The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The darker the bread, the healthier?

Jw's picture

The darker the bread, the healthier?

Wrong, says the independent Dutch consumer council "Consumentenbond". They tested multiple grain bread this May from a variety of shops and retail stores. Turns out that the fanciest looking bread (with the best names like Pain de Boulogne) have the smallest amount of fibers from al the tested multiple-grain breads.

Also, you cannot judge a bread by the colour and the number of seeds on the crust. It is what's inside that counts, and the outside of a bread might give you the wrong impression (I feel a metaphor coming up here..). There might be a lot less seeds inside then what is suggested by the outside. Also, the bread is made darker by adding roasted barley.

The 'best' bread to buy (best meaning optimal fibers and lowest salt) is a 1 euro (1,30 USD) bread from a retail store. The list a whole set of ingredients in a standard bread, additives: glucose (for better rise and darker crust), Beanflower, sojaflower, etc.

Of course, you knew this already, that's why you are baking your own bread!

Happy baking (waiting for my second batch to come out of the oven)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My last loaf was a spelt sourdough rolled in roasted sesame seeds, slashed & baked in a dirty oven by accident.  I thought I had cleaned out the oven well enough but a big cloud of smoke greeted me as the loaf went in.  The last bake was a roast and the whole kitchen now smelled like a BBQ as the bread baked.  Now I don't know if the seeds also had over toasted or not but the loaf was dark and it had one of the best tasting crusts ever!   Hubby ask me if I had roasted the bread.   It was exceptional, maybe close to hearth like.  So ... maybe not a good idea to wash that roasting pan lid after all!

70% Spelt sourdough

The roast and bread got sliced into sandwiches for a road trip to the south coast near Busan. 


Nomadcruiser53's picture

Looks like a very tasty treat. A nice way to top off a road trip. Dave

LLM777's picture

I am still searching and experimenting for a whole grain bread that rises well and rises consistently. Would this perhaps be 100% spelt? It looks wonderful!

Thanks :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think it is closer to 70% spelt with 30% wheat bread flour.  No oil or milk.  Just sourdough, water, salt, mash potato flakes and the flours.   That ear sticking up was the first part to get eaten.  I did use a small frying pan to help the bottom hold it's shape. 


subfuscpersona's picture

Can you give more details on using "a small frying pan to help the bottom hold it's shape" ? What was the material of the frying pan? Was the frying pan preheated? Did you use the magic bowl method with the frying pan?

I've been looking over my collection of cast iron frying pans and stainless steel bowls and thinking that I could manage 2 (possibly 3) boules, each covered with a SS bowl during the first half of baking. I think I should remove the baking stone, but am unsure whether to preheat the frying pans. Also, having tried, in the past, to bake bread on a preheated cast iron grill (smooth side), although I got good oven spring I couldn't control the heat well enough to prevent scorching on the bottom of the loaf.

Any and all gory details you're willing to provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

When I'm handling a dough, shaping it etc. and decide it is too hydrated to hold a nice shape, I simply let it bake in a frying pan instead.  The nicely rounded bottom lifts or better said prevents the dough from spreading sideways forcing the dough upwards resulting in a nicer shape.  The trick is  to have the right size.  Too big, the dough spreads out flat.  Too little, the dough goes over.  Remove the handle if it is not oven safe, it can get in the way. 

Sometimes my loaf doesn't need it, but sometimes it does.  A casserole has the same effect.  No, I do not preheat it.  Although I have tried it.  I prefer dark colors outside, red, black, brown an no shine.  At the moment it is a non-stick dark red flat bottomed alu wok pan (bottom is not thicker than the sides but form is rounder than normal fry pan) and not much bigger than my banneton.  In fact I can invert from one to the other.  (parchment for a gentle landing)  If a deep pan is used, there must be a bowl or something that can cover and work "magic."

The frying pan is somewhat pictured HERE.