The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

questions about specifics

breck baker's picture
breck baker

questions about specifics

Ok so I have some questions about what actually is healthy to go into bread....

1. Bleached V unbleached I've read some threads in various forums from differenct sites as well as this one and my question is: nutritionally which flour is better or is there such a insignificant difference it doesnt really matter?

2. I am debating on using raw sugar AKA turbinado i believe is the other term... what benefits would this type of sugar give compared to normal white sugar?

3. I go to my local central market and see all sorts of different flours ranging from your typical bleached all purpose white flour to flour made from beans... what qualities do these odd flours have and how would they impact baking yeast breads?

4. What ideally if money was not an issue should I use to make my bread to have the healthiest outcome?

5. Is it possible to make bread without sugar in it for example to have no ingredients with the chemical name that have an "ose" at the end?

6. How is it possible to ship artisan bread? my brother lives in california i live in texas... how do i get it there still intact and able to eat?

Thank you in advance for any advice you have,

Breck Baker

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

1) Unbleached

2) refer to 5)

3) People write books on this one!

4) Sourdough 100% Rye with walnuts and lots of seeds and dried berries.  The healthiest grain would be quinoa.  Healthiest flours would be nut flours including coconut flour.

5)  I stopped adding sugar.  It is not needed.  Not in any form.

:)  Welcome to The Fresh Loaf!

LindyD's picture

I heartily recommend that you read TFL's Handbook (see tab at top of page), which will answer many of your immediate questions.

As to your questions about using sugar, that's not an ingredient for a typical hearth bread.  Flour, water, salt and yeast (either commercial or wild) are all you need.

Dillbert's picture

Breck -

methinks you're way overthinking the issues with bread.

some simple things:  for bread you need flour and water.  yeast is optional - it will come "naturally" using the right techniques, but helps for those in a hurry.  a bit of salt helps with flavor, but it is optional. 

sugar is entirely optional - fats, sugars and dairy (milk, cream, powdered milk, etc) in bread tend to make them 'softer' in texture but they are not required to make bread.  very few of my home baked bread(s) have any sugar in them.  pastries yes, breads - no.

there is a long standing debate about "bleached" flour.  bleaching is done to make the flour whiter and the eventual baked flour products 'prettier' - okay.  flour will oxidize and bleach itself given time and proper conditions - "bleached" flour accerates that process by better living through chemistry.  you need to research how bleaching is done and decide for yourself if it's inside or outside your own personal definitions of a human killing process.  I use unbleached simply to avoid that question and frankly because I really don't care it my bread is "whiter than white" - your mileage may vary.

less "man made refined" products - raw sugar, whole wheat flour, etc., are often touted as better and healthier for you.  if you eat nothing but bread, probably should be a major concern.  in that same line, "micro-nutrients" and how the human body processes/digests/absorbs/uses them has a wide variety of theories and "proofs" - a little research will turn up a very wide variety of "expert" web sites with proof of everything - and everything includes contradictory claims - so again you need to make up your own mind about that because there simple is not one single universally accepted 'truth'

so far as making bread from alternative flours - it's a wonderful thing but in my view more for variety than some mystically over-riding 'health' benefit.  you can make flour from acorns . . . . must be better for you - squirrels are doing wonderfully well, no?  back in the day when slaves were given half of loaf of bread as their sole one and only food for the day - 'healthiest' bread might matter - a more modern balanced diet is probably a better goal.

as to the impact these alternative flours have - it's huge.  there's a reason most of the world has settled on using wheat flour for bread - it works and produces a palatable result.  you will need special techniques & recipes to produce a similar product from alternate flours.  nothing wrong with that - alternative flours are simply different, not wrong.  as for 'healthier' - you'll find a web site with expert opinion on pretty much anything.

as to shipping from TX to CA, Fedex etal offer overnight service.  pretty expensive loaf - especially if there's a local source of decent bread.  CA has a pretty varied community - probably a baker out there somewhere.

hanseata's picture

have different properties. If they have no gluten, your bread will be flat. Breads with alternate flours always need wheat to supply the necessary gluten (in glutenfree breads all kinds of additives are needed to make them rise).

You can ship artisan bread if it's made with sourdough and whole grain flours. White breads will be stale when they arrive.