By Katie Bennett, Contributing Writer
I am not a “from-scratch” cook, but some of my friends may think of me that way because I love to make my own bread products when I can. I don’t do this exclusively, but I do love it.
I think you might love it too, if you gave it a try. Here’s why.
Why You Should Try Bread-Making
1) You know what’s in it
Homemade bread is wholesome.
Basic, wonderful bread is made from very few ingredients, but one look at a grocery story package will show you a different story. Many of these are preservatives and the like… not things you want in your body or in those of your family.
When you take the time to make your own bread, you will not only know what it’s made from, but you can hand-select each ingredient. The cost to make bread is so low, you have the opportunity to use high-quality or organic ingredients. You won’t break the bank.
2) It’s a fulfilling and satisfying process
It’s hard to describe, but there’s something innately womanly, even godly, about kneading out dough and baking bread. There is fulfillment in working with our hands to provide something beautiful and delicious for our families.
Remember the Proverbs 31 woman?
“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family… She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Proverbs 31:15-17
I find this satisfaction in bread.
3) It’s not hard
Many of us do not make our own bread because we perceive that it is beyond our skill and energy level.
Pick a day when you’re feeling ambitious, and dive in! You won’t know until you try. It’s actually a simple process, it just takes doing it a couple of times to being to feel comfortable.
If there is one tip I would give you as a beginning bread-maker, it is that the water temperature you use will make a big impact on your dough. Most recipes call for “warm water.” Ideally it should be as close to 120 °F (or 50 °C) as possible.
Most hot water heaters are set to this maximum, so running your tap as hot as you can should be a good measure of water temperature.
4) Your house will smell great!
Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked bread wafting through a home? This is one of the mostly homey smells around in my opinion, and a definite plug for bread-baking!
Where to Start
There are so many forms and types of bread products to think about.
For a beginner, I recommend this simple, 4-step bread recipe. In my experience, the most simple recipes are the best!
And recently, I’ve even branched out into making my own hamburger buns, which have been a huge hit! You can find my pin of that recipe here.