Penny Fray discovers why the humble loaf is the sexiest new kid on the baking block.
It’s made with just four simple ingredients – water, flour, salt and yeast – yet nothing beats the fantastic flavour of a freshly baked loaf smothered with lashings of butter. The very act of tearing into the outer crust to access the warm, soft texture beneath is a
Homemade bread may smell and feel good but it tastes even better, conjuring up happy memories of picnics, Parisian boulangeries and baking with mother.
It is this sense of nostalgia that has brought bread back into vogue.
Forget about some of the manufactured monstrosities that taste like cardboard and stick to the roof of your mouth – we’re talking about the wholesome deliciousness of artisan bread.
Designer loaves, crafted from the finest of ingredients, are so hot right now that wannabe domestic goddesses are paying a small fortune for classes and bread makers.
Chic bakeries are popping up all over Muscat as hip gourmands move swiftly on from Atkins and back into the benefits of breads packed with fiber, vitamin B and essential fatty acids.
“We find that the healthier types of bread such as wholemeal, sunflower seeds and soft French are the most popular here in Muscat,” reveals Jannat Moosa, marketing director of Bin Mirza International, the company behind BreadTalks. “Breads that have grains such as dark rye are also well liked.”
According to research, bread lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes, plus it reduces the danger of developing some form of cancers.
No wonder BreadTalk is planning to launch a new collection of healthy breads in August. In the meantime, it’s worth baking your own using virtuous ingredients like gluten free flour, green tea and sunflower seeds.
“When baking make sure to handle the dough delicately and ensure that the temperature of the water mixed in is not too hot or too cold,” advises Jannat. “And always remember that the higher the quality of the ingredients the better the results.”