I did this today:
That's four loaves of bread, my friends, made from scratch, by me. It will last my family about 10 days (we like bread around here). It is 100% whole wheat and dairy free. It is apparently so delicious that if I let him, my husband will consume 1/2 a loaf in the first hour it is out of the oven. I'm rather proud of it.
So how did I, the woman who shirked all things domestic, become a baker of homemade bread? Shortly after Hattie was born, it became apparent that she was extremely sensitive to dairy and soy. And I'm talking so sensitive that if I ate bread that contained whey or soybean oil, even if it was the 20th ingredient, she threw up. A lot. She gained weight really slowly and I did a mountain of laundry and generally felt really guilty until I figured out how to eliminate those two things from my diet. Let's just say that I had to completely rethink how I ate food. It forced our family to cut out a lot of the processed crap we were consuming, and forced me to start making more things from scratch.
Have you ever tried to buy bread that doesn't contain any dairy? It is very, very hard! I eventually found some that I could purchase for around $5 a loaf, but it went bad quickly, and I sometimes ended up throwing half of it away. After about six months of this, I decided to get over my fears and learn how to bake bread. A friend came over one morning and showed me how to make delicious, 100% whole wheat bread with just a handful of ingredients, and I realized how amazingly simple it is. It takes me only about 40 minutes of hands on time to make four loaves of bread,
Hattie's sensitivity is much less severe now, and I could get away with buying regular bread if I wanted to. But the thing is, my bread is made with whole ingredients, nothing highly processed, and it is far cheaper than a loaf of similar quality from the grocery store. Plus, as mentioned above, it is pretty delicious. (It is worth mentioning that my bread is probably not cheaper than buying a loaf of standard grocery store bread - I use moderately expensive ingredients, like whole wheat flour, honey, and coconut oil. But since my goal is to feed our family less processed bread, making it is cheaper.)
Along with bread, I also make our waffles, pancakes and brownies from scratch. For some of you, this is probably no big deal, but for me, it seemed like a really fancy, hard thing to do. It isn't, and now I can't imagine buying mixes for any of those things. It's just too easy and delicious to do it myself! Next on my path to domestication: sewing!