There are few things in this world that are better than a loaf of freshly baked bread, and a breadmaker can get one in your house quickly and without much fuss. Spend just five or ten minutes gathering your ingredients and measuring them into the machine, and a few hours of rising and baking later, you’ve got a hot and fragrant loaf. Homemade bread is more affordable than store bought bread, since the ingredients are among the least expensive in the supermarket, and there’s no plastic packaging to throw away.
But with more and more people wanting to eat better these days, there’s a lingering question about this popular appliance: are breadmakers healthy? The answer is mostly yes — breadmakers offer several health advantages over store bought bread, and that will appeal to anyone who’s interested in a more wholesome diet. However, there are a few health related reservations that some have about breadmakers. Read on to find out more about breadmakers and your health.
Have you read the ingredient list on a loaf of store bought, prepackaged bread? It can be quite frightening to see what you’re putting into your body! Ingredients like dough conditioners, added sugars and oils, and odd flavoring agents are in many commercially prepared loaves, and if you’re trying to remove those types of things from your diet, making your own bread is the way to go. A breadmaker makes it easy to do just that, without all of the weird chemicals and additives.
Additionally, with homemade bread in a breadmaker, you can control exactly what’s in your finished loaf. If you need to limit your sugar, you can use a recipe with no added sweeteners. If your diet is gluten free, you can make gluten free bread in your breadmaker. There are even breadmaker recipes for low carb bread. Truly, whatever your dietary needs are, you can use your breadmaker to make bread that’s as healthy as you need it to be.
A Potential Drawback
It might seem like a breadmaker is the most convenient way to satisfy all of your fresh and healthy bread cravings, but many consumers take issue with the fluoropolymer coated baking pan that most breadmakers have. Fluoropolymer, more commonly known by the brand name Teflon, has been the topic of many health related conversations in the past decade, with some studies suggesting it’s toxic and a carcinogen. This, obviously, calls the whole healthy aspect of breadmakers into question.
However, this fluoropolymer lined pan is not necessarily a deal breaker. For starters, Dupont, the manufacturer of Teflon, insists that the coating is safe as long as it’s kept under 500 degrees Fahrenheit and is unscratched. Since bread is baked at a much lower temperature (usually around 300 to 350 degrees), and if your breadmaker pans don’t come into contact with metal utensils, the health concerns should be minimal. However, tests by more environmentally inclined organizations like the Environmental Working Group reveal that Teflon does give off some harmful gasses at just 325 degrees.
What’s a health conscious bread lover to do? Fortunately, newer breadmaker models offer some solutions. Several of them keep the baking temperature at 300 degrees or lower, helping to reduce any potential health implications from the nonstick pan coating. Even better, a select few models have pans with bioceramic coating, a nonstick material that does not use any chemicals that are known to be harmful. So, if you’re after a convenient and inexpensive loaf that’s also health friendly, you might want to look into one of these newer breadmaker models.
A Modern Convenience
This is perhaps the best way to describe a breadmaker: a modern convenience. After all, you can certainly make bread at home without this specialized appliance, and you can certainly make that bread healthy. Still, a breadmaker is just so handy for making healthy bread exactly the way you want it and exactly when you want it. Yes, the concerns over the fluoropolymer coated pan found in most models will be enough to steer some people away from a breadmaker. On the whole, however, breadmakers are a healthy way to make bread at home.