A recent study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has revealed high levels of carcinogens like potassium bromate and potassium iodate that are banned in several countries, in 84 per cent of the pre-packed bread samples in local stores. Thanks to this, consumers have become more conscious and bakers and suppliers have experienced a dip in demand. So, if you are fond of your breads, your best bet for now is to bake at home or get in touch with home bakers for your loaf. We got in touch with a few of them and here’s what they have to say. Priyanka Chavan, a general physician who bakes her own bread at home, says, “These chemicals cause cancer and also lead to thyroid disorders. They are used by manufacturers for quick maturing of bread.” Amruta Karajgar, who sells baked products from her home in Udyam Nagar, says, “While baking at home there is absolutely no use of chemicals.” Here, there’s full control over ingredients and one is assured of quality. Similarly, homebaker Vinita Ghatge, says, “Home-made bread is soft and fresh and should be consumed within two to three days. Whereas pre-packed bread has a longer shell life because of the preservatives added into it.” Homebaker Manisha Kadam adds, “Baking bread takes around three to four hours. The taste of home made bread cannot be compared to that of commercially available bread, because it is consumed when it is fresh.” While making bread at home, one can even experiment with different varieties. “I love baking bread and I try to make new varieties for my family; from simple white to multigrain and flavoured breads ,” says Rajshri Gat, a homebaker. She adds that the freshly baked bread has a tempting aroma and looks fluffy with an enticing crust that’s rich golden in colour. The quality of bread determines the taste of your sandwiches or bread-based dishes. Sarfraz Khan, owner of a bakery in the Mill Corner area, shares a pointer on identifying quality bread. “Good quality bread is soft, tender with a golden crust.” Yugendra Ghatge, a chef who loves baking, shares, “When you tap the base of the baked bread you will hear a hollow sound and that confirms that the bread is baked evenly. The loaf should be light and consistent in shape.”
White vs brown
Commonly available, white bread is made of maida and is used to make sandwiches and toast. The maida content makes this the least healthy option. But to the rescue comes brown bread that’s made using whole wheat flour and is easy to digest.
The most nutritious option, Multigrain bread uses different grains like wheat, cornmeal, oats and millet. This bread goes well with a mix-fruit jam as it has an earthy taste.
Milk bread is similar to white, but is sweeter due to the addition of milk and sugar. Loved by children and accompanies tea or coffee.
Some exotic varieties that are popular are garlic bread, gluten-free bread, ciabatta and focaccia, among others.