bread basket low carbs

Is Avoiding Carbs in Your Diet Smart?

In 1972 Atkins came out with a diet that would dramatically change our love affair with bread: low carbs! The low-carbohydrate diet promotes reducing carbohydrates and increasing protein-based calories. Bread was suddenly on the do not consume list.

Along with the diet came a marketing media fest. Diets focused on low carbs are still the first suggestion many of us hear when we want to shed belly fat and lose the spare tire. So there must be something to low-carb eating and weight loss, since the story is still going strong 40 some years later, right?

Sure, you might lose weight on a low-carb diet. If you are very diligent you will lose weight, initially.  But what happens over time? By 2004 it was clear that the Atkins diet was falling out of favor. Avoiding carbs on a daily basis takes a lot of work, and reading all those labels is time consuming.

While most people following the low-carb diets did have initial weight loss, many could not maintain the diet as a lifestyle.

The issue with low carbs

Did you know there are actually some risks associated with eliminating carbohydrates from your diet? According to the Mayo Clinic:

If you cut carbs suddenly from your diet, you may experience the following:

  • Headache
  • Bad breath
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or diarrhea

The risks are side effects of a process called ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body does not have enough carbs from food to burn for energy. In order to provide the energy needed for daily functions, your body begins to burn stored fat. The liver converts fatty acids to ketones and releases them into the bloodstream to use as energy. The body is burning its own stored fat — this is great!

Though you will see weight loss, ketosis can be very dangerous for people with type 1 diabetes. The body converts to ketosis when it does not have enough glucose to burn as energy. Glucose levels are of major importance to people with diabetes. A high level of ketones in the blood indicates that insulin levels are off, and the blood becomes acidic, leading to a condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can lead to a diabetic coma or even death in those with type 1 diabetes.

low carbs bread diet

Can I still eat carbs and lose weight?

Foods rich in carbohydrates, such as bread, provide the body with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Studies have shown that long-term restriction of carbohydrates can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, bone loss, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Eating protein and fat for the long haul can also increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association strongly recommends a diet with whole grains.

Going low-carb is the most popular fad diet to date. The initial weight reduction of 5 pounds many experience is due to water loss. After a few days on the diet, ketosis kicks in and the weight keeps melting off. Tricking the body into thinking it is starving in order to shed pounds, eating like an early hunter-gatherer, or even eating a pound of bread a day are not sustainable.

Most lifestyles that promote long-term health and optimal weight share a few things in common: realistic portions, balanced diets (including vegetables, grains, and proteins), and plenty of exercise.

Avoiding bread may help you shed a few pounds initially. But isn’t life more enjoyable when you don’t have to? Our own study here at EB90 has shown you can eat bread every day and not gain weight. Just take a look at Dr. Carson’s weekly weigh-in if you don’t think it is possible.

no bread

Caution: May Contain White Bread

There is nothing quite like the soft, squishy texture of commercial white bread. These days your friends would call the food police if they found a loaf of brightly packaged white bread sitting on your kitchen counter. “Sally, step away from the loaf and put your butter knife down!”

White bread ranks highest of all the evils of bread consumption for being unhealthy.

But did you know you can still enjoy the doughy goodness of white bread with better nutritional value?

Not all white bread is created equal. If you want the best version, check the ingredient label for white whole wheat flour. The basis of good bread is flour. White whole wheat flour is not a bleached version of whole wheat flour; i.e., it is not the same as the white refined flour that many are trying to avoid. It is a flour made from grinding the entire hard white wheat kernel. You get all the fiber, vitamins and nutrients of the whole grain.

Let’s look at a nutritional comparison of three types of flour:

Flour Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Sugars Protein Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Enriched
Whole wheat 140 1g 27g 5g 1g 7g 10% 15% 15%
White whole wheat 130 0.5g 27g 9g 0g 4g 8% 10% 10%
Enriched white 100 0g 22g <1g <1g 3g 6% 10%/ 6%/ 8%/ 10%

Serving size is ¼ cup of flour.

