Five Reasons to Make Your Own Bread
I have amazing childhood memories of my Nana baking homemade, whole wheat bread in her tidy little kitchen. The smell of the yeast, her hands working the dough, the anticipation and the flavour of fresh bread… there was nothing I liked more! There still isn’t! The ingredients may have changed (I now predominantly use gluten free flours) but I still love baking bread!
One of the excuses people give for not making bread from scratch is that it takes too much time. I can understand that thought. Some days it is hard to find the time to make the bed, let alone mix dough, let is rise, and then bake it! That being said, here are the reasons why I think making your own bread once or twice a month is worth the time:
1. Homemade bread costs less to make. When you buy bread at the store it can cost five dollars or more for a whole wheat loaf, and upwards of seven dollars for a gluten free loaf! If you have a large family the cost can really add up. When you buy flour and make your own you save some money. And remember, when you bake in the winter you get two things, extra warmth from the oven and your own bread! 2. By baking your own bread, you control the ingredients. Some commercial breads contain additives, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and unhealthy sweeteners. Yuck! How about adding your choice of nuts, seeds, fruit or veggies to boost the nutritional content of your bread? Now that’s more like it!
3. Making bread is relaxing! Skip the machinery and commit to kneading your dough by hand. It takes between 20-30 minutes to knead two loaves of whole wheat bread thoroughly. The rhythm you get into becomes meditative, allowing you to be present and enjoy the experience.
If you are baking gluten free bread, you will be spending more time carefully measuring, sifting and thoroughly stirring instead of kneading. But the smell of the different flours and the yeast is truly divine. 4. Bread making is a great family activity. My children love helping me measure and knead! Also, as they get older, I hope to teach them that “fast” food does not mean healthy food. By slowing down and appreciating what we make, bake, serve and eat, we honour the food we put on our table, our loved ones and ourselves.
5. It tastes so much better! There is nothing quite like savouring a warm slice of healthy home baked bread – made with fresh ingredients and baked with love!