Homemade bread enjoyed by many


photo contributed by Diya Khilani

Senior Diya Khilnani bakes her own bread including French baguettes.

Gray Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Flour and water‒ combined, these two simple ingredients bring the scent of freshly baked bread to the kitchen. 

Since the quarantine began, many students have picked up baking as a hobby to pass time.

“I made my own bread over the summer because I had a lot of free time and I wanted to experiment with baking,” senior Diya Khilnani said.

November 17 is National Homemade Bread Day and, although there are no presidential claims to observe it as an official holiday, it can still be celebrated by finding new bread recipes and sharing the bread-making experience with friends. 

Fun fact about homemade bread‒ sliced bread was not available until 1928 and when invented, it was described as the best thing since the availability of packed bread, according to NationalDaysToday.

Khilnani makes her own sandwich bread, focaccia and many other varieties.

“The most difficult bread I’ve made so far is probably a baguette and it actually turned out pretty good,” Khilnani said.

Most types of bread are yeast-based, but certain kinds, like sourdough, require a starter. A starter is a mix of flour and water that must be fed every day with equal weights of both ingredients. Once the starter is ready and prepared, the dough must be folded and kneaded before baking, according to Kitchn. The process of making sourdough can be quite long and requires attention.

“I also tried to make a sourdough starter at home, but it required too much effort so I stopped feeding it,” Khilnani said.

Some students find the baking process to be more enjoyable than eating the actual bread itself. Bakers will often choose to knead the dough by hand, as it can be a calming and relaxing experience.

“Bread-making is just very therapeutic to me and working with dough is fun,” Khilnani said.

Beyond just experimenting with bread baking, some students follow bread recipes that are staples in their culture. Senior Sri Konagalla makes roti, a traditional Indian flatbread that is consumed with many Indian entrees, with her family. Unlike most bread, roti is made from only two ingredients: wheat flour and water. This Indian bread can be bought frozen in stores, but Konagalla’s family chooses to make it fresh. 

“You can eat [roti] with curries of literally any flavor, so it’s really versatile. You can also make it pretty quickly,” Konagalla said. “I enjoy how soft [roti] is when it’s freshly made because even [after] you reheat the frozen ones, they tend to be [drier] and just less appealing.”

Whether it’s for the experience or the taste, many people have started making bread, especially during this unusual time. According to a poll from La Brea Bakery, 12% of respondents said they have made their own bread for the first time ever and 38% are consuming more bread than before the coronavirus.

“The best part about making homemade bread is the aroma that fills the kitchen just after you take it out,” Khilnani said.

A recipe for roti can be found here

A recipe for sourdough can be found here