Qualities of Bread

  • Raymond Calvel


Bread has a high energy value, just as does the flour from which it is made.1 It is also a carrier for some other non-caloric nutritional elements that are completely indispensable to proper nutrition. These nutritional elements vary according to the purity and the extraction rate of the flour.


Wheat Flour Phytic Acid White Bread White Flour Bread Flour 
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  1. 1.
    In any discussion of flour in this chapter, the reader should understand that the reference is to wheat flour unless otherwise specified.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    It is not universally true that nutrition researchers scorn white bread and flour. Research conducted by James W. Anderson and Susan Riddel-Lawrence at the Metabolic Research Group, University of Kentucky and the V.A. Medical Center (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,1991; 54: 836–40) pointed out that refined, wheat-based bakery products (i.e., made from white flour) are useful in providing significant amounts of soluble fiber in the diet. This can be an effective dietary aid in reducing serum cholesterol, and thus in reducing the risk for coronary heart disease.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Trace mineral loss due to the binding effects of phytic acid seems to be a significant factor primarily among those populations that consume very large amounts of wholemeal or high extraction breads. J.G. Reinhold reported in Ecology of Food and Nutrition (1972, 1 (3):187–192) that high-extraction rate flours and the omission of leavening and fermentation seemed to contribute to mineral deficiency problems among villagers who consumed bread as their primary source of nutrition. The same author reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1971, 24 (10):1204–1206) that there was up to two times the amount of phytic acid in unleavened homemade bread in Iranian villages than in leavened bread produced in city bakeries. He points out that the high intake of phytate by village dwellers may explain their zinc deficiency problems, since individuals who consumed bread produced in city bakeries did not have this problem.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Excess consumption of phytic acid continues to be a matter of concern among some nutritional researchers, even as recently as 1999. An article in Voedingsmiddelentechnologie (1997, 30 (5):11, 13) notes that phytic acid in bread, especially wholemeal breads, may bind some trace metals and affect their bio-availability. However, the authors also state that it is possible to effect a reduction of phytic acid content of whole-meal breads to levels approaching that of white bread through sourdough fermentation, although phytic acid levels in rye bread were still appreciably higher.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Recent work reported in the journal Advances in Food Sciences (1998, 20, (5/6):181–189) by Harinder, Tiwana, and Kaur notes that roller milling of flour, in combination with adequate fermentation and the use of additional lactic acid to adjust pH, makes it possible to produce a whole-meal loaf with a significantly lower phytic acid content.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    This same question should be asked in reference to older adults, who are a growing component of the total U.S. population.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The same question might also be asked regarding U.S. consumers.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Similar anti-bread campaigns have occurred in the United States from time to time since that same period.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Many of the same conditions applied in North America, both during and following World War I and again during the World War II era. Many types of nonwheat flours were used in commercial bread production during those difficult years, and the quality of the bread available to the American consumer during that time was therefore highly variable.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The desirability of this increase has in recent years gained support by the development of the U.S. Nutrition Pyramid and Canadian Nutrition Rainbow, both of which stress the importance of bread and other grain products in a healthful diet.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    By this Calvel means flour that is free of fava or soybean flour, or of other baking additives.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Brié derives from the apparatus used to mix the stiff dough for this type of bread, which could not be mixed by hand. Because it was mixed with a brie it became known as pain brié.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Calvel means without using an excessive amount of yeast.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Gratons or grattons refer to several similar types of pork or goose hors-d’oeuvre generally made by long-cooking small pieces of lean meat in melted fat until tender, then browning them. They are generally eaten as a cold or room temperature appetizer. Numerous quite different regional variations exist, as noted in the Larousse gastronomique and other culinary reference works.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Rillons are cubes of fresh pork belly that are marinated in salt, then simmered in lard until tender, then browned. A specialty of the Loire region. The Touraine version is sometimes coated with a little caramel.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Andouillettes are generally sausages made from pork chitterlings and seasoned with shallots and mustard. The Cambrai version is made from veal. There are many other regional variations.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Charbonnée au boulanger is pork cubes braised with red wine. Made in various regions.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    Cassoulet is a white bean stew, brought into the realm of haute cuisine by the addition of confit d’oie,braised pork, and sausage. Originally a specialty of Provence (especially Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Castelnaudary), it is now widely appreciated throughout France.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    Bouillabaisse is a dish composed of fish (especially rockfish) boiled with herbs, olive oil, and spices. To it are often added various shellfish, and perhaps other fish of the northern Mediterranean region. In Marseilles it is served with a special bread called marette. It is a speicalty of Provence, especially the Marseilles area.Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    Brandade de morue is a mousse made from salt cod, olive oil, and milk. Originally from Provence.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    Oeufs en meurette are eggs poached in red wine and served in a red wine sauce, a specialty of Burgundy.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    Cèpes persillade consists of cèpe mushrooms sautéed in garlic and parsley. This is a dish from the southwest of France.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    Pommes de terre boulangère is made with sliced potatoes braised in the oven with stock and sliced onions.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    This is a soft, ripened cheese made from cow’s milk, with a very strong flavor.Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    Also called lamb’s lettuce or corn lettuce, not to be confused with maize.Google Scholar
  26. 27.
    Here Calvel seems to refer to processed cheeses, since Emmenthal and Comté are both processed.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    The couronne lyonnaise is not a split loaf.Google Scholar
  28. 29.
    Foie gras is literally liver from specially fattened geese, but not necessarily processed into a pâté.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Calvel

There are no affiliations available

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