From the table we can see that, nutritionally speaking, none of these flours is high in fat or sugar. I was surprised to see that the white whole wheat has a slightly higher fiber content than the other two. The enriched flour started as a red wheat berry that was milled and refined, removing the bran and germ. We started milling the flour this way to achieve a finer-texture grain and to improve the shelf life of the flour.

You have probably noticed that whole grain bread has a coarser texture than billowy white bread. Unfortunately, all of this processing removes fiber, iron, and B vitamins, which are then added back as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. Many health issues point to refined white flour as the culprit. Its ease of digestibility due to lack of fiber is also to blame for blood sugar spikes.

Bakers are always innovating ways to keep bread in vogue. More whole grain breads line the supermarket shelves with seeds, nuts, and ancient grains. For those of us who just really loved white bread but were told to consume it with caution in order to stay thin and healthy, white whole wheat may be the answer.

Now we can choose the latest trend in the whole grain bread aisle — white whole grain bread!

If you want to learn more about whole grains, refined grains and healthy diet choices, check out

To read about baking with whole wheat flour, enriched flour, or white whole wheat flour, head over to BAKERpedia for all things baking-related.

windmill bread dutch

Dietary Mysteries of the Dutch Revealed

How do they stay so thin and eat so much bread?

Do you love bread and cake? If you live in the Netherlands, consider yourself lucky. The Dutch consume a lot of breads and cakes AND remain thin. Two meals are considered bread meals consisting of rolls or sliced bread with an assortment of toppings. For example, wheat bread with butter, candy sprinkles or jam and two or three cups of black coffee, a glass of, milk or hot cocoa is standard breakfast fare. Dutch bread ranges from sweet to salty.

Traditionally, Dutch breads were unpackaged. Nowadays, they are turning to the consumption of already packaged bread. This increase in the consumption of industrially manufactured bread has not increased waist lines or health risks in the Netherlands.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Dutch Bakeries producing breads and cakes today.

  • Van der Mulen the Masterbakers is one of the most popular bakeries in the Netherlands. You might be familiar with the company’s main product, Melba toast. It manufactures Melba toast more than any other bakery in the world.
  • Soma is another Dutch bakery which has produced bread for more than 130 years. The most popular product of this bakery is the roggerbrood sliced rye bread. Soma bakes several types of bread such as  Limburg’s rye bread, blackbread, raisins-krentenwegge and speltkorn.
  • In the northern part of Netherlands, Bollotje is one of the bakeries that dominates the market.  The word “Bolletje” comes from the round balls of dough used to prepare beschuit. Beschuit is a round, hard, dry biscuit that is made from twice-baked bread. The bakery products range from whole grain biscuit, crisp breads, crackers, cereals, gingerbread, cakes, and pretzels. The website covers many suggestions on toppings and ways to enjoy breads and crackers.

Although the brands mentioned above are commonly consumed in Netherlands, the gluten-free craze is slowly revolutionizing the market. One of the companies offering gluten-free products in the Dutch market is Consenza. This bakery offers wheat and lactose-free products. Their products range from bread, cakes, biscuits and flour and much more. Having started in 2006, it is currently the largest seller of gluten-free products (Barbara Zec, 2016).

These are just a few examples of breads commonly consumed in Netherlands. These products are rich in carbohydrates.

However, the dutch are considered the least obese in Europe.

How is it that when they consume 2 bread based meals and snacks in-between?  According to this article, they remain slim because of the following:

Portion control – supersizing is not a common practice in the Netherlands. Portion control is a well-known weight management tool employed with great success by the Dutch.

Milk consumption – they consume a lot milk which is high in nutrients and low in calories. Milk is considered good for reducing weight.

Low-fat foods – are the dominant snacking choice. For the most part breads and crackers are low to fat free. Indulging in high fats sweets is reserved for special occasions not a daily routine.

Exercise – they like riding bicycles. In comparison to the US the Dutch ride their bikes 30 times more. They also walk twice as much as the average US citizen. See the table below for comparisons to other countries.

