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Staple Spotlight on Bread

By Angela Denly 6 August 2018 643 Views No comments

Give us this day our daily bread

Staple spotlight: Bread

Across Australia, bread is one of those foods that’s always present in many homes. How good is it to come home from holidays and find that your mother-in-law has dropped off some bread and milk? Or when you get home late, tired and hungry, but too exhausted to cook? That’s when a loaf of bread on the counter is a welcome sight for making toast and a cup of tea. It’s a foundation food and one that’s a staple in many households.

Why bread is good for you

Lots of people feel like bread can be a guilty indulgence, a food that isn’t really that good for you. And yes, sure, if you’re eating a whole loaf of plastic wrapped white sliced bread a day, it’s maybe not the foundation of good health. But good quality bread is packed full of nutrition, is affordable and accessible, making it a great staple food across the world.

Bread is a great source of fibre, plant proteins and a range of vitamins and minerals. To choose better bread, look for:

  • Sourdough breads that have had a long fermentation – this can make bread more digestible
  • Bread made from wholewheat flour – this means that the nutritious germ is included in the flour, for more vitamins and minerals Grain-enriched bread for added fibre

How to eat better bread

Let’s put it out there right now – we’d love to see you stop buying plastic wrapped pappy white bread from the supermarket! Eating better quality bread is an easy way to get a more nutritious product that will be more satisfying to eat in many ways.

One of the easiest ways to eat better bread is to buy it direct from your local artisan bakery or farmers market. Across the country, most markets have at least a couple of bakers selling delicious sourdough loaves and other baked delights. Yes, it might cost you a little bit more than the supermarket, but it’s a far more satisfying product to eat. Bread that’s been properly made and allowed to ferment fully is also less likely to cause stomach problems for those who are sensitive. (Please note though that people with Coeliac disease should continue to avoid all wheat breads.)

Or if you are ready to take it to the next level, making your own bread is a satisfying and rewarding activity. Buy good quality bread flour and either purchase some yeast or take the time to make your own sourdough starter. It’s really not hard and some great books to guide you include Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson and Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.

Not just loaves

Of course, it’s not just loaves of bread that are a great option. In many parts of the world, flatbreads are the bread of choice, and the perfect accompaniment and eating aid all in one. Think naan, paratha, roti, tortillas, pita and more. Flatbreads are commonly, but not always, unleavened and can be cooked on hotplates and pans or similar, rather than being baked in ovens like loaves.

Over to you

Is bread one of the foundations of your diet? Let us know your favourite ways to enjoy bread in the comments.

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