Bread gets a bad wrap.
Contrary to what low-carb diets would have you believe, it’s not the carbohydrates or wheat in bread that’s “bad” – it’s industrialization. The simple dollar explains how industrial process has transformed store-bought breads into nutritional wasteland:
The industrial scale process is designed to maximize profit while still producing an edible loaf of bread on the table. This is done by using an excessive amount of yeast in order to create lots of air bubbles in the bread, hence the “light” texture of store-purchased bread. It also allows for the use of lower-quality grains because of this yeast abundance, thus the bread is far from nutrient-rich. In the United States, most recipes are trade secrets, but in the United Kingdom, the standard recipe, known as the Chorleywood Bread Process, is widely known. The goal of this process is to make a loaf of bread as cheaply as possible, foregoing flavor, nutrition, and texture along the way.
The other bothersome part of industrial breadmaking is the appearance of a healthy dose of preservatives. These preservatives are there solely to extend the shelf life of the bread, again reducing costs for the manufacturer. Every time you eat a piece of store-purchased bread, you’re getting a healthy dose of preservatives with each bite.
The best way to enjoy all of the health benefits of bread is to bake it yourself. It’s cheaper than store bought bread and, believe it or not, easier than going to the shop. If you don’t believe me, check out the No Knead Recipe at the New York Times (see video above). This can be easily adapted to be whole wheat (see link below), multigrain, or seeded (add 1/4 cup of your favorite seeds – I like sunflower and flax).
Now get bakin’.
Link to Tim’s very straightforward recipe for whole wheat bread
Link to my recipe for Whole Wheat No Knead Bread
Link to Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread recipe on the New York Times