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Baking bread at home is option

POSTED: October 20, 2013 7:00 p.m.
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Bread can be attractive as well as tasty when done right.

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I have had a love affair with bread for just about as long as I can remember. I recall many childhood meals where my parents had to cut me off from eating any more rolls so that I wouldn’t spoil my dinner. There just isn’t anything better than warm, crusty bread with butter to accompany a great meal.
I never used to think twice about having a few rolls or slices of bread with dinner, that is until I got married and had three children. Now I think twice about every carbohydrate-laden item that crosses my plate. Now that I have children, we only purchase whole-grain bread for sandwiches and toast, buying organic when we can get it. Whole-wheat bread is higher in fiber and nutrients than white bread and definitely a better choice for growing children.
Finding speciality Italian or French dinner breads  — especially organic — has been challenging. Living out in Midway, we have limited options for shopping without having to make a trip to Hinesville.
Just the other day, a good friend of mine passed along a fantastic and easy recipe for homemade bread that I want to share.
Making homemade bread usually is chore best saved for special occasions. Even making bread in my breadmaker is too complicated a process for me these days. However, this recipe is simple to make and also allows for bakers to customize the bread to meet their dietary needs. With this recipe, bread can be made with just about any type of flour to make whole grain, gluten-free or even organic loaves. Various add-ins, such as herbs, sunflower seeds, flax and poppy seeds, can be included for even more customization.
Baking your own bread at home also is much more economical than buying a loaf at the store. Since the ingredients in this recipe are simple, and you may already have them all at home, it keeps the cost down. The recipe also yields two decent-sized loaves of bread, so you can use one right away and save the other to slice for this week’s lunch sandwiches or to freeze and later defrost when you need an “emergency loaf.”  Since you can make loaves only when you need them, you lose less to spoilage.
Additionally, all of the dough doesn’t have to be baked at once. Reserve half, cover it and pop in the refrigerator, then bake it up when you want a fresh loaf. Be sure to get creative with your add-ins, but remember to keep them healthy and don’t use anything that has a high moisture content.
Although whipping up bread using recipe takes a little more time than running to the store, just think about how great your house will smell while the loaves are baking.

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