Food check: bread
Food check: bread

It comes on our table every day, but what are we actually eating there? What's in bread and pastries and are whole grain products really healthier than white varieties? All facts at a glance.

Food check: bread
Food check: bread

The smell of fresh baked goods is one of the most tempting of all. Images of eating together and children's laughter come to mind. At the same time, bread has fallen into disrepute. Books such as "Die Weizenwampe" by US author William Davis denounce the highly cultivated gluten content in wheat, which is responsible for intolerance and, as a result, for many diseases of civilization. Nevertheless, we eat bread and pastries every day.

Healthy roll? We think we know what's in baked goods: flour, water, sourdough or yeast, salt, maybe a few more seeds, grains, olives. Product names such as Kornspitz or Fünf-Saat-Brot convey the feeling of a healthy, valuable whole grain product. But if you take a look at the list of ingredients, you will find ingredients such as soy meal, malt for coloring, the binding agent guar gum, ascorbic acid as a leavening agent for rising and more. Nothing that is usually associated with fresh bread. In addition, almost every product, including whole grain products, contains wheat. Even so, whole grain bread contains more fiber than white bread and is therefore healthier. It doesn't have fewer calories. White bread, however, causes the insulin level (insulin promotes fat storage) to shoot up much faster. The healthiest are pure rye or spelled wholemeal bread, which is available in almost every bakery. To make bread a valuable food again is the goal of Josef Weghaupt. With his Joseph bread, the entrepreneur has met the need for good bread made with home-made sourdough. Customers are queuing in front of his bread boutique in Vienna's Naglergasse in the 1st district (other sources of supply:

Craftsmanship? Much of the bread that bakery chains and supermarkets offer is mixed, stirred, shaped and baked purely by machines in large companies. One can no longer speak of manual labor here. "It only takes two hours from mixing the dough to the finished piece. Of course, there is no time for the starch to break down naturally," explains Weghaupt. The result is that it only happens in the stomach. Many then develop a bloated stomach and think that they cannot tolerate white bread. "With us, bread dough rests between one and two days, depending on the type, before it is shaped and baked. Nothing ferments in the stomach, the body can absorb and process the product in a completely different way." This traditional process also ensures an ideal relationship between crust and crumb, the soft inner workings, and allows the baked goods to taste good and fresh even after several days.

Chemical auxiliaries. Because freshness is a big issue. There are baking stations to offer customers freshly baked pastries at any time, even late in the evening. For this, the baking process is interrupted in production, half-finished rolls and rolls are frozen and then put in the oven in the branches. The advantage: the bread never runs out and is always fresh when you buy it. The disadvantage: the freshness does not last. A bread roll bought in the evening is often tough the next morning. In addition, chemical additives are added to the dough. Silicone dioxide prevents it from sticking to the machines, emulsifiers keep it elastic, hydrocolloids (baking agents) prevent ice crystals in the dough from destroying the glutinous protein and yeast.

Well traveled. In addition, you don't know where the frozen dough pieces were produced. Of course, a lot comes from Austria. But it is also rumored that a large number of the dough pieces come from large Polish bakeries on trucks. The rolls produced there also meet the strict EU criteria. But the question arises whether a Weckerl really has to be carted through half of Europe. The origin of the individual ingredients is also not always clear. The grain mostly comes from Austria, but this is uncertain for ingredients such as seeds, kernels, leavening agents, binders, etc. Much comes from abroad, the countries of origin extend as far as China.

Do it yourself. It becomes really opaque with baked rolls for at home. The consumer took a close look at this product range in issue 3/2011 and discovered some frightening facts. Apart from the unclear origin, the methods that are supposed to make the product durable give food for thought. The half-finished baked goods are packed in a protective atmosphere, then the air is removed from the packaging and replaced with protective gas (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium or argon). This avoids mold growth. But even tiny injuries to the packaging can lead to premature spoilage. By the way, a very common method of preserving packaged bread is to add alcohol. This is particularly problematic for children, as residual alcohol remains in the bread despite the high baking temperatures. Ready-made baking mixes should also be viewed critically. Many emulsifiers contain preservatives and acidulants.

Dedication. Nevertheless, none of this is cause for despair. You just have to be more conscious about buying bread. Small bakeries or organic production stand for good, artisanal quality. Many supermarkets work with local bakers or state exactly where their bread comes from on the label. Bread pioneer Josef Weghaupt goes his own way. In conversation with him it quickly becomes clear: He lives for his baking philosophy. For him, bread is a luxury food that takes a lot of time and love to make. This effort has its price. A loaf costs € 6.20. Weghaupt does not want to accept that this is expensive: "Look how much a single sandwich costs in the supermarket, convert that to one kilo. This is a poke for the consumer. In comparison, we are not expensive. And the customer knows what he gets from us. He appreciates the consistently high quality. " It should stay that way in the future, which is why the range is constantly being expanded. Current project: The perfect baguette.

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