Bread - Defined - White versus Brown Bread

Bread—A combination of flour, salt, sugar, water and 'east, mixed, set to rise, kneaded, risen again, molded, proved and baked. The different kinds of bread on the market is legion, and with all sorts of claims, principally for the benefit of health and digestion, such as "whole meal," "gluten," "aerated," "steamed," "dietitic," "diabetic," "butter milk," "dyspepsia," etc., which argument may be based on sound doctrine or not, at least, doctors, chemists and anylists, are continually arguing the pro. and con. of the different claimants as the following quotation will show for itself.

White versus Brown Bread—There appeared in the St. Bartholomew's Hospital report a very interesting communication on the relative digestibility of white and brown bread by Drs. Lauder, Brunton and Tunnicliffe. While the authors admit that, regarded from a purely chemical point of view, the nutritive value of 'brown bread is greater than white, they maintain that this is not so when considered from the physiological side.

The authors point out that it is absurd to take the mere chemical composition as an index of the value of food stuff, as a stick of charcoal, the atmospheric air, a little water, some sea salt, contain all the elements of a typical diet. Hence, the greatest importance attaches not only to the composition, but to the ways in which the various constituents are combined so that they can be readily and easily assimilated.

The conclusion that the authors come to is mainly that, although brown bread, both on account of its large percentage of mineral matters and fat forming constituents, is chemically superior to white bread, yet these constituents do not so readily pass into the blood as in the case of white bread, and that, weight for weight, white bread is more nutritious than brown.

In special cases where there is a deficiency of mineral matter, and especially in cases of growing children, when large quantities of these are required for production of bone and tissue, brown bread may be useful, but even in these cases, if these mineral salts, and especially salts of calcium, are supplied by other means, white bread is preferable to brown.

Boston Brown Bread

1 cup rye meal
1 cup granulated corn meal
1 cup Graham flour
3/4 tablespoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup molasses
2 cups sour milk, or 1 3/4 cups sweet milk or water

Mix and sift dry ingredients, add molasses and milk, stir until well mixed, turn into a well-buttered mould, and steam three and one-half hours. The cover should be buttered before being placed on mould, and then tied down with string; otherwise the bread in rising might force off cover. Mould should never be filled more than two-thirds full. A melon-mould or one-pound baking-powder boxes make the most attractive-shaped loaves, but a five-pound lard pail answers the purpose. For steaming, place mould on a trivet in kettle containing boiling water, allowing w'ater to come half-way up around mould, cover closely, and steam, adding, as needed, more boiling water.


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