The best way to eat healthfully is to control what you eat. The best way to control what you eat is to make your food yourself. This rule doesn’t just apply to the big parts of the meal, like protein preparation. It also applies to snacks and treats and many foods that we take for granted. This is especially true of bread. There is nothing as good as fresh and homemade bread.
Making your own bread isn’t hard. You don’t need any special or expensive equipment (though having a breadmaker simplifies the process considerably). You simply need a flat surface, a few ingredients, a cool place to store rising dough and a hot place to cook the dough (when it’s ready). You can even make bread while camping!
“Making your own bread from
scratch is the best way to
make sure you always have
good quality bread to eat.”
A Quick Caveat
Most breads are pretty straightforward. One trickier bread, though, is sourdough. Sourdough is made using a live yeast culture. It’s possible to create your own yeast culture if you have a packet of yeast on hand and a few days to wait. This won’t give you very good sourdough, though. According to Bob’s Red Mill (experts in baking and baking ingredients), sourdough is made best with wild yeast and it is important–especially if you are pressed for time–that you know where to buy sourdough starter yeasts that are made with wild yeast.
We say this upfront because after you make a loaf or two of plain bread, it’s normal to want to try other types of bread and sourdough is typically the first go-to because it seems like a challenge.
To get started as a bread-maker, you’ll want to stock up on a few basic ingredients. Almost all breads contain some type of yeast. Yeast is usually inexpensive and it lasts forever so don’t be afraid to stock up! You’ll also want a good amount of flour. Whole wheat flour is the healthiest. Processed “white” flour is the cheapest. Almond flour and flours made from nut meals cost more but are good substitutes for people whose bodies can’t process gluten. Toss in some water and salt and viola! You have everything you need.
We mentioned earlier that having a breadmaker makes the bread making process much simpler. With a breadmaker you just dump in all of the ingredients and turn on the machine. If you don’t want to put up the money, though, don’t fret: you can still make amazing breads and rolls. (Image source:)
A great substitute for a breadmaker is a crock pot. There are lots of great crock-pot bread recipes out there. Many of them are “no knead” recipes that result in tasty breads.
If you really want to make bread, though, you’ll do it the old fashioned way by forming the dough, punching it down, rolling/flattening it out, and doing all of the physical steps involved.
Other Reasons to Make Bread
Nutrition and the avoidance of processed foods are only two reasons to make your own bread from scratch. There are others. Perhaps the best is that making bread from scratch is a great way to bond with your family. Everybody can get involved in the creation process. Even little kids can take a few slaps at the dough as you’re flatting it out and forming it into a loaf. Over time, you’ll even develop your own recipes that are unique to your family. Those are recipes that can be passed down like heirlooms.
Another great reason to make bread from scratch is that it provides you with a healthy psychological outlet. Obviously, taking out your stress, anger, and aggression on the dough during the kneading and punching process can be helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Beyond that, the repetitive movements can also be relaxing. Making bread dough also gives you something else to focus on. The process can become almost meditative. And, of course, it’s always a great workout!
“The best way to control
what you eat is to make
your food yourself.”
Making your own bread from scratch is the best way to make sure you always have good bread to eat. It’s also a huge money saver and a great bonding activity for your family. So, seriously: why are you still buying it?
Have you ever made your own bread?
What is your favorite type to make?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.