Preservative Free Bread

Does the bread you have at home include preservatives? Is this something you've ever asked yourself? Go and check, I'll wait. 

Think about it. How does your loaf of bread stay 'fresh' on the counter for more than a week or sometimes 2? 

More often than not we eat preservatives in our food whether we know it or not. But do we know what these preservatives are doing to us? Have a look at this piece Womens Health wrote about scary additives we have in our every day foods and the potential health risks and side effects.

Some of the main culprits added into bread as preservatives are things like, sulphites (sulphur dioxide), propionates, calcium propionate (preservative number 282), preservative 223 (which unfortunately can be used as an agent rather than a preservative so doesn't legally need listing), potassium bromate, BHA, BHT, thiamin to name a few. And frustratingly, sometimes it's hard to read those damn labels and to understand exactly what each ingredient actually is! Over the years, companies have become very good at hiding nasties in their food under alternative names or potentially as something else. All I can say about this is, check the label and research the ingredients.

Remember: flour, yeast, water & salt should really be the only ingredients used in the making of bread. Allowing seeds for flavour and sometimes you'll see 'enzyme' (like amylase) listed which can be used for dough improvement and is well accepted as non harmful. But if you're really not sure ask your supplier what the ingredients are and research them yourself.

Buying from a bakery is the best way to ensure you'll know what you're getting. They usually bake their breads fresh every day, preservative free. But if you're sill unsure, you can usually go straight to the source and ask the baker! :) 

The biggest tip I can give you is to remember that fresh, preservative free bread will ALWAYS start to stale after a few days (unless frozen). If that's not the case with yours, you gotta think something's up.