Loretta SorensenDon’t wait for Christmas to give that special someone a loaf of delicious homemade bread. Many occasions — birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishing a special goal, to accompany a special meal, and even “just because” are all great opportunities for sharing your homemade bread.

Unlike 50 years ago, homemade bread is a rare and much-appreciated commodity in many homes. In our crazy-busy world, the fact that you take the time to prepare this tasty treat is also a gift.

On average, a loaf of homemade white bread, made with high quality bread flour, costs about $1.50. Whole grain bread costs range from $2.00 to around $3.50, making this homemade product a very cost-effective present.

Before you start baking, consider what types of bread your recipient will appreciate. Many people enjoy white bread; others prefer wheat, rye, multi-grain, etc. If your recipient is easy to please, that makes the baking even easier!

If you don’t typically make bread with whole grain flours, you can still produce a cost-effective loaf by purchasing one- or two-pound packages of the flour(s) you need. Even flours costing $2 per pound can make an inexpensive gift. Whatever you don’t use for this current gift can easily be stored in the freezer until you need it.

While a full loaf of bread is a wonderful gift, don’t rule out the fact that a small loaf of bread may be appropriate. There are numerous pan sizes that would allow you to mix a standard batch of dough and divide it into two or three small pans. You might also consider giving all the small loaves you make as the gift. In a one- or two-person household, the small loaves may be most appropriate.

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