The Healthiest, Tastiest Whole Grain Breads and Rolls
Carbs aren’t the devil when you do them up right.
Sure, we all love shoving crunchy baguettes and soft white fluffy dinner rolls and pillowy, garlicky naan by the truckload into our faces, but there comes a time when we realize that our waistlines are expanding as quickly as dough rising in a warm kitchen. If you still want to enjoy delicious, nutritious grains and do it without becoming a doughgirl, try these recipes - they’re all based on whole grains, so they’re actually good for your body.
Heather’s Toasted Super Seed Power Bread
It’s hearty, chewy, crunchy, high in fiber and protein - and completely gluten free. Heather’s Toasted Super Seed Power Bread relies on a base of rolled oats for whole grain staying power and then pumps up the flavor and texture with a whole ton of seeds - pepita seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds - as well as hemp hearts, chickpea flour, and thinly sliced almonds. It’s the ultimate starter for your avocado toast, or just spread some jam on a toasted slice for a quick snack or breakfast. If you like, you can also throw in some chopped cranberries for extra tart, juicy flavor. You definitely won’t find yourself crashing after eating this since you’ll have filled your body up with amazingly healthy, good-for-you seeds. It's vegan, and, refreshingly, actually full of goodness; in other words, it focuses on what you're adding to your diet and not on what you're missing out on.
If you’re from Canada (or just love those ultra-polite northern neighbors of ours), you’ll appreciate that these use three of Canada’s staple crops: oats, wheat, and flax. These sweet little buns use a splash of orange juice to mellow out any bitter taste from the wheat, though you won’t taste the flavor of the juice in the finished product. They’re sprinkled with oats and flax seeds which make them look beautiful and taste crunchy and crackly. While these buns are intended to be a substitute for the sesame seed sprinkled white buns you’ll normally find at a summer cookout, I think they’d be great for indoor options like sloppy joes or ham sandwiches as well (think Christmas leftovers). Of course, you can also just...you know...eat them...
Whole Grain Pain au Chocolat
If you’ve had real pain au chocolat in France or in a French bakery in the states, you’ll see right away that these aren’t the real thing. And they’re not trying to be! What they are is a delicious, fluffy wheat roll stuffed with chocolate sticks that gently melt and then firm in the oven so the flavors of warm bread and rich chocolate blend together. Tell me you wouldn’t absolutely LOVE one (or two!) of these for an afternoon snack or a quick breakfast with coffee or a glass of milk. Just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until it’s absolutely perfect. These would be an amazing breakfast for Christmas morning or anytime you really want to impress your guests.
Easiest Five Ingredient Spelt Flatbread
The best part about flatbread is how incredibly versatile it is. These super easy five ingredient spelt flatbreads are perfect for just shoving in your face with a little spread - jam, coconut oil, butter (vegan or not), sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. But if you’re looking for an enviable lunch that you’ll be way excited to eat, try Angela’s veggie wrap suggestion - a mix of fresh orange pepper, red onion, cucumber rounds, hummus, black pepper, and yellow mustard. These come together quickly in a hot skillet and you can store the leftovers in the fridge to eat all week (if they don’t all get devoured on the first day). I've been a longtime fan of making bread in a skillet (and it's fun for kids to flip) but these look like an option that I could feel better about shoveling into my face more frequently. Let's be real, it's all about eating as much bread as you reasonably can, amiright?
The Easiest Whole Grain Seeded Bread
The Minimalist Baker is always a great source for incredible breads and sweets that you won’t be able to stop making. This easy whole grain seeded bread is just a dump, mix, rise, and bake kinda deal, so even the busy can get this going and enjoy fresh bread all week long. The pictures above are really making me wish that I had already done this so I could be shoving the avocado slice in my face, although the jam one looks pretty tempting too! The creator describes it as “Seriously simple, tender on the inside, crusty on the outside, loaded with whole grains, seedy, dreamy, and perfect.” Well, that sounds just about right to me! The step by step illustrations make it look so, so easy - you don’t even have to knead it, and if you don’t have the oats and seeds on hand, just omit them. No weird ingredients, just soft, flavorful, delicious whole grain bread.
Seeded Multigrain Boule
For this gorgeous seeded multigrain boule to achieve the perfect texture, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a tight-fitting oven-safe dish in which to bake it. This lets the steam crisp the crust of the boule (and crispy crust is bae). Toasted wheat germ, sesame seeds, flax seeds, and poppy seeds top this yummy bread and whole wheat flour and brown rice provide a hearty, healthy base. I can just imagine spreading a warm slice of this with plenty of butter and eating it alongside a huge bowl of steaming vegetable soup on a cold winter’s night. That’s eating like a king if you ask me. Of course, if you're more generous, you can also invite over some company and amaze them with your baking skills - just make sure you have plenty of time for the two rises that this boule requires.
Honey Oat Quick Bread
This is a simple recipe using ingredients you’ve probably already got on hand, like whole wheat flour, oats, yogurt, and honey - and sometimes simplest is best. It’s got an incredibly moist, tender crumb, and I can just imagine a couple slices of this with a warm cup of tea and some Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a fast one because there’s no kneading and no rising required, so you can get it ready if you have unexpected company for tea (twelve dwarves and a wizard, say, or your mom showing up to “see your new apartment”). When whole grain bread is this comforting, this simple, and this rewarding, you'll find yourself bypassing less scrumptious choices at the supermarket to head home and whip up some of this healthy goodness every week.