November is National Bread Month
November is a great time for pumpkin spice and everything nice, but it’s also the perfect time to celebrate National Bread Month. The wheat that U.S. farmers grow is exceptionally adept at creating tasty, homemade bread, so be sure to celebrate this homegrown holiday.
One bushel of wheat can produce 90 loaves of whole wheat bread. One acre of wheat can feed a family of three for more than 14 years! Or that same acre could feed 15,600 people for one day.
When you’re baking your own warm, toasty loaf made from U.S. wheat, remember that the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans stress the need to make half your grains whole every day, so be sure to add a little variety in the type of flour you use. A typical loaf of bread contains 16 ounces of flour, which could differ based on recipe and type of flour.
Both whole grain flour and enriched flour are important to maintaining a healthy diet, but what’s the difference between the two? A kernel of wheat contains three parts — the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The outer layer is called the bran, which contains fiber, B vitamins and other minerals. The germ is the plant’s embryo. The endosperm is the germ’s source of nutrition and contains protein and carbohydrates. Whole grain wheat flour contains all three parts of the kernel, while enriched flour only contains the endosperm.
As enriched flour is milled, some nutrients lost in the milling process are added back to the flour, along with additional nutrients like iron and folic acid. This fortified flour is the top source of folic acid in women of child-bearing age and has contributed to reducing neural tube defect rates by 36 percent.
Benefits of regular whole grain consumption include reduced risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Whole grains are simple to incorporate into your diet. Try swapping out spaghetti, tortillas or loaves of bread for their whole grain alternatives, or be adventurous and try cooking with whole wheat berries.
Baking can be a great time to practice math as well as talk with children about nutrition. Have younger children help count ingredients. For example, ask children to count the number of cups as they dump them in. Talking about fractions while measuring can help older children visually understand how fractions work. The best memories are made from scratch, so be sure and use National Bread Month as the perfect reason to make some tasty, tasty memories.
In honor of one of our favorite foods, we thought we would share our 10 favorite facts about bread. After all, we wouldn’t have bread without wheat. That’s why National Bread Month means one more reason for us to be thankful.
Wheat Facts: Bread Bites
- Evidence indicates that wheat was baked to make bread in 6,700 B.C. by Swiss lake dwellers. That’s over 8,000 years ago!
- A bushel of wheat yields 73 loaves of bread.
- U.S. wheat farmers grow enough wheat to produce 146 billion loaves of bread annually. U.S. wheat farmers produce an average of more than 2 billion bushels of wheat per year.
- One acre of wheat can produce enough wheat to furnish a family of four with bread for nearly 10 years.
- It takes 9 seconds for a combine to harvest enough wheat to make about 70 loaves of bread. We know our wheat farmers are out in their combines for much longer than 9 seconds. U.S. wheat farmers work hard to feed the world.
- Kansas, the top wheat producing state, produces enough wheat each year to bake 36 billion loaves of bread. That’s enough for the world population break bread together for 2 weeks.
- Assuming a sandwich was eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it would take 168 days to eat the amount of bread produced from one bushel of wheat. It’s a good thing wheat is used to make cereals, pastas and other foods you can enjoy for all meals throughout the day.
- Hard Red Spring wheat is one of the most popular types of wheat for making bread products, including hearth breads, rolls, croissants, bagels and pizza crust. There are six classes of wheat: Hard Red Spring, Soft White, Hard Red Winter, Soft Red Winter, Durum, Hard White.
- Hard Red Winter wheat is another wheat used to make bread products, such as pan breads, hard rolls and flat breads. Because of its versatility and excellent milling and baking characteristics, Hard Red Winter variety is also used to make Asian noodles, cereal and general-purpose flour.
- Soft Red Winter wheat is used most often to make bread-family products like crackers, pretzels and flat breads.
Our favorite bread recipes
Take some time this month to celebrate bread by baking with your family. Here are a few of our favorite bread recipes from EatWheat.
If you love bread as much as we do, you’ll also want to check out the recipes from the National Festival of Breads baking contest. These award winning recipes combine flavors and ingredients that will have your mouth watering.
Have a favorite family bread recipe? Practice your baking skills throughout the holiday season and then enter it in the contest in January!