Making your own Bread …. includes recipe (and the benefits of ‘not buying’ shop bought bread)

What are the benefits of making your own bread?

What are the benefits of making your own bread?

Why make your own bread? Why would I not want to buy bread from the supermarket?

There is a recipe for Crusty White Bread and links for other bread recipes at the end of this post, but to answer the question …..

I love baking, but ‘used to think’ that bread was easy to buy and that given I usually want the bread (right now), which is typical of busy family life and hungry childrenWhy would I want to bake it? … However, I’ve recently been inspired to make and bake my own bread on account of the natural ingredients (and not the preservatives, raising agents and additives that shop-bought bread contains – see below) and the fact it has now become ‘much’ cheaper to make your own bread.

As for the time, I’ve opted to make it in one of two bread makers that have lay dormant in my kitchen cupboards for too long and if I make it in the evening, I can take it out before bedtime (giving it time to firm up a little for cutting to make fresh sandwiches for the children’s lunch boxes) or set the timer for it to finish as we are getting up in the morning. Bread usually takes just 3 hours and 40 minutes (from pressing start to taking it out of the pan) so whichever suits you best.

Waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread

Waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread

I have to say that waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread is inspirational enough for me to continue to bake my bread in this way. But, the difference in the texture, the taste and the knowledge that I know all of the simple ingredients that go into my loaf, well that’s a step further to a healthier lifestyle and good parenting.

Take a look at the ingredients label of your handy loaf, that is increasingly costing more to buy and wonder why you are paying them to mass produce this bag of food additives ….

Flour Treatment:

L-ascorbic acid (E300). Can be added to flour by the miller or at the baking stage. Acts as an oxidant, which helps retain gas in the dough, making the loaf rise more.
No nutritional benefits to the consumer (because degraded by the heat of baking.) Increased loaf volume may give the false impression of value.

Reducing Agent:

L-cysteine hydrochloride (E920). Cysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid. Use in backing to create more stretchy dough, especially hamburger buns and baguettes.
No intended nutritional benefit, though also sold as a supplement. May be derived from animal hair and feathersSo vegans and vegetarians – watch out

High Fructose Corn Syrup:

HFCS is an artificial sweetener derived from corn that has undergone an enzymatic process to convert glucose into fructose. Bakery items use HFCS 42 – meaning 42% fructose and 58% glucose.
All HFCS is derived from genetically modified (GM) corn. It is labeled “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA, yet has health and environmental concerns and some HFCS contains mercury, a neurotoxin

Bleaching Agent:

Chlorine dioxide gas to make flour white, used by millers for decades until banned in the UK in 1999. In other countries, eg theUS, flour may still be bleached.
No nutritional benefits to the consumer. Chlorine is a potent biocide and greenhouse gas.

Enzymes:

Came to the rescue of industrial breadmakers when additives like azodicarbonamide and potassium bromate were banned. Bread enzymes fall into various categories and have varied functions in breadmaking;
Amylase
Maltogenic amylase
Oxidase
Protease
Peptidase
Lipase
Phospholipase
Hemicellulase
Xylanase
Transglutaminase
Note: In general, these are use to increase elasticity, delay staling, increase loaf volume, give better crust color, and keep bread soft.
 
 
 
 
No nutritional benefit to consumer.
No requirements to be included on ingredient declarations, because they are currently treated as “processing aids.” Even if the EU law in amended, the single word “enzymes” will be all that is require on label, leaving consumers in the dark about the origin the particular enzymes used.
Often produced by genetic engineering, though this is unlikely to be stated on consumer product labels.
Use of phospholipase derived from pig pancreas would be unacceptable to vegetarians and some religious groups, but there is no requirement to declare enzymes, let alone their source.
Some enzymes are potential allergens, notably Alpha-amylase. Bakery workers can become sensitized to enzymes from bread improvers.
Amylase can retain some of its potency as an allergen in the crust of loaves after baking.
Transglutaminase may act upon gliadin proteins in the dough to generate the epitope associated with celiac disease.

Emulsifiers:

Widely used in bread “improvers” to control the size of gas bubbles, to enable to dough to hold more gas, and there grow bigger, to make the crumb softer, and to reduce the rate of staling. They include:
E471: Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472e: Mono- and diacetyltartaric acid of esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E481: Sodium strearoyl-2-lactylate (SSL)
E422: Glycerol mono-stearate (GMS)
E322” Lecithins – naturally occurring, mainly derived from soy
No nutritional benefit to consumer.
Soy lecithin may be derived from GM soy.
Increased loaf volumes gives misleading impression of value and post-baking softness may be confused with “freshness.”

