The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is White Homemade Bread Unhealthy?

donsabi's picture

Is White Homemade Bread Unhealthy?

I make some of the best white bread I have ever had and I use KA white bread flour.   My recipe is simply KA flour, salt, sugar, yeast,  1 tbsp olive oil, water and I love it.  However I am hearing more and more of the wicked ways of white bread and I am not sure if they are referring to commercial crap or good homemade.   What are your thoughts on the health issues of this simple white bread recipe?



dlt123's picture

My brother and I were discussing this today... It will be interesting to see what others think. ... and for the books, I think white tastes great, but WW is better for you.


Bookmarking this post.

---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Belief has no affect on reality.
My Website:

flournwater's picture

You don't have to search very hard on the Internet or in magazines to find someone reporting how something is "harmful".  The Internet has made that fact much more prevalent than it used to be.  It's always a good idea to do three things when you see something posted on the Internet.

First  - verify and validate the source.  A lot of "information resource" web sites allow anyone to post anything and, over time, these sites become so popular that visitors tend to rely on the information filed there.  If you can' find three legitimate sources to verify the stuff you read, I'd suggest dismissing it as rumor.

Second  -  verify the credentials of the source/author.  Keep in mind that it is possible to obtain a "degree", without attending a class, in just about any specialty you choose, by paying a fee.

Third -  look for the motivation of the author.  Lots of information circulating about "unhealthy" foods have, either posted on the same page or set of pages or through links to other pages, sites that sell alternative products.  Cavet Emptor.

To speak directly to your point, when it comes to bread (which is the fundamental purpose of the TFL) I've been eating white bread for over seventy years.  Remember Wonder Bread from 1940?

No ill effects ...

While it may be arguably correct to say that whole grain bread is perhaps better for us than white bread, that doesn't make white bread "bad" for us.

Yerffej's picture

If you take away the bran and the germ from a kernel of wheat you are then left with the endosperm which accounts for about 83% of the weight of the kernel.  In the 17% that has been removed you have taken away in the bran, large quantities of the three major B vitamins, trace minerals, and dietary fiber.  By removing the germ you have eliminated minimal quantities of protein and a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals.  What you are left with in the endosperm is protein, carbohydrates, iron, and  B-vitamins.   This is what we know as white flour. 

Is it bad for you?  Possibly in the sense that the body treats white flour much like sugar and quite clearly you are eating less than the whole kernel and all of its nutrients as provided by nature.  Whole wheat is a more complete food source and from all the information I have gathered it is much better for you than white flour.  It is clearly a matter of the importance that B-Vitamins and minerals do or do not play in our health.  A bit of research will show that they are essential to life itself.

One remedy in the world of white flour is to use only real sourdough which converts much of the white flour to a healthier more readily digestable product even though key elements of the wheat are still missing.

In Michael Pollan's new book, Food Rules, he cites one of his favorite rules as "The whiter the bread, the sooner you'll be dead."  An old saying that seems to resurface with regularity.

White bread from white flour has become so common place in many parts of the world that many people believe that it must be good for you. That reminds me a bit of the films I have seen of doctors promoting a particular brand of cigarettes in TV commercials.

The original question is whether or not white homemade bread is unhealthy and I would say no it is not.   However that white bread could be much better for you by putting back all of the B-vitamins, trace minerals, and fiber.  That is, eat whole wheat.


PaddyL's picture

....homemade white bread is not bad for you.  White sourdough bread is fine for diabetics, though.

Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

But it's not health food, even though I make it by hand with organic flour.  White flour, just like refined white sugar,  breaks down into glucose which can lead to health problems, including diabetes and obesity, especially when eaten in place of more nutritious foods like whole grains and vegetables.  This is true whether the bread is homemade or store-bought.

Baguettes, like chocolate cake, buttercream frosting and red wine, are, for me, well-deserved treats.  I don't expect nutritional value from them, and I accept the fact that they offer nothing more than pleasure.



pmccool's picture

but of good / better / best.  White bread is a pretty good way to get easily digestible carbohydrates into your body.  Breads made with a blend of white flour and whole grains are better for you by offering additional nutrients and fiber that are missing from the white flour.  And breads made entirely of whole grains offer the highest content of vitamins, minerals and fiber, along with the carbohydrates, of any breads.  

