The Art of Artisan Bread

The cut side of some of our Organic Sprouted Artisan loaves. Do you know which ones?

The cut side of some of our Organic Sprouted Artisan loaves. Do you know which ones?

Let's talk about...you guessed it, bread! Not just any old bread though. Today, let's talk about artisan bread. Do you know what it means when your bread is labeled "artisan"? By definition, artisan bread is bread made by hand, using high-quality ingredients. Further simplified to: quality over quantity. Artisan bread baking is about a stronger focus on the quality of each individual loaf as opposed to mass producing many loaves of the same kind of bread.

Though it does not necessarily have anything to do with art, that does not mean that artisan bread cannot be artistic in its own way. Actually, when you think about it, the whole prospect of crafting delicately made and expertly created loaves is a form of art itself. Bakers are sometimes so proud of their artisan loaves that they almost don't want to sell them!  Almost...

Getting your hands in the dough isn't just necessary....it's FUN!

Getting your hands in the dough isn't just necessary....it's FUN!

From the types of ingredients that are used to where the ingredients come from and how the ingredients are stored in the bakery, to the processes used to make the dough and the baking process itself, all fall under the category of artisan bread.

The beautiful thing here is that each individual bakery can apply their own unique and special skills to making their loaves. A whole wheat loaf that one baker makes can taste quite different from a whole wheat loaf from a different baker just down the street. This also makes it a bit of an art form because each professional baker can apply their own trademark technique to their loaves.

If you haven't had artisan bread yet, we strongly encourage you to do so. Please, give it a shot. Such a loaf purchased from a bakery like ours will give you a totally different perspective on bread. If you want to sample one or two of many different selections of artisan bread, swing by our bakery at 1877 Drew St. Clearwater, Florida. We are always happy to introduce people to the flavor, sustenance, and the experience that is artisan bread.

If you're lucky, this is the case. ;)

If you're lucky, this is the case. ;)

What the H-E Double Hockey Sticks is Bromated and Why is it in My Flour?


We get a lot of questions on the subject of bleached and bromated flour.

A LOT.


Flour bags

It may have something to do with the flour bags we’ve incorporated into our décor.

(Our “clever” fix to lack of space in the Shop.)

You can’t really help but notice them…stacked up on a bench, against the wall when you first walk into the bakery. Very apropos…but more importantly, super cute.

On these bags, stamped in big, bold print is the slogan: “Never bleached, Never bromated.”

It took us about three years to make the connection. A staggering level of intelligence for all to aspire.

Connect-the-dot skills aside, since we plopped them out there we better take the time to clear up any confusion created and tell you what it means. So here we go:


Potassium Bromate


Commonly referred to in baking as bromate. One adds potassium bromate into something, in which case it has been bromated.

In a nut shell, it’s a chemical used to strengthen flour.

You see, after wheat is ground into a powder (flour) you have just a few hours to develop the protein strands in it. One accomplishes this by adding water and kneading it into a dough which can then be baked into a beautiful loaf of bread.

But after those first few hours the protein strands unravel. When this happens, you lose the strength of the protein network. Bread made from flour which has lost its strength won’t get as big and poofy as you’ve come to expect. It also tends to be a little crumbly, kind of like cake.

The bread will taste very good but it ends up looking more like a five year old’s ceramic project instead of that glorious vase you were shooting for.

Excellent development on this dough. Strong protein network, so it's nice and stretchy.

Excellent development on this dough. Strong protein network, so it's nice and stretchy.


So how is this resolved?


It ages or matures. Just like fine wine, good beer and great cheese.

They all develop beautiful characteristics and flavors with the addition of oxygen.

Wheat’s no different. It rests for several weeks while oxygen develops the flavor and settles down those unraveled strands. It’s a natural process which occurs over time.

This process can be bypassed with the addition of chemicals. These chemicals kick the oxygenation process into high gear and speed up the aging so flour can be bagged up and shipped out for immediate use.

It eliminates additional costs like storage fees and labor so it’s cheaper for the producer which makes it cheaper for the consumer.

It’s a neat little idea and super workable when it comes to things like furniture and cars, after all, everybody loves a bargain. But when it comes to flour (or any food for that matter) it’s extremely short sighted.


