I hear people say over and over again that bread makes them gain weight. I always come back with the follow up question of, "How do you know that?", to which they reply, "Because everytime I eat it, I gain weight." I respond, "How do you know it's not what they put IN the bread that may be causing the weight gain?" You see that look on your face right now? That's the same look they give me :). I thought for a long time that bread was the enemy; what I discovered along the way was:
I was eating too much bread. one slice is a serving, but we never stop at just one slice, DO WE??? And you would think that I'm only referring to calories here, but not really; keep reading, you'll see.
Store bought "Whole Wheat" bread isn't as nutritious as you might think. "Do I read labels???", you bark at me. Well of course I do, but what I discovered is, all of the nutrients you see on that shiny plastic wrapper are fiber, vitamins, and minerals that have been added back in. "What's wrong with that?" you ask; well, a lot.
They first strip the whole wheat of it's natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes (This is to preserve shelf life. Naturally occuring enzymes is what causes whole foods to begin to break down and go bad, which equals a shorter shelf life and less profit for Mr. Bread Maker)
Then, they add in preservatives and man made vitamins. The body can struggle with processing this type of deconstructed and forged food and cause inflammation or weight gain.
When I made my own bread, my body responded much differently. There was no weight gain, or bloated feeling; only happy feet and a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
So today I challenge all of the so-called bread challenged peeps (that's slang for people, lol) to make your own bread. I prefer flat breads because of their versatility. The beauty in this bread it you can either make a flatbread, or a deep dish pizza crust, so you have options. It's coolness personified, right??? Okay, maybe you don't agree with me, but I think one thing we can agree on is that it tastes GREAT :).
Flatbread / Pizza Dough
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for lubricating proofing bowl
5 - 6 cups whole wheat flour divided
2 tsp granulated garlic (optional)
1 tbsp granulated onion (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients until sugar and salt dissolve. Add in optional seasoning and 5 cups of flour and mix until combined. Remove from bowl, Add 1/2 cup of flour, then knead dough for 4 minutes. Add remaining flour and knead for an additional 4 minutes. Dough should be tacky but not sticky, and very soft. Lightly oil a large glass bowl, add dough, cover with Saran, then place in a warm place for at least one hour. Dough should double in size. Gently punch down dough and remove from bowl. Separate into 8 miniature balls and gently knead in your hands while using the tips of you fingers to tuck the dough underneath itself, using the heels of your hands to smooth the surface. Place dough in individual bags and store in fridge for up to ten days. Before use, remove dough from fridge and allow to come to room temperature before shaping it into desired shape. Brush with olive oil then add toppings and bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes.
*note, to make flatbreads after rolling out the dough, cover with Saran and allow to proof(or come to room temp) for 20 minutes. Be sure to cover them so they do not dry out. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium to high heat, cook bread for 45-60 seconds, or until you reach the desired char, on each side. Remove from pan and brush with melted butter and enjoy.