Getting Back to Basics: Easy Bread

Getting Back to BasicsI must admit something. I’ve been distracted lately with various projects and family issues, and my domestic efforts have gone by the wayside.

Do you ever go through these times? Whether due to work or whatever, cooking and cleaning can occasionally take the back burner.

I’ve been trying to push myself out of this obviously un-frugal way of doing things, but doing my usual cooking seemed overwhelming. Attempting to look for recipes–or even simply cook familiar ones–was just too much. Honestly, it was just easier to order out for dinner.

So I decided to get back to basics, so to speak.

My husband had asked for some yummy baked goodies. And what’s easier than a good homemade bread, right? Well, he’ll be waking up tomorrow morning to coffee and toast with butter. Just good, old-fashioned cooking.

After a tiny bit of searching, I decided to try this recipe. As it’s just the two of us, I made the smaller loaf in my bread machine.

The result? We did have an issue with my bread machine, which caused some frustration, but the bread came out wonderful and was oh-so-easy. We have some tasty bread just waiting for a generous spread of butter.

And even better, I’m getting back to my frugal basics.

Cooking Disasters, or When Good Intentions Go Bad

CLast night, during a break from my online work, I had a bright idea. I would find a bread machine recipe and surprise my husband with some homemade sweet bread for snacking and breakfast. The machine would do all the work, and I would get all the credit. Sounds good, right?

Well, in theory, I suppose. After a bit of searching, I discovered a brown sugar and pecan bread that apparently worked well in one person’s bread machine. Excited, I threw the ingredients in our aged–and secondhand–bread machine and went back to work. I checked on the bread periodically and gradually became suspicious when there was no delicious bread smell. Still, I was optimistic.

When the machine beeped, I opened it up only to find that the outside of the bread was browned to perfection with the center soft and squishy. Great.

Tired after a day’s worth of work, I began to panic. Still, I was determined not to throw the disaster in the trash. I tossed the partially cooked loaf of bread in a large pan with some butter and stuck it all in the oven. I let the bread brown a bit and then cut it up as it cooked further. Realizing that there was no salvaging this as a regular bread, I decided to make a bread pudding for my husband.

After the bread bits were fully cooked and browned, I soaked it all in a mix of milk and half-and-half. After awhile, I poured a whisked mixture of eggs and sugar over it all. Everything got good and stirred, and then back in the oven it went for about an hour.

And you know what? It actually worked. My husband was pleasantly surprised with his treat. With a bit of ingenuity and desperation, I had managed to create something from a total cooking disaster. Frugal living can be a great thing!