About the only way I'd say that white bread is bad for an otherwise healthy person is if they eat it to the exclusion of any other kind of bread.  In that situation, the individual is definitely depriving themselves of nutritional benefits that they could have by eating breads made with whole grains.

BTW, I have a couple of loaves of potato bread on the cooling rack right now.  It's the first all-white bread I've made in ages (well, okay, there were the Portugese Sweet Bread rolls a few weeks ago) and I expect to enjoy it.  But I also enjoy my breads made with whole grains and I recognize that they offer me a better nutritional choice.  So, those are what I usually make.

Bottom line, understand what you are eating and how it affects your body.  Then make informed choices, rather than rabbiting about based on the latest dire warnings from the fear mongers.


JohnMich's picture

Beautifully said particularly the last paragraph which applies as you would be well aware not just to bread. There are far to many fear mongers with their hidden and not so hidden agendas naming foods as bad. And unfortunately there are far too many people being sucked in by them.

Many regards, John

clazar123's picture

Good for who-bad for who.Sometimes that depends on current popular opinion and the latest fears being exploited.

PMcCool has a very balanced response. Enjoy your bread- but in balance with other nutrients.

localgrace's picture

King Arthur has White Whole Wheat Flour.

Yundah's picture

And it is easy to work with, fakes out your kids if they happen to "hate" whole wheat, and tastes good.  I've even used it when we make pasta.  

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

white flour, sugar and rice are not BAD for you, as someone else said. Wholemeal might be better but 'bette'r doesn't mean 'good, 'worse' doesn't mean 'bad'.

deblacksmith's picture

I like my white bread, number 1 of the breads I bake.  It is a "rich" bread, using eggs, milk, brown sugar and butter.  I also use 6 % white whole wheat in this bread.  This small percentage of WWW is not there to make it more healthy, but rather to added a flavor note.  It make my unbleached white flour more like a typical white flour from Europe.  It good bread, and I don't think it is bad for you.  Not a sour dough, but made with about 1/3 a preferment.

Just baked 9 pounds of this dough today.


phxdog's picture

I've heard that white bread is bad for you and may take a year or two off your life expectancy. But those years come at the end and are usually pretty lousy anyway!

Scott (Phxdog).

Paddyscake's picture

or is that nonsense  ;  ) 


The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

smoking Ill worry about the white flour in my diet.


cognitivefun's picture

I use whole home milled fiour now. I concluded that white flour isn't good and now I'm into the world of whole grains and home milled flour for that very reason. It's loads of fun and much tastier anyway. And I say that from someone who never liked whole wheat bread.

It's a "whole" different experience when you mill it yourself. Delicious. No going back. I even have spring wheat for making low protein pastry flour when I want to use that for baking.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

The health benefits of a home baked white loaf to a commercial loaf is better. However the benefits of home baked wholemeal or grain bread is superior again health wise.

If you are like me and want the best of both worlds ie. a white texture and flavor but with more fibre try experimenting with cornmeal or rolled oates(quaker oates) in your bread. I do not use it in my starter( or poolish) but is placed in with the final dry ingredients when added to the starter.

I generally use 1/3rd cornmeal to 2/3rd's bread flour. This makes a lovely sandwich loaf and goes well in a ciabatta where I use less C/meal.

When making a rolled oates loaf with white I stick to the white recipe and throw in about 3/4 cup of oates for each loaf being made in that batch. I keep the required flour content. ie; if you are making a 2 loaf mix use 1 1/5 cups of oates. You may have to adjust your water quanity but judge this as you knead it. This is a good breakfast bread packed with energy and fibre but retains most of the white texture.

My above additions are not an exact recipe. They both can be adjusted to your taste so be prepared to experiment.

Hope this helps...........Aussie Pete.



Gourmand2go's picture

Nutrition is one of the most complex areas of study and there are many unknowns.  In addition, the media exploits this and food trends can be misleading, and later proven wrong after further research.