Potassium bromate is classified as a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer Causes.


It’s been found to cause tumors in mice, rats and hamsters as well as damage DNA.

IACR is part of the World Health Organization of the United Nations. If you want to delve into it, here are couple of links:

IACR Potassium Bromate Summary of Data & Evaluation

IACR Potassium Bromate Research

The FDA has recommended that bromated flour no longer be used but is allowed if the amount falls within a certain limit. With the exception of California, its inclusion in a product does not have to be disclosed.

California is the only state that declared it a carcinogen and requires any food using it to have a warning label should it exceed a certain level.

It’s banned in the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Nigeria, India and many other countries.

So why is it still allowed in the US?

Well, the idea behind it is that “X” amount of bromate used will bake off, leaving no residual if baked at a high enough temperature and for a long enough period of time. You know, like when you cook with wine. The alcohol burns off and you get that lovely flavor but you don’t get snockered.

It’s good in theory and accurate under exact scientific conditions. And, let’s face it, if a company can get consistency of product at lower material costs…well, that’s the winning ticket, isn’t it?

The problem is that residual amounts of bromate have been detected in baked products by various organizations in both the US and abroad.


It’s wonky. Too wonky for us and frankly, we don’t buy into the premise.


There are wide differences in baking times and temperatures for different products.

A donut takes 3 minutes to fry up. Artisan breads can take an hour. Ever make a flour tortilla? Man, that’s quick.

Hamburger and hot dog buns, 10 minutes on the outside. Pancakes and biscuits, all under 10 minutes.

How about the flour you toss into gravy to thicken it? Or the flour that’s added into baby formula?

What’s your go-to lunch item? Burrito, taco, hamburger, tortilla wrap?

What do you eat for breakfast? English muffin?

You a cereal lover? Is it made with wheat flour?

Like eating 'uncooked' cookie dough?

See where we’re going with this?

Residuals can remain if:

Too much bromate has been added.

The product isn’t baked long enough.

The product isn’t baked at a high enough temperature.


Now all of this isn’t meant to freak you out.


If your eyes just got really big at reading those questions or perhaps contemplating all the items you eat on a daily basis…well, just settle down.

You didn’t know before, now you do and you can fix it.

Buy flours that say “not” or “un” bromated: King Arthur, Bob’s, Wheat Montana, etc. If you’re not sure because the label doesn’t say it, buy organic.

Anything organic won’t have potassium bromate in it.

ingredient label

Read the ingredients.

Do the products you’re buying say “Enriched Bleached Flour”, Potassium Bromate" or "Bromated Flour" ?

If so, skip it.

Heads up...you’re going to find it in a lot of items.

Going out to eat, maybe getting a pizza?

Ask them if they use bleached or bromated flour in their pizza crust. If they don't know, odds are it's in there.

(Incidentally, if they don't know, do yourself a favor and go to a better pizzeria.)


We should mention...


For those of you out there dabbling in baking...yes, the results you’ve normally gotten using bromated flours will change.

Unbromated flours tend to require more mixing time to develop the protein network and you’ll have some inconsistency. It might even make you cry.

That’s okay. We’ve been doing this a long time and even we have our moments.

(More than we care to disclose.)

But, if you want to make incredible tasting breads that actually nourish the body…well, them's the brakes. There are no short cuts, you hone your craft.

You can always ask us for help.

The trade-off is that your biscuits, now made with unbleached and unbromated flour, will taste ten times better than what you’ve been turning out.

Nobody will care and the neighbors will start inviting you to every potluck under the sun. (There’s a double edge to everything.)


Finally, for those of you wondering why we haven’t addressed “bleaching”, well, it really deserves an article unto itself and we’ve got some inventory to take care of before Wednesday open.

We’ll get to it in our next blast or two. For now…avoid bleached flours.

With Love,

The Gang at 20 Shekels

Organic or Non-Organic? That is the Question.

