All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Calories in my WW Bread

Lens of Bread
I am amazed that I continue to write something about bread almost every time I make bread, and that I keep coming up with different things to say as I try to experiment with breads with whole grain and as I learn about what I'm eating and where it comes from.  Even if it is the same old bread -- like today's loaves -- I've still got something to say about it.

After several years of fumbling about, playing with recipes, coming up against opposition from farmers, millers, bakers, family and friends who think of bread one way while I think of it in another, I begin to believe that bread is a lens, through which one can view many things about humans, and our place on earth -- about life itself.  A good bit of fumbling is still going on, but I assume that I'm still learning something as I try to figure it all out.

Today's Bread
is another whole wheat sourdough -- by which I mean I'm using 100% whole wheat flour, to which I am adding the 5% wheat germ allowable by law that is taken out during the milling process, and I am leavening it with fermented 100% whole wheat.  Water and salt are the only other ingredients.

This is not a Tartine bread.  The jumping-off point was a Tartine Bread recipe, but no doubt Chad Robertson would be sorely disappointed if I were to attach his name to this particular loaf.  I haven't followed Tartine methods at all here.  In fact, I have just fallen asleep and let the sourdough do everything.  

After working nights, before falling asleep, I mixed up some sourdough starter (200g) and some flour (1000g), gave it a short autolyse, added salt (20g) and enough water to bring it up to 75% hydration, folded it once, covered the dough and fell asleep.  No more folds.  No kneading.  No developing of gluten.

I awoke about 6 hours later -- a good sleep, for when I'm working nights, sleeping days, which should tell you something about my nearly constant state of sleep deprivation during these night shifts.  This is hard on the body.  Please be understanding if your nurse friends sometimes tend to be a bit crotchety.

I divided the dough, formed one into a bread shape gently, and the other I was a bit more firm with.  Into the banneton.  Two hours later, they were in the oven.  They didn't keep their shape as well as a dough that is kneaded or stretched and folded, but they turned into bread despite my neglect.  Not bread that I'm proud of, but bread.

The crumb is not well developed, but perfectly acceptable.  It is better than many of my early attempts at making bread.  When still warm from the oven a couple of hours after baking, it was delicious.

I am thinking about fasts today.  

The latest science on longevity says that if you limit your caloric intake, the cells of your body change from replacement mode to repair mode.  Here is some info gleaned from a recent BBC Horizon episode: if the average diet is 2000 calories/day, and your food supplies you with only 5-600 calories/day only, the cells begin to conserve energy.  Building new cells from scratch is costly in terms of energy use for the body, but repairing existing damaged cells -- including damaged DNA -- is less costly.  The result of this repair is that many diseases and problems are nipped in the bud; many cancers are curtailed, heart and peripheral vascular disease are prevented.  This may be true everywhere except in the brain, where new neurones may be forming.  The result is health and longevity.

And all it takes is regular fasting.

Now that Ramadan 2012 is recently over (should have ended Aug 18th), and I just watched Michael Mosley's interesting BBC Horizon show called "Eat, Fast and Live Longer", my attention has been focused on fasting.

I used to do occasional single-day fasts.  They probably didn't have the beneficial results that Mosley described (lowering levels of IGF-1, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides and homocysteine levels, burning fat, switching the body's cells to repair mode, etc.), because they weren't long enough.  But I know that I can fast -- especially if unlike Moslems, I can drink water, or like Mosley, I can drink tea or a bit of miso soup.  The question is, do I have the discipline?  Do I have the drive?  Do I have this monkey on my back where I must have bread, a steady diet of exorphins?

If I did without bread during a fast, how many calories would I be missing?

Calories in My Bread
So I was curious: how many calories are in one slice of my bread?  Assuming I eat it with nothing else on it (butter, cheese, tomato, or something else) -- which I never do?

I cut into this loaf, and weighed one of the slices: the largest that you see here in the crumb picture is 27g; the entire loaf weighed about 840g.  (The entire dough weighed 1000g+750g+20g+50g; divide this by about 2 -- assuming I divide it completely accurately, which I never do --  and you get 960g per loaf, but it would appear about 12.5% is lost in evaporation during baking).  I doubt that I get 35 slices per loaf, but let's assume that I do (The next day I cut another slice slightly thicker and toward the middle of the loaf and it weighed 53g  -- so you can see how variable a 'slice' might be, when you are cutting it yourself.  That would be more like 16 slices per loaf).

Many of the free recipe counters that I found online expect you to measure your ingredients by the cup, not by the gram, so I found them useless.  I checked each ingredient in

Water and salt have no calories.
The only other ingredients are whole wheat flour and wheat germ:

120g = 407 calories; 

  • counting the sourdough, I have 1100g; in 1100g, there is 3731cal; 
  • in 1 loaf there is 1865cal; 
  • in one slice there is 53 ( to 116) calories

Wheat Germ: 
115g = 414 calories;

  • in 50g, there is 180cal; 
  • in one loaf there is 90cal; 
  • in one slice, 3 ( to 6) calories

Therefore in each slice of my bread, with nothing on it, I get about 56-122 calories.  Eating an entire loaf a day (1955-1960cal) would nearly give me my daily requirements for caloric intake (but of course, it would be deficient in some amino acids and other required vitamins and minerals, so you wouldn't want to do it for any length of time; and I'd be unlikely to eat bread without anything on it -- e.g. butter, jam, nutbutters, cheese, tomatoes, etc.).

I probably will try fasting again, and I'm curious to see what will happen to my brain when it undergoes detox from exorphins after one or two days of not eating bread.

Notes to Myself
  • Try to keep your caloric intake below 2000 calories/day.  You are eating more than just bread. But with nothing else but bread, you would have to keep your intake less than 1 loaf/day.
  • Try fasting again.  See what happens to your IGF-1 levels, triglycerides, cholesterol, weight.  Try fasting 2 days out of every 7, for 5 weeks, like Michael Mosley, to see what happens to these levels.
  • What will happen to your interest in bread if you fast regularly?  What will happen to your addiction to exorphins?  Will you be able to fast like you used to?
  • My wife bought me a 3 1/2 quart size RachaelRay square 'stoneware' casserole dish, rated for 500 degrees F, for my bread.

    I tried the casserole dish out on one of these loaves, and found that it is too small for my baskets.  The dough didn't fit.  I don't have a square proofing basket, so I won't be using this again soon.  But one nice thing about it: it is light weight, meaning those who have trouble with heavy dutch ovens might find this stoneware easier to use, for baking Tartine or Lahey-style loaves (although I'd probably choose a different shape).  To me, it feels so light it simply won't stand up to use.  But we shall see.  Meanwhile, it sits on top of the stove because our cupboards remain ripped apart due to the water damage we experienced, before we went away on holidays.  There is no place to put this new dish.

    My wife warns me that this will only get worse:  "Better bake lots of bread and freeze it," she told me.  "Your cupboards are about to entirely disappear."  I may be baking on the barbecue before long.  We shall see.
  • I don't watch much TV, we don't have cable, so I never heard of RachaelRay before this.  I assume she is some foodie guru with her own TV show, and now selling cookware, etc.  I searched for some bread recipes on her website.  There aren't many, but they are difficult to search for.  Rachael Ray seems to be a cook rather than a baker.  She does a few interesting things with bread, but she rarely bakes it herself.  These are the only recipes that caught my attention:


Things to do with Bread:

1 comment: