Ola Rokita

Hi! I am Ola and I want to share with you my simple baking recipes that can change your life and how you feel.
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Enriched Flour–Why to avoid it

Ola Rokita29 July 2018Comments (2)

Enriched Flour

Enriched Flour – The word enriched can be very misleading when it comes to flour. The term enriched flour can easily be interpreted that the flour is enhanced, and therefore better for you.

But in this case the word “enriched” is actually misleading. Because it leads you to think that you’re eating something better and healthier for you, when in fact you’re not.

Enriched means adding synthetic nutrients and elements to the flour

Essentially enriched flour is one where natural nutrients (bran and germ) are first stripped out of wheat. Then synthetic vitamins and nutrients are added to the flour. Hence, the flour is enriched by these synthetic vitamins.

Why strip the flour of its nutrients only to then add them back again?

Because it prolongs the shelf-life. And consequently bread made out of enriched flour also stays fresh longer. For example, bread made out of non-enriched Polish flour stays fresh for about two days. Bread made out of enriched flour can stay fresh between two weeks to about a month, and in some cases even longer if other preservatives are added.

Enriched flour means longer shelf life, but potential weight gain for you

When wheat is stripped of it’s natural minerals and nutrients, such as germ and bran, your body no longer absorbs flour the way it would absorb flour made from the wheat left in its entirety.

Enriched flour is absorbed as sugar and stored as fat. Whereas whole wheat flour takes longer to be absorbed, giving you a steady level of blood sugar and energy.

Be a discerning label reader!

Most breads you’ll find in grocery stores are made with enriched flour. Just look at the label and read the very first ingredient. You’ll quickly discover that in the U.S. it’s very difficult to find breads that are not made with enriched flour.

Therefore, the first step to eating healthier, not just flour-based foods, but other foods too, is to read labels and avoid breads, cakes, or cereals made with enriched flour.

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If you want to bake simple rye bread read this post >>

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen September 21, 2020 at 20:01

Hello Ola! I love your blog and will try some of your bread recipes. I usually use King Arthur bread flour to make my bread. I’ve tried using whole wheat flour, but my family likes the regular flour better. I am interested in your comments about using Polish flour. Would it be better than King Arthur flour?

Reply

Ola Rokita September 21, 2020 at 22:26

Hi Ellen! Thank you for visiting my blog. I think King Arthur flour is great for bread baking and it’s a quality flour. Personally I prefer to stay away from enriched flours because of the use of synthetic nutrients that are being added to the flour versus enjoying the natural nutrients that are already part of the milled wheat without any intervention.

Many European flours are not synthetically supplemented with nutrients and vitamins. They are naturally rich in iron, protein, or B6 vitamin. The other part I like about Polish flour specifically is the wheat-rich taste, better defined type for specific uses in baking, and that it’s made from a softer wheat type grown typically in Poland and Ukraine. I found that the flour made from softer wheat is easier for my tummy to digest and makes me feel less bloated. I also found that I’m satisfied with smaller portions of bread, and the flour gives my recipes a more authentic taste that I remember from Europe.

That being said, many people enjoy baking with U.S. all-purpose flour and they don’t notice a difference. So, it’s a personal preference and oftentimes, convenient to bake with what you have available in your local grocery store.

If you would care to experiment, there is a Polish store in Vienna and they sell polish flour if you would like to try it out. Start with type 550 “Luksusowa” if you plan on baking simple bread or baguettes.

I think it’s awesome that you bake your bread at home! It’s a healthier option and satisfying to enjoy the bread you made from scratch.

Stay healthy!

Ola

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