You will not need any special gadgets or ingredients to make good bread. Everything you need is already at hand in your kitchen (I am assuming you have an oven). A bread machine is great and makes the process even quicker and easier but really not necessary.
Delicious flavor and taste alone are a good reason to making and eating your own bread. If however, you are not convinced to add “bread baking” to your to-do-list, I would like you to think about the following aspects:
1. Homemade bread has on average 4 to 7 ingredients, water being one on them. Take a look at the ingredient list in store bought-bread and you will be amazed by the long list of ingredients and additives (and not all of them have pretty names!)
2. Most store bought bread contains L-Cysteine (sometimes shown as E920 on food labels); this food additive is used as a dough conditioner and strengthener and it can also help extend the shelf life of commercial breads. L-cysteine is an amino acid (building block of proteins) and is perfectly safe for human consumption. Most L-cysteine is sourced from China, where feathers are collected from farms, and human hairs from the floors of barbershops. The feathers and hairs are processed in Chinese factories, where L-cysteine is extracted in a chemical process. So while it is safe and FDA approved, I find it very unappetizing and prefer not to eat it.
3. The sugar content in most store-bought breads is very high, anywhere from 4 to 9 grams per slice. As a matter of fact, it can be higher than in candy. This seems disconcerting when we all try to keep our sugar intake low and certainly don’t associate eating bread with eating sugar.
4. I am always shocked by the long shelf life of store-bought bread. My loaf of Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal Bread (which I sometimes buy, as an emergency staple) stays fresh and moist for MONTHS without going moldy. Now if the bacteria don’t like my bread, something seems to be really wrong, doesn’t it?
All these reasons listed above are a great motivator for me to bake bread for my family. Life and the food we eat should be as simple and as pure as possible.