Ten reasons to bake bread at home and a recipe to at least try

Baking bread at home became a bit of a trend during the 2020 lockdown. If you haven't tried yet, here's why should.

Bread is one of the most popular foods across the world. For centuries bread has been an important staple food product to many cultures.

Today, we have so many food choices aside from bread, which is why the practice of baking our own bread is not as common as before. During the global lockdown of 2020, the idea of baking bread at home was revived somewhat, though.

But now that the world is returning to the new normal, people simply buy bread from their grocery stores and bakeries.

But if you’re one of those people who want more alternatives aside from those commercially produced bread products which are loaded with preservatives, then you should definitely learn to create and bake your very own bread. And yes, we absolutely include variants of bread in “bake at home” – that includes making your own vetkoek (fried, not baked, we know).

Not convinced? Okay, let’s try and change your mind.

Why you should at least try bake bread at home

  • Nothing beats the flavour of freshly baked bread straight from out of your oven. The mouth-watering taste and aroma of home-made bread, slathered with butter slowly melting, is one thing you cannot experience outside your home.
  • Homemade breads are definitely more nutritious compared to majority of commercially produced breads. The latter is filled with preservatives so that its shelf life is extended.
  • Making bread is not as expensive as it looks. The main ingredients, which are flour, yeast and salt, are very affordable  and you can stock these supplies up without them creating a huge dent in your budget.
  • Many people find kneading dough a very relaxing and therapeutic experience. It is a form of meditation and a great way to practice mindfulness, even just for that short span of time.
  • Baking your very own bread will impress your friends and family.
  • Sandwiches taste much better if they are made with homemade and freshly baked bread. Plus it is more filling and nutritious too.
  • Baking your very own bread is a great and fun way for you to spend time with your family, especially with kids.
  • It can also be educational. Exploring bread recipes of other countries will let you find out certain traditions and practices that have been handed down from generations.
  • You can indulge your creative energies when baking. There are so many different bread recipes and a multitude of variations, both sweet and savoury. From sourdough, to stuffed breads, to bread rolls the options are endless.
  • You can actually turn it into a business. You can sell your baked goodies to friends and relatives, who can offer it to their friends and other relatives. Word-of-mouth is necessary when it comes to selling homemade food products.

Here is a fool proof and super easy bread recipe for you try at home.

Ingredients for baking bread at home

2 cups warm water

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

5-6 cups bread flour

Instructions for baking bread at home

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water and then stir in yeast. Leave to stand for about 5 minutes and the yeast foams.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Add the flour one cup at a time.

Knead the dough for approximately 7 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Roll it around a few times to coat the dough in oil.

Cover the bowl with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size. This will take approximately 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the bow and knock it down. Knead for another 1 minute and divide in half.

Shape the dough into loaves and place into two greased bread loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees F /175 degrees C for 30-40 minutes.

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Staff Reporter