Article Submitted by: Karlyle Lim, Dietetic Intern
I love bread. But not just any bread. I’m talking about fresh, right out the oven, homemade bread. Not only is it tasty and does it smell heavenly, but it puts you in the driver’s seat and in control of exactly what goes in your body. Over the next few blogs, I’m first going to introduce why fresh, homemade bread is so beneficial, then explain exactly what is in bread, and finally, conclude with just how to make a great loaf from scratch.
So, why make your own bread?
Control Factor –
In this day and age, convenience seems to be the winning ticket. How many of you would rather pop a frozen dinner in the microwave, heat something out of a can, or eat something quick out of a box or wrapper? Of course it can be nice on occasion if you’re on the run, but did you ever stop to think just how or why your food is able to stay so long on the shelf? Next time, take a look at your ingredients list and see just how many additives and preservatives there are. We’ll get more into what goes into bread next time, but basically, in anything homemade, you know exactly what’s going into the recipe.
Another reason to switch to homemade bread is cost. If we take a look at the ingredients in a standard loaf, all you need is flour, yeast, and a liquid. Flour usually comes in five-pound bags ranging anywhere from $2 to $6. Those five pounds translate to about 18 cups of flour. In a conventional recipe that yields one loaf, it can call for three to four cups of flour. So right there you can potentially make five loaves of bread from one, five-pound bag of flour. As far as yeast, a three-pack of dry active yeast costs about 75 cents, or 25 cents for each individual packet. To cover the five loaves from your bag of flour, you would need five packages of yeast totaling $1.25. As far as the liquid, all you need is water, while additional salt and sugar (to tame and feed the yeast, respectively) should be staples in your pantry. In total, you can make five loaves for about $5.25 (assuming you bought a $4 bag of flour), or a little more than a dollar each. Not bad, eh?
Great flavor –
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, is taste. I promise you, nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread wafting through your home. That, along with the warmth, flavor, and taste of a fresh-torn piece of bread right out of the oven, makes it enough to make you want to start baking right this second.
So to sum, fresh baked bread offers some key benefits:
- control over ingredients,
- money-saving options, and
- unparalleled taste, flavor, and texture.
Next time, we’ll break down the necessary and unnecessary ingredients in a loaf of bread.