I've just recently begun making white French bread and was surprised to lose 5-10 pounds in the first couple of months without even having time to exercise.  I would normally buy a whole wheat whole grain bread called "Ancient Grains" or "Prairie Bran".  But these healthy sandwich breads must have an awful lot of fat added to prolong their shelf life, so I'm of the opinion that anything you make yourself is bound to be healthier than what you can buy, especially if it's mass produced--assuming you use good ingredients.

What you put on the bread might be a more serious consideration.  I'm working on chickpea spread recipes lately and there's plenty of fibre and nutrients there, so I'm not too worried about the missing germ and bran in the bread.

I could hardly believe the weigh scale because I'm still eating cheddar cheese and cream cheese spreads with the French bread I've been baking, not to mention pizza a couple of times a week, so the only explanation is the fat content of the commercial whole grain loaves.

Oh, and about red wine ... seems there's an interaction between the alcohol and the anti-oxidants that is much more effective than anti-oxidants alone for cardio-vascular health and binding free radicals.  Any other kind of alcolohic beverage will do as well assuming you are getting the anti-oxidants in your diet.


Paddyscake's picture

Very glad that this is working for you. Losing 5-10 lbs in 2 months, without an increase in exercise or significant change in diet, isn't neccessarily an indication of good health. If weight loss continues at this rate, I would check in with my MD, just to make sure something else isn't going on.


Gourmand2go's picture

Here's a link to a Chickpea Spread recipe that works well as a dip for home-made breadsticks or as a spread for bread.

Feedback appreciated!

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Thanks for the recipe. I wonder if the spread is the secret to your weight loss success. Looks very yummy and very healthy. I will have to make some. I like all sorts of versions of hummus and bean spreads.

The South Beach diet, which seems to be the only diet that works for me, has a lot of hummus type snacks, probably because of the fiber/fat content which is very satisfying when you're trying to lose weight.

Everything in moderation. I also tend to lose weight if I'm making really good food because I'm not trying to satisfy myself after eating something that was didn't hit the spot.

I just have to stop making blueberry braids and molten lava cakes. Those are death to diets!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

That makes a lot of sense to me. In fact I am going to have a scotch on the rocks right now!

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

I jsut want to reiterate something I said before in this thread, whole grains are a poor source of fiber when compared to most fruits and why are people looking to any bread a source for fiber is beyond my understanding....jsut put some baby spinach and arugala on that sandwich!

mrfrost's picture

Maybe someone needs to recheck this (mis)information.

Or maybe the medical and health professionals are perpetuating this "myth" when usually(or quite often) "whole grains" is the first thing mentioned as sources of dietary fiber.

Ever heard of a bran muffin?

Seriously, there are many good choices:

"...Your best fiber choices

If you aren't getting enough fiber each day, you may need to boost your intake. Good choices include:

  • Grains and whole-grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds..."
Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

That is proper information, but from what i have been told by my own doctor, and seen elsewere, is that whole grains are not as easily digested as the other foods on that list.  So i have determinded the best source for me to get fiber isnt from whole grains, its a personal choice base on my own research, i dont intend to come of preachy on the subject, I am jsut saying if you REALLY concerned about fiber, bread is not ALWAYS the only, or best option.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

MMM! See my blog for the arugula pesto pizza last weekend. Yummy! In fact, I need to put some pesto in the freezer. I'm going to have to get to the store for more parmesan and EVOO to finish off the bolting arugula. I bet I end up with 20lbs of arugula pesto when I finish up!

By the way, I have learned that arugula makes a wonderful omelette. Along with green garlic! Who would have thunk? The things you learn to make when you have an overabundance of garden veggies, lol!

Now, if I could just get my butt to juice all those lemons that are going to waste. It's such a pain in my little RV to put up garden stuff for the freezer. Anyone want some lemons?

enaid's picture

Lots of advice in this forum about the merits, or lack of, of white bread.  To make white flour, the wheat is stripped of its outer layers which contain the most nutrients, so there is not much health benefit in eating white bread.

However, that does not mean it will do you any harm, apart from making you fat if you eat a lot.  Everything in moderation so, if you like white bread, keep on enjoying it.  I have never eaten white bread for years as, apart from the health benefits of wholewheat, I enjoy the taste.