You may think there is an obvious answer to the oft debated organic vs. non-organic question, but it's actually an incredibly complex issue. We thought we would take a moment to examine the organic choices and non-organic choices available to you, and what they mean.


organic

Just the word organic sounds nice. It has a warm, comforting, natural feel to it. But what does it really mean? By definition organic is something that is relating to life or living matter; however, most people are typically referring to foods being labeled organic. The labeling in the United States is done by the USDA and their qualifications for being officially labelled organic vary per department (dairy, beef, plants, etc...). One thing they are adamant about is the use of GMO materials/ingredients. All GMO use is prohibited in organic products.

usda

An unfortunate downside to this regulation is that organic foods cost more. The farmers have to meet very specific standards in every aspect of their production in order to be able to snag the coveted organic label. They are inspected annually, and keeping up with the USDA standards can be costly; these increased costs are passed on to you, the consumer.

If you are lucky and live in an area that has many farms and/or farmer's markets, you can sometimes meet and talk to your local farmer's about their pesticide and GMO practices.  However, a lot of city-dwellers (80% of the USA) do not have the ability to do that and rely on the USDA stickers to provide them with the information they seek.

farmersmarket

There are also some people who maintain that only certain fruits/veggies need to be organic and that there some (the "Clean Fifteen") that you don't need to be concerned with getting organic.


In the end, it comes down to a personal choice for yourself and your family. There is a lot of research available, and we trust that you will choose what is right for you and your family's needs.

sproutedflour

Here at 20 Shekels Bread, we strive to use the best ingredients available to us, while still producing breads that are as affordable as possible. Our six core sprouted loaves are made with organic ingredients, and the majority of our conventional flour bread ingredients are also made with organic ingredients. If you ever have any questions about our ingredients, you can ask us in the bakery, give us a call (727-279-5415), or send an email.

We recommend coming in to the bakery to chat with us, because then you can snag some free samples, and who doesn't love free samples?!

Guest Post: "A Few Words From A Happy Client"

Occasionally we receive some truly lovely written sentiments from our customers. This one was so wonderful and eloquent that we wanted to share it with everyone. Enjoy!


A Few Words from A Happy Client

Shermans

I will forever be indebted to Marni and her crew at 20 Shekels. If she had donned a suit of armor and charged to my rescue on a white steed, I couldn’t have been more impressed.

A few years ago, my son’s lungs became problematic without warning. He struggled for each breath in a horribly disquieting way.

Fortunately, we found a doctor who specialized in allergies and discovered he could heal, with time. However, he needed to begin a very restrictive diet.

Cole remembers it like it was yesterday. “It was so upsetting, because I couldn’t eat a lot of the foods I loved. So many things smelled so good, but I couldn’t eat them.”

The list of things he couldn’t eat were larger than the specialist had ever seen. Needless to say, finding meals Cole could eat were challenging. And finding foods he liked, which were on his list, proved to be a daunting task.

Breads seemed out of the question. They had way too many components from his red list (foods which were completely forbidden).

Someone recommended that I try a small bread shop, 20 Shekels, on Drew St. in Clearwater. This little shop had breads made with loving hands and wholesome ingredients. So, I held my breath and walked in.

Marni, the owner, greeted me with a ready smile and compassion. I showed her the giant list of food restrictions and she read them over with interest. Her almond bread almost fit the bill, but still had a few ingredients that wouldn’t fly. She asked if she could borrow the list and research
options. I was stunned by her dedication and passion for helping me feed my growing boy.

In the end, she created an amazing version of her almond bread that my son instantly devoured. It became a staple for him through that period.

“I really loved the taste of the almond bread and still do!” Cole told me. “It was amazing that she could take a nut and make it into an amazing bread. I remember feeling so happy that I had something special to eat.”

Today, Cole is healthy again, able to eat everything again. As a result, he’s towering over me at age thirteen! Since our family travels full time, we regularly order a variety of bread from 20 Shekels, which they kindly ship to us all over the country. Our children all eagerly await the 20 Shekels care packages. It’s by far our favorite bread!

Thank you, Marni for all your help!

~Laura Sherman


Thank you Laura for your kind words! We are more than thrilled to be a positive part of Cole's journey. Laura and her family have a wonderful blog that everyone should check out: RoadSchooling Shermans.

Breaking Down Gluten

Gluten Free

One of the most talked about health concerns of the 21st century has been that of gluten. Since we're bread bakers, we get asked about it quite frequently. Today, we will take a look at the purpose of gluten and its function in bread.

