How to Make Healthy Bread From Scratch
Why make bread from scratch? Isn’t it much easier to get it from the store? Why go to the trouble when I already have all these kids to watch? At Little Sprouts I make all of our bread products from scratch. I grind wheat to make flour, and I use it to make bread, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, bagels, etc. I do buy store bought crackers, and I do use store bought white flour to make cookies and cakes.
Why make bread from scratch?
I started making my own bread products because I am allergic to sulfur. I had a severe reaction to a sulpha-drug prescribed to me by a doctor. Since then, when I eat sulfites, I swell up with fluid and get a rash.
Sulphites are in chicken, dried fruits, most processed foods, and a huge percentage of other products from the grocery store. Check your food labels. You’ll be amazed. If it begins with sulph, I’m allergic to it.
When I realized what was causing these reactions, I did some research into these substances. Manufacturers use sulfites to preserve foods.
If you go to the store and buy a Twinkie, you don’t have it eat it that day for it to be fresh. It can be eaten a week later, a month later, a year later, or many years later and it still will maintain a similar flavor and texture as the day you bought it. Compare that to a homemade cupcake. The first day it’s soft and moist, and maybe even the second day, but if you keep a homemade from scratch cupcake for a week, it loses some of its qualities and becomes stale, dry, or even moldy.
Homemade bread health benefits
So what do preservatives such as sulfites do to our bodies? The more I looked into sulfites, the more I realized NOONE should be eating them. The ingestion of sulfites is linked to many diseases, it would be best for everyone to avoid them.
Some symptoms include: heart palpitations, ear infections, yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, immune deficiencies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, bloating, diabetes, depression, indigestion, joint pain, muscle weakness, nose bleeds, skin conditions, and the list goes on and on. Click here to see more reasons why homemade bread is healthier than store bought.
After doing my research, I set out to find some bread I could eat. Organic bread from the health food store cost $6 and up. That was not a feasible long-term solution to my problem and they tasted awful.
There is an Amish village nearby that makes homemade bread without chemicals. Their bread was $4 a loaf, but it’s a 45-minute drive to get there. Not very feasible to do continuously. So I decided to get a bread maker and make my own bread. One by one, I learned tried and true recipes for all of the bread products I make, and I was on my way to a less sulfur-infused world.
How to Make Healthy Bread From Scratch
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I started making multiple loaves of bread and storing them in the freezer so I would have a steady supply. I decided if chemical free bread was so much better for me, I would make it for the daycare kids as well.
I could do everything the easy way and feed them chemical laden bread from the store, but I want their “whole” education to be important, not just writing their names. I knew the symptoms listed above are not any better for the kids than they are for me, and I decided they were worth the extra effort.
I want to give my Little Sprouts the very best nutrition I can because I know good nutrition is part of growing good kids. The easy way is not always the best way. I make a dozen loaves at a time, let them cool, slice them, and store them in the freezer for ALL of us to eat.
As I continued to study, I learned flour loses 40% of its vitamins within 24 hours of milling, and 85-90% in 2-3 more days. Why does this happen? Mainly because B vitamins, which are supplied by whole grains, are destroyed by light and air. So I began milling my own flour.
Yesterday I made 22 loaves of bread because the hot part of the summer is upon us. Here in Oklahoma, it can be over 100 degrees with unbearable humidity for weeks or even months.
Before the temperatures are over 95, I wanted to get some baking done so we would have supplies without turning on the oven as much. With a breadmaker, all you have to do is toss the ingredients in and go, so I am able to do loaves of bread during a workday.
Add ingredients in the order listed.
1 room temperature egg plus enough warm water to make one cup
2 T. Sugar (I use unrefined sugar)
2 T. Oil (I use olive oil)
1 tsp. Salt
3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Yeast
1 T. Vital Wheat Gluten
I set the bread maker on dough and after it is processed I shape it into a loaf and let it rise in a loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Click here for more homemade bread recipes you can make in your bread maker.
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