Voices Pushpesh Pant Damyanti Biswas Gautam Chintamani Satya Mohanty, Neil McCallum Mata Amritanandamayi MAGAZINE Buffet People Wellness Books Food Art & Culture Entertainment NEW DELHI january 10 2021 SUNDAY PAGES 12 India’s Bread Revolution From big cities to small towns, from neighbourhood bakeries to supermarket shelves, restaurant tables to home dining, a variety of breads is edging out the traditional white loaf gradually By Shilpi madan M 10% is the projected growth for the Indian bread market Know Your Bread arie Antoinette was far ahead of her time. “Let them eat cake,” would today mean “let them eat bread”. Artisan bakers are popping out of neighbourhood ovens like hot buns during the pandemic, conjuring up scrumptious versions such as bread cakes with Oreos, coconut cream lime bread, sticky orange marmalade bread cake, chocolate syrup, vanilla, whipped cream cherry and spiced apple challahs—creating divine visions for the modern Marie. India has come late to the Bread Revolution, but now that it has, bread is equality, liberty and fraternity indeed. Bakers are taking liberties with dough to make cheese and rosemary brioches, apple cider oatmeal and classic beer breads. Liberty is freedom from the jingle ‘Mummy Mummy Modern Bread’ which is Oh So 1960s AM Radio and to indulge in the mystic mix of a corn cheddar bubble loaf. Fraternity is bonding over bread-spotting on the shelves of huge supermarket chains such as Modern Bazaar, Delhi, and Spencer’s, Chennai, and the neighbourhood baker’s whole wheat honey oat flax bread. Shops are stocked with a range of breads Indian millennials had never seen while they were burning their toast. Dietitians have been horrifying people with packaged white bread stories about obesity heart disease, , and diabetes. Popular alternatives? Yeasted sourdough bread made from a fermented mixture of flour and water has a soft, chewy centre crust and large air bubbles. Whole-wheat bread made from flour that has both the bran and germ contains more nutrients and fibre per slice that would have been lost in processing otherwise. Rye bread with its strong rye flavour is made mixing bread flour and rye flour with caraway or dill seeds added to give an earthy flavour. Its crumbs do not crumble. Pastrami gets its unique flavour from rye bread. It is a Scandinavian constant that has stormed the healthy breakfast set. A single slice has two grams of fibre, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and is good for cardiac well being. The Italians have arrived in la moda with focaccia and ciabatta. Focaccia is flat bread, usually flavoured with fresh herbs and garlic with an olive oil coating to make its crust crunchy Ciabatta is . Myth Brown bread is absolutely healthy Fact Brown bread is only ‘market healthy’. It is merely artificially coloured white bread. baked with wheat flour, salt, yeast and water, and is used to make sandwiches and paninis. Btw Ciabatta means slipper in Italian, so putting your foot in your mouth is a taste of its own. The French brioche has flown from elite tables to supermarket and mom and pop stores: it is the almost ephemeral French bread made with eggs and butter with a soft golden crust, tight crumb and a seductive sweetness. Hand-crafted loaves that suffuse your mouth with umami, naturally leavened keto specials, heirloom wheats, millet loaves, and more are now as popular as rava idli in a Konkan home—a classic case of taste and tell with the bread renaissance that has swept across the country over the past few years. The growing bread cult, often confused, staring at a stunning variety of bran, multigrain, brown, whole wheat breads jostling for attention on shelves is a new religion. A far cry from the good ol’ white slices the grocer sent home every day . “We have gone off wheat completely at home, but enjoy a good sourdough once in a while,” says homemaker-baker Resham Deodhar, in Mumbai. Another homemaker-baker from the city , Aradhana Barua’s preferential factors are bread with flavour and nutritional value. Says Shruti Gupta, owner and pastry chef at The Baking Culture (@the_baking_culture on Instagram), “We make croissants, focaccia and slicer buns besides homemade whole wheat bread, white bread, pav buns and spiced pizza bases. During the lockdown alone, we sold at least 15 kg of bread every day . We’ll soon start babka buns (braided bread done in chocolate).” Meanwhile, Glacage Fine Baking in Hyderabad, which calls itself a tiny kitchen with a big heart, a venture by Taanya Kalsi, claims to make 100 percent whole wheat (homeground) bread, ragi bread, multigrain, savoury bread, etc. “Our breads don’t include preservatives. The people of Hyderabad are quite experimental. Recently we came out with Korean cream cheese garlic buns. It has sold really well,” she says. SOURDOUGH LEADS THE PACK Sourdough recipes have taken over social media. “It is the latest craze. Sourdough and your pet are similar. You have to name, nourish and nurture it lovingly smiles ,” Mumbai-based Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Rakhee Vaswani, who perfected baking it over a decade ago. Believed to have originated in ancient Egypt around 1,500 BC, its benefits make it the top choice among health aficionados. Sourdough is packed with minerals such as iron and selenium, vitamins, and pre and probiotics which make digestion easier. It Bread Consumption in India 27% NORTH 23% WEST 18% EAST 32% South Myth Breads are not healthy at all Fact Breads prepared traditionally are just as healthy as a roti. The only condition is that they should be free of preservatives and their ingredients must be freshly sourced. 1.5kg1.75kg of bread is consumed per capita in the country “A whole grain bread is better than brown bread and white bread since the latter can increase blood sugar and insulin levels. Yet whole grain bread also has a small amount of sugar and transfat. Consume in balance.” Karishma Chawla Nutritionist, Mumbai speeds energy metabolism and protects the immune system, cells and tissue. It has antioxidant benefits. One slice has more protein than an egg. Karthik Gopalkrishna, a software engineer from Chennai, was a frequent flyer until the pandemic. His travels in Europe introduced him to artisanal breads. On his return to India, he Googled bakeries selling such bread in his city and lucked out. He started buying a loaf of sourdough a week, later spending more on Danish walcons, biscottis and their seasonal specials. “It’s healthy , since no yeast is used. Instead you just pull the bacteria from air. Abroad, people desist from discarding the ‘feed’ for 20 years, and come up with superb versions of sourdough,” Vaswani comments on the wild trend in the bread world, with sourdough swarming cookies, pancakes, crackers and scones in local bakeries. Samruddhi Nayak, founder of Krumb Kraft, Bengaluru, fell in love with sourdough bread in Germany where her husband often went $1.4 billion will be the market share of bread by FY 2026 Turn to page 2 Myth Brown breads contain fewer calories than rotis Fact The number of calories a particular food item expends is dependent on the quantity and size of the item
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