Healthy Homemade Bread, the future?
Homemade healthy bread can be an answer if you are mindful about what you eat. One reason everyone should bake their own bread is it may prevent you from years of bad health and medical bills.
- Baking your own bread allows you control over what ingredients goes into your bread. You don't need all of that crap that the large bakeries need to add to bread so it stays fresh.
- It is cheaper to create your own bread when you analyze it financially.
- Wheat sensitivity, gluten intolerance and other health issues may prevent someone from eating everyday bread. However, as a home baker, you may use various flours to negate the health side-effects and still have the enjoyment of a tasty piece of bread.
- Other benefits are, it is fresher and tastes better.
So let's take a closer look at why you should bake your own.
Homemade Healthy Bread & Control of Ingredients ...
Baking your own bread allows control over what goes into your loaf. A healthier option is to skip the bland pasty white bread containing commercial chemical additives, hydrogenated oils, unhealthy preservatives, colorings and fattening sweeteners!
Store-bought whole-wheat bread can be just as bad for you. It isn't really made out of "whole meal" but is colored (using caramel) white bread to make it seem it's whole grain and healthy. It contains the same emulsifiers, and chemical by products in the "franken-bread."
When baking your own bread you dodge all of the hidden-dangers and all of the poison they put in store-bought bread. Water, flour, either yeast or baking soda (for rising purposes) and whatever additional ingredients you personally want are all that is needed. You can add molasses, sugar, butter, oil, cocoa powder, caraway seeds or any other ingredient you feel will enhance the taste of the bread.
Add extra fiber (psyllium husk), nuts, seeds or oats - you decide. Decide wisely, you still need to eat it after you have baked it. Probably, the most important ingredient is the flour, as flour will dictate the benefits on offer. A lot of commercial breads are made using bleached all-purpose flours (think cheap, quickly produced with longer shelf lives).
You'll hear about whole wheat benefits over white bread, higher fiber, healthier etc. However, there are a multitude of flours made from other grains, nuts, tubers and seeds that provide different nutritional profiles and benefits / drawbacks.
Check out our free eBook that discusses seven flours for various dietary restrictions.
Homemade Bread is Cheaper ...
If you prefer healthier breads and go to the local store to purchase one, it is going to cost you. In Texas (August 2019), it costs $2.88 for a Nature's Own whole wheat bread loaf (20 oz). Let us take a very generic recipe for a whole wheat bread, purchase the ingredients and work out if it is cheaper to bake your own.
Ingredients: - (Comes from a King Flour Recipe)
- 1 1/8 Cup of lukewarm Water
- 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 Cup of honey, molasses or maple syrup
- 3 1/2 Cups of King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast
- 1/4 Cup of Baker's Special dried Milk or nonfat dried milk
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
There is our list of ingredients, now lets shop for them (HEB in Texas)
Oil: The recipe calls for vegetable oil but you have a choice as canola oil and coconut oil are two other good oils for baking with. We will stick to the recipe so the vegetable oil selected was Hill Country Fare Vegetable Oil (48oz) at a cost of $2.28.
1/4 Cup = 2 fluid ounces = ($2.28 / 48) * 2 = $0.10 (rounded up)
Sweetener: Honey will provide a lighter, milder loaf. Molasses will provide an old-fashioned flavored darker loaf. If you use real maple syrup you will get a lighter milder maple flavored loaf, if you use a manufactured "maple syrup" it will be a less sweet loaf. We will use the molasses and the variety chosen was Grandma's Original Molasses Unsulphured (12oz) at a cost of $3.24.
1/4 Cup = 2 fluid ounces = ($3.24 / 12) * 2 = $0.54 (rounded up)
Flour: King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour (5lb) costs $4.08. You can get about 3 loaves from this size bag.
