LISTEN: CKNW Health Series 2016 – All about bread
Bread, for many of us, it’s one of our favourite food groups.
And despite popular calls to eliminate bread from our diets, we’re steadfast to our devotion to our morning jam and toast, our turkey and Swiss or our peanut butter sandwich.
But is bread really that bad for you, or is it popular hype that’s made grains and wheat the enemy?
Melissa Baker is a registered dietitian and writes for her blog upbeet.ca
“Overall bread can still be a nutritious choice and help us enjoy our food, so I like it overall. I just won’t recommend eating it at every meal.”
She says bread isn’t inherently bad, but we tend to overeat it in Canada, and tend to mostly consume white bread, which has limited nutritional value, even though it has been enriched with some nutrients.
“If you’re choosing white bread all the time you’re probably not going to be getting enough fiber. It’s lower in some nutrients, but I think fiber is the biggest thing with white bread.”
Recipe – Melissa Baker’s 4 ingredient No Knead Bread
- 3 c flour – all purpose
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 c water ( I had to use a little more)
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Put saran wrap over top of bowl. Let if rise for 12-18 hours.
Preheat oven and pot/Dutch oven to 400 F
Add a bit of oil or butter to bottom and sides of pot.
Put bread dough in. It’s pretty sticky. I never try to form it I just plop it in the pot.
Bake 20 min covered. If not golden brown take lid off and bake 10 more minutes.
Taste of tradition
“It’s part of our lifestyle. I come from Europe, and in Europe we consdier bread a regular food for sure, but it’s also a tradition to share it at the table. Pretty much part of every time you’re sitting at the table and have food.”
At his North Vancouver bakery, the Artisan Bake Shoppe, he doesn’t use much white flower, opting for what he calls, more traditional baking methods.
“Our idea was really going back to the roots of baking where you don’t have to add anything else than flour, salt, water, and sometimes yeast into the dough.”
The gluten question
There is one aspect of the bread debate that Jaeger says concerns him.
“You hear a lot of negative stories about bread at the moment. And me, for being surrounded by bread for years I can’t imagine the whole population has turned to celiacs by the press of a button.”
Baker says the issues around gluten are real, but agrees that there is a disconnect between the gluten free movement and actual medical conditions.
“Gluten free is a huge trend obviously. I mean only about 1% of North Americans actually have celiac disease, in which they have to avoid wheat due to their allergy. Some people can have a sensitivity, but again, it’s not a large portion of the population.”
The German master baker Jaeger says bread in North America is high in gluten, and one of the methods to make our bread so fluffy, is adding extra gluten to the recipe.
Baker says it’s okay to eat bread, and gives us something to keep in mind when we walk into the bread isle in the grocery store.
“Don’t eat gluten free unless you really need to. And look for that term ‘whole grain,’ and just watch out for all those health halos that they’re trying to put on all of these processed products.”