Percent of Trips by Travel Mode (all trip purposes)
Country bicycle walking public transit car other
Netherlands 30 18 5 45 2
Denmark 20 21 14 42 3
Germany 12 22 16 49 1
Switzerland 10 29 20 38 1
Sweden 10 39 11 36 4
Austria 9 31 13 39 8
England/Wales 8 12 14 62 4
France 5 30 12 47 6
Italy 5 28 16 42 9
Canada 1 10 14 74 1
United States 1 9 3 84 3
Source: John Pucher, Transportation Quarterly, 98-1 (from various transport ministries and depts., latest avail. year)

It seems as though the Dutch have perfected the right balance of eating what they want with the right amount of exercise. In a country where bicycles seem to  outnumber cars this should not be a big surprise. Let this serve as inspiration for those of us not lucky enough to live in the Netherlands. We can carb up on crackers, breads, and biscuits as we ride our bicycles to the next café!


  1. Zec, Barbara. “The Netherlands: The Sweet Side of Bread.” Joomag. European Baker, 26 Sept. 2016. Accessed 21 June 2017.
  2. Dunlop, Mandy. “How the Dutch Stay Slim.” Insider Views  | Expatica the Netherlands.  Accessed 21  June 2017.

What is it About Bakers?

What is it about bakers? Do they unknowingly smell like baked goods like a secret pheromone effect? When learning someone is a professional baker, do you suddenly feel happy and hungry? I know I do. It seems like some sort of magic that basic ingredients like flour, water, yeast, and salt can inspire such a diversity of baked goods. They are very passionate about what they do. Many are bakers by birth. They have flour running in their blood! Without bakers shaping civilization, we may still be eating whole grain gruel fried on rocks.

How did this profession evolve?

We know our relationship with food changed with the discovery of fire. It was a short time in the scope of human evolution before cooking with fire was transformed into baking in ovens. The Romans were the first to formalize baking into a profession. Organizations were created to ensure bread quality and innovation in early Rome. When baking for an emperor you better have your quality system in place!

By the Middle Ages bread fell out of favor. Much like today’s craze of low carb diets and gluten inducing health concerns, people of the middle ages gave up bread due to crop failure, disease, and nomadic barbarians.


Bread stated making a comeback by the end of the Middle Ages and bakers guilds formed in France (1200 AD). The guild was called Tameliers, which translated to flour sifters, had a four year apprenticeship. Bakers had become recognized for the skill involved in baking as a profession. Being a member of a guild provided many benefits. A baker who supplied bread to a hospital could exchange bread for medical care. By the end of the Middle Ages, production of bread followed laws written by the guilds and royalty. Bakers guilds were highly regarded and bakers were seen as skilled artisans.

Bakers had become a necessary part of their communities.

Providing nutritious well-crafted baked goods to neighbors and a source of income for entire families. The renaissance saw the increase in regulations for the baking tradesmen. Laws regulated pricing, weight of finished goods, production, and adulteration of ingredients of bakeries.

You could say that bread was the first government regulated processed food.

Eventually the industrial revolution hit and many aspects of baking became mechanized. New bakery equipment helped bakers keep up with the growing demands for baked goods. Bakers now utilized technology and science to produce constantly delicious nutritious bread.  The art of baking is still dominant in the profession with many bakers still tracing family ties back many generations.

Several organizations exist today to support bakers and the baking industry. When the first baker mastered the first fluffy loaf of bread, they taught the next and so on and so on. That tradition continues today. Bakers learn from each other. You can’t teach passion, but once the flour gets into your blood you are sure to become part of the family.

For more information on the history of bread baking checkout The Science of Baking: A history of bread. And everything baking related be sure to stop by BAKERpedia!

dough bread bakers


salt - sodium intake - bread

Hold the Salt! Sodium and Bread in Your Diet

On days six and seven of Dr. Carson’s bread diet we were faced with a bread myth we had hoped to bust – the high salt content in bread. It is a known fact that processed foods contain hidden salt. While most of us will not be consuming a pound of bread a day, adding spreads, deli meats, cheese, or soup can push our sodium intake over the limit of what’s healthy.

