There are only a few things that are better than freshly baked bread that is warm, fluffy and irresistibly delicious.
Bread has become a staple in everyone’s house and it is so easy to get your hands on it. You can either head to your local bakery, bake it by hand or use a bread machine.
Bread machines have become increasingly popular recently for obvious reasons. They make bread without the hassle of kneading and waiting all day for the dough to rise. Everyone is a bread expert now with the help of bread machines!
I personally love making bread by hand. There is such an art to making bread and it is very rewarding knowing you’ve put in all that effort in producing an exquisite loaf.
But, we all have those days where we want to do as little as possible – that’s when the bread makers come into play. I take full advantage of my bread maker when I am craving bread but can’t really be bothered doing any work for it.
Yes, I could go to the shops, but once you start making your own bread, it is so hard to go back to store-bought bread.
If you make bread by hand or have a bread maker, you will know what I mean. Store-bought bread is just not the same, is it?
There are definitely benefits of homemade bread, but does that make it any healthier? Is bread maker bread healthier than just regular bread from the store?
Is Homemade Bread Healthier?
The ingredients that go into homemade bread are simple; flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar.
You might be thinking that salt and sugar aren’t the healthiest ingredients in the world, which makes homemade bread rather unhealthy.
If you are concerned though and don’t want to add any sweetener to your bread, sugar isn’t essential and you can make bread without sugar. If you can include salt in the bread, I definitely recommend you add it, but you can also make bread without salt too, it might just taste rather bland.
The amount of salt and sugar that go into homemade bread is so little that it really shouldn’t cause any concern around whether it’s healthy or not. And like we mentioned, you can easily omit both ingredients.
Honestly, how healthy your homemade bread is doesn’t come down to how much salt or sugar there is, but what type of flour you are using.
White Flour vs Wheat Flour
I’m sure we’ve all heard someone say we should be eating brown bread over white bread because it’s healthier. But why is it healthier?
Brown bread, or whole wheat bread is milled using the whole wheat grain and includes all 3 components of a wheat kernel; the bran, the germ and endosperm.
This is the reason why whole wheat bread has a distinctive brown colour, because the wheat grain is a deep red colour.
Whole wheat flour is packed with nutrients and vitamins and is very high in fibre.
White flour, on the other hand, is completely refined.
When it’s milled, it’s completely striped from the bran, leaving only the starchy component.
Although white bread still has some nutritional value, it’s not enough to be completely classed as healthy.
The great thing about homemade bread is that you can control what ingredients you put in your loaf.
White flour, whole wheat flour, spelt flour, rye flour, you name it, you can do whatever you want.
Store-bought bread is packed with preservatives, loads of salt and additives.
With homemade bread, you are only using natural ingredients which makes a huge difference not just health wise by quality wise too.
Is Bread Maker Bread Healthier?
For many years, there has been speculation that products with a non-stick coating are not healthy to cook with.
Most of us know this non-stick coating as Teflon. Teflon is actually a brand that makes non-stick products using a material called polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short.
PTFE when heated releases a perfluorooctanoic substance (PFOA). PFOA has been the topic of many health related conversations as it was suggested, and proven that it is harmful to humans.
Since 2013, Teflon has removed PFOA from all their products, suggesting there is no cause for alarm.
Most bread maker loaf pans are made with this non-stick coating, but does this really make them unhealthy to cook with?
Teflon doesn’t actually become harmful unless it is heated continuously over 300 degrees C (500F) and even then, they do not have PFOA any longer.
Bread is baked at around 175-180 degrees C (300-350F), so there is no need to worry that your bread pan will release any toxic chemicals while baking your bread.
If you are still concerned about the non-stick coating, fortunately for you, there are bread makers without Teflon out there that do offer stainless steel pans or bio ceramic coating, which do not release any harmful substances.
There are also bread makers out there that allow you to fully customise the temperature that your bread is being baked at. This lets you bake your loaf at a safe temperature.
Bread Machine Bread vs Store-Bought Bread
Is The Bread Healthier?
Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients at the back of a prepackaged, store bought bread?
You’ll actually be shocked to find that they use emulsifiers and preservatives and many other ingredients that really shouldn’t be in bread.
Yet, store-bought bread is an item found in most, if not in all shopping lists.
But, what if you ditched store-bought bread and started making your own? I’m not saying you should go spend all day making bread Paul Hollywood style, but rather investing in a machine that can do the bread making for you.
The beauty of owning a bread machine is that you don’t need to be a pro at making bread, you just need to own some staple ingredients.
If you want to eat bread that is good for your health then making your own is definitely the way to go.
You can’t control what goes into store bought bread but you can control what goes into your homemade bread.
If you want to reduce your sugar intake, you can use a recipe without sweetener.
If you follow a gluten free diet, your bread maker can make a gluten free loaf for you.
Bread makers offer a wide range of recipes and settings to fit your dietary needs. So in terms of ingredients, homemade bread is far more healthier than buying it at the store.
Take this photo, for example.
Per slice, there is 0.44 grams of salt. There are 16 slices of bread in this packet.
This means that the whole loaf has 7.04 grams of salt.
That is a shocking amount of salt! In a homemade loaf you wouldn’t put more than 1 teaspoon (3g), depending on the size of loaf you are making.
You can also see in the top right hand corner all the preservatives and additives.
It’s actually quite shocking how much goes into a slice of bread. No wonder
Is It Cheaper?
In terms of whether homemade bread is cheaper to make than buying it really depends on how much bread you consume. If you eat bread occasionally, then it is probably not worth buying a bread machine.
Bread machines can cost anywhere between $30 to $400 and even more.
So, if you eat bread once a week or every few but still want to eat healthy bread, then buying from a bakery will be more economical than investing in a machine.
If you’re like me and eat bread all day every day, then investing in a bread machine is definitely worth it.
Not only is it super easy to use and ultra convenient, it will also save you money in the long run.
Regardless of whether you get a high-end machine or a budget friendly one, you are guaranteed to never want to buy store-bought bread again!
Aside from saving you tonnes of money, you will get good quality, homemade bread just the way you want it.
Here in the UK, ingredients to make bread are some of the cheapest you can get. Flour can cost as little as 45p, sugar 65p and yeast £1 for a packet of 8 sachets.
The cheapest bread from the store costs around 45p. You will spend more to buy the ingredients to make bread, but you will get at least 3 or 4 loaves out of the flour.
To make a loaf of bread, it will cost you a fraction of the price from buying the cheapest store-bought, pre-packaged loaf in the long term because you’ll have all the ingredient you need already in your pantry.
So, is bread maker bread healthier? Definitely! It’s healthier, its cheaper and it’s far more delicious and nutritious than store-bought bread.
A bread maker is a modern convenience that has made baking bread quick and easy.
Of course, you can make healthy, homemade bread without needing a bread maker, but if you are a busy person who wants the luxury of homemade bread, then a bread maker is a great investment.
Not only does it do all the work for you, you control the ingredients that go into your loaf, making it a far better and healthier option than buying bread from the store.