OK, I will admit the title is a stretch but now that we lack "life-changing TV" ever since Oprah went off the air I figured I needed to fill my days with a new hobby, and that hobby is making homemade artisan bread.
Reason #1 for making my own bread at home: early this spring while picking up a loaf to have with dinner I suffered from some sticker shock when I realized my favorite local bread was now almost $6.00!
Reason #2 for making my own bread at home: I know what is in it.
Reason #3 for making my own bread at home: to see if I could (take that Little Red Hen.)
I started with a book I read rave reviews about on several blogs-
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: I reserved a copy at our local library so I could try it out for free before I bought it- loved it and waited for a Borders 50% coupon before buying my own copy so my initial investment came to $12 - or the equivilent of 2 loaves of store-bought bread.
To start I needed a 6 quart container with a lid ($6 at Cash-N-Carry, or 1 loaf of bread), yeast ($3 at the same store for a 1 pound package, enough to make dozens of loaves, equal to a 1/2 loaf of bread-and just found a 2 pound bag at Costco for the same price). 5 pounds of organic all-purpose flour came to $4 (an almost loaf), kosher salt and water I have on hand and am not counting in the cost, a pizza paddle ($5 at Ross, we will call that a loaf), and a pizza stone ($12 at Ross, or 2 loaves of bread). So for the initial investment of $42, or roughly 7 loaves of bread, I had everything I needed to make 12 loaves of bread ($48 at the store.) One reason I love making this bread, YOU NEVER HAVE TO KNEAD THE DOUGH! You mix all the ingredients in one large container, let it rise for 2 hours, refrigerate the dough, then pull out a piece of dough when you are ready to bake, let it rise for 40 minutes, then bake for 30 minutes. Fresh bread on the table, any night of the week in about an hour, for around .27 cents per loaf. A house that smells like a bakery. An excuse to use the butter bell. A happy family.
If this is not life changing bread I don't know what is.