Baking bread is something people have practiced for centuries but have partly forgotten in modern life. It’s a skill worth relearning for the pride and joy of putting a lovely loaf on the table, knowing it was our care and skill that made this beautiful bread for family and guests.
Baking sandwich bread at home means we know what’s in our food. In today’s world of unpronounceable ingredients, this is reassuring. We purchase the best flour available and combine it with only the healthful ingredients of our choice. The breads we bake at home have more flavor because we allow the loaves time to develop, so they never have that odd processed aftertaste.
We can also save money by baking sandwich bread for our family. You can make a very basic sandwich bread loaf with high-quality flour for about 70 cents. Adding organic milk, butter, and eggs will bring the cost up to nearly $1.50. Even so, that’s savings.
Expanding into more fancy artisan breads can yield even more savings. As home bakers, the entire world of breads is available to us — we can duplicate the breads of any culture right in our own oven and all at a modest cost.
A day spent baking bread is a good day. Great satisfaction comes with seeing loaves out of the oven, cooling on the rack. The house smells fabulous. For some, bread baking starts with just a basic loaf for family sandwiches. Success can lead to passion — for creating the perfect artisan loaf, the perfect pizza, the perfect sticky bun. The more we learn, the more we want to learn.
I figure, if you’re going to get all the ingredients out and make a mess, you might as well bake a lot of bread, especially on a cold day. I certainly don’t want to have to wash the bowl in between! The following recipes include mixer instructions, but as home bakers have mixed bread for centuries, you can certainly mix any of these by hand — which will take longer but will build your arm strength.