I have been baking our own bread for a few weeks consistently now. I go through spurts of baking our own and then usually fall back into buying from the store (sometimes organic wheat bread from Costco and sometimes just the cheap $.99 loaf at Meijer). My reason for wanting to keep up with making our own bread is because of how simple the ingredients are in homemade bread. There are no preservatives, so it obviously is not as shelf stable as a loaf from the store. It is, however, much healthier.
Here is a list of the ingredients from my homemade white bread:
milk, oil, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast, egg
(Yes, a whole wheat bread is even healthier than the white bread, but just for the sake of comparing ingredients I am using the white bread with white flour. )
And this is the list from a loaf of Butternut White Sandwich Bread (obtained from foodfacts.com):
Wheat Flour Enriched ( Flour , Barley Malt , Ferrous Sulfate [ Iron ] , Vitamin B [ Niacin Vitamin B3 , Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1 , Riboflavin Vitamin B2 , Folic Acid Vitamin B9 ] ) , Water , Sweeteners ( Corn Syrup High Fructose , Or , Sugar ) , Yeast , Contains 2% or less of the Following: ( , Calcium Sulphate , Wheat Gluten , Soybeans Oil , Salt , Dough Conditioners ( May contain : , Mono and Diglycerides , Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate , Dicalcium Phosphate , Datem , Sorbic Acid , and/or , Calcium Dioxide ) , Vinegar , Soy Flour , Tricalcium Phosphate , Yeast Nutrients ( May contain : , Ammonium Phosphate , Monocalcium Phosphate , Calcium Carbonate , Ammonium Sulfate , Ammonium Chloride , and/or , Diammonium Phosphate ) , Corn Starch , Wheat Starch , Enzymes , Calcium Propionate ( To Retain Freshness ) , Soy Lecithin
Just look at the number of ingredients! Sure, several are similar to homemade bread, but why does it need so many others? Well, because it has to stay fresh for more than a week at the store and then another week or so at a home. Ironically, it IS NOT fresh by the time we purchase it at the store. It has chemicals added to it to keep it soft and edible.
Does that seem strange to anyone else?
I’m not picking on anyone that buys store bread. I’m not saying those who make their bread are superior. I just think it is something to consider. Our bodies could do without those added preservatives and other things. Sure, it takes extra time to make a loaf or two at home…and then more time a few days later…and more time a few days after that. I understand the convenience of buying several loaves inexpensively at the store and freezing them for later use. BUT, homemade bread takes way better than store-bought and it is much easier on our bodies.
With all the health issues out there, why not switch over from store-bought to homemade bread and save your body from absorbing the unnecessary ingredients and chemicals?
Here is an easy White Bread recipe to get you started!!
2 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil (i use olive oil)
6-7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp salt
4 1/2 tsp (or 2 packets) yeast
1. Heat milk and oil on stove to 120-130 degrees (do not boil!).
2. In mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast and egg. Pour in warm liquids and beat with mixer for 3 minutes on low/medium.
3. Stir in remaining flour, until dough becomes sticky and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn onto floured surface and knead by hand for 1-3 minutes. (Add small amounts of flour to top of dough while kneading, if dough is still sticky.)
4. Grease a large glass bowl and place dough into bowl, turning so all sides are greased. Cover with a clean white towel and set in warm place for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size (on top of the refrigerator or in a laundry room work great!).
5. Grease 2 bread pans (9×4 or 9×5). Punch down risen dough, split into 2 equal parts and shape into loaves. Place into greased pans. Cover with the towel again and place in warm area to rise a second time for 30-45 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake risen dough for 40-45 minutes. If tops brown quickly, cover with foil for remaining bake time.
7. Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack. Cut once cooled (if you can make it that long…we never can!)