How to Make Power Bread for Your Health and Fitness

1) BREAD & GAINS

Do not believe the killjoys. There are myriad ways to jazz up your diet with some sourdough love and not put up with adding extra padding to the bread basket above your belt loop. “When you combine organic flour with quality yeast, you can get a great nutritious product,” says michelin-star Chef Keith Goddard. “And it still costs next to nothing.” By turning your kitchen into a bakery, you not only avoid the preservatives lurking in supermarket breads, but you also get enough benefits to pack a foot long, from probiotics for better digestion to disease-fighting polyphenols. Want a slice of action? Here’s how to roll without touching an oven mitt.

Louisa Parry

i) RYE

This dense hazelnut bread has less gluten than your average wheat bread. What’s more, Swedish scientists have found that rye is both more filling and lower in fat, containing four times the fiber with 20% fewer calories. Still think white is right?

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Louisa Parry

ii) SOURDOUGH

The 26.2 miles of bread making, this bread requires some commitment. But its long fermentation process, which contains plenty of healthy bacteria, makes sourdough ideal for digestion, while earning you the best baker’s tools.

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Louisa Parry

iii) SODA

Going Irish is an easy upgrade: This bread is incredibly quick to make (“You don’t even have to knead it,” says Goddard) and, unlike its demonized namesake, requires no added sugar. It is also lighter than rye with a clean, alkaline flavor. Excellent with smoked salmon.

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Louisa Parry

iv) GLUTEN FREE

Whether you’re officially intolerant or just a hipster fan, gluten-free mixes come in all shapes and sizes. Heavier, more fibrous flours such as brown rice are often balanced out with fluffy potato starch, which helps to bind it all together.


2) THE POWER OF FLOUR

Try looking beyond the first bag of Homepride you see in the supermarket. Artisanal producers have been making flour for centuries and, as Goddard says, “better raw materials make a better product.” He recommends shopping around — starting with French and Italian suppliers — and buying organic to improve flavor. And if it’s gains you want from your grains, a 2014 food chemistryreview revealed that the proteins contained in organic flours are more digestible. Always store your flour in a dry place in an airtight container; whole grains spoil faster.

If you’re new to baking, a bread maker will produce a quality product without the fuss (£150). This Panasonic model has settings for rye and sourdough – incorporating a long fermentation process – as well as a non-scratch fluoro diamond coated pan and blades, so it won’t get battered by seeds and cereals.

If you can’t slice your way through whole bread in a day or two (a task made easier with this corrosion-resistant stainless steel bread knife, £55) you can revive stale bread by brushing it with water and baking it in a preheated oven at 180°C for three minutes.


03) EARN YOUR CRUST

Each of the recipes below can be made in a bread machine. Generally, you want to add the liquids first, then the dry ingredients. Don’t let the yeast touch the salt. When you’re done, store your bread in a bread box (£32) – just don’t wrap it in cling film (or put it in the fridge) as that speeds up the rate at which its starches recrystallize (translation: it stale faster). No more pretending to make croutons.

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Louisa Parry

i) LOW GI MALT RYE


INGREDIENTS

  • Water, 400ml
  • Malt extract, 2 tsp
  • Raw honey, 2 tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 2-3 tbsp
  • Rye flour, 200g
  • Wholemeal flour, 150g
  • Unbleached strong white flour, 150g
  • Dry yeast, 2½ tsp
  • Salt, 2 tsp

    METHOD
    Pour your ingredients into the bread machine in the order suggested and use the rye setting, if your machine has one; the basic cycle, otherwise. This recipe is sweetened with malt and honey, instead of table sugar, so it will have a milder impact on your blood sugar. “Rye should be paired with power foods,” says Goddard. “Cheddar would be good, as would smoked meat or mackerel – things that have a bit of depth to them.”

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    Louisa Parry



    ii) LEAN MACHINE SOURDOUGH

    INGREDIENTS

    To make 1 cup appetizer:

    • Hot water, 2 cups
    • Active dry yeast, 2¼ tsp.
    • Whole wheat flour, 3 cups
    • Sugar, 1 tbsp

      For your bread:

      • Warm water, ¾ cup
      • Vegetable oil, 2 tbsp
      • Starter (above), 1 cup
      • Salt, 1 ½ tsp
      • Sugar, 1 tbsp
      • Wholemeal flour, 3 cups
      • Active dry yeast, 2 ¼ tsp.

        METHOD
        First prepare the sourdough: dissolve the yeast in the water, then add the flour and sugar and mix well. Let it ferment for four days (as we said: marathon bread – although you might consider this version a sneaky shortcut). Once done, add it along with the rest of the ingredients to your machine and select the whole grain setting, or sourdough cycle, if your machine has one. “Sourdough is best eaten with a little butter or extra virgin canola oil,” says Goddard. “The flavor is so light and interesting that you don’t want to mask it.”

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        Louisa Parry

        iii) CARB-LOADER SODA

        INGREDIENTS

        • Plain wholemeal flour, 250g
        • Plain white flour, 250g
        • Baking soda, 1 tsp
        • Salt, 1 tsp
        • Buttermilk, 420 ml
        • Sultanas, cut
        • Rosemary, 2 sprigs

          METHOD
          You can just smash this batch into the machine (use the “quick” feature) – but baking soda bread is simple enough to satisfy even the laziest chef. Simply mix in a bowl, place your dough on a tray and score it on top. Cook for 30 minutes at 200°C. “A bread machine can’t get the same crust; for that, you need hot air,” says Goddard. Raisins will provide potassium and sugars to help replenish cells and glycogen stores after your next sweat session.

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          Louisa Parry

          iv) GLUTEN-FREE FLAX BREAD

          INGREDIENTS

          • Warm milk, 1 2/3 cups
          • Eggs, 3 large, beaten
          • Apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp
          • Vegetable oil, 3 tbsp
          • Honey, 3 tbsp
          • Brown rice flour, 1½ cups
          • Potato starch, 2 1/3 cups
          • Whole flax seeds, 1/3 cup
          • Xanthan gum, 1 tbsp
          • Salt, 1 ½ tsp
          • Instant yeast, 1 tbsp

            METHOD
            “Brown rice gives bread a nutty flavor, as well as lots of fiber,” says Goddard. Don’t be intimidated by xanthan gum: it’s a natural ingredient derived from the fermentation of sugar, and which improves the structure to compensate for the lack of gluten, which gives bread its elasticity. Throwing flax seeds into the mix will increase the polyphenol content. Use the gluten-free or basic setting. “This bread would go well with a little smoked salmon and cream cheese,” says Goddard.

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