Info About The German Bread Family

About Multigrain Bread

Multigrain bread is bread made with multiple grains such as oats, cracked wheat, buckwheat, barley, millet and flax. Some types are also whole grain bread, but you should read bread labels carefully so that you know what nutrition you’re getting.

If the words enriched wheat flour can be found near the top of the list of ingredients on a loaf of multigrain bread, then the product is not made of whole grains. Whole grains include the whole seed which is the germ, the bran and the endosperm sections. Refined grains, such as enriched wheat flour, have had parts of the whole grain removed. Whole wheat flour on the other hand is a whole grain as none of the parts of the grain have been refined, or removed.

Other than whole wheat flour, you may find whole grain flours such as graham and buckwheat in multigrain breads. Again, the key for maximum fiber and nutrients is to look for whole grains rather than enriched or refined grains. This can be confusing for many shoppers, as the word enriched may sound nutritious. In actuality, enriched means that only a little of the many nutrients lost in the refining process was put back in the grain making it far less nutritious than whole grain multigrain bread.

This type of bread may have three to five different grains or it may have up to twelve different grains. Some are very hearty and have raisins and nuts added. You can usually find different multigrain breads in either regular loaf shapes or in round loaves that are sometimes sold as Rustic Bread or Peasant Bread. Recipes for this type of bread are available for bread makers and for the traditional oven method of baking bread.

Multigrain bread can add interest, flavor and texture to sandwiches and multigrain sandwich rolls are also sometimes available. Wholegrain bread has a firm texture that makes it great for packed lunches. Toasted slices of multigrain bread can be cut into large cubes to top salads and soups.

Multigrain bread is a type of bread prepared with two or more types of grain. Grains used include barley, flax, millet, oats, wheat, and whole-wheat flour, among others. Some varieties include edible seeds in their preparation, such as flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Rye and sourdough multigrain breads are additional varieties. Other variations of preparations include 7-grain and 9-grain bread,among others.

Multigrain bread may be prepared using whole, unprocessed grains, although commercial varieties do not necessarily always contain whole grains.

Interesting Information

Use in brewing
A 4,000-year-old Mesopotamian recipe for brewing beer from multigrain loaves of bread mixed with honey is the oldest surviving beer recipe in the world. The Brussels Beer Project microbrewery in Belgium has developed an amber beer with a 7% alcohol by volume named Babylone that incorporates this recipe using leftover, unsold fresh bread donated by supermarkets.

Compare Whole Wheat Bread with Multi Grain Bread
In order to have a productive day, you need a healthy breakfast. Toast is a staple of the most important meal of the day. However, it can be difficult to know which bread offers you the most health benefits and can help you create a well-rounded, heart healthy diet. Though multigrain bread is all the rage these days, research suggests that whole wheat bread may be healthier for you. In fact, experts recommend that adults eat at least three servings of whole grain products, such whole wheat bread a day. Here are some of the ways that whole wheat bread differs from multigrain.

Whole Grain Contains More Essential Nutrients

The term “whole grain” refers to flour that is made from all parts of the wheat grain kernel–the bran, germ and endosperm. The bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of the wheat grain. They contain vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, cooper, iron and dietary fiber. During the refinement process, the majority of these nutrients get lost. Multigrain bread is made from a variety of different types of grains, such as wheat, oat and barley. However, unless the label indicates that a product is made from whole grain, your multigrain bread may be made of refined flour and missing the key nutrients found in the bran and germ.

Whole Grains Take Longer to Get Absorbed into the Body

Eating a diet full of whole grains can reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease. It takes the body longer to absorb whole grain products like whole wheat bread. The slower absorption rate prevents sharp rises in sugar and insulin levels. If multigrain bread is not whole grain, it gets absorbed by the body at a quicker rate and could spike insulin levels.

Whole Grains Have More Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is a crucial part of any weight loss regime. Soluble fiber slows down the digestive process, allowing the food to spend more time in the digestive tract and increasing the amount of nutrients absorbed into the body. Fiber also creates a feeling of fullness, making you less likely to over indulge. Fiber can also reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Whole wheat bread has a ton of dietary fiber, as the majority of the fiber is found in the germ. However, most multigrain bread is refined and does not have the fiber content of whole wheat.

