From The Nutritionist

Casey Pietroforte, Campbell Nutrition Intern
Guest Author:
Casey Pietroforte, Campbell Nutrition Intern

Get a Rise Out of Whole Wheat Bread




Everyone loves the smell of fresh-baked bread coming out of the oven. Warm to the touch, light and airy in your mouth, you could eat the whole loaf right on the spot. But have you ever tried to swap your usual refined white flour for whole wheat flour? The kitchen timer alarms and the smell is there, but your bread turns out dense and hard. What happened? We know that whole grains are nutritionally superior to refined grains, but baking with them can be challenging. I sat down with one of Pepperidge Farm’s food scientists, Kim Zeldes, to learn more about baking with whole grains and how we can get better results in our own kitchens.


White Vs. Whole Wheat Flour

White and wheat flour both begin as grain from a wheat plant. Wheat grain has three components: the bran (~14.5% of the grain), germ (~ 2.5 %) and endosperm (~83%).1 The bran contains important antioxidants, B vitamins and fiber. The germ contains many B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats.2 The endosperm contains gluten, an important protein structure for baking found in wheat, barley and rye.

In white flour, the bran and germ are removed and only the endosperm remains. At the end of processing, some lost nutrients are replaced through enrichment. Whole wheat flour uses the entire grain, including the bran and germ for complete whole grain nutrition.


The Science Behind Gluten

The two main proteins in gluten are called glutenin and gliadin. Glutenin and gliadin assist with elasticity and extensibility of bread and are essential for baking. Elasticity refers to dough’s ability to bounce back once stretched and extensibility refers to dough’s ability to stretch.3 Gluten forms when a liquid (usually water) is added to flour and then mixed or kneaded. During leavening, yeast consumes the sugars and releases carbon dioxide. Gluten then traps the carbon dioxide that is released, causing the dough to rise.4 This gives bread the light, airy texture, adds flavor and helps baked goods stay moist.

Kneading or mixing the dough is an important step to making a delicious loaf of bread, but needs to be done for the right amount of time. An undermixed dough will not have the elasticity and extensibility to shape the bread and capture the carbon dioxide during fermentation, resulting in a dense bread. An overmixed dough will be stiff and hard to stretch, resulting in a tough, chewy, and dense bread.

Whole wheat flour has slightly higher levels of gluten, but still results in a denser bread. Why is that? Kim explained that the bran in whole wheat flour weakens the gluten strands by cutting into them and disrupting the gluten matrix. This decreases the overall extensibility and elasticity of the dough so that it cannot hold onto as much carbon dioxide – resulting in a denser bread.


How Experts Bake with Whole Wheat

Pepperidge Farm bakers use food science know-how and generations of experience to make baked goods with different textures and tastes. Commercially baked bread made with whole wheat flour may use additional gluten and dough conditioners to strengthen the bread throughout the process. Food scientists test and retest their recipes to make sure their baked goods have the right taste and texture for consumers.

Tips for Baking with Whole Wheat at Home:
  1. You can substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour 1:1, but you will need to adjust the mixing time AND the water content of the recipe, most likely increasing both.
  2. Add vital gluten to bread recipes to strengthen the dough. You will likely need to make the same water and mixing adjustments noted above.
  3. Try white whole wheat flour, which is nutritionally and functionally the same as “regular” whole wheat.5 You will still need to adjust mixing times and water content, but this wheat variety is less bitter.

Before you roll up your sleeves and start baking, consider the adjustments you need to make for whole wheat baked goods. And remember – it’s not a big deal if you don’t get it perfect the first time. At the end of the day, that’s what the experts are here for!


Happy baking,

Casey



Kim's Bio

Kim has been part of the team at Pepperidge Farm since 2011. She has experience working throughout Pepperidge Farm Product Development including Fresh & Frozen Bakery, Cookies, and Goldfish®. Kim has received a Masters in Food Science from Kansas State University, a BSBA Business Management degree from the University of Florida and an AA in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University.



Casey’s Bio

Casey is a recent graduate from West Chester University with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is currently an intern for the Global Nutrition team at Campbell. Casey aspires to become a registered dietitian and will be completing her dietetic internship through the Aramark Distance Learning Dietetic Internship program this upcoming Fall. Casey feels that her internship at Campbell will help her learn more about the impact the food industry can have on the future of our food supply, particularly providing nutritious, affordable food for everyone.

  1. North Dakota Wheat Commission Accessed June 2018
  2. What is a Whole Grain? Accessed June 2018
  3. Gluten: A Balance of Gliadin and Glutenin Accessed June 2018
  4. What is Gluten? Accessed June 2018
  5. WHOLE WHITE WHEAT FAQ Accessed June 2018

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.