Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
I grew up on Wonder bread. You remember the loaves that, to this day, feature red, yellow, and blue balloons. Or are those M&Ms? Wonder was the first bread sold pre-sliced, which, happily, saved on time and nicked fingers.
The snow white, perfectly sliced loaves were as soft as a velvet pillow—just right for toast, a grilled cheese, BLT, PB&J, or Deviled Ham spread.
In college, I took up making salt rising bread. I tried valiantly, but never got the yeast-less mash to ferment and rise the way it should.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Then there came a time when our household switched to wheat bread. It wasn’t as comforting as the white, but it was healthier for us.
Following that came the make-it-yourself sour dough phase. The fermented dough gave the loaf more flavor and health goodies. I watched as my kids got into making their own sourdough bread.
The “starter” was finnicky and icky looking and took nearly as much tending as a newborn. But the family continues, even now, to make an occasional loaf.
Eat the Wheat; Feel Virtuous
We moved on to purchasing various designer breads with sprouted grains, seeds, and herbs, that made us feel better about eating the extra calories.
Names on the packaged breads didn’t always tell the whole story about the ingredients. So we began reading labels and checking the daily requirements. Researchers urged us to look for the words “100% whole wheat.” not just wheat.
Why’s 100% Whole Wheat Better?
Whole grains contain all three layers of the seed: bran, endosperm, and germ. In contrast, refined grains have had their bran and germ removed. Removing these layers eliminates some of the nutrition. So refined grains are simply not as good for us as whole grains.
Today the grocery aisles abound with breads competing to house our sandwiches or mop our gravy. So what’s the best of the lot? Nutritionists say that would be 100% whole wheat, rye, sprout, and sourdough.
By comparison, Wonder has fallen to the bottom of the nutrition chart despite being fortified with vitamins and minerals. Even so, I occasionally pick up a loaf and squeezer it gently just for ol’ times sake.