It’s a popular misperception that sugar is exclusively used to sweeten meals and beverages. While sugar does sweeten meals, it serves several other purposes in bread production than flavor. So, “Why is there sugar in bread?” “What does sugar do to bread?” and “Is sugar required in a bread recipe?” I asked myself the same questions, and here is what I discovered.
- Why bread has sugar?
- Is there a lot of sugar in bread?
- 12 breads that have more sugar than candy
- Making a sandwich with Martin’s Potato Bread will give you more sugar than a Twizzler.
- If you use Martin’s Cinnamon-Raisin Potato Bread, you could simply replace it with candy.
- Dave’s Killer Bread boasts a staggering 6 grams of sugar per slice in Raisin’ the Roof.
- The standard loaf of Wonder Bread has more sugar per sandwich than a lollipop.
- The restaurant The Cheesecake Factory “The famous ‘Brown Bread’ has almost the same amount of sugar as a bite of cheesecake.
- The sugar content of Udi’s Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread is 9 grams per serving.
- The Organic Soft White Bread from Vermont Bread Company has 2 grams of added sugar per serving.
- A Ferrero Rocher has less sugar than a piece of The Vermont Bread Company’s Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Bread.
- The sugar content of Pepperidge Farm’s Farmhouse Oatmeal Bread is the same as that of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
- The Raisin Cinnamon Swirl from Pepperidge Farm has more sugar than a caramel.
- Arnold’s Oatnut Bread has more sugar than a Hershey’s Kiss.
- The sugar content of a sandwich prepared using Freihofer’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread is the same as that of a Jolly Rancher.
- Healthier Bread Buying Tips
- The impact of using less sugar
- The impact of too much sugar
- Using sugar in bread – conclusion
Why bread has sugar?
Sugar is used in many different varieties of bread for reasons other than giving sweetness. Let’s take a look at each one individually:
Supplies the yeast with food
Yeast cells are living entities that need sustenance to survive. Sugar, or sucrose, is a disaccharide formed by connecting two hexose sugars, fructose and glucose. Yeast develops enzymes that can break down the bonds in sucrose to separate the hexoses. They will next enter glycolysis, where they will be further simplified. Following that, they will create either carbon dioxide and water through the Krebs cycle or carbon dioxide and ethanol via alcoholic fermentation.
Traditional bread dough will employ enzymes to break down starches contained in flour into the simple hexose sugars required to feed the yeast. When sugar is added, yeast acts at a considerably quicker pace, rapidly eating the sugar and emitting carbon dioxide. This causes the bread to rise quicker.
Reduces ethanol production
If there is enough sugar and air, yeast will participate in aerobic respiration to make CO2. However, when sugar and oxygen are reduced, the yeast becomes starving and changes from aerobic to anaerobic respiration. This results in alcoholic fermentation and ethanol generation in ordinary yeast bread. Although most of the ethanol evaporates during the baking process, some scent remains to flavor the bread.
Knead the dough vigorously to absorb lots of oxygen and create a lighter-tasting bread. Adding sugar to the mix will give yeast with easily accessible nourishment. Your dough will rise quickly and create a lighter-tasting loaf of bread.
Yeast does not devour all of the sugar. A lot of sugar may be produced by combining table sugar with sugars obtained from the breakdown of wet flour. Any unprocessed sugars have the ability to generate sweet flavors in the bread, albeit not all sugars taste sweet.
The texture improves when sugar tenderizes the gluten strands. A dough rich in sugar forms strong connections with water molecules. The connections prevent water from reaching the gluten and yeast (called osmotic stress). This results in tight-knit gluten connections, which limit the dough’s capacity to stretch. Sugar in bread results in a softer textured crumb since the dough is not as flexible.
A tiny quantity of sugar will produce a dense, textured breadcrumb. As a result, sugar is ideal for rolls and dinner bread. A higher sugar content produces a light, fluffy texture, similar to that of cakes and other pastries.
