What are the benefits of home bread making? A question I asked myself as I made my ‘umpteenth’ loaf and set it to one side to rise. Let’s see.
The Benefits of Home Bread Making
In my blog I have talked before about the changes I made to our eating and shopping habits as a result of the lockdown last year. I wrote a blog called ‘Lessons From Lockdown – Eating Well For Less‘. Most of those habits have stuck, and that includes making my own bread.
Why I Started Home Bread Making
Many years ago when I lived in England I made all my own bread. But a lot of it went to waste as we were still tempted by different breads available in the shops. Eventually I just stopped making my own and we bought bread from the bakery or supermarket.
Last year, I started making my own bread again when lockdown started last March, as we were only going to the supermarket every three weeks. I tried various recipes until I found one that suited me. Arthritic hands do not lend themselves to doing a lot of kneading and I don’t have (or want) a bread maker. There is only BB and me. He is the main bread eater in the family. Plus I am retired so I have the time to do this. Though, to be fair, it doesn’t take much time.
What Bread Recipe Do I Use?
I stick with a simple formula, a cup of wholemeal flour, a cup of white flour, a cube of fresh yeast dissolved in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, tablespoon of olive oil. No kneading, just mixing, leaving it to rise once, knocking it out and then leaving it in a loaf tin to rise a second time. Easy and not too stressful.
The resulting bread slices easily and can be used for sandwiches or toast. There is rarely any waste.
How Many Loaves Have I Made?
Sitting waiting for yet another loaf of bread to rise I got to wondering how many loaves of bread I have made and how much I have saved by doing so. Each loaf I make lasts approximately 4 days. So I ‘guestimate’ I have made 135 loaves -give or take a few – since I started home bread baking last year.
So What Are The Benefits of Home Bread Making
It Makes Lovely Bread
We have healthy, tasty, bread with nothing nasty added. I enjoy making it and he enjoys eating it. Plus the house smells wonderful on baking day. I could stop there. But today, waiting for yet another loaf to rise, I wondered how much money, if any, I had saved by making my own bread. And we have saved a surprising amount.
We Have Saved Money
Costs of the bread I make
I reckon the ingredients, as listed above, cost less than 48 cents per loaf. Each loaf lasts four days, so I estimate I have made 135 loaves since the first lockdown here in Italy in March last year. Okay, so a drop of water goes in and I use the electric oven to bake the bread. But I combine the use of the oven with cooking other things. I have no idea how to add a nominal amount for that. Anyway, 135 loaves of bread at 48 cents each is a total of €64.80. Let’s go with that as a rough figure.
Costs of the bread we used to buy
We used to buy bread every three days, average cost €1.30 per loaf (again give or take). Over the same period I have been home bread making, that would have been 180 loaves for a grand total of €234. We used to waste a lot too, a surprising amount used to end up in the compost bin. The €234 doesn’t include the cost of fuel for the trip out to the shops to buy the bread on a non-supermarket day, when the bread was all that was needed. Nor the additional cost of items that made it into the basket with the bread that weren’t actually intended LOL.
By my reckoning then, we have saved in the region €169.20 in eighteen months on the cost of bread. Now that pays for a few vets bills!
So, what are the benefits of home baking? The bread is healthy and delicious, we have little waste and save money in the process. A win, win situation!
Now I need to go and put my bread in the oven!
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!