The result could mimic the effects of gluten intolerance than have led many to eliminate bread from their diets.  So, let’s take a closer look at salt.

Why is there even salt in bread and how much is safe to consume on a daily basis?

Salt and Baking

  • Flavor enhancer – I think all of us are familiar with salt’s ability to bring out the flavors in baked goods. Sugar seems a little sweeter when salt is added to a recipe. The natural flavors developed during bread fermentation from the yeast and flour are enhanced by the addition of salt. Bread without salt tends to be a little bland.
  • Dough strengthener – Gluten, the protein in bread, becomes stronger when salt is part of the mix. A stronger gluten structure enables the dough to hold the carbon dioxide gas released during fermentation. This adds volume and texture to your loaves.
  • Slows fermentation – A slow, steady rise during proofing gives uniform crumb to bread. Faster fermentation can create large air pockets and cause blow outs in finished loaves.
  • Extends product shelf life – Salt is a known preservative. It increases shelf life of loaves by decreasing staling. Salt is hygroscopic and attracts water from the environment keeping bread softer longer than bread baked without salt.

Sodium Intake and Health

When we talk about salt, sodium chloride, and our health, it is the sodium that we need to be aware of. Food labels list sodium rather than salt.  2.5 grams of salt contain 1 gram of sodium. Sodium is a known part of salt, but did you know it is also in Monosodium glutamate and baking soda? If you are not looking at every food label you could easily consume more sodium than you need. The World Health Organization recommends under 2 g/day sodium (5 g/day salt) in adults.

Reducing sodium has shown the following health benefits:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • Reduced risk of coronary heart disease

Too much sodium intake makes your body hold water. Holding water can make you feel bloated or cause swelling. This is known as edema. On the other end of the spectrum too much salt can lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration are extreme thirst, nausea, dizziness, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. In both cases consuming more water will help flush the excess sodium out of your system.

sodium intake bread salt diet

Back to the myth that bread contains high levels of salt.

The nutritional label on a bag of whole wheat bread by a national bakery lists the sodium at 240 mg per serving. A serving is 2 slices of bread. Not bad. That leaves 1.76 grams for your sandwich meat or marmite spread.

For the average consumer two slices of bread would make up 10% of your recommended sodium intake. Eating a pound of bread a day is another issue. The estimated sodium intake is 1.3 grams without any toppings or dipping into soup. I think it is safe to say that under a normal bread eating situation the salt level is well within the guidelines recommended by the WHO.

The Eat Bread 90 challenge is all about transparency. The pain that Dr. Carson experienced due to high sodium intake definitely caused a shift in her diet.

Do you think we busted the high salt myth or not?

To read more about the function of salt in baking, go here.

To learn more about salt and your health go to the WHO web site and this article by the Harvard Medical School.

bread whole grain

Whole Grain Bread is a Whole Food

Whole grain bread is a whole food. A quick look at Dave’s Killer Bread 21 whole grains and seeds nutritional panel shows a food that is low in saturated fat (0g), a good source of dietary fiber (3g), and a good source of  manganese (25%). Let’s take a look at the benefits of eating whole grain bread and the nutrients found in them.

What are the benefits of low saturated fat?

Saturated fat can be recognized by its ability to stay solid at room temperature. Think about coconut oil, butter, and lard – they are all solid when left on the counter. Those are the obvious examples. Saturated fat can be kind of sneaky when it comes to processed foods. Aside from being incredibly tasty, pizza,bacon, donuts and ice cream are high in saturated fat.

So, what is the big deal? Why is the American Heart Association against fun foods?

It comes down to a pretty major disease known as heart disease. Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the US. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 614,348 people died from heart disease in 2014.

And 23.4% of all deaths were from heart disease.