Preservatives:

Calcium propionate (E282) is widely used. Vinegar (E260 acetic acid) is also used, though less effective. Preservatives are only necessary for prolonged shelf life. Home freezing is a chemical-free alternative.
No nutritional benefit to consumer. Calcium propionate can cause “off” flavors if over-used and may be a carcinogen.

Some ingredients are necessary to make bread …. but they are still not the same ingredients that are are added if you were to make the bread yourself.  For instance …

Flour:

Main ingredient: source of carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and other micronutrients.
Many nutrients are depleted in refined (white) flours. Use unrefined white flour or wholewheat flours.

Water:

Necessary to make flour into dough.

Salt:

Adds flavour; strengthens the gluten network in the dough; aids in keeping the quality of the bread (as a water attractant and a partial mold inhibitor.)
Under pressure from food agencies, the bread industry is gradually reducing levels of salt in bread. You do need some salt to make bread – it’s only a teaspoon and is better than using the additives they are adding commercially instead.

Yeast:

Aerates bread, makes it light in texture, and may contribute to flavor.
Excessive use may lead to digestive problems (such as irritable bowl syndrome)

Fat:

Hard fats improve load volume, crumb softness, and keeping quality. Hydrogenated fats have been commonly used, though plant bakers are phasing them out.
Not essential in traditional breadmaking, though often used. Hard to do without some fat in industrial bread. Hydrogenated fats soften in baking, but re-harden in the arteries.
Using softened butter is not the same as using hydrogenated fats. It’s a natural product.

So lets look at the ingredients used when you bake your own bread ………

White Crusty Loaf

White Crusty Loaf

White Crusty Loaf

This is a recipe for a white, crusty loaf (the easiest and most simple loaf to make) … I also have a recipe for a milk loaf that does not require eggs, a wholemeal loaf and fruit loaf. I will be adding to the list of freshly baked breads as and when I get the hang of making them and can share them with you.

Ingredients:

  • Hand hot water (enough to make up to 300ml)
  • 1 egg
  • 500g white bread flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g softened (or chopped) butter
  • 1 tsp dried yeast

Method:

  1. Add one egg to a measuring jug and lightly whisk
  2. Top up to 300ml with hand hot water
  3. Put the liquid into your bread pan
  4. Gently add flour over the liquid in the bread pan (taking care not to let the liquid rise above the flour).
  5. Put the salt, sugar and butter into 3 corners of the bread pan.
  6. Make a small indentation in the flour (taking care not to expose any liquid) and add the yeast to this.
  7. Set the bread maker to medium loaf (or 2lb+ setting), medium crust … often setting 1 on your bread maker. Press start!

Remove from the bread pan from the bread maker soon after it has finished and after a few minutes, transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool (take care to use a dry tea towel or oven mitts, as the bread pan may still be hot).

*Note: The bread is usually best left to stand to cool before cutting as it may not be firm enough if too hot.

Enjoy!

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About HonieMummy (HonieBuk)

Mum of two girls (16 & 9) and step-Mum to one boy (15). All of whom are bright, fun-loving, creative and musical and make me proud and despite his disability (CP) my step-son and family face challenges with a smile and the will to succeed. Love to travel (mainly US/Canada/Scotland), passionate about photography, music is a must, always in HoniesKitchen, love a bit of crafting and I'm learning to knit (maybe even crochet). I'm a networking junkie and of course there has to be time (quality time) with my amazing family! I like to Blog infrequently whenever it takes my fancy and I don't mind sharing my ups and downs, advice and querky ideas with you all. I will mostly post recipes and photos of food, family and travel. I love to review products that my family and me would use - I kinda consider it my 'duty' to let you all know if something is as good as it says on the tin and a 'must buy' product, that all families should know about. Find these in HonieLikes. If you like what you see, please tell me - I work hard at these things :o)
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2 Responses to Making your own Bread …. includes recipe (and the benefits of ‘not buying’ shop bought bread)

  1. Pingback: White Crusty Loaf of Bread (made in the bread maker) | HonieMummy Blog

  2. Pingback: Wholemeal Loaf of Bread (made in the breadmaker) | HonieMummy Blog

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