I recently noticed a bread I hadn’t seen before in my local supermarket. What caught my eye was the tag-line – 7 Ingredients. Take a look at the bread in your pantry and I’m guessing you’ll find anywhere between 11 and 20+ ingredients including emulsifiers and preservatives etc! I decided to give Simply Nature’s Fresh Wholemeal Sandwich a go and see how well it stacked up for taste, texture and keeping power with other wholemeal loaves I’ve bought.
[THE MANUFACTURER ADVISED THAT DUE TO POOR SALES, THIS BREAD WAS TAKEN OFF THE MARKET IN 2015]
The slices are thick and soft and make lovely sandwiches. This bread also toasts very nicely and more evenly than many I’ve bought. What really surprised me though was the way it kept. I thought that with vinegar as the only preservative-type ingredient it would probably go stale quite quickly but it didn’t. I kept the packet sealed on my countertop for a week (admittedly it’s winter here) and every day I used some and it was as good as the first slice. The loaf went mouldy rather than stale and that didn’t occur until day 8. Pretty impressive!
There are three other loaves in the Simply Nature’s Fresh family - Multigrain Sliced Bread (9 ingredients – i.e. the grains), White Sandwich and White Toast (both having 6 ingredients).
I’ve reproduced the ingredients from the label below but there is a little sleight of hand you should be aware of with the numbers. One of the ingredients listed is “wholemeal breadmaking flour”. However, this contains the vitamins thiamin and folate which are mandatory inclusions in Australian bread. Many other breads list these as separate ingredients. You might think I’m splitting hairs here but the label does say “Seven simple ingredients is all it takes to make good wholemeal bread” and a compounded ingredient like vitamin fortified flour isn’t really a simple ingredient.
I count seven if you accept that breadmaking flour by law contains flour PLUS two added B vitamins which are thiamin or B1 and folic acid or folate: Breadmaking flour (wholemeal wheat flour (thiamin, folic acid), water, yeast, vinegar, wheat gluten, canola oil, iodised salt.
Per serving size
| Per 100 g
|Energy - kJ||716||1023|
|Fat - total, g||1.5||2.1|
|- saturated fat, g||<1||0.4|
|- sugars, g||1.8||2.6|
Ingredients from Helga’s Traditional Wholemeal 750 g loaf:
I count 13 ingredients counting the two B vitamins in with the flour
Wholemeal Wheat Flour (62%), Water, Rye Meal (3%), Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Iodised Salt, Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, Soy Flour, Vegetable Emulsifiers (481, 471, 472e), Mineral Salt (Calcium Carbonate), Vitamins (Thiamin, Folic Acid).
Ingredients from Coles Wholemeal Sliced Bread 700 g:
I count 17 ingredients counting the two B vitamins in with the flour
Wholemeal Wheat Flour (64%), Water, Yeast, Vinegar, Wheat Gluten, Canola Oil, Fibre (1.0%) (Soy), Iodised Salt, Soy Flour, Vegetable Emulsifiers (471, 481, 472e), Mineral Salt (Calcium Carbonate), Malted Barley Flour, Vitamins (Niacin, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Folic Acid), Mineral (Iron).