What does that have to do with whole grain bread? Well, decades of scientific research have proven whole grains can lower your “bad” cholesterol and lower your risk for heart disease. Eating foods that are low in saturated fats can give you a 23.4%  better chance to live to 101.

whole grain bread, whole grains, fiber, heart, healthy, diet

What are the benefits of dietary fiber?

You have probably heard that we all need to eat more fiber. Whole grain breads that contain at least 3% dietary fiber can  positively affect your  health. Did you know that eating high fiber foods can make you feel fuller longer?  This is because the fiber slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. This slow absorption keeps blood glucose from spiking then falling rapidly. That feeling of hunger is due to rising and falling glucose triggering us to overeat. Foods high in fiber also keep your intestines working properly. Think of fiber as an internal loofa! It cleans bacteria and waste buildup in your intestines reducing the risk of colon cancer and keeping you regular.

Forget about those new cleansing diets where all you do is drink juice; a few slices of whole grain bread with your favorite spread will help you go with the flow!

What are the benefits of manganese?

Whole grain bread is full of essential minerals. What makes minerals essential? All that means is that your body requires these workhorses to continue to function. Essential minerals are categorized by how much our bodies need. You are probably most familiar with the macro minerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. However, there are also important trace minerals our bodies require such as iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.

Manganese is a mineral needed in trace amounts by our bodies. Manganese is found in the bones, liver, and kidneys. It is an essential part of many important enzymes involved with energy production, bone and ligament formation, protein and fat metabolism. More study is needed to fully understand how this trace mineral help our bodies function, but researches have learned that deficiencies in manganese can result in arrhythmia, epileptic seizures, abnormal bone, cartilage and disk degeneration (Campbell 2001).

How can you get whole grains in your diet?

Whole grain bread provides some pretty great health benefits when eaten as part of your diet. Aside from the benefits of low saturated fat, being a great source of fiber, and containing many essential minerals it is incredible versatile. You can eat it with an endless selection of toppings from sweet to savory or just toasted with some butter.

When choosing a whole grain bread check for these ingredients on the label:

  • whole wheat
  • graham flour
  • oats
  • brown rice
  • whole-grain barley
  • whole-wheat bulgur
  • whole rye

If you would like to learn more about the health benefits of eating whole grains, check out the research published in the Journal of Nutrition:

If you would like to learn more about essential minerals and your health read:

  • Campbell, J.D. “Lifestyle, minerals and health.” Medical Hypotheses 57.5 (2001): 521-531.
Daves Killer Bread whole grains nutrtional pannel

Nutritional panel for Dave’s Killer Bread 21 whole grains and seeds.

asia, asian bread

Traditional Asian Bread Recipe Roundup

Do you think Asians don’t eat bread and only nibble on rice? Think again! Asia has a long history of producing some very delicious breads. Here is a small sample of Asian bread recipes to get your mouth watering.

Po lo bao

Po lo bao or pineapple bun is a type of sweet bread popular in Hong Kong. In 2014 the buns were listed as part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage. It is a yeasted bun with a pastry dough baked on top. The pastry dough is very sweet, resembling sugar cookie dough. The pastry dough crust becomes crispy, yellow, and crinkles resembling the exterior skin of the pineapple. However, the bun does not contain or taste like pineapple.

The interior of the bun is soft and sweet. The recipe can be found here. Po lo bao can be eaten plain or with a slab of butter sandwiched in between for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Po lo bao bread recipe

Po lo bao


Youtiao is a bread stick composed of two pieces of dough that are fried together. The bread has a crisp golden exterior and a soft interior. It is a popular breakfast bread all over Asia. The recipe, available here, may be made with yeast or baking powder. The dough is kneaded and allowed to rise before being shaped into 4 inch by ½ inch strips.

Strips are then placed in pairs one on top of the other and pressed down the center lengthwise with a chopstick. Once the dough is joined together it is stretched and fried until evenly browned. It can be served with savory toppings, dipped into soups and sauces, or with sweet additions depending on the region.

