If you can't tell by my blogroll, I am a huge fan of The Simple Dollar. If I could do blogging as a full time job, I would like to think this blog would be modeled similar to Trent's. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out! While his blog is mostly about personal finance issues, going green can often be a product of saving money. Anyways, one of his most popular entries is the value of homemade bread and how to make it. While I wasn't sure about this at first, since bread at the store typically costs a little more than a dollar (or 79 cents at Aldi stores), I wasn't sure if this could be a good timesaver. However, Trent talks about the amount of preservatives in bread in order to maximize shelf life, and what effect this has on the actual taste of the bread and your health for that matter. I remember when I was a kid during the 90s and popularity of the bread-baking machine, and tasting not only the goodness of homemade bread, but also the warmth from the oven. Its a really good taste, which is likely why I eat so much of it in nicer restaurants that make their own bread. So anyway, after reading Trent's entry I thought this would be worth a try, especially because I would like to be learning more about how to cook. I have pretty much never done any type of bread making in my life, but followed the instructions and some common sense logic, and turned out a beautiful and delicious loaf of bread. It was actually a fairly easy thing to do on a Sunday as well, which for me is like a chore day and a lounging day around the house, so adding in bread making wasn't all too much of an inconvenience. Plus, you get to punch the dough for a good ten minutes, which can be a great stress reliever! Nothing like hitting two birds with one stone on this one.
This was my end product for my first try at baking homemade bread, and it was quite scrumptious! The ingredients are a simple mixture, no real rocket science here, and getting in the appropriate amount of flour. All you need is a packet of yeast, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and flour. Again, for more detailed instructions (with great pictures) check out Trent's entry at The Simple Dollar. Even through industrial bread only costs a little over a dollar, the cost of the ingredients are likely to be less, especially if you buy them in bulk, and its flat out better for your health without all the preservatives of industrial bread. You could even use organic ingredients and make this even more healthy! Your local co-op is a great source for these ingredients, and many grocery stores are now adapting a "natural foods" section where organic foods are more available and affordable.
Consider giving this one a try, you might even enjoy it (the punching especially)!