Why I Make My Own Bread

by Elizabeth on August 22, 2010 · 9 comments

in Adventures, watch me bake

Whenever I eat a sandwich in front of people, someone is bound to ask “what kind of bread is that?” When I respond, “homemade”, I usually get funny looks. Usually the next question (accompanied by an incredulous look) is “why do you make your bread?” I have a host of responses in my arsenal, and while my answers seem to satisfy most, the occasional person is still dumbfounded that I would devote so much time and effort in to making my own bread.

I don’t believe that everyone should make their own bread. I don’t think it makes you a better person, nor do I think it makes you a bad wife, mother, daughter, cook, etc if you don’t. There are lots of really great brands of store bought bread out there; many that can be purchased for a reasonable price. I just happen to want to make my own bread; it’s a personal thing. I would never presume to judge a person who didn’t make their own bread. I choose to because it’s what I want to do.

So in case you are interested in why I choose to make my own bread, here are my reasons.

  • I think it’s healthier. Before I started baking bread, I never looked at a bread ingredient list. I mean, what could possibly be on it? Water, flour, maybe a little sweetener? About a year ago I glanced at the ingredient list of the bread I was currently buying and was stunned by the number of ingredients. 23. 23 ingredients for bread. BREAD! I was stunned. I know that many of those are preservatives put in so the bread will last longer, but 23 ingredients seemed to go way overboard. When I realized that I didn’t know what half of those ingredients were, I realized that I didn’t want to put that in my body. The bread I know make for sandwiches has 7 ingredients, and they are all ingredients I can pronounce.
  • I like the process of making bread. Call me crazy, but I find the mixing and the kneading and the punching (especially the punching) to be very soothing. I enjoy spending lots of time in the kitchen and the several hours I devote to baking every week are very happy times for me. Because making bread requires some downtime, I usually bake several other things such as muffins or desserts to enjoy throughout the week. The bonus is that I only have to dirty up the kitchen once!
  • Homemade bread just tastes better. I bet if someone did a taste test between a piece of store bought sandwich bread and homemade sandwich bread, the homemade version would win every time. Nothing tastes as good as piece of bread fresh from the oven. I’ve made a lot of different kinds of bread over the past year and homemade bread always tastes fresher and more delicious than store bought.

 

Again, these are my reasons. I know that baking bread isn’t for everyone. Baking bread takes time and energy that some people just don’t have or don’t choose to give to making their own bread. And that’s fine.

I also don’t think homemade bread is necessarily cheaper than store bought. While I save money by buying yeast in bulk and not using recipes that call for expensive ingredients, I do buy higher-end flour. Plus making bread uses up personal resources like time, energy, and electricity. When added together, I seriously doubt homemade bread is that much cheaper.

All that aside, I don’t think anything can beat the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house. I love making my own bread, but I especially love to eat it!

Do you make your own bread? Why or why not?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosanna McGinnis August 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

Great post! I am wondering how you store your bread? I have not had luck storing mine, so I usually make rolls and other non-sandwich breads the day of use. Now that school has started back and I will soon be very busy, this is not going to work very well. -Rosanna

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2 Cricket August 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

I do not make my own bread because I never thought about it. I love to eat bread especially when its fresh, and I like to bake. That said at some point I will attempt this.

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3 Cricket August 23, 2010 at 1:17 am

I forgot I have made yeast rolls and they are so yum.

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4 Elizabeth August 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Rosanna, I store my bread in the freezer! I usually make more than one loaf of sandwich bread at a time so we'll never eat it all before it starts to mold. I've had really good luck wrapping a freshly baked (and fully cooled) loaf in either parchment or wax paper, putting in a freezer bag (don't forget to label it so you know what it is!), and storing it in the freezer for up to a month or so. I've also frozen rolls, pizza dough (unbaked), French bread, and muffins. When I know that we are going to eat something fairly soon, I simply put it in a plastic bag and keep in the fridge. I've heard conflicting things about storing bread in the fridge, but I find that keeping it out on the counter tends to produce mold faster. Muffins are fine left out, but bread, not so much!

You should definitely give bread making a try! It's lots of fun and super delicious!

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5 Amy August 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm

I am definitely going to try your sandwich bread recipe…I tried making homemade bread a few months ago, but it never rose quite enough for a real sandwich, though it was tasty. What kind of flour do you use?

Also – I make my own butter with my stand mixer, and when I found the cutest, most adorable, round butter dish at Anthropologie, I couldn't hide my glee as I purchased it. When I explained to the young woman at the counter that I make my owner butter and that the dish was the perfect size and shape, she just blinked at me. I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one who gets crazy eye from people because of my cooking!

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6 littlehousesouthernprairie August 27, 2010 at 3:38 am

Great post. I don't like making bread and feel guilty about it. Lame! But … 23 ingredients in the store brand. Yikes. Maybe I should give breadmaking another go.

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7 Elsa November 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I always make my own bread as well. In fact, for many months we haven't even bought bread/bagels/doughnuts from the store. The other day my husband grabbed some bagels we used to eat and we can barely finish them. I have no idea why we liked them before, but now they taste terrible.

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8 Alea November 4, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Great post! I enjoy making bread because I have complete control over the ingredients. My family likes for me to make homemade bread because it tastes better.

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9 vickie November 6, 2010 at 12:29 am

oh just made some today-but your loaves look so much better!
vickie

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