Making your own bread from scratch or with a bread machine has so many rewards. Here are just a few….
1. Cost. Sure, it’s probably not as cheap as the 99 cent Wonder Bread, but if you compare it to the special artisan loaves from a bakery it’s a real bargain. Plus if you get your flour from the farm through our miller Franz, or at your local health food store, your bread’s organic. What’s the cost of wholesome home-baked organic bread these days?Priceless!
2. Smell. Mmmmm. Nothing better. When it’s baking, your house smells absolutely WONDERFUL. It’s hard to ever feel unhappy or depressed when the amazing scent of fresh bread baking tickles and taunts your nose as it’s wafting through the house, it’s like a mini home makeover for just a few hours.
3. Taste. There’s nothing nicer than fresh bread straight out of the oven smothered with fresh butter and maybe some fresh raspberry jam. Mom used to tell us it would give us a tummy ache if we ate it fresh from the oven….she was wrong. I think she said that so we wouldn’t eat it all before it had the chance to become sandwiches!
4. Nutrition. You know exactly what you put in that beautiful loaf of bread. It’s good knowing there are no weird additives or chemicals in your own baked bread, only the things you add yourself, know how to pronounce and know how to spell. You can even throw in some added seeds and nuts, even dried fruit for special breads to fortify and add more protein and minerals to your loaf.
5. Time. It’s the perfect way to set aside and schedule a little “me” time. Even though it really only takes a few minutes to put together. You can take a nice bubble bath or read a favourite chapter or two, even drink some wine or lemonade while it’s rising or resting. If anyone calls and wants you to do something for them, you can apologize and explain that you just can’t, you’re in the middle of baking bread.
6. Stress Relief. Had a bad day or week? Skip the Bread Machine, Kitchen Aid or food processor and take it out on the dough, not the kids, dog or your spouse. Kneading feels so therapeutic. I have a bread machine that does it for me, but I still take the dough out and give it a good knead just before the baking cycle, at which time I remove the paddles. It always makes me feel the bread is mine, because I kneaded it. And I “needed” it!
7. Gifts. It makes a great hostess gift, a thanks for being a great teacher gift, house-warming present, “sorry I threw the ball through your window” present…. Don’t know what to get your hard-to-shop-for mother in law? A homemade loaf is sure to win her over.
8. Impress your friends and influence people! Especially those who don’t bake. The fact that you make your own bread makes you sound so very domestic and talented, and somewhat mysterious.
9. Express your creativity. You can add any herbs you want, and there are endless variation and types of flours to use. It’s like play-dough for grown-ups. You can form loaves into a variety of different shapes, braided, round, oval. Monkey bread anyone?
Chelsea buns and dinner rolls all come from basically the same recipe.
10. Versatility. Use your bread if it doesn’t all get eaten immediately, and I can’t imagine why, for your own shake’n bake, breadcrumbs, gourmet salad croutons, luscious bread pudding, and awesome stuffing. Left over bread heels or ends, covered with peanut butter and rolled in bird seed and threaded with a length of knotted yarn makes a great bird feeder to hang outside in the winter for the cute little chickadees.
Have Fun! What’s yours?