Bake your Own Bread!

Is your bread a sodium saboteur?

Store-bought bread can have 125-150mg sodium per slice. A sandwich, then, can have 250-300mg of sodium in the bread alone. For someone on a low sodium diet, say 1500mg or less per day, that is a fifth of the recommended daily amount for a sandwich with nothing on it!  (Pita pockets and wraps are even higher.)

If you bake your own bread you can make the sodium content negligible, leaving lots of wiggle room for peanut butter, some condiments, or even cheese! It takes all morning or afternoon, when you consider prep, rising, and baking times but it can be a great activity for the kids.

G-man loves to help bake bread. He's only three, but can tell you that first you mix sugar in water, then stir in the yeast, exclaiming "Wake up, yeast!" He helps count out cups of flour and tips the cup into the bowl as I stir. If the the cups are not perfectly full or the count is a bit off, that is okay. The cups of flour indicated in a recipe are guidelines to make sure you have enough available. When kneading you will work in as much flour as you can. (I have never seen anyone use too much flour when kneading by hand.) When G-man sticks his hands in the dough he won't hurt it. When it is time to let it rise, G-man has usually wandered off to play with something else. He generally reappears when it is time to shape the loaves or to put them in the oven.

The Cadet is too little to help yet, but when he starts asking, "Bite? Bite?"  G-man is proud to share his creation with his baby brother. Neither kid suspects that this delicious, fun activity is good for them.

For a basic, white bread that makes great grilled cheese or peanut butter toast click here.

For a hearty, artisan-style bread with the added bonus of Omega-3s from flaxseed meal click here.

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