Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety.
Today: Make your own bread and carb-load with the best of them.
Screw the Paleo diet: Good bread is one of the simplest mealtime game-changers you can have. Make a PB&J or grilled cheese on a fresh, thick variety instead of measly, store-bought slices, and it instantly feels like a luxurious meal.
Good bread has also hit peak artisanal status. It's not unheard of to leave the farmer's market with a loaf that costs upwards of $10 -- which is all the more reason why you should be making your own.
The thing is, bread baking can seem intimidating, but it's not terribly difficult. Once you learn how, you can make a loaf or two a week -- use them for lunch and dinner when they're fresh, then breakfasts and desserts when they're stale.
Here's how to do it:
- First, read up on Chad Robertson's essential tips for baking bread.
- Learn how to maintain the volatile ecosystem that is a sourdough starter.
- Know that if you can make bread, you can also make bagels.
- And, because you're probably not doing it right, here's how to store your bread.
Then, once you're ready to dive in, here are some bread recipes to get you started:
Tell us: What are your favorite bread recipes?