Whole Wheat Bread is a Great Source of Complex Carbohydrates

Your body needs sufficient fuel to get through challenging workouts. Whole wheat bread is a great source of complex carbohydrates. A few slices of wheat bread can give your body the energy it needs to get through even the most grueling exercise routines. Unless it is made with whole grain, multigrain bread is full of simple carbohydrates. These carbs take less time to process and are quickly converted into glucose.

Whole grain multigrain breads contain a dietary fiber content of up to four times greater than white breads and may also contain more vitamins and protein compared to white bread. Multigrain breads also provide complex carbohydrates.

Multigrain vs. Whole Wheat

If you’re looking to lose weight and build muscle, whole wheat bread is the safest and smartest food choice. Multigrain may sound appealing. However, unless it’s made with whole grains, it has the same nutritional value as processed white bread.
Brezel -(USA)Pretzels or Brezen

The ideal pretzel, as served in Germany, has a dark brown, crispy, salty crust, and inside a soft dough. It has a plump “body”, and thin, crispy (not dry) crossed “arms.”

The pretzel is traditionally made from white (wheat) flour, malt, salt, yeast, and water. In some regions in Germany, fat is added to the dough to soften it. Other variations use whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or a mixture of different flours. Pretzels are topped with coarse salt or sometimes with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or poppy seeds.

Before baking, the formed pretzel is dunked briefly in a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water. In German this mixture is called Natronlauge. This is what gives the pretzel its unique color and flavor. Because of this technique, this type of pretzel is also called a Laugenbrezel.
Invented by Mistake

Although other regions of Germany have their stories of how it was invented, the Laugenbrezel is accredited to the Bavarians. The saga goes that on the morning of February 11, 1839, Anton Nepomuk Pfanenbrenner, the baker for the Munich Royal Café, was preparing some sweet pretzels for his guests. He wanted to brush the pretzels with sugar-water, but accidentally used the Natronlauge, the sodium hydroxide solution being used to clean and disinfect the bakery countertops. The baker decided to bake the pretzels anyway. The pretzels came out of the oven with a unique brown crust, soft center, and delicious taste. His guests were very pleased and he became the “pretzel hero.”
The Pretzel Shape

There are many theories surrounding the creation of the pretzel shape. Some say the shape originates with the Romans, resembling the Roman ring-bread, a small, circular-shaped bread. Others say the shape originated in a monastery, where the pretzel shape was designed to resemble a praying monk (back then the praying position was arms crossed with the hands on the shoulders).

There are slight variations of the pretzel shape in each region of Germany. For example, in Bavaria, the arms are shorter and attached closer to the top (thin part) of the pretzel. In Swabian the arms of the pretzel sit very low on the body.

Pretzels today continue to be formed by hand as has been done throughout history. Bakers spend years perfecting the pretzel-forming technique. First, the dough needs to be rolled out. Both ends of the strand are held up, and through a quick swing, the center of the strand is twisted. The ends are then pressed onto the body of the pretzel. This process, when prefected, takes only seconds, but it needs a lot of practice to get it right.
Other Laugen Breads (Laugengebäck)

Laugengebäck refers to baked items that are made with the same dough and technique as the Laugenbrezel, but are either formed differently or have added toppings. Some common ones are identified below.

laugenbroetchen rollPretzel Roll (Laugenbrötchen)
Pretzel Roll
Pretzel rolls (Laugenbrötchen) are formed into small round balls. Recently, these have grown in popularity here in the U.S.. They are becoming more available at bakeries and markets.

Cheese Pretzel (Käse-Brezel)
Cheese Pretzel
Photo: © Ars Ulrikusch – The Cheese Pretzel is a Laugenbrezel with a cheese topping. The cheese is added during the last few minutes of baking so that it doesn’t melt into the dough, but rather form a crisp coating on the pretzel. Delicious!

L003 laugen stickPretzel Bread Sticks (Laugenstangen)
Pretzel Sticks
The Laugenstange is formed into an elongated roll. Variations include Cheese Sticks (Käsestangen), which have a cheese topping, and Ham & Cheese Sticks (Käse-Schinken-Stangen), which have a ham and cheese topping.