With everything that is going on in the current world today, we have found ourselves with a little bit more time on our hands. A lot of us are spending less time in our cars going to and from work, which is saving us 2-3 hours per day, thus giving us more time to prepare and cook healthy, nutritious meals.
The first thing that I did when we were told we had to go into lockdown was bake bread, its something that I have always wanted to try doing, but just never really made the time to do so.
Bread is going out the shop window like no tomorrow at the moment, so nows the time to give it ago and bake it fresh yourself. The best thing about baking your own bread is that you know the exact ingredients going into your dough too, some of the supermarket breads contain ingredients such as canola oil, Acidity Regulator (263) and Emulsifiers (481, 472e). Do we really need those, no not in home baking, are they going to be detrimental to our health long term, no they won't, there is no evidence to support these claims, however as we know the less and more wholesome the ingredients the better it is for us.
Bread can often be seen as a carb we shouldn't eat, well that is a huge myth in itself, bread that is wholegrain or made with wholemeal flour or spelt flour or buckwheat flour actually contains high amounts of fibre. Fibre is a crucial part of our diet and according to the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation adults should be consuming at least 30grams of fibre per day.
Why is fibre so important:
Fibre helps us with ‘being more regular’ but it is also protective against bowel disorders and heart disease. ("New Zealand Nutrition Foundation", 2018). Fibre is found in two forms, one being soluble fibre and the other insoluble fibre. The difference between the two forms is that soluble fibre acts like a sponge and absorbs fluid, making the bowel contents softer and able to move more easily. Insoluble fibre acts as a ‘bulking agent’ which, with soluble fibre, helps to keep us regular. ("New Zealand Nutrition Foundation", 2018).
Mixed grain and wholemeal bread is an insoluble fibre, so there is no need to stress out about bread being a "devil carb" that is going to make you gain weight, or not able to loose it. That comes down to how many calories as a whole you are consuming, and bread (I recommend whole grain or wholemeal for more fibre) can be included in a well balanced healthy diet. Of course for those who suffer with a gluten allergy, which can be severe and even life threatening eating bread that is not gluten free is not ideal, but unless you have been medically diagnosed with a gluten allergy you do not need to give up bread, my advice would be to ensure you are not over consuming bread however and stick within your portion range (every individual is different).
1 slice of wholemeal bread contains : 2.6 grams of fibre
If you are interested:
Acidity Regulator (263) : Regulates the acidity or alkalinity of a food and is a preservative which helps protect food from deterioration caused by micro-organisms. ("noshly", n.d.).
Emulsifiers (481, 472e): Emulsifiers are substances which stabilise mixtures and prevent oil and water from separating. (Saxelby, 2013). For example in a salad dressing an emulsifier keeps the oil and vinegar together so they don't separate into two layers.
800g of wholemeal flour, or wholemeal spelt flour
20g of activated yeast
2 1/2 cups of tepid water
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1. Stir yeast into tepid water, as well as sugar, so it starts to bubble and leave for 10 minutes.
2. Pour flour onto your bench top and make a well in the centre, slowly pour the water/yeast into the well and stir with a fork.
3. When you can no longer use the fork, use your hands and start to form a dough. Kneed the dough for about 10 minutes.
4. In a bowl, place olive oil, and place the dough in it. Cover and wrap the bowl and leave to the side for at least 2 hours.
5. Once the dough has risen, sprinkle some more flour on the bench and place the dough on top, cut the dough in half.
6. Roll and kneed the dough into 2 rounds and drop them into two separate bake tins.
7. Leave them in the bake tins, covered with a damp t- towel and leave for another 2 hours to rise some more.
8. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes on 180 degrees. You know your bread is ready when you can knock on the top of it and it gives you sound.
9. I served my bread with tuna, beetroot hummus, cheese and salad, it made such a delicious lunch.
If you wish to add toppings such as seeds, grains or nuts then do so before placing the dough in the oven, by sprinkling them on the top.
Enjoy this recipe, it was so rewarding when those delicious warm, crispy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside, loaves came out!
Calcium acetate 263 or E263. (n.d.). Noshly Wise Eating Made Easy.https://noshly.com/additive/e263/acidity-regulator-plus/263/#approvals
New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. (2018). Fibre. New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. https://nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/nutrients/carbohydrates/fibre
Saxelby, C. (2013). What does EMULSIFIER mean on the label? https://foodwatch.com.au/blog/additives-and-labels/item/q-what-does-emulsifier-mean-on-the-label.html