Improves moistness and reduces staling
Sugar holds water, which keeps baked foods moist. It also keeps moisture in the crumb structure, decreasing the pace at which water escapes. The enriched bread stays fresher for longer since it retains moisture better.
Who doesn’t like the bread’s delectably sweet brown edges? This browning is mostly caused by Maillard processes. When proteins are cooked in the oven, certain enzymatic processes take place. However, the addition of sugar to bread dough accelerates caramelisation. This gives the crust color and sweeter flavors, as well as a smokey scent throughout the loaf.
Is there a lot of sugar in bread?
Because the components for basic bread have little natural sugar (flour, water, salt), any quantity of sugar exceeding 1 gram per serving on a nutrition information label is added sugar. The sugar content of loaves on grocery shelves varies greatly. Some include none, while others may contain up to 4 grams per slice, including breads with appealing labels like “healthy multi-grain” or “organic grain and seed,” as well as any loaf with the word honey in the description. If a couple pieces of bread were the sole source of added sugar in the typical American’s diet, this would not be a huge reason for worry, but sugar is a prevalent component in most processed foods, even “healthy” ones, and it can rapidly build up. For PB&J fans, a simple sandwich may become a sugar bomb due to hidden sugar in the bread, possibly concealed sugar in peanut butter (another topic for another day), and, of course, extra sugar in the jelly.
The quantity of sugar in bread varies depending on the variety. However, most sliced bread has about 2-4% sugar. The majority of the sugar in bread is naturally occurring and not added. Raw flour includes naturally occurring sugars in the range of 1.4-2.1g per 100g of flour. The quantity of sugar absorbed during digesting increases when starch is broken down into simpler sugars.
Flour is derived from grains and is mostly consisting of carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, and minerals. The quantity of sugar in flour varies according on grain type and growing circumstances.
Sugar is a very prevalent element in bread these days. With all of the advantages of adding sugar, it’s easy to understand why sugar is employed in industrial manufacturing. However, the increased calories and rapid production are not beneficial for us!
12 breads that have more sugar than candy
According to the FDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, added sugars should account for no more than 10% of your daily calories. This is equivalent to 20 grams of sugar or a full-size Snickers bar in a 2,000-calorie diet. Added sugars may cause cavities and heart issues, particularly when meals and drinks rich in sugar generally have little to no nourishment.
Although no bread is as sweet as a bag of cotton candy or Skittles, there are lots of breads that are similar to eating various candies if you consume two pieces.
Making a sandwich with Martin’s Potato Bread will give you more sugar than a Twizzler.
With 6 grams of sugar compared. 4.7 grams in a Twizzler, two slices of this classic will raise your blood sugar more than a Twizzler. Because there is just one gram of fiber per serving, you won’t feel any fuller than if you had chosen the red twisty candy.
If you use Martin’s Cinnamon-Raisin Potato Bread, you could simply replace it with candy.
Each slice of this bread has 7 grams of sugar. Two slices at 14 grams have more sugar than a Charms bubble gum Blow Pop at 13 grams.
Dave’s Killer Bread boasts a staggering 6 grams of sugar per slice in Raisin’ the Roof.
This omega-3-rich organic bread nonetheless contains a lot of sugar. Two slices of this cinnamony delight are equivalent to slightly more than a fun-size caramel and peanut-packed PayDay.
The standard loaf of Wonder Bread has more sugar per sandwich than a lollipop.
Though Wonder Bread isn’t the healthiest bread since it’s made with enhanced white flour, it has a remarkably low sugar content of just 4 grams for two slices. At 3.7 grams of sugar per pop, a Dum Dum lollipop would provide less sugar.
The restaurant The Cheesecake Factory “The famous ‘Brown Bread’ has almost the same amount of sugar as a bite of cheesecake.
