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Store bought bread vs. bread machine bread

FelafelBoy | Feb 10, 200808:22 PM

The subject title was simplified to convey the basic concept of the question ...

I have been buying bread at Trader Joe's (bread made from sprouted wheat berries and various other sprouted ingredients as well as their "flourless" bread) as well as Alvarado Street Bakery brand bread at traditional supermarkets (whose ingredients are many and also consist of sprouted grains and don't contain any partially hydrogenated oils or cheap sugars). I mention this because I have made a few loaves of Honey Whole Wheat bread mix from the Hodgson Mills (a brand that offers products made with only a few and high quality ingredients) consisting of stone ground whole wheat flour, whole grain white wheat flour, unbleached and enriched flour, dried honey, vital wheat gluten, soy flour, salt, and vitamin C. (I also add water and canola oil.)

The bread machine made bread tastes fresh, of course, but it doesn't seem to have the fuller taste that some of these more exotic breads have that I buy that are made from many ingredients ranging from sprouted wheat berries, rye flour, millet, and various other exotic ingredients I can't recall - even some of the sweeteners are items I wouldn't have, like dates.

I like the idea of making bread fresh, but when I see how many ingredients I'd have to have on hand to duplicate these kinds of breads, the use of a bread machine becomes something other than a "convenient" tool for someone who doesn't cook for many, and who doesn't go through bread that often.

When I heat and/or toast the store bought bread it almost tastes like it was freshly made.
The Alvarado Street Bakery bread doesn't last long at room temperature before it starts turning moldy. I've stopped buying most of the other bread, even Arnold due to some additional ingredients they use, although they do use better ingredients than most of the other less expensive name brand breads.

But even some of these breads that use many ingredients made from whole grains just have 2 to 3 grams of fiber. The composition of the bread would lead me to think the breads are very high in fiber, but not so.

Ezekial breads are very high in fiber and use very exotic ingredients, and for me to duplicate that wouldn't be easy.

How do other bread machine users deal with the challenge of keeping alot of ingredients (different kinds of flour) on hand if their bread machine is not used often? Do you also only use the machine infrequently and get the more exotic breads I've mentioned at the store?
(The cost of the high quality breads at stores like Trader Joe's isn't that high. It is more expensive than the lesser quality store brand breads sold at traditional supermarkets, but less than the premium quality breads sold there, such as Alvarado. The Hodgson Mills bread mix, is sold normally at about the same price ($2.50 for producing a 1.5 pound loaf bread) as these breads are at Trader Joe's, though they did just raise the price of their sprouted grain breads from $2.99 to $3.49 very recently.

I've come to believe that a store bought bread of very high quality, even though not freshly made (such as at a bakery) and sitting on a shelf for days, can give the user the experience of a "better" bread than a bread machine made bread that has used fewer ingredients. (I'm still game for experimenting!! I'd be willing to keep on hand whole wheat flour, wheat gluten, millet, and rye flour.)

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