How Healthy Is Your Wholemeal Bread?
Wholemeal, whole-grain or whole-wheat bread, as it’s commonly referred to, is quickly growing in popularity, supposedly because of the natural ingredients used in its making. However, is it really that healthy, and are the ingredients actually organic? The answer is most likely not going to shock you, but your favourite whole-wheat bread is definitely not the healthiest solution for your diet. Now, let’s break it down a notch. The traditional recipe for baking bread includes the usage of four basic ingredients – salt, water, flour and yeast – nothing more, nothing less. However, if you look at the back of the package of your supposedly healthy and organic wholemeal bread, you’d most certainly find out that there are some other substances that you’ve probably never even heard of. Things like L-cysteine hydrochloride, chlorine dioxide, calcium propionate, amylase – all these are not supposed to be in your bread, so why is it that they are?
Billion Dollar Industry – the Supermarkets
The most common place where you would do your shop in is your local supermarket. Single grocery stores are quickly going out of business because those giant supermarkets are taking over the market. And, to be completely honest, they are quite convenient. They are always packed, and you can find all you need at one convenient place, often at the best price. However, there are significant drawbacks, especially when it comes to your bread. See, supermarkets don’t always sell the entire quantity of the bread they stock. And, in order to keep the bread fresh for days to come, manufacturers use artificial preservatives which would most certainly not attribute to the improvement of your health. Not only that, they are definitely going to mess with your diet plan as well. Howev er, in order to stay competitive and to eliminate excessive waste, bread-makers are basically forced to use the chemical supplements that are described above.
So, How to Have a Proper Diet with Wholemeal Bread in it?
All this doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate wholemeal bread in your diet. However, you’d have to consider some alternative shopping methods. It’s a good idea to buy your bread from local bakeries as they are almost always going to produce enough quantity of bread to sell throughout the day. This eliminates the need of using artificial preservatives. It’s also advisable to seek bread which is made out of spelt-wheat. Even though it’s a bit more unconventional, there is a growing tendency in the organic growth of spelt as it requires a lot less fertilizer than the regular bread wheat.
Recipe to make you own wholemeal bread
- 500g strong spelt flour
- 2 tsb salt
- 7g sachet fast action yeast
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 300ml water
- Mix spelt flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- Add olive oil and water, and mix well. Add 1-2 tbsp water if dough is stiff or hard.
- Mix well then tip onto a floured hard surface and knead.
- When dough is smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl.
- Leave to rise for 1 hours until doubled in size or place in the fridge.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Mould the dough into a ball.
- Place it on the baking paper to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
- Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Method guide: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes
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