Gluten is one of many proteins that make up the total protein content in any and all cereal crops.  Gluten, in particular, plays a huge role in bread baking performance, i.e. how the dough rises and the final shape of the bread.

gluten protein

By itself, gluten is responsible for about 75% to 85% of the total protein content in breads.

Gluten is made up of glutenin (contributes to elasticity of bread dough) and gliadin (contributes to giving the bread the ability to rise properly during baking).

When these two protein groups combine, they make gluten and this combination is crucial for a correct baking process.

Kneading

 

Gluten forms when water is added to flour and the two are mixed together.

During the mixing process, a whole network of protein forms up, which is what gives bread dough its inherent, characteristic elasticity.

The bread dough holds gases within it that were produced during fermentation, and this process allows for the bread to rise during baking.

So, gluten is a key puzzle piece to making bread.


Celiac Disease

There are people who are legitimately allergic to gluten. This allergy is called Celiac Disease. These people are actually very, very allergic to gluten and can experience pretty bad health consequences if they consume it.  

Such individuals have an autoimmune disorder (the cells aren’t processing something quite right, in this case it's gluten) and for them, gluten will wreak havoc on their small intestine, among other things.  This disease affects approximately 1% of the population.

Now, there is a whole different array of people who are sensitive to gluten. This has a lot more to do with the ingredients used in the bread and in how the flour was processed, than it has to do with the presence of gluten in the bread itself.

Many commercial breads and other gluten containing foods are highly processed, removing the good nutrients and oftentimes adding in some pretty gnarly preservatives.


Eating Healthy at 20 Shekels Bread

We encourage people who are sensitive to gluten to try sprouted breads. Please, please, please, do not eat our bread if you have Celiac Disease.

We might know how to do CPR, but that does not mean we want to use it in the bakery!

However, if you’ve been made uncomfortable, tired, bloated, or just lazy and sleepy in general from eating bread in the past,  come on down and try our awesome sprouted breads.

Sprouted flour digests like a vegetable, which means no blood sugar spike, and no after bread nap.
— Maegan (yes, we just quoted ourselves)

Sprouted bread is the solution for those missing out on bread because they are sensitive to gluten.

Sprouted bread is a great way to get the awesomeness that is bread without the resultant snooze and big tummy that comes after.  

Sprouted grains are ground into flour which we purchase direct, and yes, we buy the absolute best sprouted flour available in the country.

Our sprouted bread is made from grains that were allowed to sprout into a tiny plant before being milled into a flour. This sprouting process converts the grains from a starch (tired, sleepy, bloated) into a vegetable (energy, excitement, filling!).

So next time you’re in the mood to try something new, swing by 20 Shekels! You (and your tummy) will be amazed.

A few slices of our Organic Sprouted Muesli bread are a great way to keep you going in the afternoon!

A few slices of our Organic Sprouted Muesli bread are a great way to keep you going in the afternoon!

Behind the Seed: Whole Grains

Whole Grains

Behind the Seed: Whole Grains

As one of the essential food groups we’d be in a tough situation if it weren't for our beloved grains. Grains are commonly eaten in the form of breads, pastries, cakes, cereals, granola, etc…

Though grains are vital to our daily health and nutrition, many of us know little about them. In recent years, grains, breads, wheat, flour and all of the other byproducts of grains have gotten a bad rap with the whole gluten-free crusade (that's for another blog post).

Today, let’s talk about whole grains. Whole grain flour comes from the entire grain, which is quite literally why it is called the whole grain.

Out growing in the field, all grains start as whole grains, which is the entire seed of whatever type of grain plant it happens to be. The seed itself is made up of three parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. For a simple definition of whole grain:

  • “A grain is considered a whole grain if all three parts of the grain, i.e. the bran, germ, and endosperm, are present in the same proportions that they were when they were growing in the fields.”

Let’s define some more terms:

Grain
  • The bran is the outer skin of the seed kernel, and it contains important, essential nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin B, and fiber.

  • The germ is the embryo of the seed which, if left in the field, will have the potential of sprouting a new plant through its own reproductive phase. It contains B vitamins, protein, minerals, and of course some healthy fats.

