There is nothing like the smell of homemade bread wafting through the house and I always feel so homely when our house smells of bread. I was advised to stop eating bread, due to the gluten in bread and I missed it so much. After finding some nice gluten free flour at our local horticultural store, I made myself a loaf once a month as a treat. Although it tasted great, I found it never lasted very long because my children preferred my bread over their shop bought bread.
I have always known shop bought bread is not good for you because due to the whitening of the flour in the milling process and the addition of chemicals to preserve and extend its shelf life. It is easier to buy bread than it is to make it, it is not that expensive and quicker than making it myself. When I started making my own (by hand as I don’t have a bread maker) I found a real love and enjoyment in kneading the dough and watching it rise. Now I don’t buy any shop bought bread (unless I am having a really busy week at its more convenient but these are on rare occasions) and the children are eating our homemade bread without a fuss, sandwiches in packed lunches are now getting eaten rather than having over half coming home from school not even touched. Leaving my bread as a treat for me
The only thing with making your own bread is that it does not contain any of the preservatives that shop bought bread does. Therefore it goes off really quickly, although great for making bread and butter pudding, this creates a lot of waste. Here are a few tips we use in our home to keep our homemade bread fresh throughout the day.
I must add that 1 loaf of homemade bread does only last the day in our house, once three sets of packed lunch have been made, a round of toast for my son’s breakfast in the morning and a round of toast in the evening for my sons supper, it does not leave that much of the loaf left.
- Clean Tea Towel – I make my bread in the evening so there is a loaf of bread for each morning. Once the bread has cooled on the side, I wrap the bread in a clean tea towel and leave on the kitchen unit overnight. The kitchen towel stops any unwanted guests during the night taking a liking to our fresh bread by protecting it but lefts enough moisture out that the bread is not all soggy in the morning.
- Paper Bags – Once all the sandwiches and morning toast has been made. I place our leftover bread into a paper bag which allows the bread to breath, stay fresh and won’t dry out, while at the same time protects the bread. Then I pop the paper bag in the cupboard until needed for the next round of toast or sandwiches. This is not a new idea, years ago when you bought your bread from the baker they would give you your loaf in a paper bag and there it would live until it had been all used up.
- Freezer – I cannot eat a whole loaf of gluten free bread before it goes off, so I freeze it. Before I freeze the loaf I first slice it, place the bread in a reusable plastic bag and pop it in the freezer. When I fancy some toast or a sandwich I take out a couple of slices from the freezer, if I am making myself a sandwich I defrost the slices on the side or just pop them straight into the toaster (to toast and defrost my toast). Freezing is also great for any crusts or slices of bread that are left over. I just pop them in the a reusable bag and pop them in the freezer. This I always have leftover bread on hand for bread crumbs or for my favourite bread and butter pudding.
I have found by making my own bread that not only do I know what exactly is in it and there is no bread wastage any more as well as cutting down our shopping bill and our rubbish waste.
Do you make your own bread and have any tips you can share with us on how to keep it fresh?