Inside: If you can't go a day without bread but you are fed up of throwing away the plastic bags that it comes in, read on to find out how you could be enjoying plastic free bread.
This guide is a result of my failed mission to find a step by step guide to going plastic free. We hope that it will save you time, money (as you won't need to spend money on options that don't work for you) and stress.
The simplest option for plastic free bread
Find a local shop or bakery where you can buy bread without packaging (or wrapped in paper).
If you live near a shop like this and can easily pass by on the way to work/when on your way back from somewhere, this could be the option for you. But if you don't or you find that the unpackaged bread available to you is expensive you may want to look into making your own...
Make your own plastic free bread using one of the following methods:
1. Use a bread machine
If you have a bread machine (and many of us have them lurking at the back of a cupboard where they have been for years) dig it out, clean it up and get into the habit of making your own bread.
If you keep a stock of the basic ingredients needed to make a simple loaf of bread it can actually be easier to make a loaf than it is to nip down to your local shop to buy one (especially if this trip involves a long walk or getting in the car!).
These simple ingredients are all that is needed to make plastic free bread:
- Water (hot but not boiling from the kettle)
- Milk (from a glass bottle)
- Oil (from a glass bottle)
- Salt (from a cardboard tube)
- Sugar (from a paper bag)
- Strong bread flour (from a paper bag)
- Fast action yeast (from a tin)
Your bread machine may have come with a recipe book or you can look online to find out the quantities required for your bread machine. Once you have perfected a simple recipe you can experiment with adding other ingredients to make a variety of different loaves.
2. Bake bread in the oven
If you don't have a bread machine you can still make bread but you will have to factor in time for kneading and proving. Or you can use one of the following recipes that don't require these processes.
3. Soda bread without a bread machine
This is a really good choice if you are short on time as it is easy to prepare and doesn't take long to bake.
Soda bread recipes often use buttermilk (which comes in plastic pots) but as a plastic free alternative you can add lemon juice or vinegar to milk.
It also requires bicarbonate of soda which can be bought plastic free from Plastic Free Pantry online. It doesn't require much so if you do have to buy it in plastic from a supermarket the plastic tube will make lots of loaves so the overall use of plastic is still minimal.
The only other ingredients in a simple loaf are flour and salt (which can easily be bought plastic free).
There are loads of recipes online but our favourite for a simple but tasty loaf is this one on the BBC website.
If you fancy something different or your kids are demanding wraps (which I am yet to find plastic free in the shops) why not rustle up your own version using plastic free ingredients.
The simplest versions contain very few ingredients (flour, salt, oil and water) which can be obtained plastic free. They are quick to prepare and quick to cook. They also provide a great way to get kids into cooking as the ingredients can be put together easily and offer a great chance for kids to be hands on!
Our favourite recipe is this one from Super Healthy Kids but you can find loads of variations online.