Youtiao bread recipe



Hokkaido Milk Loaf

Hokkaido Milk Loaf or Japanese milk bread is rich, fluffy, and melts in your mouth. The recipe can be found here. This bread utilizes two techniques that give it the characteristic texture. The bread utilizes the tangzhong method which is a roux starter made of water and flour. The water and flour are cooked until the starches in the flour gelatinize and the mixture thickens. Adding the tangzhong to bread dough lightens the loaf and makes an airy tender crumb.

Once the dough is made a special technique for rolling and placing the dough in the loaf pan creates layers of cottony melt away texture. The dough is divided into 3 equal sections. Each section of dough is rolled out into a flat rectangle, folded into thirds, flattened again, and then rolled up like a jelly roll and placed in the loaf pan to bake.

Hokkaido Milk Loaf - bread recipe

Hokkaido Milk Loaf


Chinese Steamed Buns

Chinese Steamed Buns are also known as Mantou or when filled, Baozi depending on what region you find them in China. Thanks to the mongols, many countries in central and east Asia enjoy steamed buns. Fillings can range from savory meat/vegetable fillings to semi sweet bean to vegetable paste. A basic dough recipe can be found here. A great selection of Baozi recipes can be found here.

The yeasted dough is allowed to rise, rolled into a log shape, and sliced and cut into small sections. The sections are placed in a steamer above boiling water for 20- 25 minutes. Steaming gives the buns a smooth and shiny skin and an airy, moist crumb. The texture of the bun can be described as heavenly!

Chinese Steamed Buns

Chinese Steamed Buns

heart bread carbs weight loss good

Are Carbs Good or Bad for Your Weight?

We all have heard that carbs are bad when it comes to weight loss. It is no secret that eliminating  ALL carbs from your diet will show weight loss in the short term. But, do you know how important carbohydrates are to keep your body functioning? Let’s take a look at this BAD molecule so you can see why it is really BAD ASS!

Can I eat a lot of carbs and still lose weight?

Carbohydrates are nutrients whose main role is to provide energy to the body. Carbohydrates are classified into various groups, the main ones being fibers, starches and sugars which are found in foods. Being one of the basic nutrients of the body, carbohydrates are important to your health. They are found in various foods such as bread, milk products, vegetable products, fruit and grains.

The nervous system and the muscles are involved in all of your daily activities. They require higher amounts of energy to function properly. This energy is obtained from carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates also prevent proteins from being used as alternative sources of energy and aid in metabolizing fat.

In general, carbohydrates provide energy to the body through oxidation, they supply the body with carbon which is essential in the synthesis of cell components, serves as a form of stored chemical energy, and they are  part of the structures of some cells and tissues. Carbohydrates are classified into simple and complex carbohydrates.

Simple vs. complex carbs

Simple carbohydrates are those that that have only one or two sugars such as galactose which is found in milk products and fructose which is found in fruits. Those with single sugars are called monosaccharides while those with two sugars are called disaccharides. Simple carbohydrates are digested and absorbed quickly and easily. They have a huge impact on your blood sugar levels.

Complex carbohydrates  are polysaccharides and have three or more sugars. They are commonly called starchy foods and they include cereals, whole grains, bread, corn, potatoes, and peas among others.

carbs, weight, bread, simple carbs, complex carbs, diet

Health benefits

Carbohydrates have various health benefits according to an article by the Poliquin Group.4 Some health benefits of consuming foods rich in carbohydrates include faster loss of fat from the body, easy maintenance of the body weight, faster muscle recovery, reduced risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, reduced risks of type 2 diabetes when consumed as whole grains, and improved  overall well being.

Bread, especially when it is made with 100% whole grains, are very important because they provide fiber to the body.

These fibers improve the movements in the gastrointestinal tract by softening and increasing the bulkiness of stool. Fiber also provides relief from irritable bowel syndrome.

As Lin’s “Eat Bread 90” continues you can see that eating bread has helped her stay fuller, maintain her weight, and hopefully have regular GI movements! For all these reasons we believe carbs are not BAD. We believe carbs are BAD ASS especially in the form of bread!


