Culinary Gene: Know your bread

bread recipe

Basil Pesto Loaf


Would you believe that for centuries, white bread was consumed by the upper crust while the poor were left with dark, wholegrain bread? It wasn’t until the late 20th century that the nutritional value of wholegrain loaves were understood, the consumption and cost of the same started seeing an upward trend, particularly in urban areas.

bread foccacia

Tomato Pesto Foccacia

Toast, or bread in some form, is a staple breakfast in many homes today. The demand has seen a host of variants available in the market. As a part of the first and most important meal of the day, it is important to know what kind of bread you are consuming and whether or not it offers the essential nutrients that you require.

bread cinnabons


Many of us buy brown breads from supermarkets. But how many of us read the ingredients listed? Most brown breads are just white breads in disguise – brown sugar or molasses are added to “colour” them. All breads contain wheat. So, look for the term “whole” – wheat/grain before you pick one. Most often, the ingredients mentioned higher up on the list constitute the bulk of the bread.

bread recipe

Tri-pepper Ampanadillas

Wholegrain breads offer higher nutritional value compared with other breads. Wholegrain, as the term implies, refers to the ‘entire’ grain – the bran, germ & the endosperm layers. It is a complete nutritional package in the sense that it provides fibre, Vitamin B, Iron, Magnesium  and Folate. A diet rich in whole grain and fibre is known to reduce the risk of a host of ailments such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.

bread croissants

Croissants with Marmalade

Multigrain breads, in addition to wheat, may also contain other grains and seeds such as oats, barley, flax seeds, sesame, caraway and sunflower seeds, all of which are beneficial to you. Multigrain breads don’t offer significant increase in nutrition, unless they are also wholegrain.

bread sausage roll

Sausage Roll

The transition from eating white bread to the healthier alternatives can be daunting, especially for children. Wholegrain breads have a denser texture and a heavier, rustic flavour. Begin by gradually introducing them in bread puddings – a tastier alternative if you have a multigrain that also has raisins in it; toast a slice and eat it with a generous slathering of your favorite jam; or make them into small, toasted cubes that will add a punch to your salads.



Choose from the large variety of wholewheat focaccia and panini that are available in the market. The herbs add a new dimension to the breads, making for a more enjoyable dining experience. Tomato, pesto, rosemary flavours are usually easy to get from most boulangeries.


bread recipes

Tomato pesto loaf

 Text by Gouri Tanmoy and Photography by Sanjay Ramchandran

tanmoyChef Tanmoy Savardekar is the Chef-Owner of The Winking Macaron, a premium Boulangerie – Patisserie in Bangalore. The dessert store is the latest destination for delectable desserts, breads, and a selection of savouries and of course, Macarons. Chef Tanmoy is known for his innovative and creative approach to food; he was the first to introduce freshly churned Gelatos to Bangalore foodies. He has been a part of some of the best names in the industry including The Taj and The Oberoi in India, Carnival Cruise Lines in U.S.A. and more recently, Olive Beach. As Executive Pastry Chef of Olive Beach, he was the man behind the delectable desserts served up in this award-winning restaurant.


stiker2x3The Winking Macaron: Tucked away on the busy Mosque Road in Frazer town, Bangalore, this vibrant place offers a variety of desserts, savouries  and breads. They also offer some interesting summer beverages and sandwiches. Customised cakes, canapés and a host of other scrumptious fare are available on order. The Winking Macaron does not have a fixed menu, so be prepared to be pleasantly surprised with new offerings, every time you visit.


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