How Modern Baking Methods are Ruining Bread

How Modern Baking Methods are Ruining Bread

Despite the modern trend for healthy eating, nutritionally deficient white bread still makes up about half of what we consume. Not even our ‘whole wheat’ varieties offer the fiber and nutrition of traditional bread-making techniques. The negative consequences on our health are legion and researchers attribute the unprecedented rise in gluten intolerance and coeliac disease to modern baking methods.

Bread connoisseurs rue the day, back in 1961, when the Chorleywood baking process was introduced. This methodology saw the complex grains stripped of their fiber, twice as much yeast added and high-speed mixing techniques which meant that instead of taking 24 hours, it only  took 45 minutes to create a softer bread that (with the help of preservatives) lasted twice as long. Today, more than 80% of the bread produced by bakeries follows some iteration of the Chorleywood method.

In addition to the high volumes of yeast that were now entering the gut, are the enzymes and chemicals used in this process. These don’t have to be declared on labels because they are considered ‘processing aids’. These ‘processing aids’ hide a plethora of harmful additives that bread makers don’t need to declare.

Shasha Bread Blog - Baking fresh breadNot even ‘whole wheat’ bread is really made with whole grains as these grains are ground into a very fine flour which makes them too easy to digest. The starch in modern bread gets broken down rapidly in the gut and enters the bloodstream as glucose, causing an insulin spike. White and whole wheat bread can cause spikes in your insulin level that surpass some candy bars. What goes up, must come down and as your insulin levels plummet, you feel hungry again.

Gluten is an enzyme of the protein found in many grains. When bread is properly fermented through a natural leavening process, the gluten converts itself into digestible sugar. This allows for proper digestion and will not result in digestion issues. The Chorleywood method enables bread to be made from start to finish in just 45 minutes; too fast to allow gluten to neutralize and be converted to digestible sugar. Without proper fermentation, modern breads bombard our digestive system with so much gluten that it results in digestive problems and rapidly rising rates of Celiac disease.

Is the answer then to simply cut bread out of your diet? The good news is that you can still have your bread and eat it too, but you must shop for breads that are naturally leavened and have a resting time of 5 hours or more. Opt for breads that are made from whole grain whole wheat flour and contain only natural ingredients.

Bread made from ancient grains are even better as these are nutritious and are GMO-free. Don’t be fooled by whole wheat breads that simply contain a sprinkling of ancient grains, go for the real deal. Remember; if the bread you buy has been made in less than a day, it’s not real bread!

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