Why We Make Our Own Bread
Bread baking has become quite popular in our home. We have experimented with focaccias, ciabattas, no knead loaves, bread machine loaves... you name it! While it has been a fun learning experience, even a challenge in some cases, this practice serves not only as a hobby, it is a conscious effort to improve our health.
Yes, it is 100% easier to buy store-bought bread, especially considering some of the rise times, but do you even know what you are eating? You may think you are buying a 'healthy' loaf, but you probably are not!
Traditionally, bread is made using flour, salt, yeast, and water. THAT'S IT! Bread has been made this way across cultures for years. (I recommend watching the Cooked episode 'Air' on Netflix with Michael Pollan) Four ingredients only! Not only does that make bread incredibly affordable to make yourself, but it means you can make 'healthier' bread, free of all the scary unpronounceable ingredients you find in most processed foods.
If this interests you, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with some of the scary ingredients found in bread. Naturally Savvy has a few great articles on this. Like this one. And this one. But in summary the main ingredients we are looking for are color additives (caramel color is added to make certain loaves appear 'wheat', therefore 'healthier'. Caramel color has been linked to children behavior problems), and high fructose corn syrup (Sugar is not needed in bread at all. Flour has enough starch for yeast to munch on to give your homemade loaf a characteristic rise), bleached flour (ever think about what is used to bleach flour anyway?... chlorine and benzoyl peroxide!), preservatives (such as polysorbates and calcium propionate, which has been linked to ADHD), and GMOs such as soy lecithin and soybean oil (I recommend watching GMO OMG on Netflix).
Seems kind of crazy to add all of that junk when you only need 4 ingredients to make bread! So in an effort to take control over what we put into our bodies, we have decided to bake a loaf per week for ourselves! And we are having fun and learning a lot along the way!
If you want to get started on baking bread, I recommend you start with this simple fail-proof loaf!