With the rise of banting and low carb diets, bread has got a bad reputation. But more people are returning to bread and we couldn't be happier.
#21DaysofTrends: Bread is Back
Over the past few years, gluten, carbohydrates and sugar have become deeply unpopular, thanks in large part to the rise of diet trends such as banting and low-carb high fat. And one of the foods that got a bad reputation thanks to this is bread. While bread never disappeared, as a food that frequently contains all three of the elements listed above, people were avoiding it like the plague. Sandwiches were swapped out for carrot sticks or biltong, burgers went bunless, and smashed avo was served on compacted seed crackers rather than toast.
Now the tide is turning and more people are realising that healthy eating is all about balance – and that includes bread. That is why it's on our #21DaysofTrends list wholegrain and rye breads have become hugely popular, and sourdough is THE bread of the moment. So we asked Jason Lilley, co-owner of the massively popular Jason Bakery in Cape Town, to tell us a bit more.
The Rise of Sourdough
Sourdough has a different – and much better – taste than pre-sliced, mass-manufactured bread, and is easier to digest, making it an excellent choice all round.
'I've noticed a massive swing towards sourdough breads,' says Lilley. 'We've always made two types of sourdough bread: a 66% rye bread and our Bree Street Sourdough, which is mostly a white bread sourdough with only 10% rye flour. The rye sourdough outsold the white bread sourdough hands down in the past, but over the last year or so, there has definitely been a shift towards the Bree Street sourdough.'
The secret of sourdough's great flavour lies in how it's made. It's also a process that helps to reduce the gluten content of the bread, makes it richer in vitamins and minerals, and means that it has a slower releaser of carbs.
Lilley explains, 'Naturally leavened sourdough breads made from stoneground flour are the best breads to eat due to the long fermentation and acidity. They have a low glycemic index, the gluten is pretty much pre-digested during fermentation due to the pH level, and the stoneground flour retains all its natural vitamins and minerals as well as carotenoids, which add colour and flavour. A real loaf of sourdough should really have no more than four ingredients: stoneground flour, water, salt and a sourdough starter. Five if you include love.'
Bread Can Be Good For You
If you are not partial to sourdough, other breads can be both delicious and good for you too. However, you need to be sure that these are made the old-fashioned way using high-quality ingredients.
'People returning to bread is good news as long as the bread they return to is real bread,' says Lilley, 'and by that I mean bread without preservatives, dough improvers, enzymes and other nasties, [which are] added to most breads these days. Even so-called health loaves can be full of the previously mentioned additives. These additives add to the longevity and volumisation of the loaves, but morph gluten into an indigestible gluten – hence people become gluten intolerant.'
Now that you know more about the bread you should be eating, you can reintroduce it to your life. Enjoy!