Ola Rokita

Hi! I am Ola and I want to share with you my simple baking recipes that can change your life and how you feel.
[Read more >>>]

Baking Bread at Home and Why it’s Good for You

Ola Rokita29 April 2020Comments (0)

Baked Bread

Several of my readers have reached out to me inquiring about baking bread at home. Given the common thread, I want to address the frequently asked questions I have been receiving.

Personally, I am a big fan of baking bread at home. It allows me to add only the ingredients I want and prefer. As a result, the bread is healthier and more nutritious than most breads I find in the US stores and bakeries. It’s also a fun activity to do with my kids and very gratifying. Plus, the bread is very fresh and tastes delicious.

To help you start baking your bread at home, here are answers to some of the questions you might have:

What flour should I use for baking bread?

 

Fours

If you want to bake healthier bread, I highly recommend whole-wheat flour, type 2,000 if you’re using wheat flour from Poland. Wholemeal or whole-wheat flour is rich in fiber, vitamin E, B1 and B2. Plus, it’s an excellent source of many beneficial minerals for your health, such as folic acid, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron.

This type of flour usually makes the bread denser and heartier.

You can also use more refined wheat flour, type 550 which is equivalent to the all-purpose flour found in the US. This type of flour is good for making challah, dinner rolls, or brioche-type breads. You can also use it to make pizza dough or flat bread.

The all-purpose or 550 type wheat flour usually makes the breads airier and lighter.

My other favorite flour for baking bread is rye flour, type 720. It has less gluten which means it’s less elastic than wheat flour, adds character and a nice light nutty taste to the bread.

To balance the elasticity of your bread with the taste, you can mix wheat and rye flours together.

white and dark breads

Which flour is best for making a starter?

 

The more refined the flour, the harder and longer it takes to make a starter. When making my starter, I either use Polish rye flour, type 720 and above, or whole-wheat flour, type 2,000. With type 720, it takes me about 3 days to make my starter, whereas with the whole-wheat type 2,000 flour it takes me about 2 days. Using flour type 550 (equivalent to the all-purpose flour in the US), it takes me 4-5 days, and requires more precise measurements.

Active Starter

Why should I bake my own bread at home
rather than buying it at the store?

 

When you bake your own bread at home, you know exactly what’s in it. Mass produced bread often contains different types of artificial chemicals, emulsifiers, and preservatives, such as sorbic acid, calcium propionate, or monoglycerides. You can buy artisan bread offered at select stores, but those can get expensive and in the US are often made with enriched flour that has synthetic elements and nutrients added to the flour.

Sour Dough

How difficult is it to bake my own bread at home?

 

Despite some opinions, you don’t need a culinary or baking degree to bake a delicious and nutritious bread at home. To make a simple bread with your own starter, all you need is an oven, baking sheet or pan, good flour, and some water.

Do I need a breadmaking machine to bake a better bread?

 

Breadmaking machines are great if you simply want to dump all the ingredients into one container and have a loaf ready in a few hours without much effort. You can also count on consistency when it comes to your loaf. However, before you invest the money in a breadmaker, start by first making bread with your own hands to understand if you truly need one. Many breads don’t require heavy kneading or manual labor to be made. Sometimes a few stirs is all it takes.

How long does it take to bake a loaf of bread?

 

Baking Bread

With your pre-made starter, it can take as little as one hour and a half, and it does not mean hands-on work. The on-task work is about 5 minutes during the entire process. This includes mixing the flour with the starter and water, transferring the dough into a loaf pan, and putting your bread in the oven.

How can I make a healthier bread?

 

During the process of making flour, often the healthiest part of the grain, germ and bran, is removed. This is why when making your bread add a spoonful of bran in addition to sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, flax seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, olives or herbs.

These can add many beneficial nutrients to your bread, like vitamin E, magnesium, extra fiber, protein, antioxidants, just to name a few. These ingredients also add exquisite taste to your bread and make it more filling.

sunflower seeds

 

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: