For centuries bread has been known as a staple food. From as early as 8000 BC when the first grinding stone, called a quern, was invented in Egypt, bread changed the way people ate. Over the years, bread evolved from the original flatbread to the many varieties we know today .
Bread is made basically from flour. Other ingredients are added to enhance flavor, nutrition, texture and interest. I grew up in a society where one of the cultural norms was for housewives to bake bread every Saturday. Walk down any street in a rural area in Trinidad on a Saturday afternoon, and the delicious aroma of baking bread will follow you all the way. That spawned my love for bread. It is my weakness and I don’t apologize for it. Every woman must have one.
Since the basic ingredient in bread is flour, a carbohydrate food, bread has received a bad rap over the years. Fitness conscious folks will tell you bread is fattening. Well, let’s examine the facts: a slice of whole grain bread contains roughly 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 4 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbohydrate. It also contains calcium, iron, potassium, B Vitamins and about 2 grams of fiber. Eating foods with fiber can actually help you lose weight as your body absorbs less of the carbs.
Since there are so many varieties of bread on the market, it may be difficult deciding which one is right for you. Your choice should be based on your nutritional goals. Maybe you are trying to reduce your sugar or your fat intake. If that’s the case, you should study the labels to determine which type of bread contains less of those ingredients. Or, better still, why not make your own? You can always vary the proportions to suit your needs. The recipe below will help you on your way to making healthy bread.
Healthy whole-wheat bread
- 2 pound flour (4 cups – 2 cups white and 2 cups whole wheat)
- 1 pack instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp warmed milk
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Place flour, butter, salt, yeast, and sugar in large mixing bowl
- Mix them together well then add warmed water and milk .
- Knead thoroughly until all the dried flour is mixed in and dough is smooth.
- Cover and leave to rise about 15 mins.
- Divide dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on the size of your pan.
- Knead each piece and form into rounds. Leave to rise.
- Spray baking pans with cooking spray or rub with margarine.
- Once dough has raised, shape into oblong rolls and place in pans.
- Leave to rise again until dough reaches the top of pan.
- Place in oven and let bake for about 20 mins. or until a nice brown color.
- Remove from the oven and brush over with butter if you choose.
I have included a You Tube video (not mine) to show you how it’s done in Trinidad. So, there you have it, a nice healthy bread that you can enjoy with family and friends over the weekend.