TopBun's picture

I bake 100% whole grain bread exclusively because I love the hearty taste and texture, but I am here to tell you from personal experience that eating too much of it also makes you fat :-)

enaid's picture

Point taken, Top Bun.  I love baking bread but too much of it goes to feed the birds, as I try to eat as little as possible.  As I said, "All things in moderation."  There are also better ways of getting the nutrients found in Whole Grain bread.  However, my belief is that there is so little of health value in white bread, why bother.  In fact, one would be a lot healthier if one never ate bread at all, but life would be dull if we only ate what was good for us.  In the end - to each his own!

Gourmand2go's picture

I disagree that white bread is unhealthy.  I checked my nutrition text book, and while it's indisputable that whole grain breads have larger amounts of nutrients, white bread contains the same nutrients and in some cases, equal amounts.  Folate is an example of an important nutrient that is present in white bread in the same amount as it is in whole wheat bread.

Researchers are perplexed as to why French women are thinner on average than North American women.  I suspect that it has to do with the small artisan bakeries and the accessibility of lean loaves in France.

Wheat is renowned for slow burning carbs, and that's one good reason to enjoy it.

I've been experimenting with enriched French bread dough, adding potatoes and buttermilk powder to make it a more complete meal.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hello Gourmand2go,

I certainly agree with you. I wrote earlier that I use cornmeal and or rolled oates in my white bread mixtures. (see earlier).

Is it possible to share your buttermilk recipe with us please...I'm sure there would be some of us that would love to experiment with this as well.

Cheers for now and thankyou should you share your recipe.............Aussie Pete

Gourmand2go's picture

I am planning to publish the recipe soon and will send a link, but it's a basic French bread recipe that I've added to.  I'm not using unbleached flour currently, so I've tried to compensate for flavour.

I had been adding two tablespoons of potato flour, but at this time of year I usually buy a large sack of potatoes and use them up as quickly as possible, so last weekend I tried adding half a pound of riced russet potatoes to my lean loaf recipe and reduced the water by a quarter cup.  It made the crumb very moist and tender.

I purchased non-instant buttermilk powder and plan to add 1/4 cup to my next batch.  I think you could also substitute buttermilk for water because yeast likes a slightly acidic environment.  To be cautious I'd try half buttermilk, half water the first time to see how pronounced the flavour will be.

I use buttermilk in many recipes and often substitute it for regular milk because it is low in fat and amazingly nutrient dense.  It keeps well, especially if you put any remaining buttermilk in a clean container whenever you've used some.

I'm finding time to exercise now so I expect to put on muscle.  Muscle weighs twice as much as fat, so if I break even it's a good sign.

Here's an interesting link to the nutrients contained in French bread.  It's a good source of folate and a moderate source of many other nutrients.

deblacksmith's picture

For my French bread I use 10 % KAF White Whole Wheat and 90 % KAF Bread Flour.  Makes good bread.  Adding the 10% Whole Wheat brings the flour closer to a European flour.  Traditional French Bread has only flour, water, salt and yeast.  This shouldn't stop you from doing it your way in any way, shape or form.  I think one of the great things about making your own bread is you get to do it your way and make bread that you love.  One of the limitations of traditional French bread, for example, is that it does not keep well.  It seems it is meant to be eaten the day it is baked.


Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

The french diet is higher in fat, lower in carbs than our diet. Our population has gotten fatter as our diet has gotten lower in fat.

Folic acid is added back to flour. That's the only reason it's in the white flour in equal amounts. Not sure it would be in my stone ground whole wheat in those amounts as nothing is added to that. But overall, I'm sure my fresh stone ground whole wheat has more available nutrients than "enriched" white flour.

The story behind "enriched" white flour is interesting. It started because people started to have severe nutritional deficiencies from eating too much white bread. So, the government started to mandate adding back vitamins that were removed in the process of making white flour. If that isn't enough to convince you that the refining process is bad I'm not sure what would!

I still eat a few baked goods each week with organic white flour. But, I'm starting to substitute whole wheat white for a higher and higher percent all the time and don't notice much difference. When I get my own mill I will start grinding spring wheat and will probably stop buying the white all together.

