Bread, in its various forms, is the most consumed food in the world. It is an important source of carbohydrates, essential nutrients for the human body, compact, and easy to move, which explains why bread is found in the diets of people around the world for thousands of years. This blog not only shows you the top 10 homemade bread recipes that are good for your health but also provides you with important information you should notice when consuming this kind of dish.
Top 10 homemade bread recipes
Origin of bread
Bread is considered one of the oldest foods made by humans and it has played a critical role in human life from the Neolithic age until modern life. According to recorded history, traces of the presence of bread in human life were found 30,000 years ago in Europe. Many starchy residues have been found on the flat rocks that primitive people used to cut trees, which has made archeologists suspicious that human ancestors used plant roots to extract starch.
Later on, in the Neolithic Age, the flourish of agriculture made grains become the main ingredient to process bread. These first grain types were found in the Natufian culture. The Natufians are thought to have been the first to make the transition from raw, wild-harvested grains into edible food. However, their pioneering only stopped at the stage of making non-fermented bread.
The next milestone for bread development is the production of fermented bread by Egyptians. This was discovered by the famous French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur in the 1800s. Louis Pasteur found that microorganisms such as yeast and lactobacillus bacteria that eat starch (carbohydrates) are the main components of the fermenting process. Bacteria producing lactic acid which meets sourdough will create the strong taste of ancient bread.
Over time, people began to grow commercial yeast species. Those species are called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They are added to bread recipes since it can make bread dough rise in hours compared to traditional sourdough dough that takes days. And this is the popular way many chefs use to produce a variety of healthy bread nowadays.
Main ingredients of bread
Four indispensable components to make healthy bread are flour, warm water, yeast, and salt. Also, depending on your favourite, you can use other ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, cooking oil, and fresh milk. You can also add salted shredded pork, seafood, eggs, sausages,…to your homemade bread recipes and then bake in the oven to enhance the taste of your bread.
However, readers need to know that the first bread recipe was not made from flour. As mentioned above, it was made from many different grains.
On the other hand, bread can also be made from different ingredients, not necessarily with flour. Specifically, today, skilled bread chefs can flexibly create various types of bread recipes from rice flour, potato flour, cornstarch (cornstarch), or other flours according to the taste of diners.
Discover bread versions around the world
Baguette of France
Baguette is an indispensable food in the conventional breakfast of French. It is also an honor for the local people. French loaf is usually 5–6 cm wide and 3–4 cm high, but up to a meter long. It usually weighs only 250 grams. The French put great emphasis on enjoying food, so for each type of food, they pay attention to finding methods to enjoy the food in the most perfect way. For Baguette bread, the best way to enjoy it is to use it right after it comes out of the oven for about an hour. Bread will be cut in half or cut into many small pieces to make sandwiches or eat with fish sauces.
Chapati of India
Chapati is a type of flatbread originating from the Indian subcontinent. Chapati is made with a whole-wheat flour called atta, mixed the flour with water, oil, and optional salt in a mixer called a parat, and cooked in a tava (flat pan). Some variations of Chapati are roti, safati, shabaati, phulka, or roshi. This type of bread has a flat round shape about 5-6 inches in diameter. It is also noticeable that Chapati is an unfermented bread type.
Pita bread of Middle East
Pita bread, a type of round bread, is quite familiar in the Middle East. The method of making Pita is similar to making other types of bread, but only requires very little baking powder. Before baking, the cake is thinly rolled into a circle, with a diameter of 12-15cm and a thickness of less than ½cm. When the bread is baked in the oven, the cake will swell like a small ball. This is because the cake is thin and encounters sudden heat.
When cooled, the bread will deflate and the Middle Eastern people often use them to sandwich with rice. They tore the bread into small pieces to sandwich rice, vegetables, meat…, then dipped it with a little sauce, then put the whole piece in their mouth.
Focaccia of Italy
Focaccia bread is an important highlight for Italian cuisine. This type of bread has a typical rectangular shape, about 50 cm long, more than a knuckle thick. It is featured with a spongy crust and softness on the inside. The special feature of Focaccia bread recipe is that the dough is mixed with a lot of extra virgin olive oil, so the bread has a very fatty taste. This is also the reason why when the bread is cooked, it gives off a distinctive attractive aroma.
Currently, to meet the needs of changing palates for domestic people and to attract foreign tourists, the Italians have created countless new variations for Focaccia. Some famous versions are Recco focaccia, Sardenaira, Venetian focaccia, Focaccia barese, etc.
Damper of Australia
Talking about Australian cuisine, it is impossible not to mention Damper bread. The Damper is made with flour and baked directly on the fire. Because the Damper is baked directly on the ashes, it becomes a unique characteristic none of the bread has. This bread recipe has a mild taste, so it can be served with sugar, tea, jam, or any kind of meat.
Looking at bread through the lens of health
Is bread really good for your health?
One of the most important substances that the body needs for healthy development is Carbohydrates – contained in many grains. And cereal is also an important ingredient contained in bread recipes. According to nutritionists, every day we should add a large amount of carbohydrates because it accounts for 45-65% of the body’s energy expenditure.
Besides, eating healthy bread brings other benefits like helping your gut be healthy and reduce constipation, reducing the risk of heart disease, reducing stress, and good for your bones.
However, using too much bread will definitely backfire. Let’s read the disadvantages of bread in the next section.
When is bread not good for health?
The processed flour, additives, and preservatives in the bread recipes may cause many non-benefits for your health. According to research in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, bread can be a burden for the human body; especially, consuming a large quantity of bread can lead to obesity. This is because bread contains a high glycemic index; hence, it increases sugar and insulin secretion, which leads to obesity. Moreover, obesity is associated with diabetes mellitus.
Beyond this, bread contains a high gluten content. In essence, Gluten is not harmful, but when you charge gluten too much to your body, it will lead to very dangerous adverse effects. Especially affecting mental clarity, sequelae of schizophrenia.
How to choose good bread?
As discussed above, bread is good for your health, but it is harmful for your body if you consume it too much. Beside controlling the quantity of bread charged to your body, choosing healthy bread categories is also very important. Some types of healthy bread you should consider bringing to your meals include rye bread, barley bread, whole wheat bread, oat bread, gluten free bread, ezekiel bread, pita bread, etc.
Is pizza a type of bread?
Pizza is a familiar food at the fast food restaurant chains, but many of you may don’t know that pizza is basically a type of bread. The pizza crust is actually a flatbread originating from Italy (or focaccia bread). The key difference between flatbread and pizza is that flatbread is usually made with unleavened dough whereas pizza is usually made with yeast dough.
In short, bread is a staple food in many countries and has been consumed around the world for thousands of years. Depending on each country, bread has many different variants with various names, but basically, bread recipes include four main ingredients, including flour, warm water, salt, and yeast. In the Western world, bread is still a controversial food. Some say that it’s a nutritious source of fiber and essential nutrients, while others say it causes weight gain and disease.
Nevertheless, according to the point of view of Foodandmeal, everything is relative in nature. No matter what food, consuming too much is not good. Bread is no exception. Although eating bread regularly may cause many adverse effects, if you know how to use it appropriately and what is a healthy bread, it completely benefits your health.
Another point that we would like to highlight to you is: don’t eat only one type of bread at all times but try to enjoy the different types because, in only this way, bread doesn’t make you get bored. And the first thing we recommend you should do is try to cook all of the top 10 homemade bread recipes above, then enjoy them, and give us your feeling.
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