Why make bread at home? If you’re on the fence, here are the top 5 reasons to make homemade bread (starting with cheaper and healthier!).
Ever made your own bread at home? It may sound daunting, but guess what? Homemade bread is not as hard as you think. In fact, several people have told us it is actually easy. One of those people is Zoë Francois, author of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day books (along with coauthor Jeff Hertzberg). Alex and I sat down with her on our A Couple Cooks Podcast, where she shares the story and secret behind her method. Is it really that easy? Well, you’ll have to listen to the podcast. In the meantime, here are our 5 top reasons why you should give baking homemade bread a shot.
Related: Bread Recipes
5 reasons to make homemade bread
Have you heard of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day books? 5 minutes per day? Is that even possible? The homemade bread in 5 minutes term comes from the fact that it takes about 5 minutes of active time to shape a loaf and throw it in the oven. In order to accomplish this, you’ll have to think ahead! You’ll mix up the dough the night before, let it sit at room temperature for an hour or two, and then store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake, you just quickly shape it and pop it in the oven! A bread like this no-knead multigrain homemade bread takes about 40 minutes to bake. The dough makes enough for 4 loaves, so you can keep it in your refrigerator and pull it out when it’s go time. So overall, it’s pretty quick and simple when compared to other bread recipes!
Of course if you choose something a little more involved like our homemade sourdough bread, you’ll need 3 days. That one’s more of a weekend project for bread nerds! So if you’re just starting out, our no-knead multigrain bread or artisan Dutch oven bread recipes are a better choice.
It costs around 40 cents per loaf to make homemade bread. That price is like, unheard of at the grocery or bakery! Homemade bread uses simple ingredients: mainly flour, water and yeast! Our no-knead multigrain homemade bread requires a pizza stone for baking, which is relatively inexpensive. (Our homemade sourdough bread calls for a bit more equipment.)
It smells amazing.
Baking homemade bread truly makes your house smell amazing–which in turn will make your mood skyrocket, right? There is something magical about the smell of fresh-baked bread that makes the world seem right. Can you really be mad at your significant other while that smell is wafting?
Homemade bread has additives or preservatives.
True story: we bought a loaf of standard store-bought sandwich bread a few years ago. After getting lost in our pantry, it was still good 2 months later with no mold. What? Some kind of unnatural preservatives in that bread kept it alive for way longer than it should be! Homemade bread goes bad much quicker, but it’s a bit more natural without the funky preservatives. Since we eat our homemade bread pretty quickly, it doesn’t stay around long enough to get moldy.
It’s just plain fun!
Baking homemade bread is just gosh darn fun. It’s fun to knead it, shape it and slash it. And it’s even more fun to take a loaf out of the oven and say “I made that.”
Are you convinced? Below are a few more bread baking resources. Let us know if you give it a try!
Looking for homemade bread recipes?
Here are our favorite homemade bread recipes on A Couple Cooks:
- Artisan Dutch Oven Bread
- Multigrain Artisan No Knead Bread
- Simplified Sourdough Bread Recipe
- Garlic Herb Focaccia Bread
- Raspberry Braided Bread Recipe
- Healthy Blender Banana Bread
- All our Bread Recipes!
I rarely need more than one reason: the smell.
i need to take this loaf on a picnic!
Reason 6: It makes you feel intensely accomplished. There’s nothing better than pulling a hot loaf out of the oven and knowing that you made it.
I used to love it when my mom made homemade bread. I need to start that tradition again!
Taste is the best reason to make homemade bread!
We took a loaf of this bread on a picnic and it was awesome!
The car smelled so good as we traveled to the park.
Fresh baked bread smells sooo good!
Hi! I have enjoyed making your bread every weekend for a while now. My question is this, my results are great insofar as taste, colour and texture-I would like to achieve the height that your picture indicates. Could it be my yeast? I use SAF instant. this weekend I am going to try rapid quick rise which is available here in Canada. Any suggestions?
I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe! There are so many factors to bread, it’s hard to say what exactly is causing it to flatten. A different yeast might alter it (I use Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast). Also, you could try doing a round of folding to give it structure before your final rise (like this http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/tentips_6_fold). Also, the amount of steam in the oven can affect it, so trying to get a bit more steam might help. Good luck!