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Is Homemade Bread Healthier than Store-Bought?

Buying bread in the store can be so cheap and convenient that you might wonder is homemade bread healthier? Get rid of fillers and chemicals and make your own homemade bread recipes.

Is homemade bread healthier?

Is Homemade Bread Healthier?

Living healthy is really so easy and many of these bread recipes can be done very quickly with minimal work from you, the new bread goddess, which is what your family will call you when you serve this up amidst glorious fresh bread smells tickling their noses. So, is homemade bread healthier? Let’s find out.

essential tips
for making bread

• Bread too dry & crumbly?

• Dough flat & not rising?

• Is it too time-consuming?

Is Homemade Bread Better?

Homemade bread is so much better than store-bought bread, it isn’t laden with preservatives, and it is very inexpensive to make, and doesn’t take all that much time, either.

In general, bread gets a bad rap because grains these days are not easy for your body to digest. We hear so much about gluten-free products so we have to ask ourselves is homemade bread healthier and better for us? Well, a lot of the wheat crops in this country are being genetically modified to make more money for the people in the food industry but ends up hurting the general public.

Thankfully, we are starting to be more health conscious and prefer to see what we are eating rather than trust a list of ingredients on the packaging. Homemade bread is like no other, and if you want to save money and eat healthy here are a few reasons why you should make your own bread.

homemade bread vs store bought

Loaded with additives and salt, this cheap, mass produced bread is far from desirable, and even if you invest in a bread maker rather than doing it by hand, the cost of the bread you will be making on a regular basis will soon be recouped as what you are turning it out is of a much more superior quality than anything you can buy in the shops.

According to heart.org, “whole grain bread is a good source of nutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system. They also provide dietary fiber that can help improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.”

healthy homemade bread

Benefits of Homemade Bread

Have a look at the ingredient list on the side of the bread in your kitchen. Along with the expected flour, yeast etc you will see such things listed as emulsifiers, usually followed by a few long words that make no sense to anyone, preservatives and treatment agents.

Commercial bread that sits on the shelf requires a lot of preservatives to keep it from getting stale and moldy. You can buy more expensive bread that seems better quality but the reality is that packaged bread always has some preservatives.

Make your own bread and you know exactly what is going into it, so you can relax in the knowledge that you are giving your family the best bread possible.

One of the main problems with bread is that manufacturers want to make as much bread as possible in the shortest amount of time. This is what makes their bread more profitable. In order to do this, they cut the time involved by using things like dough conditioners (such as Azodicarbonamide, that famous ingredient which is also used to make yoga mats) which are linked to various health problems.

homemade bread loaf

Home-baked bread can also offer more nutrients and fewer additives than commercially manufactured breads. For instance, according to a nutrition calculator, homemade bread contains less sugar and more dietary fiber when compared to store-bought white bread or wheat bread. 

The USDA recommends consuming at least 3 oz. of whole grains daily. Labels on commercial breads can lead you to believe they contain more whole grains than they actually do. When you prepare bread at home, you can be sure of the amount of whole grains included in the recipe.

If you have serious food allergies, you can tailor your bread recipes to leave out the offending ingredients. Even manufactured breads that do not contain the allergen may have been produced on equipment contaminated with it. Making your own bread prevents almost all possibility of cross-contamination whether it’s made by hand or in a bread machine.

bread machine bucket
Tasty loaf from bread machine on table

Homemade Bread is Adaptable

Many people cannot eat ordinary bread due to food intolerance – those with celiac disease cannot eat anything with gluten and must adhere to a strict gluten-free diet.

These specialist items are hard to find and expensive to buy, and the easiest way is to make your own. There are literally thousands of recipes online for bread, and it is easy to adapt the recipes to miss out the gluten. Those on a low carb diet will be able to find a bread recipe that they can adapt to suit their needs too, in fact there is a bread to suit everyone’s dietary needs.

Oh! Yeah. Just like you can dictate the quality of your homemade bread, pretty much every other aspect is customizable.

