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Traditional white loaf with new variants of bread : New favourite of foodies
Wednesday, 29 June, 2022, 12 : 00 PM [IST]
Rajni Gyanchandani
With foodies swarming up in every corner of the towns and cities, artisan bread is becoming the new favourite of the Indian foodies. The delectable bread with soft and fresh texture, and appetising chewy crust is gradually edging out the white loaf from the shelves. These varieties of bread are handcrafted that are conjuring up the scrumptious versions with high-quality raw materials and are free from any sort of chemical additives.

Though India has entered late in this journey of Bread Revolution, people are not shying away from experimenting with the dough and taking the liberty to come up with new relishing varieties like cheese and rosemary brioches, apple cider oatmeal, classic beer bread, and many more. It is the versatility of the bread that is driving the wind in its favour.

The flexibility to create yeast at home with the ingredients available in the kitchen, play with different flavours from cocoa nibs to crushed coffee beans, and artisan bread comes with the liberty for palatable customisation as per one’s own taste.

People innovate with unique and personal seasonings like barberries, fennel, pomegranate dried seeds, coriander seeds, oats, adding an exciting twist to the loaf. For baking gluten-free bread there are alternatives to using almond and coconut flour; those intolerant to lactose can substitute the dairy milk with coconut, soya, or almond milk.

But making inroads into the dinner table was not an easy journey especially in a country with diverse dynamism and ignorance to even differentiate between brown bread, wheat bread, and whole wheat bread. The biggest myth in making rounds was that artisan bread is expensive, crusty, and has end-to-end usage limitations.

Consumers were unable to break free from the marketplace square bread and were taken by surprise by the unusual appearance of handcrafted loaves. It took time to bust the myth with the consistent efforts of the local home bakers who offered artisan items made from local ingredients at an affordable price value.
This acceptance can be attributed to the shift towards a health-conscious lifestyle coupled with globalization and digitisation which is catering to the needs of mindful eating habits of individuals who want to indulge in bread without any tinge of guilt. The younger lot is highly enthusiastic and adaptive to new introductions. They vouch for newer, healthier, and artisanal-crafted products.

The social media trend is majorly responsible for this crossover of international tastes and materials that is leading the league for both baking and making viral the new varieties of bread. YouTube videos are further providing accessibility and simplifying the baking process.

In this bread evolution, sourdough is the unanimous favourite of the majority because that is packed with vitamins, minerals like iron and selenium, and probiotics that are good for digestion. It has antioxidant benefits and the ability to speed energy metabolism. Also, it can protect the immune system, cells, and tissue.

Given its health benefits, sourdoughs are swarming the shelves of bakeries, and supermarket chains and are also being shaped into interesting forms of pizzas, waffles, muffins, pancakes, cookies, crackers, and scones.
Consumers are also exploring the gluten-free option in the bread made with almond, oat, amaranth, or rice flour. It is on the rage for its weight loss, bloating, and fatigue alienating solutions. They are also exploring portobello loaves, keto garlic bread, chia and flax slices, keto cloud bread, keto cornbread, keto blueberry walnut bread, and sprouted bread.

Looking at the pace at which the new varieties of bread are being accepted it can be estimated that more new interesting and exciting variants are yet to come and there is a lot of scope for improvement in the already existing products.   

(The author is managing director at Baker By Chance)
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