm ready to use one, I just pour in the liquids {1 cup warm water and 1/4 cup of olive oil for this recipe} first and then add the kit, and put the bread cycle on regular white for 3 hours. {I've never noticed a problem with the kit being cold in the past, but I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem to pull it out a little early if needed or add a little hotter water to warm it up.}

I've made whole wheat using a different recipe in the past, and if I can find a good source of whole wheat in bulk I will probably go back to that for everyday use. For now we all like the white bread version. :) {I'd love to hear if you have a good machine recipe for wheat, and here is one for gluten-free machine bread if you're looking!}

I save the ziploc bags to reuse when we're done, so I don't have to waste them. :) And with the bread kits already made, I think it's easy enough the girls could do it every morning without leaving a mess. :) I'd say this little hack definitely makes life much easier and saves us money too! :D

How many loaves of bread does your family go through in a week?

38 comments

lyndseballew said...

Love this idea! We use our Cuisinart to make bread and I love the idea of making the kits all at once. Great idea!

Candice said...

I am definitely doing this! Thank you for the idea!

Candice said...

I am definitely doing this! Thank you for the idea!

Anonymous said...

what size loaf does this make? :)

Nancy said...

We made a radical change in our eating habits after doing a Daniel Fast last year and probably only go through a loaf of (Ezekiel) bread every 2-3 weeks (only 2 of us at home now). We used to eat bread at every meal!! And when my kids were little I used my bread machine almost every day.

shelleymgm said...

How do you store the bread if you don't use it that day

Jessica said...

I love this idea! I have 5 kids too, but they are a little younger than yours so we don't go through an entire loaf in one meal...yet..:) I'd say we'd easily go through 3 loaves in a week. This is an awesome idea, thanks for sharing!

Mandy said...

It should make about 1.5 lbs I think. You use an entire lb of flour plus oil water and sugar. :)

lokblaze said...

It's a great idea. Unfortunately white flour is extremely unhealthy for you. :( I know you already know the benefits of whole wheat flour so I wish you luck in finding a good source. I was able to find 50 pound bags that shipped would be about $50 through a quick google search. While not as cheap as white flour, it's much healthier. :) I don't eat much for breads, pasta's, etc anymore because of the high carb counts which is a massive problem for weight control and diabetes.

lifeandblessings said...

I have no idea how much bread we eat each week. We have been getting bread donated to us since we started doing mission work. However we chose to stop picking up the free bread for a season. We have 4 bread machines. When we make bread we use them all. I will be putting them to use again soon. This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing. FYI: If you think they eat a lot now...wait until they are teenagers : )
Kingdom Life & Blessings

Stephanie Toepel said...

I've never used a bread machine, but I'm very interested. Right now, we may go thru a loaf of store-bought bread in about a week. I think making bread at home would be so much nicer than store-bought bread, simply because there are not any preservatives in the homemade bread. Mandy, do you have any suggestions of where I should buy my first bread machine?

QUESTION said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QUESTION said...

WHICH BREAD machine should I buy I don't understand and want to buy but here are so many options out there is overwhelming

Mandy said...

Goodwill! There are tons of them there, and they are like 10-15% of their original cost, and are barely used. I've used Sunbeam and Cuisinart and like them both. Zojurishi is the best out there if you can find one {I've only seen one at a garage sale}. I got mine at GW for $10, in brand new condition, and it's $115 on Amazon! :) good luck!

Mandy said...

I would totally buy a new looking one at Goodwill- they are so cheap and you can see what you think! Sunbeam is a good brand, but I would probably buy the newest one I saw for $10 or less. :)

Mandy said...

oh that's awesome! I might need to find another machine or two for when they're teens like you!!

Mandy said...

I put it in a ziploc in the fridge, but I don't know how long it lasts :)

Mandy said...

oh let me know how it goes for you! :D

Mandy said...

we did the same thing before I was nursing- we almost eliminated bread altogether for the adults, and I loved it!

katrynka said...

My machine says not to allow the yeast to touch the water, to put it on top of all the dry ingredients. Did yours have the same instructions?

