Homemade Bread vs Store Bought: Bread on your Mediterranean Diet

by | Food, Health

I love homemade bread. There is something special about the smell of bread baking in the oven. But let’s be honest, not everyone has the time to bake bread from scratch. So what is the benefit of making homemade bread vs store bought bread?

 

Homemade bread vs Store Bread: Which one is better?

 

Homemade bread is always better, if you have the time. It does take planning to make the bread, but with of thought, it’s mainly just letting the bread prove that is the hard part. Homemade Bread vs Store Bought is an easy choice. Better flavour, texture and taste. But the best thing about homemade bread is being able to control the ingredients and the nutritional factors. Store bought of course is always going to trump on convenience, especially if your family eats large quantities.

 

I remember my grandfather making a loaf each day in his bread machine and sending that smell of fresh bread through the house! Two of the major benefits of making your own bread recipes have to be the control you have over the ingredients and the fresh crispy crust of bread straight from the oven.

Personally, I limit my intake of white bread, from 2-3 times a day to 2-3 times a week, after doing research on the processes of commercially made bread and their nutritional value. I’m comfortable with my white bread intake being a ‘sometimes food’ and where I can I have it replaced with whole wheat flour and trying to include whole grains where I can.

I have never used a bread maker, and recommend to all my friends and family, the most amazing recipe from RecipeTin Eats, which I cook in my French Oven. This recipe calls for simple ingredients, a little prep time up your sleeve, but it is super easy. I would definitely use good bread flour or 00 flour, as the flavour and texture are next levels to normal all-purpose flour.

 

Homemade Bread vs Store bought

I put my hands up and admit that I love white crusty loaves of bread. However, I do not have gluten intolerance or other health issues, so the right bread in my diet are important to me for balance and managing calories only.

It’s personal and each person will make their own choices whether to eat bread or not and which is their bread of choice. Here are the types of bread, the processes they go through, and how a summary of the impacts on their nutritional value. If you have any intolerances or specific dietary needs, I recommend you contact a dietician or nutritionist.

Can you eat bread on the Mediterranean diet?

To keep to a Mediterranean Diet, it is recommended that the most healthy bread is one with whole grains and a good quality bread flour. It’s even better if you incorporate a small amount of seeds on top like sunflower seeds or chia seeds for example.

The more whole grains incorporated, will add protein and essential nutrients into your diet and help with keep you fuller longer. I recommend whole wheat bread mostly, and sourcing whole grain flours.

Incorporating bread into your mediterranean diet should be done in moderation. Pair a small amount of bread with a healthy serve of vegetables and protein. I highly recommend it with our Baked Ricotta and Pepper Sauce.

How to make your own bread

Keeping your recipe simple to make often is the key. I don’t rely on a stand mixer, just a simple bowl and wooden spoon for my bread! The simple sandwich bread recipe below just uses a bread pan and no fancy cookware.

I have linked three amazing recipes below and three different methods. The recipes linked below keeps for a couple of days and you can toast it when it’s past the freshest.

Not all Store Bread is equal!

Check your nutritional labels on your bread, and work out if homemade bread vs store bought bread is the best option. Some are far better than others and don’t just rely on the marketing hype on the front. A grocery store can have so many types of bread these days, it really pays to do the research one day and stick to that same couple of brands.

The advantage of store bread is definitely longer shelf life and the best way to feed your family conveniently.

Bread really should only have 4 ingredients, Flour, Water, Yeast and Salt. However, some commercial brands can have over 30 ingredients! The addition of things like high fructose corn syrup, and additives that you need to think about.

What is the difference between wholegrain, wholemeal and white bread store bread?

Let’s get to the basics to start with.

Bread is usually made with wheat (unless you have gluten free bread), and this wheat is made up of three parts; the bran, the endosperm, and the germ.

White Bread is highly processed and removes the bran and germ, only leaving behind starchy endosperm and therefore removing all the ‘good stuff’!

Wholemeal Bread is made by grounding the whole grain, all three parts. However, a lot of the commercial brands recombine the ground bran and wheat germ discarded in the processing of white bread and combine it with white flour. This means that whilst it is better than a white bread option, the commercial process has removed some of the nutrition.

Wholegrain bread has all three parts of the wheat. Big tick for nutrition! The wholegrain includes vitamins such as fibre (in the bran), essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. There are often additional grains and seeds added to the bread which gives even more nutritional value.

But my white bread has all the ‘good stuff’ added back in

Regulations state that white bread must have nutrients added back in ‘for the wellbeing of the society’ and is usually fortified with thiamine, iodine and folic acid.

However, these are only a few of the nutrients replaced originally removed from the grain. It is simply best to eat the wholegrain.

Skip the marketing on the packet and try and find a bread with fewer additives and more whole ingredients.

Pros of Homemade Bread vs Store Bought

Homemade BreadStore Bought Bread
Best Taste ResultLess electricity cost
Can get custom or different textureConvenient
Personalise your type of breadFast if you have a time factor
Batch and freeze for a lot of breadExcellent bread by some leading bread makers
Healthier Bread and control ingredients
Nothing like a fresh loaf from the oven for the best result!

 

Below I have linked to a great recipe from RecipeTin eats that is my go to a number of times a week. I have also linked to a sandwich bread recipe that is super easy and without any active dry yeast ingredient, but the only thing is it doesn’t have the same fluffy crunch to the texture. Foccacia is amazing, and this is a cracking recipe from one of my other favourite bloggers!

These are recipes that are super easy though! Make sure you bring them all to room temperature before trying to slice. I also recommend you try them a couple of times. it takes a couple of attempts to get the hang of it.

I promise these homemade recipes are so delicious, my loaf is almost gone and eaten by my family before it even has a chance to cool. But if time is short, your local store could store some fresh store bought alternatives!

Welcome to the Blog!

Welcome to the Blog!

Mediterranean Lifestyle blog, focus on simple food, family and a way of life. From one Australian Maltese woman to the world. 

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