Christmas bakery, unapologetically delicious
Slowly but surely, the ovens are being switched on to bake the first batches of cookies. These sweet treats are a must during the Advent season and, of course, at Christmas. This time, we show you how to improve your Christmas bakery with a few simple tricks and the right selection of ingredients.
Sugar is one of the basic ingredients in baking. Try to reduce the amount of sugar in your traditional recipes. The treats are still sufficiently sweet when the amount of sugar is reduced by about a quarter. You can also replace a part with honey. Spices like cinnamon and vanilla add to a sweet taste, even though they contain no sugar.
Bake with spelt, emmerand einkorn
The ancient grains of emmer and einkorn were almost forgotten over time, while spelt celebrated a comeback quite a while ago. All three varieties are primitive types of wheat, where the husks must be separated from the grain before grinding. They also contain gluten. Emmer and einkorn have different taste characteristics. While einkorn is nuttier, emmer offers a slightly spicy note.
In terms of nutrients, these grains differ only slightly from modern cereals. Emmer and einkorn have a slightly higher proportion of protein, but wheat contains more fibre. Significant differences can be seen in the selenium content. When compared to the two ancient grains, wheat can be described as selenium poor. A high carotenoid content (the precursor of vitamin A) is responsible for the yellow colour of einkorn. Einkorn also scores points with vitamin E. The following table shows a brief comparison of the average ingredients. A detailed table can be found at the end of the article.
Spelt also contains plenty of tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for the formation of serotonin. The mood-enhancing effects of serotonin-rich foods were explained in greater detail in our previous nutrition trip, which you can read here.
The use of ancient grains enriches bakery products with different tastes and aromas, bringing even greater variety to your Christmas bakery. Use them to conjure up a particularly tasty Urkorn Stollen, for example.
Better with wholegrain
In the production of wholegrain flour, the entire part of the cleaned grain, including the germ, must be retained, even after milling. As a result, whole grains have a high proportion of dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins. In your own Christmas bakery, the use of wholegrain flour can improve the wholesomeness of your traditional treats. As wholegrain flours require a little more water to swell, one to two tablespoons of additional liquid (per dough preparation) should be added.
Pay particular attention to the quality of the fats used in your baking. Nuts like walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and can enhance Christmas biscuits.
Christmas is a time of tradition and sweet delicacies are simply part of it. In the run-up to Christmas, continue to follow a balanced diet and snack consciously.
Have fun baking and eating!
For more information go to following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_grains
Do you have any other questions? Please write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carmen und Jasmin Klammer
Nutrition scientist and dietician
References: Köhler H, Andersen G. Alte Weizenarten neu entdeckt. Ernährungsumschau, 2016;8:29-32.
Table: Ingredients in comparison
|Protein||15,9 g||14,9 g||12,1 g|
|Fibre||7,8 g||7,7 g||11,7 g|
|Calcium||40 mg||32 mg||26 mg|
|Selenicum||9 µg||23 µg||1 µg|
|Carotinoids||957 µg||246 µg||158 µg|
|Vitamin E (total tocopherol)||6,3 mg||3,8 mg||4,4 mg|
Modified according to Köhler and Andersen, 2016.