  • The endosperm is actually the germ’s own food supply and is composed of starch-based carbohydrates, proteins, and some of its own vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, whole grains are simply healthier for you. They include all of the nutritional value of the grain, as none of it is removed during processing.

It is more time consuming to process whole grains, which is why manufacturers are often so keen to push white breads and white flours, as opposed to whole grain breads and whole grain flours. This is also why whole grain breads and whole grain flours are more expensive. But they are totally worth it.  

For example, white flour is essentially whole wheat flour which has had its germ and bran removed, which takes away a huge percentage of the nutritional value of the grain. But, it is easier to process that way and it keeps for longer, too, extending the potential sale process and shelf life of the product.  Manufacturers like this, though it is not necessarily the best thing for the consumer (that's you!).

We love Whole Grains

While we can bake with pretty much anything at 20 Shekels, we choose to use whole grains as much as possible, because, let's face it, they are much better for you and that's kind of our thing. We use the healthiest ingredients available to deliver bread that is a slice (pun intended) above the rest. The end result? Our bread is the best tasting, healthiest bread you will ever eat, hands down, period.

Don’t just take our word for it, we invite you to come by 20 Shekels Bread and try a sample. See (and taste) for yourself! We can be found at 1877 Drew Street, in beautiful Clearwater, Florida.

Because we can, here is a 10 hour video of the sound of wind on a wheat field. You're welcome.

The Rise of the Bread

Bread is certainly one of the most interesting foods that we eat on a regular basis. Though we consume it often (daily, for many of us), the process by which bread is made is often unknown.  Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of bread baking is how bread actually rises, both as a dough and when it is baked.

The rising of the dough.

The rising of the dough.

Have you ever wondered what exactly happens that causes bread to rise while it is being baked? Perhaps you’ve been told something like, “You add this yeast thingy to the bread dough when you are mixing it and then poof!” Fully risen bread, fresh out of the oven! Yes, this is a simple version of the process, but how does the yeast make the bread rise? Maybe your dad told you there was a little wizard who lived behind the oven that made the bread rise by magic... While that certainly is a captivating theory, we can explain the actual science behind bread rising in a way that is not all that complicated or confusing.

Yeast

It all comes down (or up, as the case may be) to yeast. But what is yeast? More specifically, what is active dry yeast? Active dry yeast is yeast that, once dissolved in water, will be ready for use in bread dough.

Three kinds of yeast.

Three kinds of yeast.

Yeast is actually a living single-cell organism that falls under the classification of fungi. To work its “magic”, yeast needs moisture, oxygen, the right temperature, and a food source. Under all of these conditions, the yeast organisms will reproduce and generate a form of alcoholic fermentation. During this fermentation process, the little yeast organisms consume sugars, and in doing so, produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.

The Breakdown

Let’s break the process down even further. First of all, bread dough is a perfect place for yeast to do its thing, and yeast actually starts its work even before the dough is baked. Bread dough kept in a warm place already has water in it, has oxygen in and around it, and is at the right temperature for yeast to work.

Here are the steps that occur when yeast is mixed into bread dough:

A very detailed and highly scientific infographic explaining the intricacies of the relationship of yeast, CO2, and sugar... :)

A very detailed and highly scientific infographic explaining the intricacies of the relationship of yeast, CO2, and sugar... :)

  1. Bread dough has starch in it. When yeast is introduced to bread dough, these starches convert into sugars by amylase enzymes (enzymes that convert starch and glycogen into simple sugars).
     
  2. Yeast activating in dough is basically a process of fermentation, with the second step being that yeast consumes the sugars in the bread dough that used to be starches not long ago.
     
  3. Once consumed, the yeast ferments the sugar, which results in an release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and alcohol.  
     
  4. The released CO2 has nowhere to go, as it is trapped inside the bread dough. As it tries to escape, it becomes stuck in the gluten network of the dough itself.
     
  5. Now for the last part—yes, you guessed it—this attempt of the CO2 trying to escape is what expands the dough and causes it to rise!

During the baking of the bread, the alcohol evaporates, so there is none left over in the finished loaf. But what is left over is a beautifully baked loaf that, through the above process, and with the crucial help of yeast, has risen to perfection.

At 20 Shekels Bread we have the best tasting and healthiest bread available. Come by our location at 1877 Drew Street, Clearwater, Florida to try some for yourself!

