Home baked bread is a great and easy way to cut down on your grocery bill. Making your own bread at home can cost half as much per loaf than what you would pay at the grocery store.
And what’s even better?
It’s tastier and heathier!
The delicious joy of biting into a thick slice of warm, freshly baked bread is an experience that money cannot buy. But as delicious as homemade bread is, some are intimidated by the idea of making their own bread. They can worry that baking from scratch takes too much time and effort, however the benefits of making homemade bread outweigh the worries.
4 Benefits Of Baking Your Own Bread
One of the biggest benefits of baking your own bread is that it saves money. However, there are many other reasons by baking bread is a great alternative to purchasing it. Baking is fun, mixing is relaxing, you’ll have contentment of knowing and controlling what is in your food, and bragging rights for when you serve your top quality bread to friends and family!
Even if you have a busy, tight schedule, you can effortlessly turn out fresh baked bread with just a little bit of planning. It will easily become a part of your weekly routine and turn the only-once-in-a-while treat to a regular habit.
- It’s cheap.
A normal loaf of white bread costs an average of $1.30 at the grocery store, with whole wheat being a bit pricier at around $2.00 a loaf. If you buy seven-grain or sourdoughs, those could be around $4.00. Most home bakers find they can make their bread at home from anywhere between $0.40 and $1.00 per loaf!! Those are prices unheard of at a grocery store.
- It’s healthier.
The downfall is that homemade bread goes bad much quicker than the standard store bought bread, but that is only because it does not contain the additives and preservatives store bought bread has. Store bought loaves also do not have much nutrition as well. They don’t contain much protein or fibre, and their calories are mostly from starch. We want to note that not all store bought breads are equal. You can buy bread at a store that contain better nutrition, but you will have to pay a lot more for those breads. By making your own bread, you do not have to choose between nutrition and cost.
- It’s customizable
This is one of the best perks of baking your own bread. If you are on a special diet - vegan, low-carb, gluten-free, low-sugar, high fibre…whichever your special food needs are, you can find a recipe to make your bread however you want. If you have a restricted diet, it can be hard to find bread in stores you are able to eat, and if you do, it is most likely going to be quite expensive.
- It’s fun.
Baking your own bread provides a lot of fun and enjoyment. It’s fun to mix all the ingredients, knead it, and shape it. It is very satisfying to take a loaf out of the oven and say, “I made that”. There is something about the process of creating something useful with your own hands and filling up the house with the mouth-watering smell of fresh bread!
No Knead Bread
No knead bread was first published in the New York Times about 10 years ago. Because this bread requires no kneading, it became very popular. No knead bread is a method of bread baking that uses a long fermentation (rising) time instead of kneading to form the gluten strands that gives bread its texture. It has a low yeast content and a very wet, formless dough. Essentially you mix everything up in a bowl, let it sit around for 24 hours to let the yeast do its work, and bake it the next day. The ease of this process makes for a popular bread making method.
What Is A Dutch Oven?
Making bread in a Dutch oven is a great way to start making bread at home. Many home bakers prefer to make their breads in Dutch ovens as they help form a great crust and a beautiful round, artisan shape.
A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot with a tight fitting lid and thick walls that trap in flavour. It is usually made with enameled cast iron but can also be bare cast iron or ceramic. They are a great multi-use kitchen tool as they can go straight from the stove-top into the oven. They are durable, retain heat, non-stick, and require no special cleaning techniques.
Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread Recipe
This uncomplicated recipe is made with only 4 ingredients and only takes 5 minutes for prepping. This is the recipe for you if you want to easily make the delicious homemade bread that looks like you bought from a bakery.
- Mix together 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 5 tsp of sea salt, and 2 tsp of active dry yeast.
- Add ½ cup of water, no hotter than 105 degrees Fahrenheit or it could kill the yeast and prevent bread from rising.
- Mix the dough until a sticky ball forms. A dough whisk is useful here. The dough should hold a ball shape, but it will be sticky to the touch, and not be smooth.
- Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap (sprayed with cooking spray). Place a damp tea towel over the plastic wrap. Let it rest overnight, for at least 18 to 24 hours in a banneton or an alternative. Make sure it is in a secure, warm place at room temperature.
- After 24 hours, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a Dutch oven with a lid into the oven while it is preheating.
- Transfer bread dough from the bowl on to a lightly floured counter. Form the dough into a ball, adding a few tablespoons of flour, if needed. The dough will be loose and seem floppy. It will not form a firm ball but will look a little flat. Cover it with a floured towel until oven is preheated. Optionally, you can also score your bread dough before popping it in the oven.
- Carefully remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven. Remove the lid and spray the entire dish and lid with cooking spray.
- Gently and evenly place the dough ball in the Dutch oven.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the loaf is a golden brown.
- Once finished, remove the loaf from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a cooling rack before slicing.
If you like the idea of baking your own bread, but you are not quite sure if you are ready to jump into the baking world, remember that is does not need to be an all or nothing situation. You can bake as often as you want. Whip up a homemade loaf for special occasions such as holidays or birthdays, or simply bake some bread on a rainy day.
But we are warning you now, fresh baked bread can be addictive! Once you get into the habit of baking, you will most likely find that you will no longer be satisfied with store bought bread. Even if you have a busy schedule, you may find yourself using up your spare time for baking because you are craving your homemade bread!
Are you convinced? We hope so! We at Bear Country Kitchen have all your baking needs covered, and we would love to see you get started. We offer various products to help you during your bread making endeavors as well as artisan bread making kits. We offer top quality tools for affordable prices to ensure you can bring out the home chef in you! Shop our full store here.