I only recently started making our bread from scratch. Because we eat a lot of sandwiches, I just didn’t think it made sense to spend so much time on something that wouldn’t save us much money.
And then we moved from Oregon to Mississippi. The multi-grain loaves I purchased in Oregon cost nearly twice as much here in Mississippi. If the cost wasn’t enough to convince me to get baking, the mold situation sure was.
Before we left Oregon at the end of December, I purchased a loaf of bread from the local grocery store. That loaf traveled nearly 3000 miles with us and ended up in the kitchen of our new home.
My husband, a biology teacher, took several slices from that loaf to school for a lab experiment. His students, in an attempt to grow mold, rubbed their bread on the classroom floor before spritzing it with water and sealing the slices in glass dishes. My husband brought the dishes home and we spent two weeks heating them to 100 degrees almost daily to encourage mold growth.
We gave up after two weeks because the bread still showed no signs of mold. Instead, we had six-week-old bread on our counter that had been rubbed on the floor, moistened, and heated, but still looked suitable for eating. I realized that, whatever is in most commercial bread to keep it “fresh” for so long is not something I want my family to consume.
Even though I’m now baking our bread from scratch more out of concern for commercial additives and preservatives than for frugality, I certainly appreciate the cost savings, too. I’m not even about to attempt to create my own cost breakdown for baking versus buying. There are tons of resources out there, like this one, that have done just that.
In the journey I’m on to make more of my family’s food from scratch, bread is a no -brainer. The time investment is minimal, in my opinion, compared to the satisfaction of creating something wholesome to feed the people I love.
Despite how much bread my family eats, or maybe because of it, baking loaves from scratch is a simple change I can make to feel better about what we eat. Here are a couple of my favorite bread recipes, as well as some I plan to try:
- Amazing No-Knead Bread – if you’re intimidated by the thought of baking with yeast, start here.
- Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread – wherever this recipe calls for flour, I just use white whole wheat flour
- Pita Bread – I plan to make a whole wheat version of this
- Rosemary Olive Oil Bread – this looks delicious, and similar to the No-Knead bread above
I want to know: have you tried making bread from scratch? Do you currently make bread from scratch? Why or why not? If you have a favorite recipe, please share!