I baked a white sourdough loaf once. It was very nice. Open crumb, crusty. Sour. Good for what it was. We gave it away. My husband and I agreed it was boring and had no flavor. My husband had been asking for a plain old sourdough loaf for awhile. When I baked it he realized he no longer liked plain old white sourdough bread.

I love mixing 2-3 different types of flour. My pizza dough favorite mix includes rye, whole wheat and durum wheat, maybe even a little spelt.

Not just for health reasons but because of the depth of flavor. Once you get used to it the flavor complexity is so much better. I'm convinced that part of why people don't like whole grains is that store bought whole grain flour is horrible. King Arthur flour is passable but still doesn't hold a stick to fresh ground flour. The smell, texture and taste of fresh ground is completely different. Worth ordering on from someone here at TFL or buying your own mill.

Anyway, I truly believe that our society is fatter because we are eating a lowfat, low fiber, highly processed diet. Deplete in fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains.  When I watch the people in front and behind me go through the checkout stand at the grocery store I'm amazed at how durable a human body can be to survive the crap that they fuel it with!

jennyloh's picture

 It looks like if you declare sonething that is "unhealthy", apparently it is because there's too much of something that's not good.

I've been examining all kinds of white breads with different recipes. I realise that in some white bread - there's whipped cream (Japanese bread), some with sugar,  some with butter,  some with just milk and eggs.  Well,  a little of these intake are what we call balanced diet, but if a little too much,  it tips over  the balance of "unhealthy" food.

I've also been searching for a recipe that is tasty,  yet,  just pure white bread,  without sugar,  without butter, without eggs, I might have found the recipe (see my blog - going to cut off the butter from the sugarless loaf in my next try) and the method to get this. 

To my family,  they don't like butter nor sugar in breads.  Is that healthy?  I'm not sure,  as I don't like to count calories,  and have no idea how to estimate nutrients value.  Probably WW is more nutritious.  Well,  like what flournwater mentioned,  after eating white bread for so long,  there's no ill effects.  I still like my white breads.

RiverWalker's picture

theres a difference between "unhealthy" in a sense of being DANGEROUS, (eating poisonous things) and "unhealthy" in a sense of eating things that are not GOOD for you. (eating cake, candy, fatty foods, ect).

it is certainly not HARMFUL to eat white bread, in the sense that its dangerous.

but its not HEALTHY either.  its healthier than retail-bought white bread... but its not good for you.

look at the info on your ingredients. the typical all-white-flour bread recipe is high calorie, not particularly low in fat, nor all that much fiber. and really it doesn't have much of any other nutritional value EITHER.  its pretty empty calories, and the carbs in white flour, (as I understand it, from what I've read) are not very complex, compared to the carbs in WW flour. so they act more like sugars... which isn't good.


Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

Saying it is unhealthy is a stretch, saying other things are healthier, is true.

And how are the carbs any different? I'm no scientist, but sifting out the bran and germ doesnt change the composition of the carbs?

Sugars are not good? All carbs break down into sugars, we jsut dont break down complex carbs as thouroughly.

I'm jsut asking these questions, not advocating anything. For those inclined to search medical journals(i don't think onliine articals are a good source of any information), please let me know the answers, i may have more(already do just going there yet) questions.



Gourmand2go's picture

The glycemic index of processed foods is typically higher; for example, mashed potatoes have a higher index than baked potatoes, so if you were diabetic you'd be concerned, but if you'd just worked out for a few hours you'd need those quick-acting carbs to restore your glycogen reserves.  (If you were following the Olympics and noted the Russian figure skater's decision to fast during the competition, the Wikipedia page is relevant.  Evgeni Plushenko complained about his muscles hurting as an explanation as to why he didn't win the gold.)

If someone is on a calorie-restricted diet, they should be concerned about getting nutrient-dense foods.  But on my 5,000 calorie per day pizza diet (!) I'm not.  My fridge is full of red wheat bran and wheat germ, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy French bread.

The only white rice I've ever owned is arborio; I've never eaten a MacDonald's hamburger, and I've never bought a loaf of commercial white bread.  Most people would consider me a bit of a food fanatic, but I would never call artisanal French bread "unhealthy".

