As the weather is changing so it my interest in baking. I enjoy baking bread and making goodies during the holiday season.
This year I have been enjoying playing around with bread-in-a-bag recipes and seeing if I can change some of my personal bread recipes into recipes that can be made in a bag.
This has helped me get my kids more engaged in learning and making bread.
I enjoy breads with yeast. The smell and flavor they produce are just so heavenly. Also, the sciences of how yeast works and what it does in bread is fascinating.
Yeast feeds off of sugar and as it does it releases carbon dioxide. To see this in action, try putting yeast, warm water and sugar in a bottle. Put a balloon over the top of the bottle. The release of carbon dioxide will start to blow up the balloon.
When you make bread, kneading the dough creates a structure that will trap the gases. This is why the bread rises when set out to double. The gluten structures you develop by kneading trap the carbon dioxide for that light, fluffy bread texture.
Without it the bread would be dense. This process can work without kneading but it does take longer.
My interest in all of this started with Food Hero’s Whole wheat bread in a bag. The addition of the whole grains really adds to the nutrients provided through baked goods.
Whole wheat flour contains fiber, iron and other nutrients.
There are three parts to a kernel of wheat; bran, germ and endosperm. To be considered whole grain all three parts must be present. Each part of the kernel provides different nutrients.
The bran contains the fiber which aids in digestion and provides you that filling of fullness from your food. The germ contains B vitamins, folate, iron and vitamin E. The endosperm portion of the kernel is where the majority of the carbohydrates are found.
Carbohydrates provide quick energy for our body. When grains are not whole grain that means that the bran and germ have been removed and only the endosperm remains. Often enriched flour is used in breads so that some of the vitamins and minerals lost during the processing of grains have been added back however not all that was lost is added back in.
Many times fiber and iron are missing from enriched or white breads. That is why it is so important to try to eat at least half your grains as whole grains. The bread in a bag recipe is a great blend of grains that can help you reach your goal of making half your grains whole.
I don’t always have time to make yeast bread. Yeast bread needs to have time to rise to get the light fluffy soft bread you would expect from a loaf of fresh bread.
On those occasions, I enjoy making whole wheat quick bread. It makes me think of cornbread for some reason. It is a great quick bread to make to go with soups.
Try using one of these whole wheat bread recipes to work on getting half your grains whole.