Winter is the perfect time for a loaf of warm fresh bread. It’s the perfect accompaniment for a bowl of hot soup or as the top and bottom parts of a healthy sandwich. Sure, you can buy a loaf of bread in any grocery store, but there’s something so nice and comforting about baking your own bread. It’s not difficult – you just need a few ingredients, a loaf pan (or bread making machine), and a recipe. But which one? If you search ‘bread recipes’ online, you’ll probably find thousands of recipes. Although they’re often similar – flour, water, oil, sugar, salt and yeast – the healthiest recipes feature whole grains. Whole grain flour is superior to white refined flour because it’s higher in fiber and nutrients. Regular whole grain flour gives bread a courser texture and stronger flavor that many people love. But, if you prefer the lighter texture of white bread you can use white whole wheat flour. Going Gluten Free Gluten-free diets are a big trend right now, and since wheat is the main ingredient in most recipes, that’s a big problem. Wheat’s just not going to work for you if you’re avoiding gluten. But you can still make your own gluten-free bread at home. It takes a few different ingredients, but it’s not hard to do. A typical gluten-free bread flour includes a combination of rice flour and other gluten-free flours and xanthan gum. Bread Recipes to Try These recipes are all good for you and easy to make. There are a few whole grain breads and some gluten-free breads, too. 100% Stoneground Whole Wheat Bread Simple ingredients and an excellent source of whole grain goodness. Apple Oat Bread This recipe uses a combination of whole wheat and regular flour, plus steel cut oats. A touch of apple cider and apple chunks adds a slight sweetness. White Whole Wheat Bread A great recipe featuring white whole-wheat flour. You can see how light and beautiful it looks. Whole Wheat and Spelt Bread Spelt is a delicious hearty grain that has a nuttier and slightly sweet flavor. This recipe combines spelt flour with whole wheat flour. Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread Here’s a white bread made from rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch and xanthan gum, plus a few more ingredients. Not a high-fiber bread, but still fresh and delicious. Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Bread I love this bread because it contains lots of gluten-free grains such as teff and amaranth. It takes a number of ingredients, but it’s well worth it. Shereen Lehman is a health and nutrition writer with two decades of experience counseling people on nutrition and diet. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Association of Health Care Journalists. She is the co-author of Superfoods for Dummies and Clinical Anatomy for Dummies. Shereen also teaches The Evidence Based Approach to Nutrition to nutrition graduate students at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.
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