Its brown bread includes just 3 grams of sugar per slice and is known for their delicious cheesecakes. The factory’s traditional plain 10 “Cheesecake has an absurdly sweet 36 grams of sugar per serving, thus you may eat two slices of the bread or 1/12th of a slice to ingest just 10% of your daily sugar allowance.
The sugar content of Udi’s Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread is 9 grams per serving.
Two slices of this gluten-free favorite contain nine grams of sugar. This is one gram more than a fun-sized chocolate and coconut Almond Joy.
The Organic Soft White Bread from Vermont Bread Company has 2 grams of added sugar per serving.
Two slices of this soft white bread have less sugar than one small Three Musketeers candy. Choosing organic bread is a better option, but organic does not always imply healthful or low-sugar.
A Ferrero Rocher has less sugar than a piece of The Vermont Bread Company’s Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Bread.
Six grams of sugar per slice is one gram higher than one Ferrero Rocher delight. Two recommended servings of sweets have less sugar than two pieces of cinnamon raisin bread.
The sugar content of Pepperidge Farm’s Farmhouse Oatmeal Bread is the same as that of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
Two slices have the same amount of sugar as a Reese’s peanut butter cup (8 grams).
The Raisin Cinnamon Swirl from Pepperidge Farm has more sugar than a caramel.
Two slices of this bread with 12 grams of sugar have more sugar than three pieces of Werther’s caramel with a total of 10 grams.
Arnold’s Oatnut Bread has more sugar than a Hershey’s Kiss.
With 4 grams of sugar per Hershey’s Kiss, you can eat one and still have plenty to spare before reaching the 6 grams in an Arnold’s Oatnut Bread sandwich.
The sugar content of a sandwich prepared using Freihofer’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread is the same as that of a Jolly Rancher.
At almost 4 grams per candy or 2 grams per slice, making a sandwich with this whole wheat bread is the same as eating a neon-colored Jolly Rancher, but without the artificial coloring and flavour.
Healthier Bread Buying Tips
Breads vary greatly, and since added sugar in bread is not controlled in the United States, it is up to the customer to study labels and make informed decisions. The first step is to bypass the front of the package labels and go right to the ingredient list to seek for additional sugar sources:
- Any component with a -ose ending, such as dextrose, sucrose, or maltose
- Sugar of any form, including cane sugar, beet sugar, invert sugar, coconut sugar, and date sugar
- Honey as well as syrups such as maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and date syrup
- Concentrated fruit juice
Then consider where it sits on the ingredient list. Consider it a red signal if it is one of the first few components. Next, check for the Sugars or Added Sugars content on the nutrition facts label—aim for as near to 0 or 1 gram per serving as feasible if purchasing bread as a daily habit. Remember that 1 teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams of sugar, so performing some quick arithmetic might help put things into perspective. Finally, seek for at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per slice as an extra nutritional benefit.
The impact of using less sugar
Yeast feeds on sugar to produce carbon dioxide gas that will make the dough rise. So, if there’s less sugar, the rising process will be slower, and fewer of the above effects will be prominent.
The impact of too much sugar
Too much sugar in the dough might also impede or stop yeast activity. Water is absorbed by sugar. When there is insufficient water to carry out osmosis (the transfer of nutrients between cells), yeast activity decreases. In extreme situations, the yeast dehydrates and gas generation ceases.
Bread dough is rich in sugar when it includes more than 1/2 cup of sugar for every 4 cups of flour or more than 10% of the flour as a baker’s percentage. When using this much sugar in bread dough, use extra yeast (3%) or an osmotolerant yeast.
Using sugar in bread – conclusion
Remember that eating healthfully is about overall balance and diversity; hidden sugar in bread may be more of a concern for individuals who consume significant amounts of bread on a daily basis, as well as other processed foods that include hidden sugar sources. This might be in addition to genuine sweets and sugary beverages, resulting in an unbalanced diet. In the context of their total diet, however, a couple of slices of honey wheat bread a few days per week may not be a reason for worry for someone who has a very low consumption of sugar from these other sources.