Pros and Cons – Home Bread-making
“Putting bread on the table” and being the “bread-winner” are phrases that remind us that “bread” and “money” became almost synonymous during and after the Industrial Revolution.
In the past few years, “recession” and “austerity” entered our vocabulary.
Most of us devote a great deal of our time to earning money, yet we can take bread for granted.
It is just there for us to pick it from a store. Yes, they are now some good quality breads out there, but why not take the plunge this summer and make your own. It’s fun and your body will thank you for it.
It’s sandwich season. After all, there are lots of occasions to show off your culinary talents. Think picnics and garden parties!
When did the art of bread-making start?
Making bread is one of the first skills that men mastered. In Europe, archeologists have found 30,000 years old starch residues on rocks.
When did we start not taking care of our daily bread?
The year was 1961. That is when the Chorleywood bread process was developed in the UK.
The CBP, or the “no time method,” was revolutionary. Invented by the British Baking Industries Research Association, this method for bread production is now used to make 80% of the bread we eat in Britain. It allows for the quick production of low-cost bread on a massive scale.
What are the cons of commercial bread production?
The downside is that this CBP process uses wheat with low protein content. This means the bread has a lower nutritional value. It also requires adding vitamin C, enzymes and fat to tenderise the bread and preserve its freshness.
In 2009, the mass-scale bread-making revolution continued. A natural preservative - a lactic acid bacteria strain – was added to the dough to extend its shelf life from a few days to up to two weeks.
Commercial breads also contain bread improvers and dough conditioners. Their role is to reduce the dough’s rising time and improve the bread’s texture as well as its volume.
In short, the quality of the bread, although monitored, is inferior to what we can produce at home.
What are the pros of making bread at home?
- It is cheap and easy
- You need just a few kitchen tools
- Spoon to stir the dough
- Measuring cup
- Teaspoon measure
- Bread pan to bake the bread in
- Hand towel to prevent dust from falling onto the bread dough as it rises
- Standard mixer
- Most common ingredients
-Flour (quinoa, spelt, almond, brown rice, teff, kamut, buckwheat, coconut, etc.)
-Bicarbonate of soda
- The process itself is rather simple
It involves a few steps like activating the yeast and mixing it with boiling water, setting aside the mixture for a time while you get on with the rest of the process (which can vary depending on the type of bread that you are making), but the end result is worthwhile! You’ll realise after having getting stuck in that it’s remarkably simple.
Then, out of the oven will emanate a beautiful smell (and we all know that is hard to beat!) as well as a gorgeous and heavenly golden brown texture that you’ll be able to sink your teeth into! After all, who can resist fresh homemade bread?
What are cons of making bread at home?
- Time. Well, not really…
Yet, us modern folks believe that baking bread consumes too much time and energy.
It might have taken you a few hours to make it. You are exhausted and the kitchen is covered in flour. It’s just too much for our modern way of life.
Who can spare that much time?
Well, anyone can really. With some good time management, you can watch your favourite TV show, chat with your friends, respond to a few emails, and get some additional work done around the house while the dough is just sitting there and the yeast is doing its rising magic.
After a while, making bread just becomes another habit. And a healthy one at that! Since we get to work out while you knead the dough and, more importantly, choose what to put in our bread, we really take charge of our own nutrition. That’s really the point!
And the real fun starts when we become confident enough to start experimenting.
We read up a bit and find out about the different qualities of flour. Then, we find out that different types of flour are needed in different quantities.
We also find out more about the healing and nutritional qualities of spices, nuts and seeds, and start playing around with them to our heart’s content by making every bread baking a fresh experience that will surprise our senses of smell and taste.
By adding some garlic, sundried tomatoes and rosemary, you will get that Mediterranean flavour. Throw in some raisins and cinnamon and you will be transported to Central Europe at Christmas time. The possibilities are just endless.
Bottom Line – it’s about your health!
Most importantly, we are the ones in charge of our health and nutritional needs. And they vary. Whether we need a gluten-free diet or certain vitamins and minerals, we can add them to our daily food intake through bread. After all, we are the ones picking the healthier ingredients.
That is how bread becomes more than just a part of our meals. It achieves its destiny of being a pillar of our nutrition that can balance it to perfection.
We shouldn’t allow this opportunity to go to waste.
Here is a wonderful recipe for coconut bread!
You can also find these delicious and flavourful bread recipes in our Honestly Healthy cookbooks.
-Chia and teff bread
-No-grain kale bread
-Spelt soda bread
-Sweet potato bread
-Seeded spelt bread
By Ivana Miloradovic
Edited by Chantal Ouimet