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What is Whole Wheat Bread?
If you’ve ever considered finding healthier types of bread to add to your diet, you’ve probably given whole wheat a try. Whole wheat bread is a less refined cousin to white bread, containing more fiber than its more processed cousin.
So What is Whole wheat bread? Well Whole wheat bread is a brown bread that is known as whole-grain bread or wholemeal bread in most of Europe but is also referred to as wheat bread in the United States. It gets its brown coloring from its unrefined wheat flour. Its main ingredients are whole-wheat flour, salt, water, and sugar.
In the United States, there is no legal dictation on what classifies as wheat bread versus whole-wheat bread. Thus, most refined wheat bread options that line the shelves labeled as “wheat bread” are actually dyed with caramel to make them appear more like whole-wheat bread.
Every culture in the world has its take on bread, creating a vastly diverse world to explore. Give one of these delicious types of bread a try the next time you’re looking to try something new!
The History of Whole Wheat Bread
For the vast majority of history, whole wheat bread existed only as brown bread. The significance of whole wheat did not become important until the health-focused culture of the 20th century. Despite that, whole wheat bread played a greater role in history than white bread.
Wheat bread originated in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia, where hunter-gatherer societies had given way to agricultural communities. In Egypt, Assyria, and Phoenicia, cereal grains became a source of vital nutrition grown beside the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates rivers.
The Egyptians and other cultures used a device called the quern to grind their cereal grains into a coarse flour used to make bread. Traditionally, cheaper bread flours were made using whole grains of wheat or other cereal grains. It is from this tradition that whole wheat bread is named.
Over thousands of years, people ate whole wheat bread without calling it that. Whole wheat was coarser and less refined, making it the bread of the middle class and poor of the world. Surprisingly, its humble roots launched whole-wheat bread into fame in the early 20th Century.
During the 1920s, a wave of moralism was crossing the United States and the United Kingdom. White bread became a symbol of the immoral bourgeoisie, fake, and refined to false purity. Whole wheat bread became the icon of morality and truth.
This strange turn of events happened again in the 1960s. In the era of Woodstock and world peace, whole wheat bread became a symbol of the rebellious flower child youth. White bread was the uniform, molded image of the Man.
Still, despite the social movements against white bread, whole wheat bread did not become the bread of choice in the United States until after the 1970s when scientists discovered the endless benefits of dietary fiber and its apparent abundance in whole wheat bread.
Nowadays, whole wheat bread sells better in stores than white bread. Whole wheat bread has become the poster child for healthy bread, becoming a multibillion-dollar industry and a favorite to rival its previously lauded white bread rival.
Ingredients in Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread should technically contain only wheat flour. If a label says wheat bread, it isn’t necessarily whole wheat and likely contains other flours since it isn’t labeled whole wheat. The ingredients of whole wheat bread typically include the following:
- Wheat Flour
- Butter or Oil
Whole Wheat Bread Nutritional Information
You're probably asking the question "Is Wheat Bread Good For You?". Well whole wheat bread is a good source of fiber, lower carbs, low sodium, sugar and
An approximate nutritional breakdown for a simple whole wheat bread, assuming the recipe yields a 12-slice loaf:
Per slice (1/12th of loaf):
- Calories: 120-150
- Total Fat: 3-5g (Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Trans Fat: 0g)
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 150-200mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 20-25g (Dietary Fiber: 3-4g, Total Sugars: 1-3g, Includes Added Sugars: 1-3g)
- Protein: 4-6g
Overall, whole wheat bread is a healthier option than white bread.
How to Make Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread follows the same basic recipes as most other yeast-leavened bread. You first mix the yeast, sugar, and water and allow it to rest until the mixture has frothed. Then, you mix your other ingredients together until an elastic dough has formed.
After you have your dough, you’ll need to allow it to proof for an hour or so. After the first proof, you shape the dough into your bread tins or onto your baking sheet, whichever you are using.
Then, you proof the dough a second time for another hour before brushing the dough with oil and popping it in the oven to bake. Most recipes bake for a half-hour to an hour.
Whole Wheat Bread Recipes
Whole wheat bread dough is versatile and easily adapted to new ingredients.
Common savory interpretations have herbs such as rosemary and garlic in the dough and are frequently topped with cheese, olives, or tomatoes.
Whole wheat dough recipes work nicely with sweet ingredients, too. Honey, cinnamon, and raisins are excellent additions to whole wheat recipes to create a sweet breakfast loaf.
Here is a recpe for a simple loaf of whole wheat bread.
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup warm water (110°F/45°C)
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Optional: 1 tablespoon mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame)
- Proof the yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm water and honey or maple syrup. Stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the active dry yeast on top and let it sit for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour and salt. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Add the proofed yeast mixture and olive oil or vegetable oil to the well. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. If it's too sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
- Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment on low to medium speed for about 5-7 minutes.
- First rise: Lightly oil a clean bowl, place the kneaded dough inside, and cover with a clean, damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours or until doubled in size.
- Shape the dough: Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a round or oval loaf. You can also place it in a lightly greased loaf pan (9x5 inches) if you prefer a traditional loaf shape. Optionally, you can sprinkle the top with mixed seeds and gently press them into the dough.