  1. Shea, Lisa.  Carb Charts: Low Carb Reference.Kindle ed., Minerva Webworks, 2015.
  2. Ruud, Jaime S. Nutrition and the Female Athlete. Boca Raton, CRC Press, 1996.
  3. Owusu-Apenten, Richard K. Introduction to Food Chemistry. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press, 2014.
  4. “Seven Reasons To Eat Carbohydrates.” Poliquin Group. 16 Jan. 2014. 2017. Accessed 11 May 2017.
Africa Moroccan Pita Bread.

Around the World: Breads of Africa

Grains and starches make up a large portion of the foods eaten in Africa. These foods include rice, yams, corn meal, mashed beans, cassava, sorghum and millet. Africans also have unique types of breads which are different from the ones eaten in Europe and the US. African breads are baked, steamed, cooked on a griddle or deep fried. African breads were influenced by neighbors from India and southern Europe. The colonization of Africa  also played huge difference on the types of bread. Below are five of the most common types of breads consumed in Africa.

The Nigerian Puff Puff Bread

Puff Puff  is a wheat bread that is common in Nigeria.  Unlike loaf bread that is baked, the yeasted batter resembles a donut or fry bread. Flour, water, yeast and sugar are combined to make a dough which is then fried to produce Puff Puff bread. This bread is very popular in Nigeria and the neighboring west African countries.


The Nigerian Puff Puff Bread

The Nigerian Puff Puff Bread.

South African Green Mealie Bread

Corn or maize is commonly known as mealies in South Africa and Mozambique. Maize is part of the daily diet of the people in the mentioned countries. There are various recipes of making bread from ground maize. The breads are easy to make and they are very delicious. One of the breads is the traditional steamed green mealie bread which is made using a slightly green mealie. Others includes easy mealie bread and cheesy mealie bread.


South African Green Mealie Bread

South African Green Mealie Bread.


Moroccan Pita Bread

Morocco is a  North African country that is close to the European countries. Moroccan meals are a blend of Italian, French, Turkish and Spanish ingredients. Wheat breads are more common in North Africa. Wheat is more commonly grown in North Africa  than in the rest of Africa. Instead of baking, Pita bread is cooked on a griddle. It is eaten warm with honey and butter. The bread has a chewy texture which is brought about by semolina flour which has a high gluten content.


Africa Moroccan Pita Bread.

Moroccan Pita Bread.


Chapatti from Coconut Oil

Chapatis  are a common bread in east Africa which originated from India. In the African preparation of chapatis, coconut milk is used in place of water. Coconut  milk adds a rich creamy taste and softer texture to the chapatis. Flour and salt are combined and added into the coconut milk. It is kneaded into a dough which is allowed to rest for at least an hour. The dough should be soft and smooth, but not sticky. Allow the chapatti dough to rest for at least 20 minutes. This resting stage ensures your chapatti will be soft! The dough is then rolled using a rolling pin and a brushed with coconut oil. It is then placed in a heated oiled pan where it is cooked until all sides are brown.


Chapatti from Coconut Oil

Chapatti from Coconut Oil.

Ethiopian Injera Bread

Ethiopia and Liberia are the only African countries that were not colonized by European powers. Ethiopia thus retained its cultural identity which includes their unique cuisine. Ethiopia grows wheat and various other grains. Injera bread is made from a grain called Teff which is Ethiopia’s indigenous grain. Its preparation starts with putting the Teff in a mixing bowl and adding water slowly while stirring. After stirring, the batter is placed aside for a day to allow fermentation to take place. This allows flavor development as the batter acquires a slight tanginess. Yeast is sometimes added to accelerate the fermentation. Salt is then stirred in.

A nonstick pan is heated until a water drop can dance on its surface. The pan is coated with a thin layer of batter. It is then cooked until holes starts appearing on the bread surface. The bread is removed when the surface is dry. Injera is a spongy, sour flatbread that is  used to scoop up stews, meats and side dishes traditionally served as part of the meal.


Ethiopian Injera Bread

Ethiopian Injera Bread.