There are numerous low calorie, points calculated health bread recipes out there ! Each and every one substitute less healthy ingredients for whole grain, nutritionally superior goodies like wheat bran, molasses and more. Each says that a loaf of bread serves 16 slices, and calories are calculated accordingly. Each gives a precise list of ingredients, and this is where they prove they have been created by a person who has never made an edible loaf of bread in their life, and does not understand the first thing about real bread making !
Bread is a science , as well as an art. The science part comes in when you break bread into what it actually is, and that is a restaurant for a tiny living animal named yeast. Yeast requires carbohydrates to feed and excrete gas , and gluten to form a neat little bubble to trap the gas and make the product rise. Yeast is a happy little diva who refuses to live in an environment that is too warm or too cold. Gluten needs just the right conditions to swell in order to make a light product that we find appealing. This environment is affected by the atmosphere that surrounds it. If you make bread on a dry day, you will be using less flour. If you use the same recipe on a humid one, you will use more. Proper , edible, rising bread is made by feel and not math. You begin with the basic ingredients and add enough flour to produce a soft, non sticky ball of dough that feels almost identical to a babies behind or your grandma's arm. Scales and measuring cups cannot discern this.
For a long time I have skipped baking bread in favor of the pre packaged, presliced, calorie calculated commercial stuff. It is killing me ! I decided to pull out some of the Weight Watchers recipes I have for home made bread this week and give hem a try. Yesterday's supper was planned to be cabbage , potato and ham soup with butternut oatmeal bread- very fall, very healthy and yummy sounding !. I was hoping with the soup to come up with something that would feed 4 instead of 4,000, and a specific recipe would help. No go- I think soup has magical properties to feed 5,000 with just a stone and a teardrop ! I worked on the bread, following the recipe exactly, and discovering that the humidity in the air was requiring more flour. A lot more flour ! 2 and a half cups more flour to be exact !. This changes the calorie count of the final servings substantially. It is also impossible to cut a sandwich bread type of a loaf into anything more than 16 slices without needing a laser or a skilled surgeon at the ready. I was kind of crushed ! How would I be able to make home made bread and stay withing the Weight Watchers program guidelines ??
Dinner time came , and the vultures ( also known as husband and son) saw the bread, and I realized not only is it impossible to slice a loaf into any more than 16 servings but there is no controlling these men with fresh baked bread. The soup they were being polite about, but fresh baked bread for dinner ? I could have easily asked for the Hope Diamond and have it paid for by a willing sacrifice of their limbs and they would agree. It was very, very good, and it made me think of a new policy for this house -
Fresh made high fiber bread will be accompanied by very low point soup and a whole
loaf shall be planned for the meal.
I think that is going to be the answer. As to soup...not sure how to work that one yet !