Dave Hirschler said...

I have a great honey-wheat recipe that I use. But I make rolls with mine because I don't like the big, funky-shaped bread that comes out of my machine. I put 1 cup water, 3 Tbs butter (cold is fine) and ⅓ cup honey in the bottom of the machine, then add 3 cups white flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 Tbs yeast - that's it! No salt, no oil, nothing else. I get more compliments on my honey wheat rolls than on my white that require quite a few more ingredients and a lot more measuring and fussing.

Mandy said...

I bought mine used at Goodwill, but my old one had those instructions, and I think it is mostly for when you have a delayed cycle because you wouldn't want the yeast to get wet if you had it set to cook for the morning. I've never noticed a difference when using it without delay. :)

Mandy said...

oh YAY!! I can't wait to try it! I like how it doesn't have milk and fifteen ingredients! I'm excited! thank you!

Leah Werner said...

Awesome! Thank you for that tip! I will also be really handy when I want to bake, but don't want to mess up my kitchen! ;)

Sophie from France said...

Thank you for the tip! I'll try it next week...and the farm near me sell the whole wheat flour in bulk ... but you'll have to fly!!
How many kits do you prepare at each time?

mylisslou7 said...

Perfect timing! I'll give it a try today!

Amanda said...

We only go through about a loaf a week because we don't eat too much bread (and are not at home during the day!). I use my bread machine (found it in my grandmother's linen closet - she used it maybe twice and was happy to pass it onto me) to knead the dough and then 95% of the time, I bake it in the oven. My machine doesn't make the best loaves if baked in it. I've had my eye on a Zo, but am waiting until the current machine breaks - I've had it over 8 years already...

Anonymous said...

For frugal meal ideas, check out www.theprudenthomemaker.com . She also has a blog www.theprudenthomemakerblog.blogspot,com . I have made almost all of her recipes and my family really enjoys them.

I very much enjoy your blog. Have a wonderful week!

Hannah said...

Love that it's cheap and easy! We are currently starting to change our eating habits. We want to stay away from all the garbage companies put in food. I have a bread maker but have never used it. I want to start. We were hoping to use a flour other than white such as oat flour. Have you ever used that? Do you know if I can just make a 1:1 swap for that in your recipe?
Thanks!

Ali Holley said...

You posted this at just the right moment. I'm tired of having to stock up on bread when I go shopping, especially now with a newborn, only to have it be bad when we got to use it. Now just top find a bread machine!

Sophie from France said...

If you use a different flour than wheat, your bread may not rise. Must be half and half, or use a recipe for gluten-free bread. I use half wheat flour and half oatmeal for example, or chestnut flour or corn flour ... You should easily find recipes on the net.

Dave Hirschler said...

You are most welcome -- also -- I have flip/flopped the white/wheat when using whole wheat pastry flour. You need a little white, or you'll have to add gluten or you'll end up with a brick! You might have to cut back on quantities, if I don't get the dough RIGHT at the end of the dough cycle, it overflows in my bread machine!

shelleymgm said...

Do you use all purpose or self rising? I'm assuming all purpose since the yeast makes it rise.

Dave Hirschler said...

I use white, unbleached, all purpose flour.

homeschoolonadime said...

Thank you! Great idea. I already make my own "Bisquick" mix for easy biscuits or pancakes in the morning, so this would be a great idea. A tip for those looking at goodwill: make sure all the parts are there! I bought mine for $10 and brought it home only to find that the blade was missing. =(
This would make an awesome gift in a pretty jar. Add a card with "I am the bread of Life" quote on it. Love it!!!

Stacey said...

so excited...found a Cuisinart today at the thrift store...the one listed on Amazon for over $100....I paid $5....no manual though.....BUT, I remembered your post :)....thank you...I am toooooo excited to make some kits, and make some bread...

Samantha W. said...

You can probably download the manual from the manufacturer's website or just do a google search. I did that when I bought mine and it was quite dated.

Anonymous said...

Oat flour is light, if you add Zanthum gum (trader joes $3), it will help it rise.