Shirley Southworth at Food Positive shares 5 reasons to make your own bread

Food Positive - Bread

Food Positive - Bread - Credit: Archant

Baking your own bread may seem like a lot of effort when shop bought is plentiful and readily available, but with the popularity of shows such as The Great British Bake Off home baking is becoming ever more popular. Here at Food Positive our bread making workshop is our most popular giving people the skills and knowledge to tackle bread making at home.

Food Positive - The Team

Food Positive - The Team - Credit: Archant

Here are our top 5 reasons to bake your own:-

1. To know what your eating - There are on average 11 ingredients in a white sliced loaf-

Wheat Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt, Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, Soya Flour, Emulsifier: E472e *; Preservative: Calcium Propionate (added to inhibit mould growth); Flour Treatment Agent: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

* Acetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

Real bread has just 4 – flour, yeast, salt and water.

In addition to the ingredients declared on the label of shop bought bread are also hidden ingredients that do not legally have to be included in the ingredients list. But why, with legislation as it is how can the bread industry get away with this? Who better to explain than Andrew Whitely baker and real bread campaigner? His eye opening article in the Independent sheds light on the hidden enzymes in our daily bread.

Most Read

2. A sense of achievement - There is nothing that can be done in a kitchen that brings as much pleasure and satisfaction than baking your own bread. Regardless of flavour or style a home baked loaf fresh from the oven will give you a sense of achievement. Bread baking nurtures your creativity tempting you to experiment with flavour combinations you won’t find in store matching them to seasonal availability and cultural influences.

3. To show you care - It takes time and care to produce a good loaf, what better way to show those you love how much you care about them than filling your home with delightful aromas not to mention the delicious flavour of real bread. Don’t let the time factor put you off though as by careful timing and use of the fridge you can fit bread making into a busy lifestyle. Slow fermentation allows you to prepare your dough and leave it in the fridge to develop and rise slowly ready for you to pop it into the oven when you can. Sour dough bread also benefits from a long slow rise producing a distinct flavour and bread that improves with age and makes the best toast ever!

4. To save money - Surprisingly its cheaper! With the ever rising cost of our food bills it is cost effective to bake it yourself. You can make a really great loaf using standard bread flour found in all supermarkets and at less than £1 for 1.5k a small amount of salt and some yeast which comes in at just over 10p per packet you have the makings of 3 good sized loaves for less than £1.50. And if you are canny you can get FREE fresh yeast from your instore bakery in some of the big supermarkets…some have started charging so check out your local super market. Of course we haven’t taken into account your time and if you start using premium flours the cost increases.

5. To get some exercise - Ask any artisan baker and they will tell you that bread making is a great upper body work out! It takes a good 10 – 15 minutes kneading to stretch the dough ensuring a good crumb and lift. It’s less expensive than a gym membership with the added benefit of something good to eat at the end. If I could only figure out a way to work out from the waist down whilst kneading the dough I could have have a keep fit craze on my hands!

There is a little mystery around bread baking, it can be disappointing to put all that effort in only to produce a heavy dull loaf that is sure to bring on a bout of indigestion. At Food Positive our workshop will demystify the bread making process and arm you with tips and hints to set you on your bread making journey. In addition all our workshops come with an added feel good factor, as a not for profit community cookery school your workshop fee helps support the work we do with vulnerable groups.