I love to make homemade bread. Well, let me clarify that – I love to EAT homemade bread. I feel better about knowing that the bread my family is eating is made from healthy grains rather than bread made from white flour that is processed down to nothing but grain dust, with all the nutrition and healthy fiber taken out of it.
I bought a bread machine a year or two back, thinking that I would make bread often, maybe even everyday. I used it a lot at first, but the bread was a bit hard. My large family would eat the bread fresh from the machine while it was still hot, but once it cooled, they were not interested in it anymore. It wasn’t long before the bread machine was put back in the cabinet and hardly ever brought out.
Then we adopted a little boy, and around the time he turned two years old, we realized he had some emotional problems. A trip to our pediatrician confirmed that we might need some help. But an appointment with the Child Study Center took months to get, so in the meantime, I researched his symptoms online to see how I could begin to help him. It seemed everywhere I looked; I found that experts believe diet plays a huge part in how we feel. I soon learned that the most common culprits, the things that can make children (and even adults) act out, are food colorings, preservatives, artificial flavorings, and corn syrup. Surprisingly, I learned that sugar is not usually one of the things that cause trouble for children, it’s the fructose and any other kind of “ose” that is not good for us.
As I tried to find what I could feed my little guy, I knew there wasn’t much in the way of things I could buy already made. I was going to have to cook from scratch most of the time. So, out came the bread machine again. This time, I also got a grain grinder. I bought soft white whole wheat, molasses, honey, salt, olive oil and yeast, and we were off to a really great start. This time, however, when I had put all the ingredients into the bread machine, I set the machine on the dough cycle. Once the dough was all mixed and had risen for the first time, I took the dough out of the machine, shaped it into loaves, and put them in my stoneware bread pans. Then I cooked them in the over, rather than the machine. The result was soft, delicious bread that my children devour.
Now, making bread is part of my morning routine. Upon rising, one of the first things I do is put the ingredients into the bread machine, and get our daily bread started. It’s ready by lunch time, and my children’s favorite lunch is to melt cheese on the already hot bread and dip it in natural, organic spaghetti sauce. How simple is that?