How Sprouted Is Your Sprouted?

From sprouted breads to sprouted pretzels and pasta, people are becoming increasingly aware of not only the benefits of sprouting but also the marvelous flavor it imparts.

Since it's becoming more common, we want to give you some info about sprouted grains (in particular sprouted wheat) and what to be aware of as a consumer.

There is no regulation on the labeling of the word ‘Sprouted’.

This means that anybody can produce a product (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.) with traditional grains or flours and slap the word 'Sprouted' across the packaging. Doesn't matter if it's sprouted or not.

That's right...it doesn't matter if it's sprouted or not. (Silence descends, mouths agape.)

Now, before you spin off and imagine the worst, that scenario is the extreme end of the sprouted spectrum.

It's rare but it does occasionally happen. It’s something you need to know but don't have to be particularly concerned about. We discover those guys pretty quickly and drop the hammer on them.

Where it gets loosey-goosey and what we want to bring to your attention is the percentage of sprouted grain or flour in the product you're purchasing.

Percentages, the down and dirty.

Alright, so because there is no regulation, a company can make a bread using a combination of grains and/or flours (some sprouted, some not) and label it 'Sprouted'.

These mixed grain and flour breads are extremely common. In fact, the bulk of commercially sprouted breads are made this way.

A company could use 25% sprouted wheat flour and 75% non-sprouted wheat flour and call their bread a 'Sprouted' wheat bread.

Or they could use 100% non-sprouted wheat flour, toss in some sprouted wheat berries (wheat that hasn’t been ground into flour) and label the bread as 'Sprouted'.

Now, there is nothing wrong with making breads like that. We call them hybrids. (Actually, we call them hybreads...because, you know...you can't just let an opportunity like that pass you by.)

But let’s be perfectly honest. If the label on a loaf of bread says sprouted wheat bread, sprouted grain bread or even just sprouted, odds are you’re going to assume the whole thing is sprouted.

Unless you're a baker or the odd man out, it would never even occur to you that the sprouted bread you're buying is 25/75, 50/50 or 10/90.

It's bread, man, not engine oil. Right?

Sorry Gang, it doesn't work that way.

So how do you know?

1. You gotta read the ingredients.

Specifically, the ingredients before water is listed. Those are the ingredients which make up the bulk of your bread. Let's take a look at a few examples:

traderjoes.jpg

Trader Joe's - Sprouted Multi-Grain

Organic high protein sprouted wheat berries, organic grain mixture (consisting of millet, rye flakes, corn meal, rolled oats, cracked wheat, flax seeds, sunflower seeds), filtered water, wheat gluten, pure honey, unsulphured molasses, sea salt, fresh yeast, soy lecithin, cultured wheat.

With TJ's you'll see that the bulk of the bread is made with sprouted wheat berries and a non-sprouted grain mixture of millet, rye flakes, corn meal, rolled oats, cracked wheat, flax seeds and sunflower seeds.

Cracked wheat and rye flake are wheat and rye milled in a manner that doesn’t produce a powder. If it isn’t in a powder form, then you don’t call it flour. It's still wheat and rye.

Hybread.

Sprouted+Whole+Grains-white.jpg

Dave's Killer Bread - Sprouted Whole Grains

Organic wheat (organic sprouted whole wheat flour, organic cracked wheat), water, organic dried cane syrup (sugar), sprouted flake mix (organic sprouted barley flakes, organic sprouted oat flakes, organic sprouted rye flakes), organic wheat gluten, organic expeller pressed canola oil, organic molasses, organic oat fiber, yeast, sea salt, organic cultured whole wheat, organic vinegar.

With Dave’s, you’ll see that the first two ingredients are sprouted wheat flour and cracked wheat.

So, this bread is not 100% sprouted wheat but rather a combination of sprouted and non-sprouted wheat. This is no knock to Dave's. It's a very good product. It's just not 100% sprouted wheat.

Hybread.

86dca46f-6040-43f1-945e-0dc9d6b14c34_1.7c71059f48ec5a0aecba219c452bcec5.jpg

Alvarado Street - Sprouted Whole Wheat

Sprouted Organic Whole Wheat Berries, Filtered Water, Organic Dates, Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt, Organic Raisins, Fresh Yeast, Soy Based Lecithin, Cultured Wheat.

