The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

soluble fiber

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jane schlosberg's picture
jane schlosberg

soluble fiber

I have been trying to increase the amount of soluble fibre in my bread.  For years now, I have been using ground flax, cooked in water, with about 1/4 unbleached white and the rest stone-ground whole wheat flour (hard) and added gluten (about 6 tablespoons).  This makes a good, reasonably light loaf.  Last week I decided to try and add oat bran.  To compensate, I used unbleached white (hard) instead of whole wheat.  For five loaves, I used 2 cups of flax and 1/2 cup of oat bran, cooked slightly with 3 cups of water.  The bread was very good, but it was hard to knead, as it remained sticky, no matter that I kneaded in as much flour as I could.  Also, it was perhaps a bit too light.  It was chewy but still quite soft.

Today, I'm using the same recipe except I've increased the amount of whole wheat, to about half and half. 

By the way, I use about 1/4 cup of honey, 4 teaspoons of salt, 3 tablespoons of oil.  I use the regular yeast, and I raise a sponge before making and kneading the dough (about 15 minutes, to knead this quantity).  The dough rises for about an hour in a warm, moist oven, and then I make the loaves.

Here's my question:  How much insoluble fiber is in a cup of hard, stone-ground whole wheat flour?  Am I replacing all of the fiber, if I use my 1/2 cup of oat bran in the above recipe (with only white flour)?  Is all of the fiber in wheat flour insoluble?  Is all of the fiber in oat bran soluble?

Here's another question:  I raise my loaves in a slightly warm oven (My oven's a self-clean type, so it holds heat really well.)  I often have bigger holes in the top inch of the loaves.  If I covered each loaf, would that solve the problem?  What would be the best type of cover to use?

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Hi.  I had to learn all about this soluble/insoluble stuff when my sister was having problems with colitis, and I did find out that wheat is definitely insoluble, whereas oat bran/flour/meal is definitely soluble, and therefore way better for her.  Rye is another soluble fibre.  If you were having trouble kneading your bread it was probably the oat bran because any bread you make with oat anything will always remain on the sticky side.  I wish I could use more flax, but my sister is on blood thinners so flax is out for her.  It gets tricky when you're baking bread all the time and having to weigh in the medical problems and medication interractions with all the ingredients you're using.  After reading another post all about whole wheat, I have to say that, although ww breads would be better for me (diabetic) I do not like the taste of an all ww bread, so I tend to use oatmeal and some unbleached white flour.

jane schlosberg's picture
jane schlosberg

Hi.  I didn't know rye is soluble, nor did I know that flax is a blood thinner.  I have health issues as well--high BP and cholesterol, and borderline for type 2 diabetes.  Also, overweight (but not yet in the "obese" category).  And friggin' OLD!  You might try adding some cooked wheat germ to your bread, to increase the health factor without using whole wheat flour.  Me, I like the whole wheat taste.  So, this week's bread (1/2 whole wheat, plus all the flax and oat bran) was better-tasting to me.  I do think, though, that many of these grains have SOME soluble and SOME insoluble fibers.  I'm going to do more research on this.

Thanks for your input.

Janep.s.  At least the kneading is good weight-bearing exercise.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I'll bet that if you proof your loaves on the counter, the texture would be the same throughout.

jane schlosberg's picture
jane schlosberg

Excuse my ignorance, please.  How do you define "proofing"?  I've always used that term to mean "raising with steam".  I "proof" my dough on its first rise.  If I take your meaning correctly, you're saying I should do the second rise (in the pans) more slowly--the kitchen counter being less warm than the oven.  Am I correct?

Jane

Ramona's picture
Ramona

I make a bread similar to yours.  I will use "abouts" because I don't measure exact.  After I mix the ingredients all together, I let it rise and then fold it in the bowl with a rubber spat.  I then place it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and as long as three days.  This really produces a great flavor.  I have been tweaking this recipe for some time and have found that this method works the best.  I just take how much I want from the bowl, fold the rest and put it back into the refrigerator.  I am able to use various shapes with this. 

7 cups hard, red spring wheat

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (1 cup each of hot milk and water to cover and sit to absorb)  I don't cook this

1/2 cup fresh ground flax   (I don't cook this)

1/3 cup butter

1 tablespoon dry yeast proofed in 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 1/4 cups of water (approximate)

 

I make the oatmeal mixture first.  Then grind my own wheat.  I add the maple syrup to the wheat and then add the proofed yeast, mix.  Add the cup of milk and vinegar, mix.  Then I add the cooled oatmeal mixture and butter, mix.  I then add the additional water, you may need to reduce this a little or add a little more.  I shape this as soon as I take it out of the refrigerator.  I turn the oven on to the warm setting for about a minute and then turn it off, but I leave the light on.  I put water on my hands and pat them all over the loaf and then add some poppy seeds.  I let it rise in the oven and then slash it and bake from a cold start at 480 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce that to 380 degrees.  It bakes for about 30-40 minutes or 190 degrees internally.  I use to do a sponge and soaker overnight and then folds throughout several hours the next day and had to dedicate most of the day to make this.  But this new method really is so much more convenient, easier, and the flavor is better.   The bread is healthier also from the longer fermentation.  It allows me to have bread whenever I want and not to have to plan for it.  I have found that this method also works for making sweet doughs for cinnamon buns, cheese braids, etc.  I don't use any white flour.  I do use more oats than you.  You should be able to increase the flax and reduce some of the flour.  You could try adding a cup of rye to replace a cup of wheat.   Sometimes I add 1/4 cup of millet too.  I hope this helps. 

