The discussion surrounding bread and grain products has been a hot button conversation, with those who are focused on healthy eating either fighting to argue the value of carbohydrates in our diets while others point out the health problems associated with grains.
While there are definitely concerns regarding which bread products you are consuming, there have been studies showing the benefits of whole grains for the body. A Harvard study looked at the impact of an increased intake of whole grains and found that those studied showed a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Their study participants were also found to have more stable blood sugar and blood pressure and saw improvements in their blood cholesterol. The key to this study, however, was that it wasn’t just any bread product – they focus solely on the intake of whole grains.
There is, however, a considerable amount of concern regarding the bread products commercially available both at our local grocery stores as well as being served in many restaurants. It isn’t the grains themselves that cause the concern, however, these products contain a number of questionable ingredients including chemical dough conditioners, artificial flavorings and/or coloring, added sugars, GMOs, and other chemicals. For example, many commercial bread products contain the chemical azodicarbonamide which is also used in shoe rubber and yoga mats! Even the flour used in these products is often in contact with chemical bleaching processes to give it the signature white color!
If you are a fan of bread products with your meals but want to avoid the chemical filled commercial options, here is a great recipe to make your bread at home with just a few easy to find ingredients!
Delicious Homemade Bread
You Will Need:
- 1 package of yeast
- 1 glass of warm water
- ½ Tablespoon of baking powder
- ½ Tablespoon of sunflower oil
- ½ Tablespoon of salt
- 5 cups of flour
- A few drops of olive oil
- In a bowl mix the yeast, water and 3 cups of flour thoroughly, creating an even mixture. Leave this mixture to stand for 15 minutes, allowing it the time necessary to rise. At the end of this 15-minute period of time, you should notice bubbles appearing on the surface of your mixture.
- Add the sunflower oil, salt and the remaining 2 cups of flour into the mixture, and knead your bread dough for approximately 10 minutes, working these ingredients into the dough. Set the dough aside once more, this time for 2 hours, allowing the dough to double in size.
- Cut your dough into 8 pieces, kneading each piece individually into shape. Cover the 8 loaves with parchment paper and allow them to stand for 30 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough so that it forms round ‘discs’ that are approximately 5mm wide.
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan, and one at a time add the discs to the pan frying them for approximately 2 minutes on each side. If you would rather bake your bread in the oven grease a baking pan with oil and bake them at 240F for 10 minutes.