- Second rise: Cover the dough with a clean, damp cloth and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Bake the bread: Place the loaf on a baking sheet or in a loaf pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. If using a loaf pan, you may need to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Cool and enjoy: Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
This simple whole wheat bread is perfect for sandwiches, toast, or simply served warm with butter and jam.
Whole Wheat Bread FAQ's
What is whole wheat bread?
Whole wheat bread is a type of bread made from whole wheat flour. It is typically darker in color than white bread and has a denser, grainier texture. Whole wheat bread is also higher in fiber and nutrients than white bread.
Why is whole wheat bread good for you?
Whole wheat bread is good for you because it is a whole grain. Whole grains are a good source of fiber, which can help with digestion and heart health.
Is there magnesium in whole wheat bread?
Yes the amount of magnesium in whole wheat bread can vary depending on the flour used, the type of bread, and other factors. However, on average, there is about 24 mg of magnesium in one slice of whole wheat bread.
Is whole wheat bread low carb?
Whole wheat bread is not a low-carb food, but it is lower in carbs than white bread. One slice of whole wheat bread has about 12 grams of carbs, while one slice of white bread has about 15 grams of carbs.
What is the difference between wheat bread and whole wheat bread?
The difference between wheat bread and whole wheat bread is that whole wheat bread is made with 100% whole wheat flour, while wheat bread can be made with any type of flour, including white flour. Whole wheat flour is a good source of fiber and other nutrients, while white flour is not.
Is whole wheat bread fattening?
No, whole wheat bread is not fattening. A slice of whole wheat bread contains about 70 calories and 2 grams of fat.
Why is whole wheat bread healthier than white bread?
Whole wheat bread is healthier than white bread because it contains more fiber and nutrients. Whole wheat bread is also lower on the glycemic index, which means it won't spike your blood sugar as much as white bread will.
How can I make whole wheat bread at home?
You can make whole wheat bread at home by using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. whole wheat flour can be found at most supermarkets.
What is the difference between whole wheat bread and whole grain bread?
Whole wheat bread is made from whole wheat flour, while whole grain bread can be made from any type of whole grain flour (including whole wheat, rye, oats, etc.). Whole wheat bread will generally be darker in color and have a denser texture than whole grain bread.
Is whole wheat bread good for weight loss?
Whole wheat bread can help with weight loss because it is lower on the glycemic index than white bread. This means that it won't spike your blood sugar as much, which can lead to hunger and cravings later on. Whole wheat bread is also higher in fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer.
What are some good whole wheat bread recipes?
Some good whole wheat bread recipes include whole wheat banana bread, whole wheat pumpkin bread, and whole wheat zucchini bread. You can find these recipes online or in cookbooks dedicated to whole wheat baking.
Can I freeze whole wheat bread?
Yes, you can freeze whole wheat bread. Wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or placing it in a freezer-safe bag will help to prevent freezer burn. Frozen bread will keep for 2-3 months.
How do I defrost whole wheat bread?
The best way to defrost whole wheat bread is to place it on the counter at room temperature for about an hour. Alternatively, you can defrost it in the microwave on the defrost setting for 1-2 minutes.
Is whole wheat bread gluten-free?
No, whole wheat bread is not gluten-free because it contains whole wheat flour, which has gluten. However, there are many types of gluten-free bread available on the market.
Where can I buy whole wheat bread?
Whole wheat bread is widely available at most supermarkets and health food stores. You can also find it at some bakeries or order it online.
How long does whole wheat bread last?
Whole wheat bread will last for 3-5 days when stored at room temperature. For longer storage, you can freeze whole wheat bread for 2-3 months.
What is the best way to store whole wheat bread?
The best way to store whole wheat bread is in a cool, dry place. You can also store it in the fridge if you prefer, but it will stale more quickly this way. whole wheat bread can also be frozen for longer storage.
Is whole wheat bread vegan?
Yes, whole wheat bread is vegan as it does not contain any animal products. There are many vegan breads available on the market, or you can make your own at home using a recipe.
Is whole wheat bread keto-friendly?
No, whole wheat bread is not keto-friendly as it contains carbohydrates. However, there are many keto-friendly breads available on the market.
Is whole wheat bread healthy for diabetics?
Yes, whole wheat bread can be part of a healthy diet for diabetics as it has a lower glycemic index than white bread. This means that it won't spike your blood sugar as much. whole wheat bread is also higher in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
How many calories are in whole wheat bread?
There are approximately 80 calories in one slice of whole wheat bread. This number will vary depending on the recipe and ingredients used.
How many carbs are in whole wheat bread?
There are approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates in one slice of whole wheat bread. This number will vary depending on the recipe and ingredients used.
Is whole wheat bread good for people with celiac disease?
No, whole wheat bread is not suitable for people with celiac disease as it contains gluten. However, there are many types of gluten-free bread available on the market.
Is whole wheat bread safe for people with a wheat allergy?
No, whole wheat bread is not safe for people with a wheat allergy as it contains whole wheat flour. However, there are many types of gluten-free and wheat-free breads available on the market.
Can whole wheat bread be made without yeast?
Yes, whole wheat bread can be made without yeast. There are many recipes available online or in cookbooks dedicated to baking without yeast.
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