jane schlosberg's picture
jane schlosberg

Wow!  Your bread sounds good but more work.  You have to be around the house to bake each loaf singly.  What is the advantage of starting in a cold oven?  I know this is a method used by lots of people, but I can't fathom what the advantage would be.  I would think the bottom would get too dark and perhaps the top would continue to rise as well, making even more big holes in the top part.  Of course, it sounds like you're not using bread pans.  I like the sandwich-able shape.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Another reason to start in a cold oven is that it makes the timing a bit easier.  You don't have to guess just when the bread will be ready to bake in order to preheat the oven.  It works especially well in bread pans. (I've less experience with hearth loaves in a cold start.)

Ramona's picture
Ramona

The advantage of using a cold start is using less electricity or gas and it works well.  You want the top to continue to rise, it's oven spring and it gives you a large loaf, airy, not a brick.  It is also a good sign of doing something right.  The bottom does not get too dark.  I don't get holes on the top parts of my bread.  I think you are just needing to shape better.  I also have to work on that at times.  There are some videos on this forum on shaping.  I do use loaf pans and I also make batards and boules with this.  My husband prefers the boules.  But the batards are great for eating with soup.  I just pull out some dough about 2 hours before dinner and shape, rise and bake.  I always head into my kitchen about 2 hours before the dinner hour here, to start prepping for dinner anyway and make all my meals from scratch, so the whole time the dough is turning into bread, I am busy with making dinner.  You don't have to make the bread individually, you can make all the loaves at one time.  Kneading is good exercise, but I don't do it.  I use the folding technique when making bread the usual way, but with this new method, I just fold with a spat once in the bowl and that is it.  As I turn the bowl and pull the dough from the sides into the center, I can see and feel the dough pulling together and acquiring the right texture.  Harry's rye bread is a good bread also. 

jane schlosberg's picture
jane schlosberg

I have begun a bit of research on fibre.  It seems that the ideal intake ratio for fibre is 1/2: i.e. 2 grams of insoluble fibre for every gram of soluble.  Flax has this ratio, and 1T flax has equal fibre to 1/4 cup of oat bran.  Oat bran has 27.8 grams of fibre/ 100 grams.  This includes 13.8 insoluble and 14 soluble.  ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````100 grams of rye has 3-4 grms of soluble fibre according to one sourse I read, but only 2 grams, total, according to my "Composition of Foods".  I have an old edition of this however.  I understand this book is now available on the web, so I'm going to look for it

cornbread's picture
cornbread

I like the idea of adding flax seed to my bread recipe to raise the soluble fiber content, but it could harm me because I have Diverticulosis (small pockets in your colon which can be easily inflamed if seeds or hard nut fragments become trapped in them) so I have to be careful of what I eat.  At present we are using this  http://miraclehealthfiber.com/  which seems to work well.  It has 5 grams of soluble fiber per a tablespoon and we just divide total amount of tablespoons added to mix by number of portions made to get our fiber amount per a serving.  I hope this helps anyone else with this condition.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Thanks, Cornbread.  I've been wondering if there was any way to grind flax seeds fine enough to include in bread.  I'll take a look at the site you listed.

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Hi Cornbread, just stumbled over this post: I include flax seeds (at 4.5% of total 100%flour) in the preferment which ferments at least 12 hours. I believe those softened seeds are digestible and on top it looks like the bread has an outstanding toasting quality. This bread is one of my best sellers at the farmers market.

Barbara

jane schlosberg's picture
jane schlosberg

I buy ground flax from a dealer who claims to grind it at low temps., but lots of people I know grind it in a coffee grinder.  I cook the flax for about a minute in an equal amount of water.  Just long enough to get it to be well softened.  This works very well in bread.  I don't know if it would be a problem for those with diverticulitis, but there are no seeds visible.

home_mill's picture
home_mill

I have heard that Chia seeds have soluble fiber. I know of one person who uses them in braed but I don't know the particulars except when they are mixed with a liquid they form a gel like substance.

 

Joel

 

jane schlosberg's picture
jane schlosberg

Chia seed is supposed to be a rich source of omega 3s.  I've read that it has a gelatinous quality when cooked and a fair bit of fiber.  I presume a negative aspect of this grain would be its price.  Anyone have any info. on fiber content relative to flax?  What about taste?  I hear it's still in use as a food in parts of Mexico.

JERSK's picture
JERSK

  Bob' Red Mill sells ground flax seed in 1 lb. bags. Also, a note about an older thread on the differences in fiber in rye. Both sources could be right. There's an incredible inconsistency in rye flours and how they are rated i.e. light, medium, pumpernickel etc. They're generally all ground whole grain and then sifted out. Darker and coarser grades should have more fiber.