You'll see here that Alvarado Street makes their bread using sprouted wheat berries.

They actually sprout the berries and then grind them into a wet dough which forms the base of the bread.

This is 100% percent organic sprouted wheat bread which they have been doing since the late 70's. They don't get nearly the accolades they deserve.

We thank and tip our hats to you, Alvarado Street.

Pepperidge Farm - Harvest Blends Sprouted Grain

Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Wheat Gluten, Oats, Wheat, Brown Sugar (Sugar, Invert Sugar, Molasses), Soybean Oil, Contains 2 Percent or Less of: Molasses, Wheat Berries, Salt, Yeast, Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid to Retard Spoilage, DATEM, Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Whey (Milk), Sesame Seeds.

Without getting into the ingredients used in this bread which are horrible for you (we'll address that subject at a later date) the first two ingredients found are sprouted wheat and whole wheat.

So, this bread is not 100% sprouted wheat but rather a combination of sprouted and non-sprouted wheat.

If you've been purchasing and eating this bread under the assumption that it's good for you, please stop. It's not organic and laden with processed ingredients and chemicals.

Hybread/Frankenstein

20 Shekels - The Chocolate Blackberry

Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour, Water, Honey, Organic Dark Chocolate, Blackberries, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt, Yeast.

100% organic sprouted wheat flour. Off the chart good.

 

2. Talk to the baker.

Ask every question under the sun.

Yep, get all up in their faces and bust their chops. A good baker will happily tell you the ingredients and percentages used in their breads.

We're rather passionate and proud of what we do. We love sharing it.

Go ahead, ask Marni sometime. Be prepared to kill 20 or 30 minutes. She'll go on forever about sprouted wheat and sprouted bread if you let her. If you time it properly, she'll even put you to work rolling out pretzels while the two of you discuss.

You've been warned.

3. Price is a very good indicator of percentage. Use it for comparison.

If you're a buyer of organic, then you know that organic is more expensive than non-organic foods.

You've probably noticed that organic prices have begun to close the gap over the last few years. There are actually quite a lot of organic products that you can now get at very good prices.

More and more production of organic foods will keep those prices coming down. It just takes time. Will it ever be as cheap as pesticide riddled, mass produced GMO products? Probably not.

But then again if your corn costs the same, pound for pound, as Sheetrock...well, chances are the nutritional value of the corn isn't that far off from the nutritional value of Sheetrock.

(There's a thought that's going to fester. One day we'll do a lab analysis of both and report our findings.)

The same is true of sprouted flour. High quality, organic wheat flour tends to run about $1.00 per lb. High quality, organic sprouted wheat flour runs about $4.50 per lb.

Big difference.

Breads that have higher percentages of sprouted wheat flour will cost more than ones which have lower percentages.

Commercial producers will always be cheaper than small artisan outfits such as ourselves. They buy in volumes that would blow your mind.

We buy 50 lb. sacks of flour on pallets. They buy silos.

There's no bagging of flour when you own a silo. It gets dumped into massive trucks that bring it to massive storage facilities of the bread manufacturer.

When you buy a silo...Holy Moly!...super big discounts. We considered it. Turned out our 9000 sq. ft. building didn't have enough room to hold it all. Also, we only leased 850 sq. ft.

So make sure you compare the small guys to the small guys and the big guys to the big guys.

4. Run it by us. If we don't already know the answer, we'll find out.

Seriously. If you want to know about a sprouted product and are unable to determine it's value, ask us. We don't care if it's some other baker or manufacturer's sprouted product.

Maybe you prefer the taste of Bobo's sprouted bread over ours. There's nothing wrong with that. Tastes vary. We're not so arrogant to think that everyone must or will like our bread.

There are billions of people to feed. We need more sprouted bakers not less. Plus we'd love to meet Bobo.

Alright, so there you have it. It was a lot, we know. But anything less would have been a disservice.

The above 'tips' should help you in determining the level of quality of the sprouted breads and products you are purchasing.

Now, the question simply becomes: Do you want regular, premium or high octane fuel for your body?

Incidentally, if you had any question about it, 20 Shekels = High Octane.