3 1/2 Cups = 28 ounces = ($4.08 / 80) * 28 = $1.43 (rounded up)
Instant Yeast: We chose Fleischmann's Instant Dry Yeast (16 oz) at $2.77
2 1/2 teaspoons = 0.42 ounces = ($2.77 / 16) * 0.42 = $0.07 (rounded down)
Bakers Dried Milk: We used HEB Instant Nonfat Dried Milk (3 qt) at $2.50
1/4 Cup = 2 fluid ounces = ($2.50 / 12) * 0.25 = $0.05 (rounded down)
Salt: We used Morton Iodized Salt (26 ounces) at $2.28
1 1/4 teaspoon = 0.21 ounces = ($2.28 / 26) * 0.21 = $0.02
Our grocery total is $17.15 with the cost per loaf being $2.21 - thats $0.67 cheaper than Nature's Own, a hell of a lot healthier and you have the ingredients to bake many more. Also, this are recipes out there requiring even fewer ingredients than this one.
Sensitivities, Allergies and Diets ...
As medical science advances and individuals learn what intolerances or allergies they have, then changes must be made to diets to ease the effects of those conditions. Obviously, once of the most famous related to bread is Celiac disease, caused by an allergy to the gluten contained in breads made from wheat, barley and rye. Others suffer from wheat sensitivities or intolerance. Now if you are a bread lover then this is very bad news.
Enter low gluten flours (that may be tolerated by those with wheat intolerances but not Celiac), or flours derived from ancient grains, tubers, nuts and seeds. All of these flours allow for various groups to continue to eat bread. For sufferers of medical conditions, as mentioned before, this opens up options to incorporate bread again into their diets. For diabetes sufferers who need to lose weight, they can opt for low-carb flours so they can get their bread fix.
For others who are interested in following specific diets such-as low-carb, Paleo, Kosher etc there are also flour options open to them so they may include bread and baked products into their diets. They key is learning to bake those products for yourself so as to control the ingredients and costs and not relying on a commercial bakery to do it for you.
Homemade bread is more nutritious and can be used in weight loss diets ...
A favorite reason for baking bread, baking healthy bread (like whole wheat bread or others) may help maintain a healthy weight and possibly become part of a weight loss diet. Store bread is high in calories and loaded with chemicals and some even have added sugar.
Manufacturers need to add all of this crap; to lessen the expense of baking the bread; to produce it faster; to give their bread longer shelf life; to make the bread look more appealing; and to make more money for the shareholders.
Big corporate CEO's could care less about your health or the health of your loved ones. For them, it is all about the bottom line and their profits at the end of the year. If you pack on the pounds, develop diabetes or some other horrible modern day illness, well that's on you. They still get their perks and bonuses and there is always someone else to buy their poison.
Diets inform you that bread is really fattening, stay away from it if you are diabetic or trying to lose weight. This is a myth for many homemade breads, not just whole wheat bread. Bake your own, enjoy wholesome bread that helps you to continue to enjoy bread but can also achieve the healthy body and goal weight you desire.
Last but not Least, Taste & Freshness ...
There are many benefits that may be taken from baking homemade bread, it is fresher than the thing you get from the supermarket in the plastic bag. Your senses receive this pleasing rush of smell, sight and taste from your freshly baked bread. A feeling of accomplishment takes hold as people try and compliment you on how delicious your bread is, you made that.
Everyone that tries homemade bread agrees it tastes better than store-bought. People prefer tasty healthy homemade foods, who doesn't have a collection of favorite foods that Mom or Grandma used to make. For me, it was homemade brown Irish soda bread. still warm straight out of the oven with some Kerrygold Butter and strawberry jam. Magic!
Sure, to some these may not be sufficiently beneficial for them to take time to bake their own bread. Running down to Whole Foods and paying $4.00 or $5.00 dollars for the latest paleo loaf made by a shaman in a cave may be more convenient. But is it better? Nah! We do not feel so.
However, we know this, some of you reading this may also know and enjoy the benefits of baking your own bread. But to those of you who have not, then why not step up to the plate and try? You may find that not only do you savor the taste of the bread but you may find you enjoy the journey to getting there.