For instance, if you prefer sweet orange, cranberry, or cheesy onion bread, you can easily add it to your recipe. And if you prefer white flour or wheat flour, you can also make your choice. Some people like to up the health factor and omega-3 fatty acids by using walnuts or sunflower seeds.

Christmas Stollen Homemade Bread

Customization is also important if you are under any dietary or health restrictions. Homemade bread makes it all easier for you because you know exactly what you need and what you don’t. Hence, you can always make your choicest loaf. Plus, you can choose to add preservatives or avoid them entirely. 

For the fact that you can control what goes into your homemade bread, then it is considered healthy bread. Because you can control the level of sugar, salt(sodium), and other key ingredients that could be dangerous when excessive.

Another healthy factor of home-baked bread is that it could contain a large percentage of whole grains. USDA approves it healthy to consume at least 3 oz of whole grain per day. Sadly, you can’t be so sure if the labels on your store-bought bread are accurate. However, when you make your bread at home, you can always trust that your ingredients measure up to the required standard.

Homemade Bread Tastes Better

Walking into a home and smelling bread baking gives you a really good feeling, and has been known to be used in houses that aren’t selling by estate agents. Along with freshly ground coffee, homemade bread offers one of the most enticing smells you will find, and feeling good is even more important than looking good. Most often the homemade bread taste far exceeds the smell while it’s baking in the oven! And with the many nutritional benefits, the bread you bake at home is definitely superior, quality-wise. Because more nutritional ingredients will go into the little amount of flour you intend to bake. 

This is unlike the commercial loaves that are baked in larger quantities. Hence, the key ingredients might not measure up to the quantity of flour and yeast used. 

Is homemade bread better for you

Health Benefits of Homemade Bread

When you make your own homemade bread, you can control the ingredients. You can add ingredients as you wish like flax seeds or quinoa (yes really!) or oatmeal. You can choose high-quality flours and you control the sugar content and what sweetener is used.

Also, you can choose to use less sodium in homemade bread vs store bought. You can make a heartier, healthier bread by using 100 percent whole wheat flour or other whole grain flours. Whole wheat flour has more fiber and nutrients than refined white flour.

Homemade bread normally has lower sodium and doesn’t contain trans fats – when I make bread I always use healthy unsaturated fats such as olive oil. Store-bought bread contain preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients to give it more flavor and have a lengthier shelf life. One of these such ingredients is potassium bromate, a dough conditioner that allows the bread rise higher and give the finished bread an appealing white color and longer shelf life. It also should be noted that it is a potential carcinogen and has been banned by several countries.

If you do buy your loaves of bread at the local grocery store, just make sure you get whole-grain bread with basic ingredients that you recognize. Not all store-bought bread is bad, but it takes some learning and looking at ingredients to know what is best to buy.

Homemade Bread is Relaxing

It’s simple, baking your loaves at home can be a very rewarding hobby to engage in whenever you feel bored, lonely, or stressed.

No wonder, Elizabeth Chambers (a renowned baker) said; “I have always loved baking. It’s a huge part of who I am and what I do”. 

Interestingly, Kimberly Wilson — a psychologist and a renowned baker who contested in the Great British Bake Off event — also maintained that baking could be a source of relaxation in everyday life.

Moreover, a study published in the Journal Of Positive Psychology found that younger people feel happier when they engage in creative activities like baking.

Now, what else are you waiting for? Let’s go and bake some bread!

Homemade Bread for Special Diets

Wheat sourdough bread may contain less gluten than regular yeast bread, but it’s not gluten-free, so if you or a loved one has celiac disease, it is a good idea to make your sourdough starter with gluten-free flour. Sourdough bread also contains lower levels of fructans, another substance that can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms in some people, making it a healthier alternative for people with digestion issues.

My Favorite Bread Things

One of the best ways to make all types of bread is with the KitchenAid KSM75WH 4.5-Qt. Classic Plus Stand Mixer – White. You can make bread without it, but when you are busy and have other things going on in life, the mixer makes homemade bread a reality. Buy it now on sale at Amazon!

Read more about Bread Supplies here.

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