How to Select and Enjoy Bread

How to Select and Enjoy Bread

Sourced from Nutrition and Consumer Services Division

Bread Research Institute of Australia

Private Bag, P.O. North Ryde N.S.W. 2113

BREAD – man’s oldest convenience food – is still acclaimed for its versatility and economy.  As one of the foods which most people like to eat every day bread ranks more than favorably with other basic food groups for nutrional value. 

How much bread should you eat?

As much as you like and as often as you like, providing you eat a variety of other foods too.

If you have a weight problem you have to limit your bread intake along with that of most other foods.  Sensible slimming diets allow 2 – 4 slices of bread each day because it is more satisfying than many substitutes and so important for good nutrition.

STORAGE:  Crusty breads are best eaten when only a few hours old, while milk, protein increased, brown and rye breads retain their soft texture for a few days.

Bread should be stored in a well ventilated, covered box, crock or bin.  The container should be cleaned once a week (twice a week in hot, humid weather) and all scraps of bread discarded.  Wash the container thoroughly with vinegar and dry in the sun.  Damp surfaces or stale crumbs favour mould growth.

REFRIGERATION:  Storing bread in the refrigerator is not advisable as bread stales more rapidly at this temperature.  Refrigeration however, will retard mould growth if the weather is particularly hot and humid.

FREEZING:  Very fresh bread may be stored successfully in a deep freeze unit for a month or two.  This is the most effective way of ensuring fresh bread at any time.  For best results wrap and seal bread tightly, then place on a wire rack in the freezer so that cold air can circulate freely, and freeze it quickly.

Thaw unsliced bread at room temperature. Sliced bread may be toasted while still frozen.

The one or two person household may find it practical to divide a loaf of bread into two or three parts, and freeze small packets containing sufficient to meet a day’s requirements.

Breads are made to strict standards according to the food regulations.

WHITE BREADS: are made as high top or condensed (sandwich) loaves.

MILK BREADS: contain 4% non-fat milk solids.

BROWN BREADS: are made from at least 50% wholemeal, the rest being white flour.

These breads are all available unsliced, or sliced and wrapped.  For convenience with sandwiches or packed lunches, sliced breads are ideal.

PROTEIN INCREASED BREADS:contain more wheat protein than ordinary breads, to the standards set by the Food Regulations.  They are preferred by some, because the extra protein enhances keeping qualities.

WHOLEMEAL BREADS: are made from 90% or more wholemeal.

KIBBLED WHEAT BREADS: sometimes labelled cracked or crushed wheat breads may contain, be rolled in, or sprinkled with kibbled or cracked grains.  Fibre content is similar to brown bread (unless labelled wholemeal).

RYE BREADS: may be made from a minimum of 30% rye flour, the rest being white wheat flour.

Bread Varieties

What type of bread should you eat?

The bread you like and the type that suits your family’s needs is best.  The discerning housewife is as selective in choosing her bread as she is about varying her purchases of fruits, vegetables and meat.

Become a “bread fancier”, try the large variety of breads made by bakers for you the customer.

**CRUNCHY BREADS & ROLLS make wonderful accompaniments to any meal especially when served crisp and warm.

**HAMBURGER BUNS and FRANKFURT ROLLS with softer crusts make eating more enjoyable at picnics and barbeques.  Use with hot meat fillings or your favourite salad ingredients.

**FANCY, KIBBLED WHEAT, RYE and WHOLEMEAL BREADS have coarser textures and more definite flavours.  They make interesting changes in the lunchbox from the more regular SLICED and WRAPPED WHITE, MILK or BROWN LOAVES.

FRESHENING BREAD:  During weekends or over holiday periods bread that s a few days old, may be freshened by heating in a hot oven for 5 – 10 minutes.  To retain a crisp crust, bread should be heated uncovered, but for softer crusts, wrap bread in foil or brown paper.  Rolls will recover their pleasant crustiness, if heated in an oven or electric frypan (vent open) for 5 – 10 minutes.

For thousands of years man existed mainly on cereal foods and in many countries they still form the major component of the daily food.

6 slices of WHITE BREAD supply about:

ONE QUARTER OF THE PROTEIN

So necessary for growth and to repair body tissues

ONE FIFTH OF THE KILOJOULES

Needed for energy

ONE FIFTH OF THE VITAMIN B1

Essential for good digestion and steady nerves.

SOME DIETARY FIBRE

(Brown and wholemeal breads supply more)

PLUS

CALCIUM for healthy bones and teeth, IRON for good rich blood and other VITAMINS OF THE B GROUP.

Contrary to some people’s belief, white bread has no harmful effects upon the teeth and certainly does not contribute to tooth decay.  Dentists now recommend bread and cheese as a suitable “between-meal snack” for hungry children.

PLAIN FLOUR:

Is a general all-purpose flour suitable for most uses.  When used for cakes, scones and some biscuits it is necessary to add a leavening agent either in the form of baking powder or a combination of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

SELF-RAISING FLOUR:

Already contains leavening ingredients in the proportions required to make good scones.  This quantity is too much for most cakes and other baked products, so the housewife often substitutes plain flour for some of the self-raising flour in a recipe.

FLOUR STORAGE:

Under dry conditions flour will lose moisture, under wet conditions it will absorb it and this affects the keeping qualities.  Mustiness may result when flour is stored for any length of time under damp conditions.

Keep flour in a clean, rounded container and do not add new flour to old.  Clean the container regularly, making sure all surfaces are free from deposits of old flour.

The housewife is wise to buy flour in the quantities to suit her needs, rather than in large amounts which deteriorates with prolonged storage.