Food allergies and trends are now a definite part of modern life – including in the world of bread.
Gluten is a natural substance found in grains of wheat, rye, oats and barley, as well as spelt and other cereals. The gluten content determines the flour’s baking properties. Along with the starch in the wheat, gluten makes the bread elastic and light, gives it structure, makes it crumbly or crusty and enables it to retain moisture and stay fresh longer.
Coeliac sufferers have to avoid gluten. In baking, however, conventional flour cannot simply be replaced with a gluten-free version because there is no one blend of flour that is an exact substitute for white flour. Gluten-free baking calls for experience and a willingness to experiment. The blends of gluten-free flour which are available in shops are usually made from potato, maize, tapioca or soya flour. Gluten-free flour absorbs more liquid than conventional flour, making the bread dry out over time. To compensate for this, home-bakers often need to add more liquid, like quark.
Schär brand offers a wide choice of gluten-free bread, which is mostly made from rice and maize. High-quality ingredients, like millet, quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat and chestnut flour, are then added. Sourdough is a real all-rounder in this area. Without it, rye bread would be flat and hard – which is what happens to bread made with gluten-free flour. This is why Schär likes to use gluten-free sourdough in its bread. This stabilizes the structure of the dough, adds a unique aroma and keeps the bread fresh longer.
At first glance, it seems very unlikely that bread should contain animal products. After all, normal yeast dough only needs flour, water, yeast and salt. Yeast is a micro-organism and, as such, is acceptable for vegans. But although the basic recipe for yeast bread is vegan, bread often contains additives and animal products. If bakers use animal fat to grease the baking tins, the bread can no longer be considered vegan. If additives such as flour treatment agents or enzymes are used, the bread is not vegan, as these can be produced genetically or from animal hair, bristles and feathers.
While normal bread consists mainly of carbohydrates, protein bread contains a large amount of plant-based protein and almost no carbohydrates. This makes it suitable for people following a low-carb diet, for example. Protein bread consists of around one quarter plant-based protein like wheat, soya or lupin protein. It can also contain soya meal, flax seed or soya flour, to give only a few examples. To give the protein bread structure, far greater quantities of fat are required than in normal bread. It can contain around three to ten times more fat than a regular loaf of bread. This has an impact on calories – although this special type of bread contains fewer carbohydrates, it has more calories, with approximately 248 calories per 100 g as opposed to 219 calories per 100 g in multi-grain bread. Protein bread has a stickier texture than conventional bread and is usually slightly more expensive.
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