I’m on a mission to not buy anymore bread. Sure, I’ll still buy loaves from bakeries that I respect or that have an interesting loaf I want to try but when it comes to my daily sandwich loaves I’ve decided to make them myself from here on out.
Why did I decide this? For one thing, I know how to make bread and I like doing it so it’d be kind of dumb not to. But the real reason stems from a recent visit to the local health food supermarket. While browsing the aisles, I decided to take a look at some sandwich breads and find out what they’re made of. I expected the loaves at this store to contain whole ingredients with no added chemicals considering this was a health food store. For the most part the loaves had decent ingredients but I was surprised to find that almost every single sandwich loaf contained added gluten. I was a bit disappointed. I’m definitely not one to jump on the “gluten is evil” bandwagon, in fact I love gluten, but could the fact that we’re pumping pure gluten into supposedly healthy loaves of bread have something to do with the rise in people who can’t seem to tolerate it? I don’t really have the answer to that question(and it doesn’t seem like food scientists do either yet) but I do think I could do better than these supermarket breads from both a health and flavor standpoint.
Growing up in the San Francisco bay area I’ve always had plenty of access to something this region is quite famous for: tangy sourdough bread. This might explain the fact that, despite being a professional bread baker who works in San Francisco, I almost never make the stuff. I prefer to make a more mild sourdough that is only slightly sour and not as in your face as the kind SF is famous for. I mean, why would I go out of the way to make something that I could go down the street and buy in just about any grocery store? Well normally I wouldn’t but this week I got the urge to try my hand at tanginess and to try to make a bread that encapsulates everything that a SF sourdough is and should be. Continue reading
As much as I love making and eating light, open crumbed french breads I have always had a soft spot for a nice dense rye. There is something about holding a brick of pure whole grain goodness in your hands that is, in many ways, more satisfying than a delicately scored baguette. For one thing a baguette starts to stale in a matter of hours while vollkornbrot can stay good for weeks. Then there is the level of nourishment. There is really no comparison between the two. Vollkornbrot is packed with all sorts of nutritious grains and seeds while a baguette contains nothing but highly refined white flour. This week I decided to push vollkornbrot’s nutrition and flavor even further by adding sprouted rye to the mix. The results were more than I could have hoped for. Continue reading
My latest bake continues my recent obsession with sprouted grains in bread. I’ve been experimenting with them a lot lately and have found the flavor truly excellent. There is a nice sweetness to the sprouted grain and none of the bitterness that you find in whole wheat flour. Combine this with the great healthy benefits that come from sprouting grain and you have a great addition to many breads. Continue reading
I have been on a bit of a country bread kick lately but I’m always trying to mix it up. For my latest variation I’ve replaced the typical 10% whole wheat flour in a country bread with 15% sprouted wheat.
Although I don’t have that much experience using sprouted grains it’s something that has always intrigued me. Mainly because of the purported health benefits but also because of the delicious flavor.