As the debate between store-bought and home-made food continues, we take a look at the culinary staple that is bread. Yes, it may be easy to just run down to the shops for a loaf, but why not just bake your own with a breadmaker?
From healthier buns and loaves to family bonding time, here’s why you should tie on your apron and take your breadmaker out of the kitchen cabinet:
You can choose healthier ingredients
Commercial bread commonly incorporates chemical ingredients used for various purposes from whitening to conditioning the dough. Their recipes can include potassium bromate, partially hydrogenated oil and azodicarbonamide, just to name a few.
Baking your own bread gives you complete control over your ingredients, so you can leave out anything that may or may not be harmful to your health and customise the recipe to suit your own tastes. All you really need is some flour, salt, water, yeast and oil – and you’re good to go.
You do not need preservatives
If you purchased your bread from a supermarket, chances are it has a fair few preservatives in it. Why? It takes a while to shuttle those loaves from oven to shipping storage to shelf to cash register to kitchen, so something has to be added in order to prolong its shelf life.
Preservatives such as calcium propionate have been linked to health issues like stomach ulcers, migraines and behavioural problems in children. Therefore, baking smaller loaves as and when you wish to eat them – and yes, you may eat them long before any preservatives would be required – is a far healthier and less wasteful option.
You can guarantee its freshness
Is there any way to make sure no one has changed the manufacturing or expiry dates on that bread tag? Probably not. But if you had baked that loaf yourself you know exactly when it came out of the oven and how much time you have to eat it.
Then again, time is less of a concern when you know you can easily gobble up that delicious bread the very same day it was baked. And if you have any leftovers, you can always pop them in the freezer! 😉
You might just find it therapeutic
Traditional baking may offer the joy of taking your frustrations out on a lump of dough via kneading, punching and rolling, but everyone knows the real satisfaction of baking comes from that sense of accomplishment that fills you up once your bread is baked.
Then there’s the sensorial pleasures – the varied textures of your warm loaf from crunchy crust to pillowy insides, and maybe some nuts and seeds for an exciting mix. And of course, nothing (repeat, nothing) beats the aroma of freshly baked bread.
You can get the kids involved
What could be more fun than baking these recipes with your little ones? Truth: the opportunity for messy play that baking provides is also a vital component of early childhood development and the bonding that can take place throughout the process is incomparable. And (bonus!) they are actually having fun doing math as they measure out the ingredients!
You are free to customise your recipes to your taste
Brioche? Focaccia? Gluten-free? Low sugar? Low sodium? Dried cranberries and sliced almonds? You call the shots.
You can share them with your loved ones
Want to surprise your nearest and dearest? Gift them delicious loaves of lovingly baked bread – pretty red bows and other decorative add-ons optional.
Ready to get baking? Browse through our delicious recipes here.
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