We found a loaf of bread at the supermarket.
Listed in the ingredients were: wheat flour, water, yeast, vegetable oil (canola, palm (antioxidents 306, 307), emulsifier (322 soy lecithin), iodised salt, sugar, wheat gluten, soy flour, milk solids, emulsifiers (471, 481, 472e), malted wheat flour and vitamins (thiamin, folic acid).
To compare, we asked a local baker, “What’s in your bread?”
From fantastic to craptastic and back again
Bread originated in the Middle East; flatbreads like khubz, lavash, pita, roti, chapatti and tortillas are surviving examples. The first example of leavened bread comes from archeological remains from Egypt from 4000 BC. Most people made their own breads or used communal village ovens, up until the 18th century. During the Industrial Revolution, people moved from villages to crowded city quarters to work. The baking of bread was relegated to the baker. Later still, central factories made bread. Bread quality was compromised with additives, a cake-like interior, no crust and an uncharacteristic flavour.
Yet over the last thirty years, traditional breadmaking has been revived. Artisan bakeries started producing bread with less refined grains and grain mixtures, long, slow fermentation and baked in small batches. In multicultural neighborhoods, ethnic bakeries have sprung to life. In addition, the home cook has rediscovered the joy of baking.
@dianalesaux says:「freshly baked」Seeded Rye Bread: flaxseed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed and poppy seed.
@FlavourCrusader says: It’s been a while since I made pizza… I used a tomato sauce from the freezer… made pesto with the rest of the basil… divided up the extra dough to freeze for later. Piece of cake!
@ruthbruten says: Give me one child who doesn’t like these! One child in the classroom will inevitably have these in their lunchbox on any given day. My kids have been nagging me to have them in theirs so we finally got around to making them. They are really sooper doop easy – the kids did all the work. If your kids like playing with playdough they will like making these!
@FlavourCrusader says: Talk about anticipation! This is a wholemeal no knead loaf with sunflower and pepita seeds. It was delicious, ate a slice warm with butter. Really crunchy crust. First bread I’ve made in ages, no knead is no fuss. Love it. Thanks for sharing the video, Lucy! And thank you for motivating me Steve!
@sam_grains says: You may now call me Sam the Baker…
@thoughtfuleater says: After finding out that even the wholemeal bread from supermarkets is still highly processed, I decided to invest some time and effort in working out how I could make bread myself. Surprisingly I realised making bread doesn’t have to take a lot of time. My linseed, sunflower and pepita bread is really quick and easy to make. You can add as much goodness as you want into your bread!
@melkettle says: I serve pulled pork with homemade corn tortillas. You can buy your own from the store if that’s easier – but they taste SO MUCH BETTER if you make them. Making corn tortillas is SO EASY.
@BundarraPork says: My gluten-free bread with seeds.
Contribute: In under 60 words, tell us why you started making your own bread. Any books, websites or tips that have helped. How you benefit, too. Email a photo and blurb to info AT flavourcrusader DOT com or ping me at @flavourcrusader
Buy better bread
Wheat is turned into flour by milling. It’s the process whereby the wheat kernel is broken down into small particles. Most flours are refined; the particles are sifted to remove the germ and bran layers from the particles of protein- and starch-rich endosperm.
With conventional milling, grooved metal rollers shear open the grain, squeeze out the germ, and scrape the endosperm away to be ground, sieved, and reground until the particles reach the desire size.
With stoneground milling, the whole grain is crushed thoroughly before sieving, so that some of the germ and bran end up in even the refined flours; bread made with this flour is darker, denser, favourful and more nutritious as a result.
Artisan bread made from stoneground flour can be bought from:
- Loafer Bread in Fitzroy North.
- Dench in Fitzroy North.
- Fatto a mano in Fitzroy.
- Red Beard in Trentham, country Victoria.
- Lievito in Mornington Peninsula.
- La Madre Bakery in Geelong.
If you don’t live near a bakery, these are your best multigrain supermarket breads, from Choice magazine.
Contribute: Can you share artisan bakeries that make loaves with stoneground flour? Comment below, or email tips to info AT flavourcrusader DOT com
Use better flour
Here are some mills that produce stone-ground flour; they’re available to buy from health food shops or good greengrocers. Thanks for the tip @thoughtfuleater.
Contribute: Mates with a miller? Got an iPhone? Want a creative holiday project? Can you capture video and record audio of some milling action. Love you long time, email info AT flavourcrusader DOT com
Store your bread at room temperature in a breadbox or paper bag if you want to use it within a few days. Storing bread in a plastic bag at room temperature encourages the growth of potentially toxic molds.
For longer storage, wrap the bread in plastic or foil and freeze it. Place paper in between slices so they’re easy to separate.
What’s in your bread?
Check out the ingredients list; if it looks long and numeric, buy something better. Or make your own. Then come back and share the deliciousness you made.