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Types of bread

Three main types of bread can be found throughout the world - 1) Bread that rises highest that need to be baked in pans; 2) Bread of a medium volume (e.g., French and rye bread); 3) Bread that barely rises at all and, as a result, is commonly known as flatbread.

Wheatmeal and wholemeal bread is very popular. Distinctions between the two vary from region to region. For example, in New Zealand, wholemeal bread needs to have 90% or greater wholemeal flour in the bread recipe. Wheatmeal bread can have any amount of wholemeal flour mixed in with the white flour.

Making wheatmeal or wholemeal bread differs from making white bread, in that the amount of water during mixing must be increased in order to achieve optimal dough consistency because the bran in the wholemeal sucks up more water. You'll find that the dough is weaker than a white bread dough, because bran particles break the protein bonds in the dough, which lessens the strength of the dough structure. As a result, the dough could possibly collapse when it rises, so to avoid this, add gluten (which is an extra protein) to strengthen the dough.

Wholemeal bread has a greater concentration of vitamins and minerals than white bread. This is because it maintains the germ and bran of wheat, unlike white bread. Wholemeal bread is a fantastic source of dietary fibre, as it has twice the fibre of white bread. It also has more fibre than multigrain.

Multigrain or mixed bread is made of a mix of white, rye or wholemeal four, and might also have gluten, wheatgerm, non-fat milk solids, honey, as well as whole and cracked grains of wheat and other cereals like barley, oats, rye, corn, triticale and rice millet. A number of different multigrain breads can be made by blending a number of various spices, seeds, grains, fruit, vegetable pieces and nuts.

Multigrain breads can be either heavy or light. Light multigrain breads have a fluffiness, if you will, similar to that of white bread, with tiny kibbled grains, oats and other wheat mixed in. Heavy multigrain breads have a greater grain content, a smaller volume and denser texture. Light multigrain breads are like white bread as far as composition goes, while heavy multigrains are either similar to or denser than conventional wholemeal bread.


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