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The nutrition values of traditional bread
Wheat grain comes with three parts. Two of these have very high nutritional value and the third provides mainly energy with low nutrient value. Together they are a perfect nutritional symphony. The problem with modern commercial baking is that all but one of these never makes its way into the bread. Guess which? The ones with the highest nutritional value, actually.
Anyway, let’s look at those parts more closely.
The bran is like the outer shell of the grain and contains B vitamins, trace minerals and nearly all the fibre. This fibre comes in two types – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is beneficial for the micro flora in your digestive tract and is known to be protective against bowel cancer, while insoluble fibre has been proven to lower cholesterol and provides bulk which helps your regularity. This is discarded during the typical commercial milling process.
The germ is a nutritional powerhouse that contains antioxidants, vitamin E, B vitamins and omega 3 healthy fats. Again, this is lost in the normal modern milling process.
The endosperm is the biggest part of the grain and contains mainly starches that provide energy and some protein and this is the main component of refined white flour.
Traditional stone milling retains these nutrients because it does not grind as finely as an industrial steel roller mill and all the components of the grain are left in the flour.
At Laurent, the key to the taste and nutrition of our bread is always that we interfere with nature to the minimum. Grain has to be milled to be made digestible to humans, but really all we do is put together the flour, water, starter and a pinch of salt and let nature do the rest.
It’s a great example of the best things in life being simple.