The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Why white bread is preferred (link)

GregS's picture

Why white bread is preferred (link)

A link to NPR article about the technical/chemical reasons why people prefer white bread over wheat bread. Interesting for the technically oriented baker


msbreadbaker's picture

Interesting article. Yes, If they could just get rid of that bitter taste, whole wheat would be a lot better! Too much good white bread out there to switch. Jean

gary.turner's picture

More than about 10 or 15 percent whole wheat gives me indigestion. Whole rye, on the other hand, does not. :shrug: It's less bad (less bad does not equal good) if all  the whole wheat flour is included in a long pre-ferment. Don't know the why of it; enzymatic action?



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I've always preferred rye to whole wheat.  Both contain ferulic acid according to wiki.  I prefer rye with the sourdough process.  If using my senses as a guide...  something about sd fermentation makes the rye taste better.  Whole spelt is a wheat but it works better with rye, more amylase perhaps.  

Yesterday a strange but wonderful thing happened in my kitchen.  I was baking my 100% rye loaf.  I was also steaming a good section of cut winter squash, cooling and then pulling the peel off (which later can be bitter.)  The bread cooling on a rack.   I left the apartment and when I came back, the place smelled like a caramel factory!  (Or what I imagine one to smell like.)  Wow!  Even hubby thought I was baking cake.  Cake, as in white flour cake or brioche.   Interesting.

After reading the above article on white bread vs ww crust aroma... and the wiki link on ferulic acid.  I began to wonder today what would happen with ww bread and squash.   Why do we pair these foods often together on the same table?  Is there something aromatic or chemical in squash that might help with the ferulic aroma?   Would adding squash to ww bread, take the bitterness away? Is it limited to squash, yams? Beta carotene?  

EvaB's picture

at any time, since I simply don't like the taste, I do like Rye bread. But its interesting why they think its a hard sell, I do wonder if regular whole wheat has more bitter than long autolase or sour dough with long retardation of the bread dough, which might make a huge difference to the taste. Since my skills are terrible at making bread period, I can't test out the differences, but it would be interesting to see if the fellow who did the article tried different ways of making and baking the whole wheat breads and got different reactions from the same people when trying the breads.


butterflyblue's picture

I suppose personal tastes vary, though.  I prefer whole wheat bread and won't buy white at the store; that stuff is just inedible.  I do like homemade white bread, but it is still usually bland to me as compared to breads with a percentage of whole wheat flour.  So although I rarely bake 100% whole wheat bread, I usually bake 25 - 50% whole wheat bread.

I like the more substantial texure whole wheat flour gives (but only to a point) as well as the flavor.  My objection to 100% whole wheat is mostly to the heavy texture, in fact, not the flavor, which does not come across to me as "bitter".  However, I have realized ever since my first experiences baking rolls (I made one batch 50 % whole wheat and one batch white) when all of my friends prefered the white rolls, that my tastes are atypical.