Bread, glorious bread

A tough topic for a Keto fan. What do I do about bread made from wheat flour—with all those carbs? Bread in all its forms is so basic, so universal, so loved. And the bread we know best is made from wheat flour. High in carbs and protein. The must-have food for probably every culture throughout history. Leavened or unleavened. Flat or raised. Three ingredients or many. But if you eat the typical American diet, you’re eating way too many carbs and carrying way too much weight. Ketoistas are going to have to do without the bread we love or find a palatable substitute for wheat-flour bread. What to do? Let’s start here with some background and a global perspective. Here’s a bread primer from The New Yorker:

I’m an unapologetic, if embarrassed, bread lover. But I’m also a believer in low-carb (aka Keto) because it has worked wonders for me. So if you’re pursuing a low-card makeover, let’s say there is such a thing as “good bread” and another thing we’ll call “bad bread.”

Bad bread has lots of ingredients, many of which you may not be able to pronounce. “Good bread” has just a few—and you can pronounce them and may already have them: flour, salt, water, yeast, optional extras. Good breads like real sourdough use live cultures, are nutritious, and evoke history, heritage and home baking. Bad breads evoke factories and TV ads from the 50s featuring bread wrappers with multi-colored balloons.

My hope is that you will do your own comparison of good and bad breads, as I’ve hinted at them here, and decide the trade-offs between childhood comfort bread and bread that tastes wonderful and is good for you—in moderation.

I think you’ll have fun making your own bread. So-called quick breads—without yeast—taste great and are ready fast. Here’s one of my favs: banana bread. Yeasty breads with the crunchy outside and tender inside, slathered with butter, are just fantastic, but take longer because you let the yeast do its thing, perhaps overnight. A relatively easy recipe to get you started is here.

Share your bread story with people you know who love bread but haven’t had the bread-maker experience.

Good cookin’,

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