Why Learn to Bake Bread?
Why would you ever want to bake your own bread when you could just go to the grocery store or the local bakery and pick up a loaf? I mean it's so easy and convenient right? Plus it tastes good enough. So why bake? Let's Take a look at some of the great reasons to learn this skill.
1. Nothing Beats Homemade Bread.
If you've never experienced taking a freshly baked loaf out of your home oven and smelled the aromas wafting out of the loaf then this alone is reason enough to try it. Freshly baked bread is just that good. Even if your loaf barely rises and resembles a brick the flavor will still be like nothing you've ever had from the grocery store. Those of you who have baked bread at home before know exactly what I'm talking about and probably need no more explanation on this point.
2. The Challenge
Bread baking can be surprisingly challenging. Or maybe not all that surprising considering one of the main ingredients in bread(yeast) is a living organism that the baker must try to coax into doing what he or she wants.
Making your bread perfect can be quite difficult. This is part of what makes bread baking so rewarding however. The bread practically begs you to come back and try again to make it better. As a baker you will always be in pursuit of the perfect flavor, shape and texture and you will probably never get there. The challenge of achieving the perfect loaf is addicting and when you do make a breakthrough it is an extremely rewarding experience.
3. Beats the Grocery Store
The bread you can bake at home will trounce most any grocery store loaf. First off, you can control the ingredients in the bread you make. At the grocery store, even many of the higher quality and expensive loaves are loaded with preservatives. Things like calcium propionate, monoglycerides, calcium sulfate, soy lecithin, potassium iodate and artificial colors are common. Just look at the labels of some of these grocery store breads. They read like a chemistry textbook. Bread doesn't need all these ingredients to be bread. You just need flour, water, salt and yeast. At home you can make your loaf as healthy or as unhealthy as you like. You have full control.
In addition to full control of what goes in your bread, your loaf will be straight from the oven fresh. At the grocery store you don't really know how old the bread you're buying is. Often times the loaves can be days old by the time you get them(why they need so many preservatives).
Also, because of shelf life considerations, grocery store bread sacrifices flavor in favor of a long lasting bread that takes weeks to go bad. At home, you do not have to make this sacrifice. You can bake great tasting, nutritious bread without a concern for shelf life(because it will probably be devoured within an hour of leaving the oven).
4. Save Money
Bread from the grocery store or a bakery can be expensive! To get a loaf somewhat comparable in quality to what you can bake at home you may need to spend five or six dollars. With one four or five dollar bag of flour you can make five to six full sized loaves of bread.
5. Bake once, have bread for a month
If you have a freezer, large mixing bowl and some loaf pans you can easily make all your bread for the month in one bake day using the skills you learn here. Just mix up a big batch of your favorite bread, enough to make four loaves or so, and bake them all off. After the bread has cooled, simply freeze three loaves in plastic bags and keep one at room temperature. Every time you need another loaf, pull one from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature. The bread will be surprisingly fresh tasting and you won't have to bake bread off again for quite awhile.
Have another great reason for making bread at home? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.comments powered by Disqus