You won't find much about nutrition in medical journals.  If you have a disease that could be caused by a dietary deficiency, a doctor will typically refer you to a dietician.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

You might be surprised at how many nutrition articles are in the medical journals nowadays. I get about 5 journals a month and there is probably one article in each about nutrition and how it relates to diabetes, heart disease or weight. Sometimes diet and pediatric health.

The medical field is starting to realize the importance of learning about nutrition. It was a desert for a long time but since the early 90s it has been included in the schools. In fact, one reason I was accepted (3,000 out of state applicants for 5 slots at my school) was because of my background in nutrition.  At least the osteopathic schools have seen the importance of nutrition for 20 years and most likely the MD schools have followed along.

Of course, with the 15 minute appointments the insurance companies have forced us to go to, due to the low reimbursment rates, doctors simply don't have the time to spend doing dietary counseling. Doesn' it make sense to send someone to a specialist with 4 years plus an internship specifically in nutrition and diet than to try to muddle along with the few classes that we've had in medical school and lack of time that we can take in real life to give the patient the teaching and time that they need?

When I refer to a specialist, be it a nutrionist, cardiologist, neurologist, it is because I recognize that while I have had the basics and understand that mechanisms of those disease processes from medical school and my family practice residency, I defer to the specialist who makes their living seeing the same thing day in and day out. I see (as an urgent care/family practice specialist) a huge variety of problems everyday. Problems most cardologists or neurosurgeons would run away from in fear. But, that is what my specialty is and where my comfort zone is.

By the way, my Master's is in Nutrition. But, I won't be doing much diabetes teaching and dietary deficiency diagnosis in the urgent care setting. (despite the occassional findings of B12 and vitamin D deficiencies that I've had) Doesn't mean I don't know how, just means I'm not afforded the luxury of time and I have chosen another specialty to go into. I can also do a mean botox or restylane treament but you don't see me doing much of that these days either.

RudyH's picture

That is a good question. I have been making mostly baguettes, pita, pizza crust, etc for a long time using bread flour, and also deli style rye using first clear and light rye flours. I have only recently started experimenting with whole grain breads specifically out of the same concern you raise.

I'll be posting my best recipes on this forum after I get settled in. (This is my first post.)

My main concern about commercial bread, and the project I am specifically working on is to convince my family that their biggest source of preservatives in food comes from bread. My kids have long made their own favorite breads, but now I'm "kicking it up a notch", as they say.

I started making soft supermarket style whole wheat bread that is just as soft as the supermarket kind, but is not yet quite as flavorful. I'll probably have the flavor problem solved this week. The plan is to develop a soft whole wheat bread that they like and adopt as their own.

I just tried the King Arthur white whole wheat flour and I really like it. I will probably start using it in my baguettes. It's very good.



SonyaBakes's picture

I saw that you were in search of just the type of bread that I am looking for. Just wondering if you have a good recipe for whole wheat bread that's light and not too strong tasting. If you would share your recipe, I'd much appreciate it. Thx!

Gourmand2go's picture

As requested, I'm posting a link to my enriched white bread recipe.

When I tried adding 1/4 cup of non-instant buttermilk powder to the dough, I found the loaves turned out dense and just a bit "doughy".  When I dialed it back to 2 tablespoons, it was fine.  But I may try adding larger amounts in the future to see just how much can be added without affecting the texture.

The web page has suggestions for pizza crust and scoring, etc.  You can find links here to a pizza recipe and recipe for pizza sauce as well.

As always, feedback is appreciated!

Sour Doh's picture
Sour Doh

I'm no nutritionist and haven't done the research, but I feel that anything that requires as much effort as artisan bread to produce can't be that bad on a "net" basis.  The very fact of how long it takes to make it means you probably aren't eating too much of it.  I take the same view of good Texas or southern barbeque - by the time I cut and split the oak, tend the fire through a day, overnight, and into the next day, I can't believe that a plate of brisket puts me too far ahead, calorie-wise.   However, going to a barbecue joint for lunch every day would shave a decade off my lifespan.   I think it's one of the benfits of "slow food", if you will.

Not so much a scientific as a philosophical point....













Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Anything made at home from scratch and love will have to be better for you than something bought in a can, bag or box from the store. Besides, I can spell and pronounce flour, water and yeast. That has to be a good thing!

