Why bake your own bread?
‘I don’t have time’, ‘I’ve no idea how to’. ‘I did once and it was a disaster!’.
There are many (very valid!) reasons why you might not bake your own bread at home. It’s very easy to pop a sliced loaf in your basket as you rush between work, the station supermarket and home/the gym/drinks with friends. And I’m certainly not here to tell you to change the habits of a busy lifetime. However, if you can, there are some great reason for making your own bread, even if you only do it occasionally. Read on and see if you want to get baking!
The sense of achievement
In every class I run, there’s a ‘Wow!’ moment when students take their fresh-baked bread out of the oven. That heavenly aroma of fresh bread wafts around the room and the sense of achievement is palpable. Everyone crowds round, wanting to check out their loaves, smell them, feel them and get started eating them! You’ll get the same when your loaf emerges, warm and crackling, from your oven, ready to amaze family and friends.
It CAN fit around your life.
One of the best things about bread making is that, most of the time, you leave the dough to just do its thing whilst you get on with life. You can take this to the extreme with some easy, hands-off, no-knead recipes that are also great for beginners. Why not try this tomato and basil focaccia for lunch one weekend and see how you get on? Remember, give it time and you’ll be rewarded!
Remember when you couldn’t ride a bike? Or read? Or even talk? Watching my toddler grow up reminds me that practice makes perfect. The same goes for pretty much everything in life, including bread making. Keep practising and it will get easier. You’ll learn recipes that you can make without thinking about it, and begin to wonder what you were fussing about!
Great flavour at a fraction of the cost
Once you start, you’ll soon find that you can turn simple, relatively cheap ingredients into a whole range of great tasting breads. Combining flour, water, salt and yeast and adding the crucial ingredient of time, you can bake bread to be proud of. Add in your favourite seeds, nuts, dried fruit or grated cheese to any simple dough and the range of breads at your fingertips is endless.
Who needs mindfulness?
The act of mixing, kneading and shaping dough can be quite therapeutic — you can’t do much else whilst your hands are covered in sticky dough. Even if it’s only 10 – 15 minutes of kneading and shaping, enjoy the time out to relax and switch off from the world.
In short, baking bread is easy, economical and very enjoyable: something I’d recommend to all. If you have any bread making queries, do get in touch. If you want to learn more about baking your own bread, find out more about my relaxed, hands-on classes run in Epsom. Class sizes are kept small and each includes a delicious light lunch, plus you get to take home all the bread you make on the day.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, do let me know in the comments! Or why not check out the other breadmaking recipes, hints and tips on my blog.
You can also join my supportive community of home bread bakers over on Facebook. From sharing great bakes and recipes to asking and answering key breadmaking questions, there’s plenty to learn and join in with.