If you don’t knead to read a dozen facts about bread, ciabatta stay away from this blog, crust me on this.
1. Over 200 different kinds of bread are produced in the UK, all distinct in their own way, from the baguette and brioche originating from France, the ciabatta and focaccia from Italy, tiger bread (poor tigers) from the Netherlands to the chapatti and naan of south Asia.
2. What’s the difference between leavened and unleavened? Leavened breads are made with rising agents like yeast, baking soda or baking powder, these allow the dough to release gases and expand. Unleavened breads contain no leavening agents, meaning they are flat, for example the chapatti, matzo and tortilla.
5. What about fibre, what is the difference between white bread and wholemeal? Dietary fibre consists of carbohydrate compounds that are not digested in the small intestine and have physiological health benefits. The fibre content of white sliced bread is 2.5g/100g and wholemeal bread is 7.0g/100g. Recommended intakes for adults are 30g/day.
6. Salt is added to bread for flavour and because it helps to control yeast in fermentation and makes the gluten more stable. Bakers have made significant reductions in the amount of salt in bread with salt content in the pre-packed sliced bread reducing by more than 30% between the late 1980s and 2008.
Half way, I think I’m on a roll . . .
7. Fortification of all UK produced flour (except wholemeal) became a legal requirement after the Second World War to improve the health of the nation because some of the population were missing out on essential nutrients and vitamins. Flour was chosen since most households ate bread or flour products daily. It is still mandatory to fortify white and brown flour with: iron, thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin, and calcium carbonate.
8. If you make bread (or any other food stuff) and package it and sell it outside a 35 mile local radius, then you will need to have nutritional information on your product. We can help you with this, by calculations using your ingredient quantities. We can also supply you with our scientifically engineered software to do it this yourself, if you prefer
9. Bread Science: We are based at the Institute of Food Research where scientists are studying the science of wheat. Projects include improving cereal grain quality for human health and research on modification of starch structures to improve nutritional outcomes.
10. In the UK, wheat is the largest arable crop (by area) with an annual planting of approx. 1.9 million hectares.
11. It takes around 350 ears of wheat to make enough flour for one 800g loaf of bread.
12. According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, bread is bought by 99% of British households – that’s around 12 million loaves each day. Approximately 75% of the bread we eat is white and sandwiches are thought to account for 50% of overall bread consumption.
13. There are around 18 different names for a bread roll used regionally. What do you call yours? Bread Cake, Tea Cake, Cob, Stotty, Barm or Bap?
Additional Information Sources:
British Nutrition Foundation https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritioninthenews/previous-facts-behind-the-headlines/bread.html
Reducing the population’s sodium intake: the UK food Standards Agency salt reduction programme: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980011000966
Flour Advisory Bureau (FAB) http://fabflour.co.uk
National Association of British and Irish Flour Millers http://www.nabim.org.uk/