I have nothing canned or processed in my house. We just came back from a 3 day trip to Podunk, TX which is a desert for restaurants. We gave up trying to find a decent place to eat after the worlds worst mexican food and a breakfast of seran wrapped egg biscuits. (I thought TX had good biscuits and Tex/Mex??) We went to the very tiny grocery store for stuff I could make in the microwave. I settled for a baked potato and some fresh fruit, tuna in a package.

For breakfast the next morning decided to splurge on a lean pocket. Grossss! Yucky, pewhy! How do people live like this? I would die of starvation if I had to live off processed foods and bad restaurants.

pattycakes's picture

On this site...I don't recall where, but I remember that one of the salient points about ww bread is that it contains an enzyme that inhibits absorption of minerals (as I recall), which makes ww bread not as healthful as it might be considering the potential. The discussion may be under a "Sourdough" heading, because as I recall, one of the points was that sourdough bacteria breaks down the enzyme. I don't have time to do a search, but perhaps someone who is truly interested with time on his or her hands will find it. It was quite informative and written by a nutritionist.

White whole wheat is a whole wheat. It's a different variety of wheat than is generally used for whole wheat bread. Milder tasting and with less offensive (to some) flavors. Flour made from white ww is still whole and comes with the attendant challenges of ww bread: heaviness, difficult to develop gluten, etc.

If you are particularly interested in getting nutrition and fiber in bread, you can't do much better than Hamelman's 5-grain levain. It contains sourdough, lots of seeds and grains, and is an incredibly delicious bread. It has been listed on TFL with attendant discussion in several places. It's our daily bread, and I make it with six grains, adding or exchanging from among the following, some called for in the recipe, some not: sunflower seeds, quinoa, flax seeds, sesame seeds, steel cut oats, oat flakes, hemp, chopped nuts, well, anything in that category works.

To me it makes sense to go that route if you care about nutrition and fiber, and use the white flour bread for special occasions.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was looking for a much older thread, the reason I prefer a minimum of 6 hrs of "wet time" on my dough and ran across these entries at:

Here is the older one:

And much more under phytic  in the search box.

Yundah's picture

I think Aristotle had the right of it when he counseled "moderation in all things."  I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about bread when he was discussing the nature of virtue but I think it's applicable.  A glass of wine, a loaf of bread, thou, and some broccoli, some melon, a couple of olives, a bit of protein and you're probably good to go, so long as you share the loaf of bread. (with apologies to Omar Khayyam) 

Bertel's picture

It always is the amount that makes the poison. White bread perse is not unhealthy just don't eat loads of it. If you want higher nutritional values go for w/w or add a %. Moderation and variation. is where it is at.

mgbetz's picture

White bread is not 'evil". :)


I'd prefer to eat whole grain breads for the taste, however, cannot do so.


For some of us with chronic conditions (I have renal disease and will be on dialysis soon, for example) whole grains are not allowed.


I make a great variety of white breads, within the renal diet guidelines.


:)  Gwen in L.A.



Gourmand2go's picture

I tried adding some finely minced Habaneros that I'd pickled and found I really prefer the chickpea spreads when they're not too bland.

I've also found that if you're out of tahini, feta cheese does a good job of binding the ground chickpeas and giving a smooth creamy texture.  If not for my cholesterol issues, I might give up the tahini entirely--except for remembering Gunter von Hagens holding up an aorta the size of a sewer pipe!  <shudder>

Davefs's picture


ezzirah's picture

I get tired of everything we eat in the US being "bad" or "good". I think that in less you have medical reason (ie: diabetes) not to eat certain things, then go ahead and enjoy without guilt. So often in the US we break food down to protein, carbs, fat, calories. What about eating it because you enjoy it and love it? 


All things in moderation, even moderation....that is my motto. 


P.S. I bake both white and wheat, because that is what we enjoy, and what I enjoy making. Lately I have been into making challah. 

LindyD's picture

I checked your link, which deals with the pitfalls of bleached flour.

Once you spend some time here and become familiar with the site, you'll discover that most TFL members advocate using only unbleached, unbromated flours.

Looking forward to hearing about the breads you bake.